World Energy Use Projected to Grow 44 Percent Between 2006 and 2030

World marketed energy consumption is projected to grow by 44 percent between 2006 and 2030, driven by strong long-term economic growth in the developing nations of the world, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) projection from the International Energy Outlook 2009 (IEO2009).

According to the report, the current global economic downturn will dampen world energy demand in the near term, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services slows. However, with economic recovery anticipated to begin within the next 12 to 24 months, most nations are expected to see energy consumption growth at rates anticipated prior to the recession. Total world energy use is projected to rise from 472 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015 and then to 678 quadrillion Btu in 2030.

The rapid increase in world energy prices from 2003 to 2008, combined with concerns about the environmental consequences of greenhouse gas emissions, has led to renewed interest in the development of alternatives to fossil fuels. Renewable energy is the fastest growing source of world electricity generation in the IEO2009 reference case, supported by high prices for fossil fuels and by government incentives for the development of alternative energy sources. From 2006 to 2030, world renewable energy use for electricity generation will grow by an average of 2.9 percent per year, according to the report, and the renewable share of world electricity generation will increase from 19 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2030. Hydropower and wind power will be the major sources of incremental renewable electricity supply.

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