EIA: Renewables and nuclear ‘world’s fastest’ growing energy sources

Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world's fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing by 2.5% per year, according to a new report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

This increase in renewables, however, will coincide with a rise in fossil fuels, which will continue to supply almost 80% of world energy use through 2040.

According to the report, International Energy Outlook 2013 (IEO2013), natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel with global natural gas consumption increasing by 1.7% per year.

The report also predicts that world energy consumption will grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040. It forecasts that total global energy use increases from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2010 to 630 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and to 820 quadrillion Btu in 2040.

A majority of the increase occurs in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), known as non-OECD, where demand is driven by strong, long-term economic growth.

Energy use in non-OECD countries increases by 90%, while in OECD countries, the increase is 17%.

Highlighting energy consumption in business, the report says the industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption and globally it still consumes over half of delivered energy in 2040.

Taking into account current policies and regulations limiting fossil fuel use, the report suggests that worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from about 31 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36 billion metric tons in 2020 and then to 45 billion metric tons in 2040, a 46% increase.

Leigh Stringer

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