U.S. EIA Sees Fossil Fuel Dominance Through 2035

Percentages of overall energy mix remain static or decline gradually as more renewables come on online.

Published: 09-Jan-2011

The expectation for alternative energy becoming the gold standard in the next decade is being dispelled by a new report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a division of the U.S. department of energy focused on independent statistics. Directly before the New Year, the U.S. Department of Energy released their reference case forecasts, containing projections of U.S. energy supply, demand and prices, from the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2011. The AEO report includes predictions for energy use through 2035 and functions as a reference point for both for industry and government projections of future energy policies.

The EIA report has overturned many industry projections declaring the dominance of carbon-free fuels in the future. The new data forecasts fossil fuels to compose of 75 or more percent of total energy consumption in the United States in 2035. Even in light of the limited supply of fossil fuels and the environmental consequences of emissions, the percentage of fossil fuels is projected to fall by only 5 percentage points over the next 25 years. This translates to a breakdown from 83 percent in 2009 to 78 percent in 2035.

The consumption of petroleum products in the US is actually expected to increase by 14 percent by 2035. National crude oil production will also rise according to the report, from 5.4 million barrels per day in 2009 to 6.1 million barrels per day in 2019. 2035 will see a slight decline as alternative energy finally begins to assert itself more aggressively.

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