Fossil Fuels Forever

No peak within sight


Every year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) issues its best guess on what the fuel mix for the global economy will look like over the coming decades. The reference case of the EIA's International Energy Outlook 2013 assumes no changes from current energy policies.

This year's report projects that the world will be using 56 percent more energy by 2040 and that 80 percent of it will still come from burning fossil fuels. The EIA foresees that consumption of petroleum and other liquid fuels will rise 32 percent, from 87 million to 115 million barrels per day; that natural gas will increase by 64 percent, rising from 113 trillion cubic feet to 185 trillion cubic feet; that coal will grow 44 percent, from 8 billion short tons to 11.5 billion; and that nuclear's share of total energy will increase from 5 percent to 7 percent.

Total energy use from renewables is supposed to rise from 11 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2040. EIA expects 52 percent of that increase to come from hydropower and 28 percent from wind. Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise 46 percent, from about 31 billion metric to 45 billion metric tons in 2040.

In other words, there's no peak in sight for fossil fuels.

NEXT: Brickbat: Babyface

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  1. LOL…I have news for you my friend. The peak is already behind us for light sweet crude production and we are only a year or two at best from seeing the Bakken peak. That means that analysts, government bureaucrats, and retail investors will figure out what the majors figured out; that shale is a destroyer of capital, not the salvation it was being sold as by the industry insiders, Wall Street bankers, and politicians. I would use that intellectual horsepower of yours to try to figure out why it is that pure shale players have yet to show positive cash flows or pay out dividends after nearly a decade of operations and why the majors have written down many of their investments in the sector or to figure out how much longer the scam can continue if weakening demand drives prices $5-$15 per barrel lower.

  2. use from renewables is supposed to rise from 11 percent in 2010

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