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A Future of Fossil Fuels

EIA’s latest numbers shows a continuous growth in energy consumption, led by China and India.
September 20, 2011
Source: EIA.

For those hoping for a quick transition to cleaner energy sources, the numbers are sobering. The world’s energy consumption is projected to continue to rise at a rapid pace, increasing by 53 percent by 2035, with much of that growth coming from China and India, according to numbers released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Fossil fuels will continue to be, by far, the dominant source of that energy, supplying 78 percent of the world’s energy in 2035, says the EIA.

Source: EIA.

But the renewables statistics are truly revealing. Even though they are the fastest growing source of energy, renewables will still represent only 15 percent of the world’s energy in 2035 (up from 10 percent today). Oil, coal, and natural gas will still dominate—and will grow at a relatively robust rate over the next two decades. Though no surprise, the EIA’s numbers are reality check on the challenge ahead for clean technologies if they are to make an impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

EIA’s important caveat: its projection “does not incorporate prospective legislation or policies that might affect energy markets.”

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