The International Energy Outlook 2013, published by the U.S. Energy Administration projects that world energy consumption will grow almost 60 percent by the year 2040. But unlike the aggressive energy expansion previously powered by developed nations, primarily members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (COECD), future energy growth will be overwhelmingly driven by nations in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America, who could approach several multiples of their present growth by 2040.
It is estimated that although fossil fuel (coal, oil, natural gas) will be in the forefront of these energy dynamics, renewables and nuclear power comprise the fastest growing elements. Even so, fossil fuels are still expected to provide 80 percent of the much larger energy use percentage by mid-century. Surprisingly, coal will be a leading factor since startup nations do not have the use constraints, now being practiced by the U.S. Unless coal-mining is eventually outlawed in the U.S., America’s world leading reserves will be the prime export beneficiary, since this nation retains the world’s largest reserve of this controversial resource.
The world’s industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of dedicated energy consumption used. Even with the more aggressive underdeveloped and developing nations joining the global economic expansion parade, the industrial and power generation sectors will absorb the greatest amount of energy input ever, except on an increasingly larger scale.
Even, when taking into consideration the progressively detrimental regulations imposed on America’s fossil fuels usage, it’s expected that worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will rise from 31 billion metric tons in 2010 to 36 billion metric tons in 2020; and then to 45 billion metric tons in 2040, a 46 percent increase according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Although the anecdotal evidence of such a massive energy demand over the next 25 years has previously indicated a worldwide transition from primarily survivalist populations to industrial, and even those technologically proficient in the intermediate future, this is the official estimate proffered by the U.S. Energy Information Agency. Historically these have tended to be conservative.
With a population growth from 7 billion to 9.5 billion during the aforementioned period, the population number plus their evolution could make even the Energy Information Agency’s numbers obsolete in a much shorter time period. This could eventuate into a marvelous national resource availability number for the U.S., generating trillions in resource returns, and millions in new jobs, if future imposed regulations maintain even a modicum of restraint.
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