Worldwide energy consumption grows by 53 percent between 2008 and 2035 in the Reference case, with much of the increase driven by strong economic growth in the developing nations especially China and India.
From 2008 to 2035, total world energy consumption rises by an average annual 1.6 percent in the IEO2011 Reference case. Strong economic growth among the non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations drives the increase. Non-OECD energy use increases by 2.3 percent per year; in the OECD countries energy use grows by only 0.6 percent per year.
Petroleum and other liquid fuels remain the largest energy source worldwide through 2035, though projected higher oil prices erode their share of total energy use from 34 percent in 2008 to 29 percent in 2035. Projected petroleum consumption and prices are very sensitive to both supply and demand conditions. Higher economic growth in developing countries coupled with reduced supply from key exporting countries result in a High Oil Price case in which real oil prices exceed $169 per barrel by 2020 and approach $200 per barrel by 2035. Conversely, lower economic growth in developing countries coupled with increased supplies from key exporting countries result in a Low Oil Price case in which real oil prices fall to about $55 per barrel in 2015 and then gradually decline to $50 per barrel after 2030 where they remain through 2035.
World coal consumption increases from 139 quadrillion Btu in 2008 to 209 quadrillion Btu in 2035, at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent in the IEO2011 Reference case. In the absence of policies or legislation that would limit the growth of coal use, China and, to a lesser extent, India and the other nations of non-OECD Asia consume coal in place of more expensive fuels. China alone accounts for 76 percent of the projected net increase in world coal use, and India and the rest of non-OECD Asia account for another 19 percent of the increase.
Electricity is the world's fastest-growing form of end-use energy consumption in the Reference case, as it has been for the past several decades. Net electricity generation worldwide rises by 2.3 percent per year on average from 2008 to 2035. Renewables are the fastest growing source of new electricity generation, increasing by 3.0 percent and outpacing the average annual increases for natural gas (2.6 percent), nuclear power (2.4 percent), and coal (1.9 percent).
The transportation sector accounted for 27 percent of total world delivered energy consumption in 2008, and transportation energy use increases by 1.4 percent per year from 2008 to 2035. The transportation share of world total liquids consumption increases from 54 percent in 2008 to 60 percent in 2035 in the IEO2011 Reference case, accounting for 82 percent of the total increase in world liquids consumption
In the IEO2011 Reference case, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from 30.2 billion metric tons in 2008 to 43.2 billion metric tons in 2035-an increase of 43 percent. Much of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing nations of the world, especially in Asia.