Thursday, January 26, 2012

USA Energy Outlook: Fossil Fuels & More CO2

According to the “Annual Energy Outlook 2012” from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2010, fossil fuel represented 83 percent of U.S. energy consumption.  Although total energy use grows only 10 percent between 2010 and 2035, the fossil fuel share stays high at 77 percent in 2035.

The gains in efficiency and the expansion of renewables are offset by increased energy demand from a larger population (390 million in 2035, up from310million in 2010) and more homes, buildings,malls and cars. In 2035, emissions of carbon dioxide—the largest greenhouse gas—are reckoned to be 3 percent higher than in 2010. This contrasts with the declines of 50 to 80 percent that some scientists say are needed by midcentury to stabilize global temperatures.

Advances in “fracking” have opened new oil and natural gas fields. From 2007 to 2010,U.S. oil production rose from 5.1 million barrels a day (mbd) to 5.5mbd. By 2020, itwill hit 6.7 mbd.

In 2010, oil imports accounted for 49 percent of U.S. consumption, down from60 percent in 2005.  By 2035, imports could decline to 36 percent, projects the EIA. (Wash Post, 1/26/2012)

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