The Annual Energy Outlook 2007, released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), projects growth in nuclear generation, biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), coal-to-liquids, energy efficiency and new transportation technologies.
Even though renewables will grow rapidly, because they're starting from such a tiny share of the overall market, EIA projects that oil, coal, and natural gas will provide roughly the same 86% share of the total U.S. primary energy supply in 2030 as they did in 2005.
Although nuclear is expected to grow, its share will fall, given the growth of electrical demand. Hydroelectric power should remain stagnant in terms of its overall market share.
EIA projects that ethanol use will grow from 4 billion gallons in 2005 to 11.2 billion gallons in 2012 and 14.6 billion gallons (about 8% of total gasoline consumption by volume)in 2030.
Projected ethanol consumption in 2012 far exceeds the 7.5 billion gallon requirement of the Renewable Fuel Standard enacted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005).
Alternative sources of distillate fuel are also projected to grow to over 7% of the total distillate pool by 2030, when consumption of biodiesel, also supported by tax credits in EPACT2005, reaches 0.4 billion gallons and distillate produced from coal-to-liquids reaches 5.7 billion gallons.
Sales of flex-fuel vehicles, capable of using gasoline and E85, are projected to reach 2 million per year in 2030. Sales of hybrids, including both full and mild hybrids, are also projected to reach roughly 2 million per year 2030, while diesel vehicles sales reach 1.2 million. Including other unconventional vehicle technologies (e.g., gaseous, electricity, fuel cells), in total they account for almost 28% of projected total new light-duty vehicles sales in 2030, up from just over 8% in 2005.
Total nuclear generating capacity is expected to grow to 112.6 gigawatts in 2030, including 3 gigawatts of additional capacity uprates, and 12.5 gigawatts of new capacity stimulated in part by EPACT2005 tax credits. Total nuclear generation is projected to grow from 780 billion kilowatthours in 2005 to 896 billion kilowatthours in 2030, but the nuclear share of generation falls from 20% in 2005 to 15% in 2030.
Natural gas consumption is projected to grow to 26.1 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2030, well down from projected consumption of 30 tcf or more that had been expected only a few years ago. Much of this change results from projected natural gas prices that significantly cut the expected growth natural gas use for electricity generation over the last decade of the projection period. Natural gas consumption is projected as almost flat between 2020-2030, as growth in residential, commercial and industrial consumption over this period is nearly offset by a decline in projected gas use for electricity generation.
Coal is projected to play a growing role particularly for electricity generation. Coal consumption is projected to increase from 22.9 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2005 to over 34 quads in 2030, with significant additions of new coal-fired generation capacity over the last decade of the projection period. The projections for coal use are particularly sensitive to the underlying assumption for the reference case analysis that current energy and environmental policies remain unchanged throughout the projection period.
Other highlights of the AEO2007 include:
Total energy demand is projected to increase from 100.2 to 131.2 quads between 2005 and 2030, an average annual increase of 1.1 percent, in a scenario where the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grows at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent.
Real world crude oil prices (2005 dollars), which are expressed in terms of the average price of imported light low-sulfur crude oil to U.S. refiners, are projected to decline gradually from their 2006 average level through 2015 as new supplies come to market in response to the higher prices and expanded exploration and development investments. After 2015, real prices begin to rise as demand continues to grow and higher cost supplies are brought to market. In 2030, real world crude oil prices are projected to reach over $59 per barrel in 2005 dollars, or about $95 per barrel in nominal dollars.
The net import share of total liquids supply, including crude oil and refined products, drops from 60 percent of total liquids supply in 2005 to 54 percent in 2009 and then increases, reaching 61 percent in 2030. Imports of refined petroleum products account for 20 percent of total net imports in 2030.
Average real natural gas wellhead prices are projected to fall from today's high levels to just under $5 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) (2005 dollars) by 2013 as increased drilling brings on new supplies and new import sources become available. After 2013, natural gas wellhead prices are projected to increase gradually, to about $6 per mcf in 2030 (equivalent to $9.63 per mcf in nominal dollars).
Major contributors to growth in natural gas supply include LNG imports, the completion of an Alaskan natural gas pipeline in 2018, and domestic unconventional production. Net LNG imports are projected to increase from 0.6 tcf in 2005 to 4.5 tcf in 2030, Alaskan production reaches 2.2 tcf by 2030, and unconventional production grows to 10.2 tcf in 2030, accounting for 50 percent of percent of domestic U.S. natural gas production in 2030.
Projected real minemouth coal prices falls from $1.15 per million Btu ($23.34 per ton) (2005 dollars) in 2005 to $1.08 per million Btu ($21.51 per ton) in 2019 as prices moderate following the rapid run up that has been seen in last few years and relatively low-cost western mines continue to capture a larger share of the market. After 2019, the growing use of coal in new power plants leads to a gradual increase in coal prices. They reach $1.15 per million Btu ($22.60 per ton) in 2030.
Coal use for new electric generating capacity and CTL production grows rapidly. Coal consumption in the electric power sector is projected to increase from 25.1 quads in 2020 to 31.1 quads in 2030, and coal use at CTL plants is projected to increase from 0.4 quads in 2020 to 1.8 quads in 2030. Projected coal consumption is very sensitive to possible future changes in energy or environmental policies that are not reflected in the AEO2007 reference case.
After reaching a peak of 8.3 cents per kilowatthour (kwh) (2005 dollars) in 2006, average delivered real electricity prices decline to a low of 7.7 cents per kwh in 2015 and then increase to 8.1 cents per kwh in 2030. Without adjustment for inflation, average delivered electricity prices in the AEO2007 reference case are projected to reach 13 cents per kwh in 2030.
Coal remains the primary fuel for electricity generation. The coal share of generation increases from 50 percent in 2005 to 57 percent in 2030. The natural gas share of generation increases from 19 percent in 2005 to 22 percent around 2016, before falling to 16 percent in 2030. Over the entire period from 2005 to 2030, 156 gigawatts of new coal-fired generating capacity is projected to be added in the AEO2007 reference case, including 11 gigawatts at CTL plants and 67 gigawatts at Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plants. Possible future changes in energy or environmental policies could significantly impact these projected generation shares.
Consumption of renewable fuels is projected to grow from 6.5 quads in 2005 to 10.2 quads in 2030. More than 50 percent of the projected demand for renewables is for grid-related electricity generation, including combined heat and power, and the rest is for dispersed heating and cooling, industrial uses, and fuel blending.
Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent per year, from 5,945 million metric tons in 2005 to 7,950 million metric tons in 2030, reflecting growth in fossil fuel demand. The carbon dioxide emissions intensity of the U.S. economy is projected to fall from 538 metric tons per million dollars of GDP in 2005 to 353 metric tons per million dollars of GDP in 2030, an average decline of 1.7 percent per year.