EIA: Energy demand, biofuels use expected to grow

By Kris Bevill
Posted May 27, 2009, at 1:35 p.m. CST

Worldwide demand for energy is expected to nearly double by 2030 and will be driven largely by developing countries, according to the Energy Information Administration. The agency's recently released annual International Energy Outlook reported that while short-term energy demand is dampened due to economic recession, long-term consumption is expected to return to levels anticipated prior to the recession.

Linda Doman, international energy analyst at the EIA, said that developing areas including China, India and the Middle East will outpace developed nations in the demand for energy and will drive oil prices to high levels. Consumption increases in developing countries are projected to grow 73 percent by 2030 as compared to a 15 percent growth in already-developed countries.

According to the report, demand for liquid fuels will gradually diminish with the exception of the transportation sector. There, liquids will be relatively unaffected by projected high world oil prices and will continue to serve as the primary energy source. Because of the projected high oil prices, ethanol and biodiesel are predicted to play greater roles in supplying alternative liquid fuels to the world market. According to the report, "Particularly strong growth in biofuels consumption is projected for the United States, where production of biofuels increases from 0.3 million barrels per day in 2006 to 1.9 million barrels per day in 2030."

Developed areas in Europe and developing areas in Asia, Central America and South America will also experience noticeable growth in the production of biofuels by 2030. Those areas, combined with the United States, will account for 75 percent of the world increase in biofuels production by 2030.