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World energy use up 53% by 2035

The world energy use could rise 53% by 2035 with China and India accounting for half of the total growth, according to the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) International Energy Outlook 2011.

By Kari Williamson

It is in the Reference case that energy consumption increases by 53%. "China and India account for half of the projected increase in world energy use over the next 25 years. China alone, which only recently became the world's top energy consumer, is projected to use 68% more energy than the United States by 2035," says Acting EIA Administrator Howard Gruenspecht.

In 2008, China and India accounted for 21% of total world energy consumption, but with strong economic growth over the projection period, their combined energy use could more than double by 2035, when they account for 31% of world energy use in the reference case. In 2035, China's energy demand could be 68% higher than US energy demand.

Fast growing renewable energy

The report predicts renewable energy to be the fastest growing source of primary energy over the period, but fossil fuels remain the dominant source. Nevertheless, renewable energy consumption could increase 2.8% annually increasing its share of total energy use from 10% in 2008 to 15% in 2035. This is assuming current legislation and policies do not change. Furthermore, oil prices are expected to remain high.

Electricity, which is the fastest-growing form of end-use energy consumption, could see net generation rising 2.3% worldwide annually. Renewable energy is the fastest growing source of new electricity generation increasing by 3% - outpacing natural gas (2.6%), nuclear power (2.4%) and coal (1.9%).

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