Canadian Biomass Magazine

EIA report sees big growth in renewable energy

May 17, 2016
By Taylor Fredericks

May 17, 2016 - The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its annual International Energy Outlook for 2016 (IEO2016), and the data paints a promising picture for the future of non-fossil and renewable energy.

The report—which assesses the outlook for international energy sources through 2040—found that renewables are the world’s fastest growing energy source, with an average annual consumption increase of 2.6 percent projected across the length of the forecast. In addition, the IEO2016 predicts that by 2040 non-fossil fuels will account for 22 per cent of all energy use, with renewables accounting for 29 per cent of all electrical energy

These projections, however, do not include the potential effects of the U.S.’s recently finalized Clean Power Plan (CPP) regulations, which should help spur an even greater proliferation of renewable energy usage over the next three decades. The EIA’s preliminary analysis of the CPP indicates that renewable energy use could be as much as 37 per cent higher than projected by 2040, for a total of 4 quadrillion Btu annually.

Overall, the outlook for energy use worldwide continues to show rising levels of demand, with an expected increase of 48 per cent—from 549 quadrillion Btu to 815 quadrillion Btu annually—by 2040. This rising demand will be driven largely by Asian markets outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including China and India, where relatively strong, long-term economic growth is expected to increase the demand for energy.

In terms of market share and overall growth, natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel over the length of the forecast, with consumption rates increasing 1.9 per cent annually. Liquid fuels remain the largest source of world energy consumption, but see their share of global marketed energy fall from 33 percent to 30 percent by 2040. Coal, the world’s slowest-growing energy source, rises 0.6 percent annually, and is surpassed by natural gas by 2030.


For more information, or to read the full report, visit

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