While global leaders meet in New York to discuss solutions to climate change, the U.S. government has offered a sober assessment of the world’s ability to wean itself off fossil fuels.
Although renewables will be the fastest-growing energy source through 2050, oil consumption will still be key to meeting energy demand for decades, according to a report released Tuesday by the Energy Information Administration. Fossil fuel use will keep climbing for the next 30 years, the report said.
“Even though you see a very aggressive change in renewables uptick, it is just not growing fast enough to meet the demand and we don’t see demand tapering off,” EIA Administrator Linda Capuano said in Washington.
Petroleum and other liquids will see their use increase through 2050, even as their share of global energy demand declines to 27% from 32% over that period. Natural gas, meanwhile, is seen as the fastest growing fossil fuel, increasing by 1.1% a year. After initially falling, coal’s use will pick up towards 2050.
“Global energy consumption continues to outpace renewables growth and, while their shares decline, fossil fuel consumption, including coal, are projected to increase to meet demand,” Capuano said at an event held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The agency’s International Energy Outlook 2019 contains modeled projections rather than forecasts and assumes current laws and regulations remain unchanged.
© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.