Over the next three decades, renewable energy and nuclear power will be the world's fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing by 2.5% per year, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, fossil fuels will continue to supply almost 80% of world energy use through 2040.
Almost 80% of the projected increase in renewable electricity generation will be fueled by hydropower and wind power. The report says the contribution of wind energy, in particular, has grown rapidly over the past decade, and the trend is expected to continue. Of the 5.4 trillion kilowatt-hours of new renewable generation predicted to be added over the projection period, 52% will be hydroelectric power and 28% will be wind.
According to the report, electricity generation from nuclear power worldwide willÂ increase from 2.6 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2010 to 5.5 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2040, as concerns about energy security and greenhouse gas emissions support the development of new nuclear generating capacity.
Global natural gas consumption will grow by 1.7% per year, the report says. Increasing supplies of tight gas, shale gas and coalbed methane support growth in projected worldwide gas use. The report says coal will grow faster than liquid fuels consumption until after 2030, due to increases in China's consumption of coal and tepid growth in liquid fuels demand attributed to slow growth in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries and high sustained oil prices.
In addition, the report says world energy consumption will increase 56% by 2040, with half of the rise attributed to China and India. World energy consumption will increase from 524 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 820 quadrillion Btu in 2040.