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China, India to drive global energy consumption, report says

| Saturday, July 27, 2013, 6:12 p.m.

Global energy consumption is expected to rise 56 percent by 2040 with a changing composition of energy sources, and China and India driving the rate increase far more than the rest of the world.

According to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels are expected to keep making up much of the energy supply, with petroleum and other liquid fuels remaining the largest source worldwide.

Their share of that growing energy consumption is expected to shrink somewhat in coming decades, though, from 34 percent across all fuel sources in 2010 to 28 percent in 2040, researchers said.

Liquid fuel consumption is expected to more than double in China and India over the course of the 30 years.

“Rising prosperity in China and India is a major factor in the outlook for global energy demand,” said Adam Sieminski of the EIA. “These two countries combined account for half the world's total increase in energy use through 2040.”

In China, liquid fuel consumption is expected to rise from 9 million barrels a day to 20 million, and in India, it is to ramp up from 3 million barrels a day to 8 million.

Together, the two nations will surpass consumption in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile combined. Analysts project that daily production of liquid fuels will rise by 28.3 million barrels from 2010 to 2040 to accommodate that demand.

Coal is expected to hold its status as the world's second-largest energy source. In 2010, China consumed 47 percent of total world levels; the United States, 14 percent; and India, 9 percent.

The share of those three nations combined will increase 5 percentage points to 75 percent by 2040, according to the study.

Total world coal consumption is expected to rise from 147.4 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 219.5 quadrillion Btu in 2040 — about 27 percent of the projected total energy consumption. (One Btu, or British thermal unit, is the amount of energy needed to heat 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.)

The EIA study also projects renewables and nuclear power will be the two fastest-growing energy sources. Renewables' share of total worldwide energy use is expected to rise from 11 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2040, while nuclear will rise 2 percentage points to reach 7 percent in 2040.

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