IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

1.3.2 Future outlook Energy supply

A variety of projections of the energy picture have been made for the coming decades. These differ in terms of their modelling structure and input assumptions and, in particular, on the evolution of policy in the coming decades. For example, the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2006 reference case (IEA, 2006a) and the the International Energy Outlook of the Energy Information Agency in the USA reference case (EIA, 2006b) have both developed sets of scenarios; however, all of these scenarios project a continued dependence on fossil fuels (see Chapter 4 for past global energy mixes and future energy demand and supply projections). Should there be no change in energy policies, the energy mix supplied to run the global economy in the 2025–2030 time frame will essentially remain unchanged with about 80% (IEA, 2006a) of the energy supply based on fossil fuels. In other words, the energy economy may evolve, but not radically change unless policies change.

According to the IEA and EIA projections, coal (1.8–2.5% per year), oil (1.3–1.4% per year) and natural gas (2.0–2.4% per year) all continue to grow in the period up to 2030. Among the non-fossil fuels, nuclear (0.7–1.0% per year), hydro (2.0% per year), biomass and waste, including non-commercial biomass (1.3% per year), and other renewables (6.6% per year)[13] also continue to grow over the projection period. The growth of new renewables, while robust, starts from a relatively small base. Sectoral growth in energy demand is principally in the electricity generation and transport sectors, and together these will account for 67% of the increase in global energy demand up to 2030 (IEA 2006a).

  1. ^  EIA reports only an aggregate annual growth rate for all renewables of about 2.4% per year.