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World Energy Use Will Soar, Fossil Fuels Reign

India and China will lead the world to a 28 percent boost in energy use in the next 25 years.

World energy use will continue its steady climb to 736 billion British thermal units in 2040, a 28 percent boost from 2015 levels, according to the newly released U.S. Energy Information Administration awaited “International Energy Outlook 2017” report.

China and India will be responsible for half of that leap in energy consumption.

“Renewables are the world’s fastest-growing energy source, with consumption increasing by an average 2.3 percent a year between 2015 and 2040,” the EIA said. “The world’s second fastest-growing source of energy is nuclear power, with consumption increasing by 1.5 percent a year over that period.”

Fossil fuels, responsible for greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming, will not go away.

“Although consumption of nonfossil fuels is expected to grow faster than fossil fuels, fossil fuels still account for 77 percent of energy use in 2040. Natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel in the projections. Global natural gas consumption increases by 1.4 percent a year.  Abundant natural gas resources and rising production—including supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane—contribute to the strong competitive position of natural gas. Liquid fuels—mostly petroleum-based—remain the largest source of world energy consumption,” the report said.

Coal use does not grow in coming decades.

“Coal is increasingly replaced by natural gas, renewables, and nuclear power (in the case of China) for electric power generation, and demand for coal also weakens for industrial processes. China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, but coal use is projected to decline in China by 0.6 percent a year from 2015 to 2040,” EIA said.

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