EIA releases Annual Energy Outlook 2015

April 14, 2015

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its Annual Energy Outlook 2015 report, authored by Adam Sieminski, today. A key finding of the report is that US net energy imports, including all fuels, are expected to decline and ultimately end by 2030 for the first time since the 1950s due to strong growth in domestic production of crude oil from tight formations through 2020 and limited growth in domestic demand after 2020. These factors are expected to lead to a decline in net petroleum and other liquids imports.

Other key findings include:

  • The US will transition from being a net importer of natural gas to a net exporter by 2017.
  • US energy consumption will grow at a modest rate with reductions in energy intensity resulting from improved technologies and trends driven by existing laws and regulations.
  • Renewables will provide an increased share of electricity generation, reflecting rising long-term natural gas prices and the high capital costs of new coal and nuclear generation capacity.
  • Improved efficiency of energy consumption in end-use sectors and a shift away from more carbon-intensive fuels will help stabilize US energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, which should remain below the 2005 level through 2040.
  • Growth of domestic crude oil and natural gas production varies significantly across regions and cases, leading to shifts in crude oil and natural gas flows between regions, requiring infrastructure adjustments, such as newbuilds and pipeline flow reversals.
  • In the transportation sector, motor gasoline use will decline, while diesel fuel, jet fuel and natural gas use will grow.
  • Natura gas consumption growth will be driven by increased use in all sectors except residential.
  • Shale resources (shale gas and tight oil plays) remain the dominant source of US natural gas production growth, growing from about 10 Bcf/d in 2013 to nearly 60 Bcf/d in 2040.

Also, global growth and trade are expected to weaken beyond 2025, creating headwinds for U.S. export-oriented industries. In the projections, growth in US net exports contributes more to GDP growth than it has over the past 30 years (partially due to a reduction in net energy imports). However, its impact diminishes in the later years of the projection, reflecting slowing GDP growth in nations that are US trading partners, along with the impacts of exchange rates and prices on trade.

As economic growth in the rest of the world slows, so does US export growth, with commensurate impacts on growth in manufacturing output, particularly in the paper, chemicals, primary metals, and other energy-intensive industries. The impact varies across industries.

The Annual Energy Outlook 2015 cases generally reflect current policies, including final regulations and the sunset of tax credits under current law. Consistent with this approach, the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan rules for existing fossil-fired electric generating units, or the effects of relaxing current limits on crude oil exports, are not considered in the EIA Annual Energy Outlook report.

Find the full EIA report here.



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