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Nuclear predicted to be the world’s fastest growing non-renewable energy source

23 August 2013 – The US Energy Information Administration’s international energy outlook 2013 projects that world energy consumption will grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040. It predicts that world energy use rises from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2010 to 630 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and to 820 quadrillion Btu in 2040. Much of the growth in energy consumption occurs in countries outside the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where demand is driven by strong, long-term economic growth. Energy use in non-OECD countries increases by 90%; in OECD countries, the increase is 17%.

Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world’s fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing by 2.5% a year. However, fossil fuels continue to supply almost 80% of world energy use through 2040. Natural gas is the fastest-growing fossil fuel in the outlook. Global natural gas consumption increases by 1.7% a year. Increasing supplies of tight gas, shale gas, and coal bed methane support growth in projected worldwide natural gas use. Coal use grows faster than petroleum and other liquid fuel use until after 2030, mostly because of increases in China’s consumption of coal and tepid growth in liquids demand attributed to slow growth in the OECD regions and high sustained oil prices.

The industrial sector continues to account for the largest share of delivered energy consumption; the world industrial sector still consumes over half of global delivered energy in 2040. Given current policies and regulations limiting fossil fuel use, worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise from about 31 billion tonnes in 2010 to 36 billion tonnes in 2020 and then to 45 billion tonnes in 2040, a 46% increase.