Washington, D.C. – A new report issued by the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects flat oil consumption to 2030, along with slower growth in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, and reduced dependence on imported fuels.

The Annual Energy Outlook 2009  (AEO) presents updated projections for U.S. energy consumption and production through 2030.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the new AEO projects virtually no growth in U.S. oil consumption, reflecting a combination of recently-enacted CAFE standards, requirements for the increased use of renewable fuels, and an assumed rebound in oil prices as the world economy recovers. With overall liquid fuel demand projected to increase by only one million barrels per day between 2007 and 2030, along with the increased use of domestically-produced biofuels and rising domestic oil production, the report projects that the net import share of total liquids supplied, including biofuels, will decline from 58 per cent in 2007 to less than 40 per cent in 2025, before increasing to 41 per cent in 2030.

When combined with efficiency policies, higher energy prices, the increased use of renewable fuels and a reduction in projected additions of new coal-fired conventional power plants, the report projects a slow growth in energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to grow at 0.3 per cent per year from 2007 to 2030, to a level of 6,410 million metric tonnes in 2030, compared to the projection of 6,851 million metric tonnes in the 2008 version of the AEO.

The assumption of a higher world oil price path in the 2009 AEO reflects tighter constraints on access to low-cost oil supplies, in a setting where the forces driving growth in long-term demand in non-OECD countries remains as strong as previously expected. The report projects that world crude oil prices, averaging near US$60 (2007 dollars) per barrel in 2009 will rise to $130 per barrel in 2007 dollars in 2030, or $189 per barrel in nominal dollars.

The report projects that the total consumption of marketed renewable fuels, including wood, municipal waste, and biomass in the end use sectors, along with hydroelectricity, geothermal, municipal waste, biomass, solar and wind for electric power generation, ethanol for gasoline blending, and biomass-based diesel, will grow by 3.3 per cent per year.

The report also projects vehicle characteristics, and proposes a sharp increase in the sale of unconventional vehicle technologies, including flexible-fuel, hybrid and diesel vehicles, along with a significant decline in the new light-truck share of total light-duty vehicle sales. Hybrid vehicles of all varieties are expected to increase from two per cent of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2007, to 38 per cent in 2030. Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), supported by tax credits, are projected to grow to 90,000 vehicles annually by 2014. By 2030, PHEVs are projected to account for two per cent of all new light-vehicle sales.

Connect with Autos.ca