The Energy Information Administration, or EIA, is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. Its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook (269-page PDF) presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand, and prices focused on the U.S. through 2040. Based on data-driven models, the report considers a reference case under which it assumes current laws and regulations remain unchanged, as well as alternative cases that explore important areas of uncertainty for markets, technologies, and policies in the U.S. energy economy.
The report's biggest findings include projections that:
- Growing domestic production of natural gas and oil continues to reshape the U.S. energy economy, largely as a result of rising production from tight formations, but the effect could vary substantially depending on expectations about resources and technology.
- Industrial production expands over the next 10 to 15 years as the competitive advantage of low natural gas prices provides a boost to the industrial sector with increasing natural gas use.
- There is greater upside uncertainty than downside uncertainty in oil and natural gas production; higher production could spur even more industrial growth and lower the use of imported petroleum.
- Improvement in light-duty vehicle (LDV) efficiency more than offsets modest growth in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) that reflects changing driving patterns, leading to a sharp decline in LDV energy use.
- Evolving natural gas markets spur increased use of natural gas for electricity generation and transportation, as well as expanded export opportunities.
- Improved efficiency of energy use in the residential and transportation sectors and a shift away from more carbon-intensive fuels such as coal for electricity generation help to stabilize U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
How will EIA's projections fare over the coming years?