The Energy Information Administration (EIA) today unveiled an early release of its 2016 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO). The early release includes a summary of EIA’s analysis of two projections of energy-sector production, consumption, and emissions—the first, a “Reference Case” based on a business-as-usual trend estimate given known technology and technological and demographic trends and assuming Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance through mass-based standards, and the second, a “No CPP” case which is also based on a business-as-usual trend estimate but assumes that the CPP is not implemented.
Both cases project that electricity-related carbon dioxide emissions will remain well below 2005 levels going forward, due to expected lower natural gas prices, lower technology costs for wind and solar combined with extended tax credits, and reduced coal generation. While the No CPP case demonstrated a decline in electric-sector carbon dioxide emissions, the Reference Case reflected an additional 20% reduction in carbon emissions. The findings follow EIA’s report last week that 2015 electric-sector carbon dioxide emissions were the lowest since 1993.
Other notable takeaways from the AEO include projected steady declines in energy intensity, carbon intensity, and per-capita energy use, and steady increases in electricity prices through 2040. In addition to the electric sector, the AEO also explores projections related to natural gas and petroleum pricing and production. Detailed data tables and online graphic tools are available here.
The full 2016 AEO is expected July 7, 2016, and will include additional cases and discussion.