EIA releases Annual Energy Outlook 2011

Lynne Kiesling

Today the Energy Information Administration released the 2011 Annual Energy Outlook (link is to executive summary). This year’s outlook explores scenarios that include updated forecasts of shale gas production, which have changed considerably since last year’s outlook, as KP readers know due to Mike’s excellent analyses.

Another aspect of the analysis that will be of interest to KP readers is their modeling of expected production of renewable energy:

Electricity generation from renewable sources grows by 72 percent in the Reference case, raising its share of total generation from 11 percent in 2009 to 14 percent in 2035. Most of the growth in renewable electricity generation in the power sector consists of generation from wind and biomass facilities (Figure 3). The growth in generation from wind plants is driven primarily by State renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements and Federal tax credits. Generation from biomass comes from both dedicated biomass plants and co-firing in coal plants. Its growth is driven by State RPS programs, the availability of low-cost feedstocks, and the Federal renewable fuels standard, which results in significant cogeneration of electricity at plants producing biofuels.

As usual, though, I wouldn’t take those forecasts to the bank, or to your venture capitalist for financing; quite a bit of clean tech investment that is subsidy-dependent has not been getting funding, even with the subsidies and the RPS carrots/sticks … and then there’s the implosion of the Spanish renewables venture capital market with the reduction in subsidies.


One thought on “EIA releases Annual Energy Outlook 2011

  1. There might also be some federal budget reductions, which would likely include cuts in DOE funding for the early commercialization of alternative power production equipment which has no chance of becoming market competitive with reasonable increases in production volume.

    The federal budget deficit is currently ~$1.5 trillion. That is a very large “nut”, which must be reduced rapidly and ultimately eliminated. That process will be accompanied by much weeping and gnashing of teeth. However, in this case, many will be called and many will be chosen.

    Every dollar in the federal budget has a constituency; and, every one of those constituencies believes, or at least asserts, that its funding is of high importance and must be increased, or at least preserved.

    Prepare for some Golden Globe Award quality political theater.

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