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Transport Down, Industry Up in Forecasts to 2050

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

The EIA forecasts weak growth for future energy demand in transportation while identifying the industrial sector as the primary driver for increased sales.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) presents the outlook for growth in energy consumption in the United States in its Annual Energy Outlook 2023 (AEO2023) report. The report outlines the outlook for energy consumption across the four end-use sectors in the US—industrial, transportation, residential, and commercial—from 2022 to 2050.

"Energy consumption across all forms in the United States is projected to increase between 0% and 15% from 2022 to 2050 in our Annual Energy Outlook 2023 (AEO2023). Our projection of growth in U.S. energy consumption is the result of economic growth, population growth, and increased travel offsetting continued energy efficiency improvements," the EIA stated in a report on Monday.

"In the AEO2023, we explore long-term energy trends in the United States and present an outlook for energy markets through 2050. We use different scenarios, or cases, to understand how varying assumptions affect energy trends. The AEO2023 Reference case serves as a baseline, or benchmark, case, reflecting laws and regulations adopted through mid-November 2022, including the Inflation Reduction Act," the EIA portal explains.

Industry Up in Forecasts to 2050
Automobile factory

Forecasts increase in Housing Consumption

The industrial and transportation sectors are most sensitive to changes in the economy. In the industrial sector, energy consumption is projected to increase between 5% and 32% from 2022 to 2050. In

the transport sector, energy consumption is expected to fluctuate between a decrease of 10% and an increase of 8% between 2022 and 2050.

"Increasing energy consumption, improving end-use and electric power sector technology and efficiency, and declining costs for zero-carbon generation technologies lead to cheaper electricity, which drives increased electrification in the end-use sectors in the AEO2023 Reference case and all side cases."

The residential sector is expected to see increased demand for refrigeration and transportation, partly driven by lower electricity rates.

"In 2022, electric vehicles made up about a 6%–7% share of the U.S. vehicle market. As we project adoption of EVs to increase, electricity purchased for transportation reaches between about 0.6 quads and 1.3 quads in 2050, up from 0.1 quads of purchased electricity in 2022, representing an increase of approximately 900% to 2,000% across all cases."

In 2022, US households purchased 5.1 quadrillion British thermal units (quads). Projections for this consumption increase range between 14% and 22% from 2022 to 2050.

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