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EIA's International Energy Outlook 2018 focuses on uncertainty in economic projections


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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released International Energy Outlook 2018 (IEO2018) which focuses on how different macroeconomic conditions and growth patterns might affect international energy markets in three key regions of the world: China, India, and Africa. EIA updated the Reference case from 2017 with new macroeconomic information and varied macroeconomic assumptions across China, India, and Africa to create the side cases that compose IEO2018.

"The work presented in IEO2018 is an important step to better understanding the effects of different patterns of economic growth on China, India, and Africa, as well as improving EIA's international modeling capabilities," said EIA Administrator, Dr. Linda Capuano.

The results from the IEO2018 high-growth side cases show that if economic growth in China is higher than assumed in the IEO2018 Reference case—which includes updates to the macroeconomic information in last year's IEO2017, but no changes to any other assumptions or modeling inputs—energy consumption increases as well. In the side case where China remains an investment- and export-led economy, Chinese energy consumption is 25% higher than in the Reference case in 2040. In the other high growth case, which assumes a faster transition to a consumption—led economy than in the IEO2018 Reference case, energy consumption in China is 20% higher than in the Reference case in 2040.

India is the fastest growing region in IEO2018. Yet even in three high economic growth cases for India—with GDP assumed to grow well above IEO2018 Reference case rates—Indian energy consumption does not reach that of China or the United States over the projection period. Within those three India-specific cases, the case where economic growth relies heavily on the expansion of exports results in the largest increase in Indian energy use compared with the IEO2018 Reference case in 2040. This side case also leads to nominal gross output from the energy-intensive manufacturing sector that is about 50% larger in 2040.

Africa has a wealth of natural resources and a younger and faster-growing population than many other parts of the world—and potential for rapid economic growth. The IEO2018 Africa High Economic Growth case leads to African energy consumption per person that is 30% higher than the IEO2018 Reference case in 2040. This case also leads to an expansion of the African manufacturing sector and an increase in industrial energy use.

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