Despite marked improvements in the energy efficiency of cars, appliances, lighting, and other devices in recent decades, Americans are expected to continue using more power. Energy consumption is forecast to rise in the residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors as the U.S. population grows to more than 390 million people in 2035 and economic activity increases, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Here’s how the EIA, which serves as the U.S. Energy Dept.'s statistical and analytical agency, expects U.S. consumption to change from 2009 to 2035: Total usage will rise by an average rate of 0.7 percent per year, with the fastest increases coming to the commercial sector (1.1 percent) and the industrial sector (0.9 percent). Energy use in the transportation sector is expected to rise by 0.6 percent annually and residential energy consumption by only 0.3 percent. These numbers seem small, but they mean that annual U.S. consumption in 2035 will have exceeded 2009 levels by 14.05 quadrillion Btu, equal to all the energy consumed by Canada in 2008, EIA data reveal. Photographer: Bloomberg
Click to see how each region is expected to boost consumption, starting with the largest anticipated increase.
With the population of the Pacific region expected to grow by over 15 million through 2035, it's no wonder that energy use is forecast to increase by 0.9 percent annually, bringing consumption in the region up by 2.98 quadrillion Btu by 2035 over 2009—a difference that's about equal to Belgium's energy consumption—according to EIA data. Photographer: Bloomberg
*Forecast data on all slides: U.S. Energy Information Administration figures
The West South Central region, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, is growing both in terms of economic activity and population. Transportation and commercial energy consumption are each expected to increase by 1 percent annually from 2009 to 2035.
The South Atlantic states, which stretch along the coast from Delaware to Florida and also include West Virginia, are expected to gain more than 23 million residents through 2035, according to the EIA. Energy use by the commercial and transportation sectors is expected to grow particularly fast. Photographer: Bloomberg
Energy use in the West North Central region—which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota—is expected to grow fastest in the industrial sector, with an expected annual growth rate of 1.5 percent from 2009 to 2035. Photographer: Bloomberg
By 2035 an additional 12.58 million people are expected to live in the Mountain region, which covers the area from Montana and Idaho south to Arizona and New Mexico. Use of renewable energy is expected to pick up by 2 percent annually—faster than the U.S. rate of 1.7 percent, according to EIA data. Photographer: Bloomberg
Total annual energy use in the East South Central region, which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, is expected in increase by 1.74 quadrillion Btu by 2035. The anticipated growth roughly equals total energy consumption in Algeria, EIA data show. The industrial sector is the region's leading energy user, though commercial energy consumption is expected to experience the biggest increase. Photographer: Getty Images
While the population in the East North Central region (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) is expected to grow by 3.98 million through 2035, residential energy use is actually forecast to decrease by 0.1 percent annually, EIA data indicate. The industrial sector, the region’s largest consumer of energy, also represents the biggest share of the projected 0.6 percent annual increase. Photographer: Bloomberg
The sparsely populated New England region will see its number of residents grow by only 1.26 million through 2035, with annual energy use expected to increase by 0.43 quadrillion Btu from 2009 levels—about equal to the energy consumed by Paraguay. Photographer: Getty Images
Mid-Atlantic America is forecast to have the lowest growth rate in energy consumption, 0.3 percent annually, through 2035. The population is set to grow by 3.74 million over 2009 and total annual consumption is forecast to jump by 0.91 quadrillion Btu. The commercial sector is expected to overtake transportation as the region’s biggest energy user. Photographer: Bloomberg