U.S. energy intensity has declined by 13% since 2005
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released annual statistics about carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States today. CO2 emissions in the U.S. increased for a second year in a row, but at a lower rate compared to GDP than in the past.
CO2 emissions remain the largest component of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama set a goal of reducing these emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2025. In 2013, emissions and GDP grew at similar rates (2.5% and 2.2% respectively), but in 2014 CO2 increased by just 0.7% while GDP grew by 2.4%.
The U.S. population grew at an average annual rate of 0.7% from 2005 to 2014, while the U.S. economy, as measured by GDP, climbed 1.4% a year during the same time frame. The amount of energy consumed per unit of GDP, or the energy intensity of the U.S. economy, has declined by 13% since 2005 despite the growing population and GDP. In the EIA’s 2015 Annual Energy Outlook, the Administration expects energy efficiencies to result in a 0.4% annual reduction in energy use per capita from 2013 through 2040. The average decline in energy use per GDP will be around 2.0% annually for the same time frame.
There was a 0.7% bump in energy intensity in 2014 due to increased weather-related energy consumption, but energy intensity fell in 2014 by 1.2%
Carbon intensity, or the amount of CO2 emissions per unit of energy consumption, declined by 8% during the 2005 to 2014 time period, with an average decline of 0.9% per year. The EIA projects carbon intensity to drop by 2.3% annually through 2040, with the energy supply accounting for 0.2% of the yearly drop.
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