According to the Department of Energy, the U.S. will continue to see the energy boom grow and by 2035, natural gas will replace coal as the biggest source of electricity in the nation, reported USA Today. The production of crude oil in the U.S. is also expected to increase through 2016. At that point, crude oil production will approach the record high set in 1970, but will eventually level off and decline after 2020.
Natural gas production will grow steadily over the years and rise 56 percent from 2012 to 2040, according to the DOE. The high increase of natural energy is mainly due to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the U.S. The process of fracking releases oil and gas from shale deposits by fracturing the underground rock with chemicals and water.
“Advanced technologies for crude oil and natural gas production are continuing to increase domestic supply and reshape the U.S. energy economy as well as expand the potential for U.S. natural gas exports,” said Energy Information Administration Administrator Adam Sieminski, USA Today reported.
In certain areas, the EIA forecasts that low prices will let natural gas become more attractive and will replace power that used to come from coal or nuclear plants. In 2040, the U.S. will rely on 32 percent of electricity generated from coal, but natural gas will account for 35 percent.
The U.S. will see an increase in natural energy from wind farm developments and will see trends in lighter and more efficient vehicles on the road. The U.S. can also expect a lower population growth rate based on an updated Census projection. According to the EIA, there's an estimated increase of miles traveled by light-duty vehicles at 0.9 percent per year, Daily Fusion reported.
In time, the U.S. will export more energy and import less, which the total energy consumption in the nation could decrease to as low as 4 percent by 2040, reported the EIA. The projections would be a huge decrease from 16 percent consumption in 2012 and 30 percent in 2005.
Energy production expected to grow in 2014
The U.S. could continue to surge in the energy market in 2014 pending any proposals or regulation changes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a limit on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, which would strongly affect coal plants and keep them from competing with natural gas facilities.
There will also be a decrease on carbon dioxide emissions in 2014, which EIA experts believe will be lower than their 2005 levels through 2040 as the U.S. depends more on wind energy.