Anyone seeking clarity on the energy picture a decade or two out is to be forgiven for finding a thoroughly confusing divide. On the one hand, we have reassuring projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) that assume current production of fossil fuels will remain steady for decades to come. Coal will continue to decline as a share of total energy consumption, and renewables will rise modestly. In other words, everything’s hunky-dory, there’s nothing to worry about.
The EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (64-page PDF) lays out the all-is-well, no-worries projections.
If you want to really dig deep into energy consumption, then the EIA has a treat for you: a detailed 390-page PDF report: Energy Perspectives 1949–2011 (link to 390-page PDF).
But just when you conclude fossil fuels will remain cheap and abundant until 2040 and beyond, you read this: Civilization goes over the net energy cliff in 2022,