WASHINGTON — U.S. oil consumption is expected to level off with virtually no growth between now and 2030 because of increases in energy efficiency, greater use of renewable fuels and an expected rebound in oil prices, the federal government said Wednesday.
The Energy Information Administration said overall energy use, across all fuels, will continue to increase but at a slower rate than predicted only a year ago.
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The agency projected a 3 percent annual increase of renewable energy use, including solar, wind and biofuels such as ethanol.
As a result, U.S. dependence on foreign oil is expected to decline sharply, the EIA report predicted, with liquid fuel imports — primarily oil — accounting for only 40 percent of U.S. consumption by 2025, compared with 58 percent last year.
Cars that use less gasoline will further reduce oil demand, the agency said. The EIA analysts expect gas-electric hybrid cars to account for 38 percent of the market by 2030, compared with 2 percent last year.
Although oil prices are about $40 a barrel from a high last July of $147 a barrel, the EIA predicts global crude oil costs will again rebound after the current economic problems subside. By 2030, nominal oil prices are expected to be $189 a barrel, equal to $130 in 2007 dollars, said the report.