California ponders energy future

April 2, 2013 at 7:38 AM
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LOS ANGELES, April 2 (UPI) -- California may face an energy shortage even if energy supply growth in the state keeps pace with the rest of the country, a university report says.

A 57-page report from the University of Southern California and the Communications Institute said the state to be one of the nation's leaders in terms of oil production. The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said California ranked third in terms of oil production.

The state report said domestic oil and natural gas meets the energy needs of about 63 percent of the population, with the transportation sector taking up the vast majority of that allocation.

U.S. energy supply growth was estimated in the report at 25 percent over the next 25 years.

"Even if California's energy supplies were to grow by the same percentage, they would fall well short of the nearly 34 percent projected increase in the state's population and the projected 57 percent increased in statewide economic output," the report stated.

To make up the difference, the state may need to import more energy or rely more on low-carbon options.

As of 2010, EIA states that California ranked 48th in the nation in terms of per capita energy consumption. That's because of its mild climate and energy efficiency programs, the report states.

Nevertheless, the state report says "renewable energy sources are not expected to make major contributions to either the U.S. or California energy supply in the near- or mid-term."

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