Dr. Fatih Birol, International Energy Agency

Provides a detailed summary of WEO 2006. In respect to the IEA’s Reference Scenario, projections to 2030 are given for: world primary energy demand; world oil supply; inter-regional natural gas trade; increases in coal demand; energy-related CO2 emissions (by fuel and by region); cumulative investment needs and global upstream oil and gas investment; access to oil reserves; and energy poverty issues. The findings suggest that in the absence of new policies: security of oil supply is threatened (production in non-OPEC countries is set to peak and production will be increasingly concentrated in a small number of countries); gas security is also a growing concern (Europe’s production has already peaked, the US will follow, and import dependence in both regions and other key regions will grow). Also, investment over the next decade will lock in technology that will remain in use for up to 60 years. Whilst the Reference Scenario projects a vulnerable, dirty and expensive global energy system, WEO 2006 also maps out a cleaner, cleverer and more competitive energy future based on new policies on energy efficiency, renewables and nuclear (The Alternative Policy Scenario). For this, it is suggested that the economic cost of these policies would be more than outweighed by the economic benefits, but that strong political will and urgent government action will be needed to create clear incentives to change.

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