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Fossil fuels to remain dominant in global energy mix – I.E.A.

Fossil fuels to remain dominant in global energy mix – I.E.A.
Global oil demand will rise by seven million barrels per day and will surpass 99 mb/d in 2035.

Fossil fuels will remain the primary source of energy worldwide as renewable energy slowly closes in by 2035, according to the latest report of the International Energy Agency.

This year’s World Energy Outlook said fossil fuels will still be dominant in the global energy mix with the support of subsidies.

In 2011, subsidies soared about 30 percent to $523 billion, brought by the increases in the Middle East and North Africa.

Based on the agency’s projected scenario, global oil demand will rise by seven million barrels per day and will surpass 99 mb/d in 2035, by which oil prices will reach $125 per barrel in real terms, compared with the $215 per barrel in nominal terms.

Iraq will account for 45 percent of growth in global oil production to 2035 and will become the second-largest global oil exporter, overtaking Russia and following Saudi Arabia, the agency said.

Meanwhile, in the report’s New Policies Scenario, the U.S. is projected to become the largest exporter of oil and natural gas by 2020 and will become nearly energy self-sufficient by 2035.

North America, in particular, is “at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production” that will have a ripple effect to all regions across the world, said executive director Maria van der Hoeven.

“North America emerges as a net oil exporter, accelerating the switch in direction of international oil trade, with almost 90 percent of Middle Eastern oil exports being drawn to Asia by 2035,” the World Energy Outlook stressed.

Although the U.S. is seen to be the world’s largest oil exporter over the coming years, there is also a potential for a “similarly transformative shift in global energy efficiency,” noted Ms. van der Hoven. Thus, its energy policies will most likely to have big impact on other countries.

The I.E.A. estimates that by 2035, energy savings equivalent to nearly a fifth of the global demand in 2010 can be achieved. This means that energy efficiency is just as significant as free energy supply, and more efforts to improve efficiency can be a “unifying energy policy” that delivers multiple benefits.

Renewable energy sources, on the other hand, are expected to become the second world’s largest source of power generation by 2015, and close in on coal as the major source by 2035.

However, the agency said this rapid increase critically lies on continued subsidies. Last year, subsidies in renewables reached $88 billion, but will reach $4.8 trillion by 2035.

“Over half of this has already been committed to existing projects or is needed to meet 2020 targets,” noted I.E.A. – EcoSeed Staff



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