Energy agency urges "energy revolution"

13th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

The International Energy Agency warns that climate change must be confronted despite the economic downturn.

13 November 2008

LONDON - The global economic downturn must not be used as an excuse to delay action on confronting climate change and obtaining energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday.

The statement came as the Paris-based IEA published its annual World Energy Outlook in London which predicted that, at current trends, carbon dioxide emissions would rise by 45 percent by 2030.

Efforts to limit the resulting temperature increases to 3 degrees Celsius would require increasing the amount of energy provided by low-carbon sources from 19 percent in 2006 to 26 percent by 2030, the IEA said.

The IEA urged more investment to meet greater global energy demand, which it predicted would increase by 45 percent by 2030.

More than half the increase in energy demand will come from China and India, with the Middle East also demanding more power, said the report.

The IEA warned that lack of credit could delay investment in energy sources, leading to decreased supply that could prevent economic recovery.

"We cannot let the financial and economic crisis delay the policy action that is urgently needed to ensure secure energy supplies and to curtail rising emissions of greenhouse gases," said Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA.

"We must usher in a global energy revolution by improving energy efficiency and increasing the deployment of low-carbon energy," he said.

Tanaka also said that, while the oil price dropped below USD 60 (EUR 48) per barrel, it could soon return to USD 100 a barrel, and possibly rise to USD 200 per barrel.

"One thing is certain. While market imbalances will feed volatility, the era of cheap oil is over," he said.

However, oil would remain the world's main source of energy for a long time, with lack of investment, rather than a shortage of global resources, posing the greatest risk to supply, the IEA said.

The report's authors predict that massive investments in energy infrastructure will be needed, estimating USD 26 trillion up to 2030.

A significant amount of that money, USD 8.4 trillion, would need to be spent on oil and gas exploration and development.

The IEA estimates that current resources would be sufficient to supply the world for a further 40 years at present rates of consumption.

 Demand for coal, one of the most polluting fuels, is expected to rise more than any other energy source, according to the World Energy Outlook.

But demand for energy produced from renewable sources would grow most rapidly, overtaking gas as the second-largest source of electricity soon after 2010, the report predicted.

[Dpa / Expatica]

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