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News : International Last Updated: Nov 11, 2009 - 1:25:39 AM


International Energy Agency cuts long-term forecast for global oil demand due to economic crisis and climate change policies
By Finfacts Team
Nov 10, 2009 - 12:12:36 PM

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The International Energy Agency today cut its long-term forecast for global oil demand as the economic crisis saps consumption in developed economies and climate change policies promote alternative energy use.

Global oil demand is forecast to rise 1 percent a year to 105 million barrels a day by 2030 from 85 million barrels a day in 2008, the energy watchdog of 28 developed nations, including Ireland, said today in its annual World Energy Outlook (WEO).

The forecast is below last year’s 2030 estimate of 106 million barrels a day.

"World leaders gathering in Copenhagen next month for the UN Climate summit have a historic opportunity to avert the worst effects of climate change. The World Energy Outlook 2009 seeks to add momentum to their negotiations at this crucial stage by detailing the practical steps needed for a sustainable energy future as part of a global climate deal,” Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA said in London at the launch of the new WEO - -  the agency's annual flagship publication

“WEO-2009 provides both a caution and grounds for optimism. Caution, because a continuation of current trends in energy use puts the world on track for a rise in temperature of up to 6°C and poses serious threats to global energy security. Optimism, because there are cost-effective solutions to avoid severe climate change while also enhancing energy security – and these are within reach as the new Outlook shows,” added Tanaka.

The IEA says that although, as one of the consequences of the financial crisis, global energy use is set to fall this year, WEO-2009 projects that it will soon resume its upward trend if government policies don’t change.

In this "Reference Scenario," demand increases by 40% between now and 2030, reaching 16.8 billion tonnes of oil equivalent. Projected global demand is lower than in last year’s report, reflecting the impact of the economic crisis and of new government policies introduced over the past year.

The agency says fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix, accounting for more than three-quarters of incremental demand. Non-OECD countries (mainly emerging  economies) account for over 90% of this increase, and China and India alone for over half.

In addition to increasing susceptibility to energy price spikes, the "Reference Scenario" projects a persistently high level of spending on oil and gas imports which would represent a substantial financial burden on import-dependent consumers.

China overtakes the US around 2025 to become the world’s biggest spender on oil and gas imports. The energy poverty challenge also remains unresolved with 1.3 billion people still without electricity in 2030 from 1.5 billion today; though universal access could be achieved with investment of only $35 billion per year in 2008-2030.

The IEA says WEO-2009 demonstrates that containing climate change is possible but will require a profound transformation of the energy sector. A "450 Scenario" sets out an aggressive timetable of actions needed to limit the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million of carbon-dioxide equivalent and keep the global temperature rise to around 2°C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this scenario, fossil-fuel demand would need to peak by 2020 and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to fall to 26.4 gigatonnes (one billion tonnes) in 2030 from 28.8 Gt in 2007.

“At the IEA Ministerial meeting, a large majority of Ministers showed their intention to take the lead, organise themselves and commit to the challenge to reach the 450 Scenario - the energy path of Green Growth. Only by mitigation action in all sectors and regions can we turn the 450 Scenario into reality,”Tanaka said.

Energy efficiency is the largest contributor, accounting for over half of total abatement by 2030. Low-carbon energy technologies also play a crucial role: around 60% of global electricity production comes from renewables (37%), nuclear (18%) and plants fitted with carbon capture and storage (5%) in 2030. Furthermore, a dramatic shift in car sales occurs, with hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles representing almost 60% of sales in 2030, from around 1% today.

Click for WEO Executive Summary / Fact Sheets  /
Click for
Presentation to the Press….

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