Notre avenir énergétique

Tout ce qui se rapporte à la question de l'énergie semblait simple avant la guerre en Irak. Les Etats-Unis allaient renverser Saddam, les vastes réserves pétrolières de l'Irak deviendraient accessibles après une brève période de reconstruction et les prix mondiaux du pétrole chuteraient à moins de 20 dollars le baril. A la place, les prix mondiaux du pétrole ont fait un bond jusqu'à 35 dollars le baril. Rien de surprenant, alors, que l'attention se soit portée sur les approvisionnements énergétiques. Mais le message élémentaire est clair : les modèles énergétiques actuels sont risqués et doivent changer.

Deux problèmes énergétiques étroitement liés façonneront notre avenir économique et géopolitique pour les décennies à venir. Le premier problème concerne la dépendance de plus en plus risquée envers le pétrole du Moyen-Orient. Personne ne connaît la quantité de pétrole restante et les coûts d'extraction, mais le point culminant de la production pétrolière mondiale sera probablement atteint au cours du prochain quart de siècle, peut-être même au cours des années à venir. Les approvisionnements pétroliers restants seront concentrés dans un Moyen-Orient versatile.

Entre-temps, la demande mondiale pour l'énergie montera en flèche avec le développement des économies de la Chine, de l'Inde, du Brésil et d'autres pays. Si le Moyen-Orient se trouve déjà à un point de rupture, imaginez ce qui se produirait si la concurrence pour le pétrole du Moyen-Orient s'intensifiait entre l'Amérique, l'Europe, la Chine, l'Inde, le Japon et d'autres pays.

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