The Coming Global Energy Revolution

PARIS – Humanity’s future, to say nothing of its prosperity, will depend on how the world tackles two central energy challenges: securing reliable supplies of affordable energy, and switching to efficient low-carbon energy.

The Reference Scenario – in which no new policies are introduced – in the International Energy Agency’s 2008 World Energy Outlook sees annual global primary energy demand growing 1.6% on average up to 2030, from 11,730 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) to just over 17,010 Mtoe – an increase of 45% in just over 20 years.

China and India account for just over half of this increase, with Middle East countries contributing a further 11% to demand. Non-OECD countries account for 87% of the increase, so their share of world primary energy demand will rise from 51% to 62%.

Most oil production increases are expected to come from just a few countries – mainly in the Middle East, but also Canada with its vast oil-sands reserves, the Caspian region, and Brazil. Gas production in the Middle East will triple, and more than double in Africa, where there are large low-cost reserves.