The Coming Global Energy Revolution

Humanity’s future depends on how we tackle two central energy challenges: securing reliable supplies of affordable energy, and switching to efficient low-carbon energy. The transformation that this will require implies a heavy burden on both the public and private sectors, but the current financial crisis should be viewed as an opportunity, rather than a barrier, for launching it.

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%.

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