The world is heading for an insecure and inefficient energy future unless there is a “bold change of policy direction” soon, warns a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The 2011 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO), released by IEA last week in London, said there is still time to act, but the window of opportunity is closing. “Growth, prosperity and rising population will inevitably push up energy needs over the coming decades. But we cannot continue to rely on insecure and environmentally unsustainable uses of energy,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “Governments need to introduce stronger measures to drive investment in efficient and low-carbon technologies.”
According the report, oil demand will rise 14% between 2010 and 2035, from 87 million barrels per day in 2010 to 99 million in 2035. All net increases in oil demand will come entirely from the transportation sector in emerging economies as economic growth pushes up demand for personal mobility and freight goods.
“This is a deeply disturbing picture that the IEA has painted for the world,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance. “Such increases are unsustainable making it imperative that all countries quickly bring real crude oil alternatives to market.”
Baker says that according to the report, an amount equivalent to twice the current total oil production of all OPEC countries in the Middle East must be discovered and brought to market by 2035.
“This is a wakeup call to the world that we need to further promote biofuels to meet this ever growing energy demand,” he said.
The IEA also highlighted the potential for supply disruptions in the Middle East and North African countries as a potential threat to world oil supplies saying that “If, between 2011 and 2015, investment in the MENA region runs one-third lower than the $100 billion per year required…consumers could face a substantial near-term rise in the oil price to $150/barrel.”