IEA World Energy Outlook 2013  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

This year's World Energy Outlook from the IEA has been released, prompting a flood of press reports. Most of them are headlining that the US is predicted to become the world's top producer in 2015 on the back of the shale oil boom, but that this won't last - with the middle east soon returning back to the top. Others note the (pessimistic and inaccurate) forecast for renewable energy growth.

National Geographic has a summary - IEA World Outlook: Six Key Trends Shaping the Energy Future.

Thanks to "fracking," the United States is reaching the top spot among world oil producers sooner than expected, and is "well on its way to realizing the American dream" of energy independence, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday. "But this does not mean that the world is on the cusp of a new era of oil abundance," the IEA warned in its closely watched annual World Energy Outlook. Instead, the agency predicted that no other country will replicate the United States' success with hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional technologies that have led to the North American boom in oil and natural gas production. (See related "Interactive: Breaking Fuel From Rock," "The Great Shale Gas Rush," and "The New Oil Landscape.") And by the mid-2020s, the Middle East—the world's only source of low-cost oil—will again be unchallenged as the most important and influential source of oil supply on the globe. The Paris-based IEA was established after the oil crisis of the early 1970s in a move by oil-consuming nations to keep better track of trends and improve energy security. Its annual World Energy Outlook, with hundreds of pages of analysis and charts, is considered the industry bible. Here's a rundown of key trends IEA identified as shaping the world outlook this year ...

1. U.S. energy boom is unique, has risks. ...

2. Fossil fuels will still dominate the scene.

IEA expects renewable energy generation to double by 2035 under existing policies. But solar, wind, and hydropower are not on track to catch up with oil or coal, and world primary energy demand is on track to increase 43 percent.

Today's share of fossil fuels in the world energy mix—82 percent—is the same as it was 25 years ago. And by 2035, the IEA forecasts that fossil fuels will barely give up ground, providing 75 percent of global energy.

Governments around the world subsidized consumption of fossil fuel to the tune of $544 billion last year—more than five times greater than supports for renewable energy, which totaled $101 billion in 2012. IEA expects subsidies for renewables to more than double to $220 billion by 2035, but they will still be overshadowed by government supports for fossil fuels without reform.

Unsurprisingly, given the expected energy mix, carbon dioxide emissions from energy are expected to continue their upward movement, jumping 20 percent by 2035. This leaves the world on a trajectory consistent with a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6°C (6.5°F), far above the internationally agreed 2°C (3.6°F) target.

3. India will edge China as "engine" of energy demand. ...

4. Move over, automobiles. The age of trucks is here. ...

4. Renewable energy giant Brazil set to be major oil exporter. ...

6. Reliance on costly imports means long-term hurt for Europe. ...

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