World Energy Outlook Reaction Paper

11 November 2016

Reaction Paper on World Energy Outlook The World Energy Outlook is an annual publication of the International Energy Agency. It is widely recognized as the most authoritative energy source for global energy projections and analysis. The annual publication contains long-term energy market projections, extensive statistics, analysis and advice for both governments and the energy business. The World Energy Outlook has also developed alternative scenario that puts the global energy systems on a trajectory to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. Their latest publication was the World Energy Outlook 2012 that was released last November 2012.

Here is what I have learned from the executive summary. There is a new global energy landscape that is emerging. Taking all new developments and policies into hand, our world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path. Global energy demand grows by more than one-third over the period of 2035 with China, India and Middle East accounting for 60% of the increase. Energy demand barely rises in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, but there is a big movement away from oil, coal and nuclear towards natural gases and renewable energies.

World Energy Outlook Reaction Paper Essay Example

I have learned that despite the growth in low-carbon sources of energy, fossil fuels remain dominant in the global energy mix, supported by subsidies that amounted to $523 billion in 2011, up almost 30% on 2010 and six times more than subsidies to renewable. The cost of fossil-fuel subsides has been driven up by higher oil prices. Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt by other nations as well. It is projected that around 2020, the United States will be the largest global oil producer and starts to see the impact of new fuel-efficiency measures in transport.

This would enable a switch in direction of international oil trade towards Asia. In the publication, it is said that energy efficiency is widely recognized as a key option in the hands of policy makers but current efforts fall well short of tapping its full economic potential. It was also mentioned as well that the tackling the barriers to energy efficiency investment can unleash the potential and realize huge gains for energy security, economic growth and the environment. Successful action to this would have a major impact on the global energy and climate trends. I’ve found out in the report that natural as is the only fossil fuel for which global demand grows in all scenarios, showing that it fares well under different policy conditions. Also, coal has met nearly half of the rise in global energy demand over the last decade, growing faster even than total renewable. Whether coal demand carries on rising strongly or changes path will depend on the strength of policy measures that favor lower-emissions energy sources. Thus, the sensitivity of the changes in policy, the development of alternative fuels and the timely availability of infrastructure create much uncertainty for international steam coal markets and prices. It was also mentioned in the publication report that the world’s demand for electricity grows twice as fast as its total energy consumption and the challenge to meet this demand is heightened by the investment needed to replace ageing power sector infrastructure. Of the new generation capacity that is built to 2035, around one-third is needed to replace plants that are retired. Half of all new capacity is based on renewable sources of energy, although coal remains the leading global fuel for power generation.

Average global electricity prices increase by 15% to 2035 in real terms, driven higher by increased fuel input costs, a shift to more capital-intensive generating capacity, subsidies to renewable energies and CO2 pricing in some countries. A steady increase in hydropower and the rapid expansion of wind and solar power has paved the position of renewable energies as an essential part of the global energy mix; by 2035, renewable energies account for almost one-third of total electricity output. Solar grows more rapidly than any other renewable technology.

Renewable energies become the world’s second-largest source of power generation by 2015 and, by 2035; they approach coal as the primary source of global electricity. Despite progress in the past year, nearly 1. 3 billion people globally remain without access to electricity. Further, water is essential to energy production which includes: power generation; extraction, transport and processing of oil, gas and coal; and irrigation for crops used to produce bio-fuels. Also, water is growing in importance as a criterion for assessing the viability of energy projects, as population and economic growth intensify competition for water resources.

Thus, managing the energy sector’s water vulnerabilities will require deployment of better technology and greater integration of energy and water policies. In summary, the outlook for global energy is not just a matter for energy companies, but it is an issue for all of us. The global outlook expects global CO2 emissions to continue as population and demand for energy grows rapidly. Powerful long run trends continue to shape the modern energy economy: industrialization, urbanization and motorization.

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