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Renewables to surpass gas by 2016 in the global power mix

July 1, 2013 Comments off

Renewables to surpass gas by 2016 in the global power mix
Source: International Energy Agency

Power generation from hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources worldwide will exceed that from gas and be twice that from nuclear by 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today in its second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report (MTRMR).

According to the MTRMR, despite a difficult economic context, renewable power is expected to increase by 40% in the next five years. Renewables are now the fastest-growing power generation sector and will make up almost a quarter of the global power mix by 2018, up from an estimated 20% in 2011. The share of non-hydro sources such as wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal in total power generation will double, reaching 8% by 2018, up from 4% in 2011 and just 2% in 2006.

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North America leads shift in global energy balance, IEA says in latest World Energy Outlook

November 13, 2012 Comments off

North America leads shift in global energy balance, IEA says in latest World Energy Outlook
Source: International Energy Agency

The global energy map is changing in dramatic fashion, the International Energy Agency said as it launched the 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO). The Agency’s flagship publication, released today in London, said these changes will recast expectations about the role of different countries, regions and fuels in the global energy system over the coming decades.

“North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world, yet the potential also exists for a similarly transformative shift in global energy efficiency,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “This year’s World Energy Outlook shows that by 2035, we can achieve energy savings equivalent to nearly a fifth of global demand in 2010. In other words, energy efficiency is just as important as unconstrained energy supply, and increased action on efficiency can serve as a unifying energy policy that brings multiple benefits.”

The WEO finds that the extraordinary growth in oil and natural gas output in the United States will mean a sea-change in global energy flows. In the New Policies Scenario, the WEO’s central scenario, the United States becomes a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and is almost self-sufficient in energy, in net terms, by 2035. North America emerges as a net oil exporter, accelerating the switch in direction of international oil trade, with almost 90% of Middle Eastern oil exports being drawn to Asia by 2035. Links between regional gas markets will strengthen as liquefied natural gas trade becomes more flexible and contract terms evolve. While regional dynamics change, global energy demand will push ever higher, growing by more than one-third to 2035. China, India and the Middle East account for 60% of the growth; demand barely rises in the OECD, but there is a pronounced shift towards gas and renewables.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) report shows further progress needed

April 30, 2012 Comments off

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) report shows further progress needed
Source: International Energy Agency

At the 2011 Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting in Abu Dhabi, the CEM Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Action Group (CCUS AG) presented seven recommendations on concrete, near-term actions to accelerate global carbon capture and storage deployment. This week, at the 2012 CEM meeting in London, the IEA and Global CCS Institute presented a report tracking progress made against the 2011 recommendations and focusing on key questions such as how Energy Ministers can continue to drive progress to enable CCS to fully contribute to climate change mitigation. It concludes that, despite developments in some areas, significant further work is required. CCS financing and industrial applications continue to represent a particularly serious challenge.

+ Full Report (PDF)

IEA report looks at oil, gas market prospects through 2016

June 16, 2011 Comments off

IEA report looks at oil, gas market prospects through 2016
Source: International Energy Agency

Annual growth in oil demand could average 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) between now and 2016, while natural gas demand could grow by around 500 billion cubic meters – around 2.5 times Russia’s current gas exports – during the same time, according to the IEA’s Medium-Term Oil and Gas Markets 2011.

The report, launched today at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, seeks to make sense of the increased divergence in oil and gas markets by providing a comprehensive outlook for fundamentals through 2016.

For oil, the projections are based on prevailing futures prices, which form an assumption as opposed to a price forecast. The crude price assumption used in the outlook averages $103 per barrel, or around $20 more than in last year’s MTOGM. Based on this assumption, the report projects the following outcomes in oil markets:

  • Growth in oil supply capacity through 2016 averages 1.1 mb/d annually, as higher prices unlock new supplies. Iraq, UAE and Angola lead growth prospects from OPEC, while Brazil, Canada, Kazakhstan and Columbia drive non-OPEC increases. Conventional crude oil accounts for less than 40% of the increase, while natural gas liquids, biofuels and unconventional oil from onshore the United States account for the lion’s share of new supplies;
  • While spurring investment in exploration and development, higher oil prices threaten to weaken economic growth and curb demand. Accordingly, the report presents both a base case scenario in which demand reaches 95.3 mb/d in 2016 and a low-GDP variant in which demand is 2.4 mb/d lower by 2016;
  • In both demand scenarios, China, Asia and the Middle East together generate around 95% of net growth, with buoyant gasoil/diesel growth and major increases expected from the transport and petrochemical sectors. Persistent end-user subsidies and buoyant economic growth allow non-OECD demand growth to stay robust, despite high international crude prices;
  • In the base case scenario, increasing oil supply could match oil demand growth with spare capacities maintained near current levels, assuming geopolitical risks in oil-producing countries do not affect their ability to supply oil markets.
  • In the lower GDP scenario, lower oil demand could generate some breathing space in terms of higher OPEC spare capacity, but much depends on sustained investment to ensure new supplies can be brought to market at a pace that matches expected demand growth.

The report also examines recent thinking on the debate about causes and remedies for oil price volatility, noting that neither volatility nor speculative activity appear out of line with historical levels. It discusses the feedbacks between exchange rates and crude oil prices, and itemises some of the problems facing derivatives market regulators as they grapple with minimising systemic risk and potential market manipulation.

Some charts available for free; full report available for purchase.

Clean Energy Progress Report

April 9, 2011 Comments off

Clean Energy Progress Report (PDF)
Source: International Energy Agency

Key findings

  • Clean energy technologies are making clear progress globally, but fossil fuels continue to outpace them. More aggressive clean energy policies are required, including the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and implementation of transparent, predictable and adaptive incentives for cleaner, more efficient energy options.
  • Thanks to favourable policy support, solar PV and windpower are achieving strong growth. However, achieving sustainable energy goals will require a doubling of all renewable energy use by 2020. There are also signs that policy support is weakening due to government austerity plans. Instead of eliminating successful policies, governments need to put in place dynamic schemes that respond to technology markets.
  • For the past decade, coal has been the fastest-growing global energy source, meeting 47% of new electricity demand. Extensive deployment of CCS is critical to achieve climate change goals: around 100 large-scale projects are needed by 2020, but countries must accelerate their policy and funding support for the large-scale CCS demonstrations.
  • Progress has been made to transform the market for some key energy-efficient products, including compact fluorescent light bulbs. However, in the buildings and industry sectors, significant under-investment remains, resulting from an array of market financial, information, institutional and technical barriers. Much more policy effort is needed to capture the nearterm profitable and low cost energy savings opportunities.
  • Biofuels have shown steady growth, but still only represent 3% of global road transport fuel consumption. A sound policy framework is required to ensure the sustainable growth of biofuel production by ten-fold to reach climate change targets in 2050. Commercialisation of advanced, sustainable biofuels will be particularly critical to meet targets, and will require significant expansion of production capacity.
  • Electric vehicles are poised to take off. Major economies have announced targets that together would reach about 7 million vehicle sales per year by 2020. If achieved, this will result in over 20 million electric vehicles on the road by that year, taking into account all sales over the next 9 years. However, this will only account for about 2% of light-duty vehicle stocks worldwide; continued strong growth after 2020 will be important to ensure market transformation. Fuel economy of conventional light-duty vehicles has also been improving recently, but will need to improve faster to achieve a global target of 50% improvement by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
  • While nuclear capacity has remained nearly flat for the past decade, countries are currently constructing 66 nuclear reactors that should add 60 Gigawatts by 2015. However, the recent earthquake in Japan and resulting damage have led countries to review nuclear safety and investments across the board. As a result, nuclear expansion is likely to be slower than planned.
  • An increased level of systems thinking is needed to integrate the broad range of individual clean energy technologies into the energy system. Increased attention and resources are required to expand smart grid pilot projects on a regional level.
  • International collaboration is key to ensuring that momentum is maintained and gaps are addressed. The Clean Energy Ministerial offers an unique opportunity to accelerate technology deployment through government and corporate pledges and tracking progress toward shared global energy goals.
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