Archive for the ‘International Energy Agency’ Category

Taking a fresh look at the future of nuclear power

April 13, 2015 Comments off

Taking a fresh look at the future of nuclear power
Source: International Energy Agency

Nuclear power is a critical element in limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and a new Technology Roadmap co-authored by the IEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency outlines the next steps for growth in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan and the economic crisis and its effect on financing.

The new publication finds that the prospects for nuclear energy remain positive in the medium to long term despite a negative impact in some countries in the aftermath of the accident. While nuclear power’s share of global electricity generation was 10% lower in 2013 than in 2010, principally because of Japan’s 48 operable reactors remaining idle, it is still the second-largest source worldwide of low-carbon electricity. And the 72 reactors under construction at the start of last year were the most in 25 years.

Yet global capacity must more than double, with nuclear supplying 17% of global electricity generation in 2050, to meet the IEA 2 Degree Scenario (2DS) for the most effective and efficient means of limiting global temperature rise to the internationally agreed maximum.

Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy 2015 Update offers a vision of the best ways to accomplish that growth, looking at current and new technologies; the need to meet increased safety requirements and improve constructability through optimised design, standardisation and more efficient supply chains; financing options and implementation of waste-management solutions. The Roadmap also addresses the challenge of decommissioning hundreds of reactors that will reach the end of their operating life by the middle of the century as well as building the necessary infrastructure and capacity building in newcomer countries. And it stresses the importance of restoring public confidence in nuclear power.

Africa Energy Outlook

January 20, 2015 Comments off

Africa Energy Outlook
Source: International Energy Agency

Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector can be improved to unlock a better life for its citizens. This report describes one of the most poorly understood parts of the global energy system, offers an authoritative study of its future prospects, broken down by fuel, sector and sub-region and shows how investment in the sub-Saharan energy sector can stimulate rapid economic and social development across the region.

How solar energy could be the largest source of electricity by mid-century

October 10, 2014 Comments off

How solar energy could be the largest source of electricity by mid-century
Source: International Energy Agency

The sun could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear, according to a pair of reports issued today by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The two IEA technology roadmaps show how solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could generate up to 16% of the world’s electricity by 2050 while solar thermal electricity (STE) from concentrating solar power (CSP) plants could provide an additional 11%. Combined, these solar technologies could prevent the emission of more than 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050 – that is more than all current energy-related CO2 emissions from the United States or almost all of the direct emissions from the transport sector worldwide today.

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.

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.