IEA recognises renewable technology as the way forward

IEA recognises renewable technology as the way forward

Green energy is now the second-largest generator of electricity in the world, after coal, and is set to overtake the dirtiest fossil fuel in the early 2030s, said the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 report, published on Tuesday.

“These price developments seem set to boost natural gas demand in major importing regions, reinforcing our view that natural gas is a fuel well placed to expand its role in the global energy mix”, the IEA said.

“The Energy Outlooks often headline the more politically relevant elements of their reports – this year it is COP21, while last year security of supply issues dominated because of the tensions between Russian Federation and Ukraine”, Nick White, principal consultant at MGM Energy, told Interfax.

With climate change high on the political agenda and European IOCs pushing for carbon pricing, the IEA has pared back its predictions for fossil fuel growth.

Bucking doom and gloom from anti-coal activists and analysts, the IEA says in its 2015 World Energy Outlook that Australia’s coal exports will increase by more than a third to 424 million tonnes a year between now and 2040. This is 5% less than the IEA forecast a year ago and is the biggest reduction in fossil fuel growth in the report. Meanwhile, coal will suffer overall, satisfying only about 10 percent of the total new growth in electricity demand.

Global oil consumption is expected to hit 103.5 million barrels per day in 2040, a drop of just 500,000 barrels per day from the 2014 report. Despite the low price, demand is subdued and the current glut will only be absorbed by 2020, by which time the price will be $80 per barrel, according to the IEA. Global production of shale gas, coalbed methane and tight gas is set to rise to about 1.7 trillion cubic meters in 2040 from 630 billion cubic meters in 2013. By 2040, renewables could account for half of Europe’s electric power generation, about 30 percent of China’s and more than 25 percent of the United States’ electricity.

While demand for oil and natural gas will also continue to grow, carbon emissions are feasibly expected to stagnate and decline. He said China had the biggest energy efficiency programme in the world and that “China is the champion of renewables”, as well having a major nuclear programme and likely growth in unconventional gas.

“Historically, energy-related Carbon dioxide emissions have moved in lockstep with economic growth”, Doug Vine, senior energy fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, told the Monitor. He said 60% of all new investment was going into renewables but warned that the $490bn of fossil fuel subsidies in 2014 meant there was not a “fair competition”.

“China is becoming the wild card of coal markets”.

Mr Buckley said in August the Carmichael mine – at that time the subject of a court-ordered hold on its development approval that has now been lifted – would not go ahead because India’s policy was to wean itself off coal imports within a few years.

The sharp increase in Indian and south-east Asian demand more than offsets falls in China, Japan, Korea and Europe, leaving coal consumption to grow at a subdued annual rate of 0.4 per cent, more slowly than previously projected. India will be the number one country for the oil demand growth worldwide. While China’s coal use will plateau, India’s energy demand will surge, driven by rising economic growth, a growing population and low but increasing levels of energy use per capita.

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