Following up on Carlos Ferreira’s comment, I looked up the new IEA WEO, unveiled today. A few excerpts from the executive summary:
- The financial crisis has cast a shadow over whether all the energy investment needed to meet growing energy needs can be mobilised.
- Continuing on today’s energy path, without any change in government policy, would mean rapidly increasing dependence on fossil fuels, with alarming consequences for climate change and energy security.
- Non-OECD countries account for all of the projected growth in energy-related CO2 emissions to 2030.
- The reductions in energy-related CO2 emissions required in the 450 Scenario (relative to the Reference Scenario) by 2020 — just a decade away — are formidable, but the financial crisis offers what may be a unique opportunity to take the necessary steps as the political mood shifts.
- With a new international climate policy agreement, a comprehensive and rapid transformation in the way we produce, transport and use energy — a veritable lowcarbon revolution — could put the world onto this 450-ppm trajectory.
- Energy efficiency offers the biggest scope for cutting emissions
- The 450 Scenario entails $10.5 trillion more investment in energy infrastructure and energy-related capital stock globally than in the Reference Scenario through to the end of the projection period.
- The cost of the additional investments needed to put the world onto a 450-ppm path is at least partly offset by economic, health and energy-security benefits.
- In the 450 Scenario, world primary gas demand grows by 17% between 2007 and 2030, but is 17% lower in 2030 compared with the Reference Scenario.
- The world’s remaining resources of natural gas are easily large enough to cover any conceivable rate of increase in demand through to 2030 and well beyond, though the cost of developing new resources is set to rise over the long term.
- A glut of gas is looming
This is pretty striking language, especially if you recall the much more business-as-usual tone of WEOs in the 90s.