Recommendations for the Future of Energy
Released by the 17th World Energy Council, Houston
The World Energy Council, on behalf of thirty-five
energy ministers and five thousand energy executives
from nearly 100 countries, issued conclusions and
recommendations today at the 17th Congress of the
World Energy Council to address how the world's energy
sources will be used.
While the world has an abundance of accessible energy
resources that are more than sufficient to meet growth,
the possibility of climate change and the ways energy
production and use can cause severe environmental
degradation and ill health continue to pose enormous
challenges for the world's energy sector. New energy
technologies will foster economic development, mitigate
environmental impacts and sustain energy resources.
Congress delegates identified several main concerns
such as the chilling effect current financial volatility
and political instability are having on energy investment
in countries where there is significant need, and
the fact that 20 percent of the world's population
uses 80 percent of the world's energy production.
The WEC derived the following conclusions
from this Congress:
- Global energy consumption will grow by about 50
percent in 20 years.
- Both traditional* and new renewable energy sources
have an important place in future energy supply.
- While fuel, wood and coal will remain the principal
energy supply resources for many developing countries,
distributed generators -- microturbines, diesels,
and fuel cells -- and renewable technologies, specifically
wind, biomass and solar, may provide a viable option
for areas operating independent of power grid and
fuel pipeline systems.
- Increased efficiency in the use of energy offers
the most immediate, cost-effective, and largest
opportunity to reduce resource consumption and environmental
- Cleaner and more versatile energy forms will
characterize future energy systems.
- Sustainability will depend not only on an adequate
energy supply, but also on the stimulation, stewardship
and stability that educated and informed populations
provide in today's interdependent nations.
Based on these conclusions, the WEC made the following
- Industry and governments should sustain their
efforts to widen the energy supply base into cost
- The accelerated development and use of renewable
energy resources must be given high priority as
a means of supplying commercial energy services
to people without previous access to energy sources.
- Nuclear power should play a major role in contributing
to electricity provision and in strategies to combat
- Government and industry should thoroughly assess
the societal cost of a trend to larger, more energy
consumptive options when environmental and infrastructure
costs are mounting.
- Auto-oil partnerships should reduce local air
pollution, especially in developing economies and
should promote the transfer of advanced fuel and
automotive technologies to these countries.
- The energy industry must sustain its commitment
to research and development with government support
for activities related to fostering the public good.
(* Traditional sources include: coal, oil, gas, nuclear
and large hydro)
SOURCE: U.S. Energy Association 9/18/1998