Energy needs 'to grow inexorably'
Nov 7, 2007 - BBC Monitoring
|The world is becoming increasingly
The global demand for energy is set to grow inexorably
through to 2030 if governments do not change their
policies, warns a top energy official.
Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International
Energy Agency (IEA), said such a rise would threaten
energy security and accelerate climate change.
He said energy needs in 2030 could be more than 50%
above current levels, with fossil fuels still dominant.
Mr Tanaka was speaking at the launch of the IEA's
World Energy Outlook report.
Rapid economic growth in China and India would be
the main drivers behind the rise, he said as he unveiled
the agency's annual flagship publication.
"The emergence of new major players in global energy
markets means that all countries must take vigorous,
immediate and collective action to curb runaway energy
demand," he warned.
"Rapid economic development will undoubtedly continue
to drive up energy demand in China and India, and
will contribute to a real improvement in the quality
of life for more than two billion people.
"This is a legitimate aspiration that needs to be
accommodated and supported by the rest of the world."
be top energy user'
The World Energy Outlook 2007 report warned that
much of the increased demand for energy would be met
As a result, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions could rise by 57% - from 27 giga-tonnes
in 2005 to 42 giga-tonnes in 2030, it said.
Even in the report's "alternative policy scenario",
which takes into account the governments' proposed
action to save energy and cut emissions, CO2 levels
are set to rise by 25%.
But it offered a glimmer of hope within its "450
Stabilisation" case study.
It described a notional strategy for governments
to stabilise CO2 levels in the atmosphere at about
450 parts per million (ppm), which some scientists
and policy makers suggest is an acceptable concentration.
"Emissions savings come from improved efficiency
in industry, buildings and transport, switching to
nuclear power and renewables, and the widespread deployment
of carbon capture and storage," the report said.
This approach would see global emissions peak in
2012 then fall sharply below 2005 levels by 2030,
But it added: "Exceptionally quick and vigourous
policy action by all countries, and unprecedented
technological advances, entailing substantial costs,
would be needed to make this case a reality."
Mr Tanaka stressed the need for urgency in the battle
against climate change: "We need to act now to bring
about a radical shift in investment in favour of cleaner,
more efficient and more secure energy technologies."
The UK's Energy Secretary, John Hutton, endorsed
the IEA's findings and agreed that urgent action by
politicians was needed.
"As the IEA states, it is a lack of international
political will, not technological innovation, that
is preventing us from reducing emissions while securing
energy supplies to power our homes and businesses
for the years ahead," he told BBC News.
"The UK must continue to lead by example by embracing
innovation while also ensuring it takes advantage
of existing low carbon technologies.
"We share view that there should be the broadest
possible energy mix and will be carefully examining
the recommendations of this report as we prepare to
introduce our Energy Bill."