2013-09-07

Good News:
Stable Energy Supply is a Challenge... it can be solved // Diversification & Integration

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In the IEO2013 Reference case, world energy consumption increases from 524 quadrillion Btu in 2010 to 630 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and 820 quadrillion Btu in 2040, a 30-year increase of 56 percent. More than 85 percent of the increase in global energy demand from 2010 to 2040 occurs among the developing nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (non-OECD), driven by strong economic growth and expanding populations. In contrast, OECD member countries are, for the most part, already more mature energy consumers, with slower anticipated economic growth and little or no anticipated population growth.
Figure 12. World total energy consumption, 1990-2040.
Many economic and geopolitical circumstances add considerable uncertainty to any long-term assessment of world energy markets. Currently, there is wide variation in the economic performance of different countries and regions around the world. Among the more mature OECD regions, the pace of growth varies but generally is slow in comparison with the emerging economies of the non-OECD. In the United States and Europe, short- and long-term debt issues remain largely unresolved and are key sources of uncertainty for future growth. Economic recovery in the United States has been weaker than the recoveries from past recessions, although expansion is continuing. In contrast, many European countries fell back into recession in 2012, and the region's economic performance has continued to lag. Japan, whose economy had been sluggish before the devastating earthquake in March 2011, is recovering from its third recession in 3 years. Questions about the timing and extent of a return to operation for Japan's nuclear power generators compound the uncertainty surrounding its energy outlook.

In contrast to the OECD nations, developing non-OECD economies, particularly in non-OECD Asia, have led the global recovery from the 2008-2009 recession. China and India have been among the world's fastest growing economies for the past two decades. From 1990 to 2010, China's economy grew by an average of 10.4 percent per year and India's by 6.4 percent per year. Although the two countries' economic growth remained strong through the global recession, both slowed in 2012 to rates much lower than analysts had predicted at the start of the year. In 2012, real GDP in China increased by 7.2 percent, its lowest annual growth rate in 20 years. India's real GDP growth slowed to 5.5 percent in 2012.

Even with slower than average growth in China and India in the short-term, medium- and long-term prospects for the two nations are good. In the IEO2013 Reference case, China and India continue to lead both world economic growth and energy demand growth. Since 1990, energy consumption in both countries as a share of total world energy use has increased significantly; together, they accounted for about 10 percent of total world energy consumption in 1990 and nearly 24 percent in 2010. From 2010 to 2040, their combined energy use more than doubles in the Reference case, and they account for 34 percent of projected total world energy consumption in 2040. China, which recently became the world's largest energy consumer, is projected to consume more than twice as much energy as the United States in 2040. Read on... & more