by Jerome a Paris
Wed Nov 8th, 2006 at 06:09:55 AM EST
The International Energy Agency has published its new "World Energy Outlook", its yearly analysis of the energy markets, and they are becoming shrill.
Reliance on oil 'sets us on path to crisis'
The world is on a course that will lead it "from crisis to crisis" unless governments act immediately to save energy and invest in nuclear and biofuels, the International Energy Agency warned yesterday.
In an apocalyptic forecast, Claude Mandil, the agency's executive director, said that our current path "may mean skyrocketing prices or more frequent blackouts; can mean more supply disruptions, more meteorological catastrophes - or all these at the same time".
The IEA said the oilfields on which Europe and the US had come to depend to reduce their reliance on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would peak in the next five to seven years.
The three countries on which the world will depend most for its future oil supply, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, are also among its most unstable.
A similar problem is emerging in natural gas, with half of the world's reserves found in Iran and Russia - countries that have used their energy resources as a diplomatic weapon.
Such worries on energy security will undermine the world's efforts to reduce carbon emissions associated with climate change. Big consumers have already begun to turn to coal, one of the most polluting sources of energy but also the world's most abundant fossil fuel, much of which is found within the US and China.
To reduce carbon emissions, it urges Europe and China to make more use of nuclear energy, as China is already scheduled to do. It calls on the US to improve vehicles' fuel efficiency standards and, finally, it pushes for more renewable energy to generate power in China, Europe and the US.
There is little mention in the FT article of energy savings, the one big "elephant in the room" solution, but I need to check what the report actualyl says on this before commenting.
But the fact that the FT does not focus on it, and that this article is buried in the middle of the paper (the front page being focused, ironically, on the car industry) is significant of the total lack of focus by anyone that matters on the topic of USING LESS ENERGY.
So we'll jump "from crisis to crisis" alright.