Tuesday, 13 November 2007

World Energy Outlook - 2007

I've started to digest this 670-plus page behemoth. Per the publication copyright terms and conditions, I am permitted to copy / share up to 15% (about 100 pages) without prior written approval of the IEA. Be sure, I'm not going to do that, but here are some relevant data that I found of potential interest.

(all emphasis is mine)

From the executive summary

Urgent action is needed if greenhouse-gas concentrations are to be stabilised at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. The Alternative Policy Scenario shows that measures currently being considered by governments around the world could lead to a stabilisation of global emissions in the mid-2020s and cut their level in 2030 by 19% relative to the Reference Scenario. OECD emissions peak and begin to decline after 2015. Yet global emissions would still be 27% higher than in 2005. Assuming continued emissions reductions after 2030, the Alternative Policy Scenario projections are consistent with stabilisation of long-term CO2-equivalent concentration in the atmosphere at about 550 parts per million. According to the best estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this concentration would correspond to an increase in average temperature of around 3°C above pre-industrial levels. In order to limit the average increase in global temperatures to a maximum of 2.4°C, the smallest increase in any of the IPCC scenarios, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would need to be stabilised at around 450 ppm. To achieve this, CO2 emissions would need to peak by 2015 at the latest and to fall between 50% and 85% below 2000 levels by 2050. We estimate that this would require energy-related CO2 emissions to be cut to around 23 Gt in 2030 – 19 Gt less than in the Reference Scenario and 11 Gt less than in the Alternative Policy Scenario. In a “450 Stabilisation Case”, which describes a notional pathway to achieving this outcome, global emissions peak in 2012 at around 30 Gt. Emissions savings come from improved efficiency in fossil-fuel use in industry, buildings and transport, switching to nuclear power and renewables, and the widespread deployment of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) in power generation and industry. Exceptionally quick and vigorous policy action by all countries, and unprecedented technological advances, entailing substantial costs, would be needed to make this case a reality.

Clearly, exceptionally vigorous policy action – entailing substantial costs – would be needed to make the 450 Stabilisation Case a reality. Such action would need to start immediately: each year of delay would reduce substantially the likelihood of achieving the target.

The below trend reflects the required energy supply changes required to satisfy the 450 stabilisation case. These changes are to be made IN ADDITION to aggressive changes (which already include significant increases in nuclear power) required to satisfy the 'Alternative Policy Scenario'.

And for those of you worried about the future of coal - fear not. You'll notice that the overall demand for coal doesn't change too much (add the brown and the red) - even within the most aggressive scenario as shown below. Anyone claiming any differently, is just promoting a culture of fear to get votes.

And there is much, MUCH more. Their message is clear - urgent, global action is required 'immediately', and that action will include - among many other changes - the significant deployment of additional nuclear power generation technologies around the world.

1 comment:

  1. The IEA's World Energy Outlook 2007 executive summary (several languages), fact sheets and key graphics can be downloaded from http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/2007.asp