The global energy map is changing in dramatic fashion, according to a report issued Monday by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The ‘World Energy Outlook (WEO) report said the changes will increase North America’s role in the global energy system over the coming decades.
Renewable fuel advocates quickly responded to the IEA report saying that biofuels are able to both improve the global economy and environment. ”We cannot continue to rely on and subsidize a dependence on crude oil that continues to hamper economic growth when biofuels are already making a significant contribution to the global economy,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA)- a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting biofuel friendly policies internationally.
The GRFA forecasts that ethanol production alone will reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 100 million tons globally. This is a reduction of 276,000 tons of GHGs per day, which is the equivalent of approximately 20.2 million cars being taken off the road per year, according to GRFA.
“It has been clear for years that crude oil has been a drain on our economy and toxic to our environment. Biofuels offer a positive economic boost and cleaner air. We must quickly adopt policies that encourage the development of crude oil alternatives like biofuels for the sake of our economy and environment,” concluded Baker.
The WEO found that the extraordinary growth in oil and natural gas output in the United States will mean a sea-change in global energy flows. According to the report, the United States will become the world's top oil producer by 2017, become a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and may become self-sufficient in energy by 2035.
Fossil fuels will remain dominant in the world energy mix and global oil demand will grow to 99 million barrels per day by 2035 by which time oil prices are expected to reach $125 per barrel, the WEO predicts. Iraq accounts for 45 percent of the growth in global oil production to 2035 and becomes the second-largest global oil exporter, overtaking Russia.
The WEO presents authoritative projections of energy trends through to 2035 and insight into what it means for energy security, environmental sustainability and economic development. The report covers all energy sources, together with an update on climate change issues.