Energy and climate

12/12/2010

People are not only becoming more prosperous, but there are also more of them. That calls for additional energy supplies. Oil and gas will play a role in meeting world energy needs far into the future.

World energy demand is growing, partly because of a rise in living standards in many regions. Greater prosperity boosts energy consumption. The world is expected to need 60 per cent more energy than today by 2030. And the number of humans on the planet is steadily rising.

Two-thirds of the growth in energy demand will come from developing countries. Strong economic expansion in China and in populous developing nations is the most important reason for rising energy consumption.

At present, 1.6 billion people – more than twice the population of Europe – lack electricity supplies. Secure access to energy is a crucial requirement for continued economic growth and  rising prosperity in developing countries and for maintaining living standards in Europe. Norway plays an important role as a major exporter of energy.

Renewable energy sources such as hydropower, bioenergy, wind power, district heating and solar energy could contribute to reducing carbon emissions since they do not emit greenhouse gases.

At the same time, gas from Norway is crucial if the European Union is to reach its climate goals by 2020. Replacing coal-fired electricity with more environment-friendly gas-fired power stations would cut total carbon emissions.

Renewable sources will play a more important role in meeting world energy requirements. But the International Energy Agency (IEA) has nevertheless established that traditional fossil fuels such as oil and gas will remain by far the most important sources of supply in coming decades.

Read more about energy and energy requirements in the IEA’s World Energy Outlook.