Large-Scale Shifts in Global Energy System Predicted

Testifying before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in January 2018, Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), outlined four large-scale shifts in the global energy system that will set the scene for the coming decades.

They include the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean-energy technologies; the growing electrification of energy; the shift to a more services-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China; and the resilience and further growth of shale gas and tight oil resources in the U.S.

In particular, Birol noted the resilience of shale oil and gas in the U.S., and the remarkable ability of producers to unlock new resources cost-effectively. This has pushed the combined U.S. oil and gas output forecast in 2040 to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever achieved. “This is an impressive feat, which cannot be overstated,” Birol told the committee, chaired by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “The United States is poised to become the undisputed oil and gas producer in the world over the next several decades.”

While in Washington, D.C., Birol also met with deputy secretary of state John S. Sullivan to discuss developments in the global energy markets and their implications for the U.S. He also presented IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2017 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, February 5, 2018)