The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2018 was launched in November. This year’s Outlook ‘examines future patterns of a changing global energy system at a time of increasing uncertainties and finds that major transformations are underway for the global energy sector’.
Chapter 11 of the IEA WEO 2018 opens with the statement: ‘Oil and natural gas are set to remain part of the energy system for decades to come.’ In its Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), designed to meet the twin goals of delivering on the Paris Agreement and achieving universal access to energy, the IEA projects an increase in demand for natural gas with oil and gas together providing 48% of the total final energy demand in 2040. The IEA also examines the role of water in the SDS, both in terms of the energy required to provide clean water and the water used in providing energy.
The IEA introduces and examines in depth a new ‘Future is Electric’ scenario where the share of electricity in final energy consumption moves toward one-third, as almost half the passenger car fleet goes electric by 2040 and electricity makes inroads into the residential and industry sectors.
There is also a special section on innovation and performance in the oil and gas sector, where the IEA examines the well-to-tank or well-to-meter emissions intensity of the value chain covering production, transport and refining. This includes a focus on methane emissions, electrification of operations from the grid, application of carbon capture utilization and storage for enhanced oil recovery, and supply of low-carbon hydrogen.