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IEA: Energy Crisis Shouldn't Lead To Higher Reliance On Fossil Fuels

The current energy crisis and record fuel prices should not be an excuse for the world to increase further its dependence on fossil fuels, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, said on Monday.

"We need fossil fuels in the short term, but let's not lock in our future by using the current situation as an excuse to justify some of the investments being done. Time-wise, it doesn't work, and morally in my view, it doesn't work as well," Birol said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, as carried by Reuters.

The Paris-based IEA, created in the aftermath of the Arab oil embargo in the early 1970s, issued a report last year, suggesting that the world would not need more investments in any new oil and gas projects if it is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Following the spike in energy prices and huge uncertainty on the global oil market after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IEA and its member countries—including the United States—have announced—twice—releases from strategic petroleum reserves to try to tame soaring oil and gasoline prices and offset the gap that unwanted Russian oil due to sanctions of self-sanctioning would leave.

Despite the IEA's acknowledgment of the need for more fossil fuels in the short term, the agency continues to advocate for an accelerated energy transition.

This weekend, the IEA's Birol shared a new analysis from the agency, which found that the income of the global oil and gas sector will jump to $4 trillion in 2022, more than twice its five-year average.

"The best way to protect people from future price shocks is to invest as much as possible of this in an accelerated & secure clean energy transition," the IEA's executive director said.

Yet, the current energy shock is not only the result of the Russian war in Ukraine—it is also the result of years of persistently low investment in conventional energy sources, the energy ministers of two of OPEC's top producers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said earlier this month.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • T G on May 23 2022 said:
    Need to build a lot more nuke plants as some states don't have enough power generation now to support charging cars.
  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 23 2022 said:
    Every time the Chief of the IEA Fatih Birol opens his mouth he puts his foot in it. Therefore, it is better for him to keep his mouth shut.

    In 2021 he called for the immediate halt of new investments in oil and gas but his call was overwhelming rejected worldwide as ludicrous with the Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman mockingly depicting it as La-La-Land net-zero emissions by 2050 roadmap and the depiction has stuck.

    He is now repeating the same futile call by saying that the world shouldn’t use the current situation as an excuse to justify some of the investments being done claiming that time-wise and morally it doesn’t work.

    However, what doesn’t work is calls like his and the inept EU and also the dogmatic environmental activists to ditch fossil fuels. Such calls have led to the current energy crisis enveloping the EU and the skyrocketing energy prices threatening the world with its worst energy crisis in its history and also a disastrous food crisis.

    What is called for now and immediately is a spending of at least $600 bn a year for the next ten years to expand production capacity of oil and gas to meet global demand in coming years.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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