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IEA Report: World Can Halve Expected Growth in Oil and Power Consumption by 2050

More needs to be done with the fuel intensity of light-duty vehicles.

Applying clean and more efficient technologies at hand or under development could halve the expected growth in both oil and electricity demand and return CO2 emissions to today’s levels by 2050, according to a new publication by the International Energy Agency.

IEA Executive Director Claude Mandil presented the key findings of Energy Technology Perspectives, which the IEA produced as a partial response to a call from G8 leaders at their Summit in Gleneagles in July 2005 for the IEA to advise on alternative scenarios and strategies aimed at a “clean, clever and competitive energy future.”

Technologies can make a difference. A sustainable energy future is possible, but only if we act urgently and decisively to promote, develop and deploy a full mix of energy technologies, including improved energy efficiency, CO2 capture and storage (CCS), renewables and—where acceptable—nuclear energy. We have the means, now we need the will.

—Claude Mandil

The IEA publication takes a detailed look at status and prospects for key energy technologies in power generation, buildings, industry and transport. It puts forward strategies for attaining scenarios unattainable under current trends.

Improved energy efficiency is an indispensable component of any policy mix, and it is available immediately. Governments, in both OECD and non-OECD countries, must be willing to implement measures that encourage the investment in energy-efficient technologies.

—Claude Mandil

The study identifies the capture and storage of CO2 emitted from power-generation or industrial processes as a key technology, and recommends making early demonstration of CCS in full-scale power plants a high priority.


Rafael Seidl

Tony, Mark R.W. -

I know Americans are pathologically allergic to all taxes, especially any on their hallowed mobility. Apparently, they would much rather pay up the wazoo for a war intended to secure continued access to crude oil from the Persian Gulf, thinly disguised as something else to make them more palatable to the squeamish.

Then again, today's profligate US consumers are not really paying for this war anyhow. Their children and grandchildren will have to instead, for the privilege of letting their parents drive around on cheap gas today. Somehow, that strikes me as rather selfish.

Note 1: Saddam, for all his faults, was NOT involved in 9/11 nor the anthrax campaign that followed. He did he use his WMDs for terror attacks against US citizens back when he had the means and the motive.

Note 2: North Korea is run by a terrorist and has nuclear weapons but no oil.

Note 3: Iran did not get serious about pursuing a nuclear option until GWB named them in his infamous "axis of evil" speech.

Rafael Seidl

Sorry, typing mistake:

[Saddam] did *NOT* he use his WMDs for terror attacks against US citizens back when he had the means and the motive.


About the gas tax discussion.

To all the tax-allergics: There is no doubt that it works. If you calculate the average cost/km for American and European car owners, it is about the same. It seems there is a 'comfortable price per km' that is about the same both sides of the Atlantic.

Second point: people are tax-allergic here too. They complain a lot about the gas taxes and all other taxes too. That doesn't mean they won't accept it. Complaining and accepting are completely different things.

Third point: about the justification of gas taxes beyond the cost of road maintenance. There are much more costs associated with the car than just road maintenance.Because of various social and commercial reasons, you can safely say that car use is also subsidized. An example: free parking, payed for by WalMart et al. Whether you do your shopping by bike or by car, a small portion of what you pay for your groceries goes into paying for the parking lot. And in our current car-focused society there is no way you can run a business without offering free parking space. The environmentally correct business owner has no choice but to offer free parking for its customers. The biking consumer has no choice but to pay for parking space he'll never use. I think taxes beyond what is needed for road maintenance is justified to correct this sociocommercial mechanism.

Rafael Seidl

Anne -

you are right, the average cost/distance is similar on both sides of the Atlantic. Europe has always been more densely populated and most of its cities predate the automobile.

Nevertheless, the fact that fuel taxes here have been so high for so long has meant that urban sprawl never reached the magnitude that it has in many parts of North America. If prices as US pumps were to reach Japanese or even European levels within e.g. a decade or so, US consumers would switch to more efficient cars but also strive to reduce their total driving distance.

Eventually, this would lead to more densely built-up urban centers, a prerequisite for viable public transport and ubiquitous bicycle lanes, if only because parking a car becomes scarce i.e. expensive.

For reference, compare San Francisco (where many people choose not to own a car) with Los Angeles (where everyone pretty much has to).


Its actauly a case of not having room for a large vat tax because of the income taxes and all the fees americans pay. Also its one hell of a chicken and egg thing. If we were to pay more taxes we would demand far better roads and far better commutes.. something gv simply doesnt manage to provide.

If some asshats wana try to take even more money from me and crap up the roadways even more.. I will personaly join the mob that guts the bastards.


King is right, and Cervus wrong about hedge funds and speculators driving up oil prices. Oil futures settle with delivery, so when the futures expire, someone has to take possession of the oil. Oil prices on the ground and delivered at the pump are based on supply and demand.

However, with demand bumping up against production capacity, the game has changed. It is now obvious that if you can store oil, it will be worth more in the future than it is now. Therefore, it is worthwhile for Saudi's to reduce production to keep prices up, even at $70/bbl when in the past they would sell all they could at that price assuming the price would come down to $40 in the future. Also, I understand Iran has about 5 months worth of production sitting in ships -- for the same reason. It these producers can be considered speculators, then yes, speculators are driving up prices.


re: Gas tas. Why don't we simply include all oil-related costs in our taxes on gasoline -- including the cost of fighting the war in Iraq, the War on Terrorism, the Naval fleet protecting oil shipping lanes, and other bases around the world that serve little real purpose beyond making the world safe for the oil economy? Don't tell me the Government isn't already subsidizing some form of transportation.


Because if iraq had only been determed by oil kuwait would be in ruins right now and we would be buying 15 buck a barrel oil from saddam our bestest friend in the whole wide world right now.

Thomas Pedersen

The purpose of a gas tax is neither to punish or to benefit specific groups - it's to change behavior.

Another example: 10 years ago experts in Denmark stated forcefully that the aquifers were depleting too quickly i.e. we were using more fresh water than was being produced naturally. In response the government raised the tax on fresh water. As a logical result, less was used. Arguably, it's cheaper to replace a toilet (to conserve water) than a car. Still, most people actually replace their cars more often than their toilets...

After the new water tax had taken effect, a relative of mine said: "Damn the government. I only use half as much water now, but I still pay the same!" My response was: "That was exactly the intention"

It turned out that there were many frivolous uses of water (watering the garden, washing dishes under running water, leaving the water running during tooth brushing, etc.). The same goes for motoring (unnessecary trips, heavy right foot, AC on in 60°F weather, etc.)

Anyone will agree that it is more comfortable to be allowed frivolous use of water and gasoline than being forced to think about it. I just don't see we have much of a choice.

But there are alternatives to fossil gasoline and fresh water from aquifers: PHEV, EV, biofuel, electric trains - rain water collectors for: flushing the toilet, watering the garden, washing the car, etc.

Change can be scary. But I'm actually quite happy with the toilet I ended up with after the whole water tax ordeal. Who would have thought one gallon of water were enough to take care of number two..?


Dont you dare get me started on low flush toilets.. soo very many terrible designs they wasted more water then they saved up until very recently.

As for wasting water.. If anyone conciders a garden a watse of water I have few choice words for them... but not on this site...


"World Can Halve Expected Growth in Oil and Power Consumption by 2050"
Only if GM goes bankrupt sooner rather then later.

Thomas Pedersen

Wintermane: I never said gardens were a waste of water - just don't use the purest kind from the aquifer to water them! I'm all for collecting rain water, which is not suitable for drinking, and use that for watering the garden.

Actually, if the natural production of fresh water in the aquifer is sufficient to supply water for the garden, then by all means go ahead. But when it's a scientific fact that garden watering and toilet flushing is threatening the supply of drinking water it is a totally different ball game.

What happens if I get you started on low flush toilets..?

If you need me to recommend a model that works fine, just say so. I've never had problems with them.


Before they switched to low flow they should have demanded the new toilets actauly work. We had a set that required 5-6 flushes to work and that clogged all the time. We are lucky in a way we have high flow toilets right now.

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