World Energy Outlook 2019 – Analysis

The gap between the promise of energy for all and the fact that nearly a billion people still do not have access to electricity. The gap between the latest scientific evidence highlighting the need for very rapid reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions and data showing that energy-related emissions reached another historic level in 2018. The gap between expectations of rapid energy transitions driven by renewable energy and the reality of energy systems Energy today in which dependence on fossil fuels remains high. And the gap between calm in well-equipped oil markets and ongoing concern about geopolitical tensions and uncertainty.

More than ever, energy decision makers need to take a hard, evidence-based look at their position and the implications of the choices they make. The World Energy Outlook does not provide a forecast of what will happen. Instead, it provides a set of scenarios that explore various potential futures, the actions – or inaction – they cause and the interrelationships between different parts of the system.

The Current Policies Scenario shows what happens if the world continues on its current course, without any additional policy changes. In this scenario, energy demand rises by 1.3% annually through 2040, with increased demand for energy services unconstrained with more efforts to improve efficiency. While this is well below the observed 2.3% growth seen in 2018, it will lead to a relentless upward rally in energy-related emissions, as well as mounting pressures on virtually all aspects of energy security.

By contrast, the stated policies scenario includes the intents and objectives of the current policy. Previously known as the New Policies Scenario, it has been renamed to emphasize that it only considers specific policy initiatives that have already been announced. The goal is to raise a mirror to the plans of today’s policymakers and explain their consequences, not to guess how these policy preferences might change in the future.

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