Fossil fuels are not going away even after 2045 - OPEC+


OPEC+ forecast 2045

Having been emboldened, perhaps, by the chaos engulfing the global energy markets, the OPEC+ says the fossil fuels will still be in use through 2045 and beyond and there will not be a perfect substitute for it for decades to come.

OPEC+ admits that the tendency to embrace renewable sources will continue unabated. It, however, will be like the digital divide between the poor and wealthy nations in the information age, with the rich nations moving ahead with it much faster than the poorer nations, leaving behind the latter to do the catching-up.

OPEC+ made its latest upbeat forecast known on Tuesday in its annual World Oil Outlook.

OPEC+ expects 28% growth in energy demand in proportion to an increase in population in 2045, by over 1.7 billion people. The cartel says that in order to meet the expected two-fold growth prospect in a period of 25 years from now, the energy generation must meet a significant increase.

Dr Mohammed Barkindo, the Secretary General of the OPEC+, meanwhile, said that focussing on climate control goals at the expense of the energy needs of the poorer nations is neither workable nor right, in an interview with an Arabic newspaper.

Dr Barkindo was particularly critical of those who advocate not investing in hydrocarbons: “We have seen deliberate attempts to crowd out investments in the hydrocarbon sector on the ground of climate goals that are not founded in the science or the facts. The IPCC, which is supposed to be the most authoritative source or body that should guide the transition, which we at OPEC think is doing a great job and follow very closely their work. Their work is impeccable and based on science and facts. But unfortunately, in this conversation, their findings are being set aside,” he said, according to Al Arabia.

He went on to say that the Paris Agreement on the climate change is the most pragmatic approach and the fair one, as it came about after an extensive global debate on the issue.

While referring to what he called energy poverty, Dr Barkindo said that there are still over 800 million people without access to electricity, out of which 600 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to it, he says that over 2.6 billion people do not have access to cooking fuels and 900 million out of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

These are startling facts, indeed. They often get eclipsed by the combination

He concluded the interview, conducted in Dubai, by saying that the OPEC+ favours an ‘all-inclusive’ transition to the problem of climate change without leaving out anyone, regardless of the region they hail from.

Although we are almost a decade away before reaching the climate goals, what goes around us clearly show there are no easy-fixes to the crisis.

Although the impact on the environment by the emissions of fossil fuels is real, the inclination to rely on renewables on macro scale without a mechanism to fall back on has generated fresh doubts about their viability.

The European energy crisis that everyone talks about is a classic case in point. It is far from over despite the signals to the contray, with the price of coal reaching record heights, because countries keep hoarding coal as a source of back-up if the gas crisis cannot be solved by winter.

The European politicians are aware of the consequence if the crisis is not handled in the nick of time, having fully understood the gravity of the problem in certain regions in China

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