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WORLD ENERGY COUNCIL
WEC highlights energy myths
At the World Energy Congress held in Daegu, South Korea, in October 2013,
the World Energy Council (WEC) warned that several prevailing myths are
severely hampering the efforts of governments, industry and civil society
to create a sustainable energy future.
C hristoph Frei, secretary general
of the WEC, says, “There are
many myths that impact the
energy sector which we have been able
to expose through our studies.”
Myth 1: Global energy demand will
The Reality: Energy demand will
continue to increase and double by
2050, primarily driven by economic
growth in non-Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD)
countries. best case there will be a near doubling
of global greenhouse gas emissions by
2050, this in contrast to a 450 parts per
million CO 2 reference adopted by many.
At worst GHG emissions could increase
by over four-fold.
Myth 5: Current business models and
markets are delivering.
The Reality: WEC analysis shows that
energy markets are become increasingly
complex, driven by accelerated change
in energy policy, technological innovation,
and consumer expectations. Current
market designs and business models
are unable to cope with the increasing
renewable shares, decentralised systems,
or growing information architecture.
Myth 2: Peak oil – there is an imminent
shortage of fossil fuel resources.
The Reality: There is no shortage
in sight. The continued discovery of
new resources and the emergence of
new technologies that both enable the
release of unconventional oil and gas
and improve the recovery rates from
existing fields have already multiplied the
available fossil fuel reserves by a factor
of four, and this trend will continue.
Myth 3: Demand growth will be fully met
by the new clean energy sources.
The Reality: WEC analysis in its
world energy scenarios shows that
despite significant growth in the relative
contribution of renewables from 15%
today to a figure between 20% and 30%
in 2050, in absolute terms the volume of
fossil fuels used to meet global energy
demand will be 16,000 million tonnes
of oil equivalent (MTOE) in its more
consumer-driven Jazz scenario and
10,000 MTOE in the more voter driver
Symphony scenario, compared to 10,400
MTOE in 2010. This represents a 5%
decrease in the absolute amount of fossil
fuels in the Symphony scenario but a
55% increase in the Jazz scenario.
Myth 4: We can reduce global
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by
50% by 2050:
The Reality: According to the WEC’s
world energy scenarios, even in the
ESI AFRICA ISSUE 1 2014