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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 flatten out. 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 139