Many discussions and debates about the energy sources of the future are based on International Energy Agency (IEA) analyses. But what is the IEA, and what is the basis for the IEA assumptions that underlie vital global discussions?
Each November a report is published that will shape discussions and plans for global energy consumption for years. This covers global supply and demand, profitability, and, not least, whether the projects are compatible with efforts to achieve the climate targets set in Paris.
These are hard questions to answer until the future becomes the present. World Energy Outlook from the IEA, however, aims to provide a basis for the decisions that must be made. Many extracts and analyses are issued throughout the year, but it is the main report, «World Energy Outlook», that paints the most complete picture of energy sources and global consumption in the decades ahead.
The agency also publishes statistics on US oil stocks, which may impact the price of oil at any time. Combined with substantial statistics from the various member states this forms the basis for forecasts generated by the agency.
Energy supply security
Founded in 1974, the IEA is an autonomous agency within the OECD framework. Norway joined the collaboration in 1975. Today 29 states are members of the organisation, which aims to promote energy security, doubling as a collaboration forum on global energy challenges.
The IEA has required its member states to hold substantial oil stocks, and in emergencies these stocks may be released.
The IEA forecasts have formed the basis for a number of reports, but in recent years they have drawn some criticism for underestimating the growth within renewable energy sources. Critics maintain that the agency exaggerates the importance of traditional energy sources in the future, and that this may in some cases have provided a distorted view of the profitability of various types of energy projects.
Many other institutions publish reports on energy consumption and present forecasts, but the IEA forecasts are among the most used, and form the basis for many of the member states’ evaluations.
Link to IEA: www.iea.org