MANAMA — Global energy use is set to expand by 33 percent between 2011 and 2035 with an average growth rate of 1.3 percent per annum, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance, Minister in Charge of Oil and Gas Affairs, Bahrain.
Sheikh Ahmed, who opened the four-day 18th Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference 2013 (MEOS 2013) Sunday (March 10), said that the retreat from nuclear energy in some countries, in the aftermath of the Fukushima incident, led to a rebalancing of the energy mix towards fossil fuels.
The minister said that according to the estimates of APICORP, the investment arm of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), the MENA energy capital investment for the period 2013-2017 will reach $740 billion.
Of this figure, he added, one third would be dedicated to the power generation and transmission sector.
“The GCC countries show the biggest growth representing 43 percent of the investment of the entire MENA region,” he said.
Quoting the latest World Energy Outlook of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the minister said that the current economic difficulties facing the world have not materially changed the market’s long-term outlook.
“The shift in energy especially gas and reliance on fossil fuels will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future with China, India and the Middle East accounting for more than half of the incremental energy demand to 2035,” he said.
Over 2,000 delegates from across the world will be part of the event during which the experts will discuss the challenges and opportunities in the oil and gas sectors during the sessions to be held under the title “Transforming the Energy Future.”
“MEOS is transformation and I believe the biggest challenge facing us today is not the managing of the process of change, but adapting to the accelerated rate of change that will shape our industry during the next decade. In order to adapt we will need to introduce new methods of thinking and new work processes, which will ensure we can meet the challenges faced by society in general and the energy sector in particular,” Sheikh Ahmed said.
“More recently, in its update of the World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that despite temporary setbacks, the world’s economy will grow by 3.5 percent this year and by 4.1 percent in 2014.”
“The economic indicators produced by two of the world’s most influential institutions have significant impacts on our industry, especially with respect to the need to address some of the changes needed to sustainably grow our industry and the world’s economy. The ‘game changers’ that potentially can have the greatest impact on the way our industry operates will occur mostly in “non-conventional” fuels, renewable energy and in energy efficiency measures,” he further said.
“Focusing briefly on renewable, statistics recently released by the Frankfurt School-United Nations Environment Program Collaborating Centre study indicate that global investment in renewable increased by 17 percent in 2011 reaching $257 billion. All of the GCC member countries have ambitious targets to increase the share of renewable in their energy source mix by 2020,” he said.
“The third game changer relates to the implementation of ‘energy efficiency measures’ where the greatest opportunities lie in implementing policies that promote energy conservation and mandate energy efficiency policies. The IEA ‘Efficient World Scenario’ indicates that implementation of ‘economically viable’ efficiency measures could reduce the projected incremental demand for energy by 50 percent,” the minister added.