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Author: Manisha Gulati
Ashish Gupta/Several Contributors
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Sunjoy Joshi/Vivan Sharan
Publisher: Observer Research Foundation
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
2014 re-taught the world an important lesson. Just when $100 seemed to have become accepted by the world as the new base price for a barrel of crude oil, the fracking industry emerged as the new challenger to OPEC’s clout. With Saudi Arabia keen to maintain its market share in an oversupplied market, not only did the price of Brent crash below $50, oil and gas producers were forced back to the drawing board to rework the economics and in some instances, even scrap what had till recently been seen as prized investments across the world. However, well before the fracking industry upset the best calculations of oil traders and hedge funds, its impact had already turned the coal industry upside down the world over.
Coal prices had slid under the weight of all the outbound coal pushed out of the US, where power plants were substituting coal with shale gas. 2014 was thus an important reminder to the world of the essential interconnections between different forms of energy and their inherent inter-relatedness in global markets. It also taught us yet again the folly of long-term projections and energy models. There is precious little computer models can do to account for the power of innovation and human ingenuity, or indeed to deliver all possible scenarios that could arise in complex economic and political systems at the global level affecting the demand and supply of commodities. For all the current predisposition to macro quantitative modeling, there can no escape from bottom-up empirical analysis.
This publication is the consequence of deliberations at the Economic Policy Forum that is coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and comprises prestigious research institutions across the world. Under the aegis of this forum, the Observer Research Foundation led the Resource Policy Platform. It convened annual meetings and coordinated joint research work among member institutions. In doing so, it brought together leading think tanks and practitioners from around twenty emerging and developed countries to discuss and debate some of the priority issues concerning energy and environment policy. The objective was to inform policy discourse from an empirical, stakeholder-driven perspective.
This ambitious report focuses on the future of global energy systems, supply-side economics and the pressures for energy diversification, energy efficiency and energy access at the country and sub-national level. The expansive scope of the study is based on the assumption that the reader is familiar with contemporary conversations on energy; it seeks to inform the reader of analyses and perspectives from Economic Policy Forum member countries by synthesizing the deliberations in the meetings thus far and building upon the substantive research work conducted through the platform.
The focus of research in the Economic Policy Forum follows from the relevance of emerging countries such as BRICS in energy policy debates. One of the paradoxes in such debates, as is pointed out in the report, is the fact that the countries which face the largest energy challenges, or the most important energy policy-related questions, are also countries where policymaking variables are in constant flux. Conversely, in the case of developed countries, a number of fundamental assumptions are well known which include expectations about consumer demand and industrial consumption extrapolated on the basis of demographic as well as socio-economic trends.
The global energy system two decades from now will still be largely reliant on fossil fuels. Indeed, oil, coal and gas are expected to contribute up to 81 percent of primary energy consumption in 2035. Following industrialization and population stabilization, developed countries have largely fulfilled energy access requirements for future generations. However, this is far from the case across much of the emerging and developing world. This has obvious implications for the domestic policies large emerging countries such as India, yet in the throes of creating sufficient generation capacities to ensure ‘energy access for all,’ will adopt during this time frame.
List of Measurement Units
Chapter 1: The Future of Global Energy Systems
Overview of Current Energy Resources and Systems
The Future of Energy in Different Regions of the World
Examples of Technology Breakthroughs that would Change the Energy and Emissions Landscape
Chapter 2: Supply Side Economics and the Need for Energy Diversification
Global Demand and Supply
Low-Carbon Options for Base load Power Generation
Diversification/Growth of Fuel Supply
Chapter 3: Enterprise Efficiency: Experiences of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa
Energy Consumption and Efficiency
Identifying Energy-Intensive Industries
Assessing Efficiency Metrics of Indian Manufacturing Sector
Policy Drivers of Energy Efficiency
Shared Experiences in Industrial Efficiency
Chapter 4: Energy Access: Country Perspectives
Global Energy Access Status
Energy Access in India
Energy Access in South Africa
Rural Access to Electricity in China
Energy Access in Russia