Renewables to mark energy growth in next 25 years: IEA chief
ISTANBULThe renewable energy sector will see the highest growth among all sectors in the next 25 years, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said, while warning about a serious slowdown in the oil sector.
Speaking on Dec. 20 in a press meeting for the launch of the World Energy Report in Istanbul, IEA Managing Director Fatih Birol noted that the renewable energy sector broke many records last year, as almost half the newly-launched power plants in 2015 were comprised of renewable resources.
“The growth in coal reserves, which gave the biggest contribution to the world’s total energy consumption in the last 25 years, will slow down significantly over the next 25 years. The demand for oil reserves will also mean growth is lower than it was in the past. The highest growth trend will be in renewable energy and partly in nuclear energy. Mainly renewable energy will mark the energy sector in the next 25 years,” Birol said at the event, which was hosted by Sabancı University’s Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate.
“With the launch of ambitious renewable energy policies and the accompanying incentives by China and the U.S., we expect the lowering trend in renewable energy costs to continue,” he noted, adding that the solar energy costs decreased by 80 percent and wind energy costs fell by one-third over the last five years.
Birol predicted that there will be significant developments in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector in the coming years, while the U.S. is expected to zero its oil imports over the next 10 to 15 years.
“This will change many things. The oil output in the U.S. will soar,” Birol noted, adding that a highly fluctuating period is expected for the oil markets amid a dramatic plunge in investments in this area especially over the last three years.
“New oil investment projects in 2015 and 2016 were extremely low, the lowest since 1950. The number of the newly-explored oil fields in 2016 is also at the lowest level in four decades. Global oil markets will see huge difficulties as long as the demand remains in today’s levels, which is around 1 million barrels a day, over the next two to three years,” he added.
Meanwhile, founding president of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı University, Güler Sabancı, said Turkey had made investments worth around $75 billion in the electricity sector, mostly carried out by the private sector.
She added that the country’s electricity and gas sectors predominated many leading sectors, with an estimated $100 billion market volume.
“Over the last decade, Turkey’s installed power has increased by about two times. Various production privatizations were carried out. Distribution customizations are complete. During the new tariff period in distribution, we need to continue to focus on technology and productivity-oriented investments and operations, and on strengthening customer satisfaction,” said Sabancı, who also the chair of Sabancı Holding.