MIT Energy Initiative

World energy outlook

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The foundations of the global energy system are shifting, with a resurgence in oil and gas production in some countries, a retreat from nuclear power signaled in some others and signs of increasing policy focus on energy efficiency. Against this backdrop, the World Energy Outlook 2012 brings together the latest data and policy developments to present up to date, authoritative projections of energy trends through to 2035 and insights into what they mean for energy security, environmental sustainability and economic development. Oil, coal, natural gas, renewables and nuclear power are all covered, together with an update on climate change issues.

The World Energy Outlook 2012 also focuses on topical issues, such as the benefits that could be achieved if known best technologies and practices to improve energy efficiency were systematically adopted. It highlights the dependence of energy on water, including the particular vulnerabilities faced by the energy sector in a more water-constrained future. It investigates how the surge in unconventional oil and gas production in the United States is set to have implications well beyond North America. It includes a detailed country focus on Iraq, examining both its importance in satisfying the country’s own needs and its crucial role in meeting global oil and gas demand. And it quantifies the cost of subsidies to fossil fuels and renewables, which are both coming under closer scrutiny in this age of austerity.

Fatih Birol Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics, International Energy Agency

Dr. Fatih Birol is the Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency in Paris. He is responsible for the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook publication, which is recognized as the most authoritative source of strategic analysis of global energy markets. He is also the founder and chair of the IEA Energy Business Council, which provides a forum to enhance cooperation between the energy industry and energy policymakers.

Dr. Birol has been named by Forbes Magazine among the most powerful people in terms of influence on the world’s energy scene. He is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and has served as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s “High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All”. Dr. Birol was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2012, the country’s highest honour. In 2009, alongside awards from the Dutch and Polish governments, Dr. Birol received Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit, the country’s most prestigious decoration. He was awarded the Golden Honour Medal of Austria in 2007 and was made a chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques by France in 2006. These followed awards from the governments of Turkey in 2005 and the United States in 2004 and from the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002. He is a past winner of the International Association of Energy Economics’ annual award for outstanding contribution to the profession.

Prior to joining the IEA in 1995, Dr. Birol worked at the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. A Turkish citizen, Dr. Birol was born in Ankara in 1958. He earned a BSc degree in power engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul. He received his MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna.