World Energy Outlook 2001

Assessing Today's Supplies to Fuel Tomorrow's Growth

International Energy Agency

The recent surge in energy prices is drawing attention once again to the availability and security of energy resources and the prospects for both supply and prices. World Energy Outlook: 2001 Insights – a follow-up to the acclaimed World Energy Outlook 2000 – takes a detailed look at all these issues. It analyses the main factors driving energy production and distribution, including the cost of developing resources and bringing them to market, energy pricing and the impact of government policies.

The study’s central finding is that reserves of oil, gas, coal and uranium are more than adequate to meet projected demand growth at least until 2020. But massive investment in energy production and transportation infrastructure will be needed to exploit these reserves. The capability, and willingness, of Middle East oil producers to exploit their low-cost reserves is a major source of uncertainty. For gas, the cost of supply and the impact of technology will be critical. There is a huge potential for expanding the supply of renewable energies if strong government backing can achieve steep reductions in their cost. Beyond 2020, new technologies such as hydrogen-based fuel cells, clean coal burning and carbon sequestration hold out the prospect of abundant and clean energy supplies in a world largely free of climate-destabilising carbon emissions.