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IEF Lecture: IEEJ Energy Outlook 2019

17 January 2019

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

IEF Secretary General, Dr Sun Xiansheng, welcomed Mr Masakazu Toyoda, CEO and Chairman of the Institute of Energy Economics (IEEJ), to the IEF Secretariat on 17th January to give a presentation on the IEEJ 2019 energy outlook and provide a perspective from Japan on the world energy future.

Mr Toyoda discussed trends in world energy supply and demand balances to 2050, on the basis of three IEEJ scenarios that compare results for maintaining current energy and environmental policies in place, to the introduction of powerful new policies and low carbon technologies, and efforts to keep global warming within the 2 degrees Celsius threshold at a reasonable cost to society. 

In the reference scenario global primary demand will increase by 1.4 times in 2050 and over 60 percent of that demand growth will come from China, India and the ASEAN countries. While decoupling of economic expansion from energy demand growth proceeds and reduces demand growth rates in the OECD, the share of Asia in total primary energy demand will amount to almost 50%. Global electricity demand will double by 2050 accelerating at a faster pace in Asian economies than in the non Asia region growing from 21% to 30% and from 20% to 28% over the projection period respectively. Coal will play a smaller yet still vital role in Asia’s power generation while natural gas and renewable advance. From an Asian perspective, energy imports and reliance on overseas supplies will increase sharply when 80% of energy traded globally will be consumed in Asia.

Although the share of fossil fuel consumption decreases to around 69 % by 2050 in the advanced technology scenario, high dependency on fossil fuels will continue. Greater investment, technology advances, and efficiency gains will be required to ensure energy security and environmental sustainability. This will limit the energy import reliance of Asian economies and lead to a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.  

Mr Toyoda presented a model to ensure a balanced approach between mitigation, adaptation and costs to effectively mitigate the negative effects of climate change over long-term horizons.  Focussing on the role of technologies, he highlighted advances in the production of carbon-free hydrogen by steam reforming of fossil fuels in combination with Carbon Capture and Storage alongside other technologies.

After discussing the risks and impacts of energy supply disruptions, and a moratorium on new coal fired power plants, Mr Toyoda concluded his presentation with the recommendation that more focus should be on placed on innovative technologies that can balance energy demand with environmental responsibility.