We have reached a turning point in the way we source, transform and consume energy. With a global population of over 7 billion, up from 6 billion in just 12 years, and energy consumption forecast to grow 40% by 2035, necessity dictates that we develop a new energy architecture.
But what will this look like and how will we achieve it? The World Economic Forum’s report, New Energy Architecture: Enabling an Effective Transition, seeks to answer those questions.
Bringing together views from global companies, government agencies and civil society organizations, the report highlights the challenges we face in building affordable, secure and sustainable energy architecture.
While investment in renewable energy technologies has topped US$ 211 billion, up from US$ 160 billion in 2009, reliance on and continued development of fossil fuels continue to cause concern among environmentalists and climate scientists convinced of the causal connection between carbon emissions and climate change. The reality is that world governments continue to subsidize fossil fuel consumption to the tune of over US$ 409 billion, a figure set to rise to US$ 660 billion by 2020 if attitudes remain the same.
The new energy architecture focuses on the energy “triangle” – delivering on energy security, and economic growth and development, in an environmentally sustainable way. These set of challenges are reflected in Turkey, where continuing to support significant economic growth of 8-10 % a year will put pressure on energy supplies and the environment.
To help assess the progress that Turkey and others make in building more sustainable, secure and affordable energy sectors, the World Economic Forum has developed an Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI). It recognizes that each country will have a different approach depending on its stage of economic development.
An important element of creating a New Energy Architecture for Turkey will be leveraging its position as an energy corridor between Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Turkey is geographically located in close proximity to 72% of the world’s proven gas and 73% of oil reserves, in particular those in the Middle East and Caspian basin. It thus forms a natural energy bridge between source countries and consumer markets, and stands as a key country in ensuring regional energy security.
Turkey’s central role as an energy hub, and how to assess its progress in creating a more effective energy sector, will be discussed during the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia.
Roberto Bocca is Senior Director, Head of Energy Industries, at the World Economic Forum.
Pictured: Wind turbines are seen in the town of Belen in Hatay province, southern Turkey. REUTERS/Murad Sezer