The Geopolitics of Energy
October 29, 2010
For a variety of reasons—population growth, development, economics, investment and infrastructure needs, geopolitics, policy/governance, and the expected impacts of climate change, to name but a few—the current global energy system is unsustainable in its present form. But in the absence of replacement technologies and clean energy forms that are both scalable and affordable, conventional sources of energy and related infrastructure need to remain robust for decades to come, even as policymakers undertake efforts to transform the energy system.
The Geopolitics of Energy identifies and examines the relevant drivers that are likely to dictate future trends in energy consumption and fuel choices in the context of a shifting geopolitical landscape, taking into account the attendant economic, foreign policy, energy security, and environmental consequences and priorities. Projecting out to 2035, the report looks at petroleum, coal, renewables, nuclear energy, and natural gas, plus what the authors term the “game changer”—climate change. The authors believe that managing the transition to a new energy future will be one of the greatest challenges that the global community will face in the coming decades. Contrary to fashionable political rhetoric, such a transformation is likely to be irregular, costly, and at times painful, but inevitably it will and must be done.