The entry into force of the Paris Agreement has raised hopes and expectations of more concerted global efforts to tackle climate change, but how will the various country climate pledges made in Paris really affect the efficiency and carbon footprint of the energy sector? Will market dynamics change for oil, natural gas and coal - or might the slump in prices for some fuels be here to stay? How can governments address the impact of local pollution, often energy-related, on air quality?
The World Energy Outlook 2016, released on 16 November, sheds light on all of these questions and more, all with the customary mix of rigorous quantitative modelling and insightful analysis. The WEO-2016 includes a particular focus on the following topical issues:
- The impact of COP21: WEO-2016 tracks progress with the implementation of the different pledges made at COP21 and judges what they mean for long-term energy trends. Based on this assessment, it examines and presents policy options to bridge the gap and reach climate objectives.
- Major focus on renewables: renewable energy is vital to steer the energy system to the low-carbon future envisioned in the Paris agreement. This analysis assesses the rapid improvement in the competitiveness and economics of renewables, relative to fossil-fuels and other low carbon options, as well as the opportunities and questions that a rising share of renewable energy open up for the energy system as a whole.
- The road ahead for fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas remain the bedrock of global energy use but all face an uncertain period of adjustment, both to today’s market conditions and – over the longer term – to the prospect of a new policy landscape post-COP21. With lower prices bringing down the axe on many new projects, WEO-2016 assesses the impact on tomorrow’s market balances and the different pathways and risks that lie further ahead.
- Energy and water: Energy depends on water, and water requires energy. This analysis assesses current and future freshwater requirements for energy production, highlighting potential vulnerabilities and key stress points.
Two special reports in the WEO-2016 series have already been released:
- Mexico’s energy outlook (October): the comprehensive energy reform package passed in Mexico will have profound effects on the country’s energy sector development. This analysis will evaluate the potential impact of the reforms for Mexico’s upstream as well as its power sector and wider economy.
- Special report on energy and air quality (June): Energy-related air pollution leads to millions of premature deaths and costs the global economy trillions of dollars each year; with growing demand for energy services in the future, the already high costs of air pollution risk increasing dramatically. This special report, the first of its kind, will provide new analysis to help decision-makers tackle an issue of pressing social and political concern.