Warning from International Energy Agency

The IEA has warned that without more efficient power generation and energy use, the world faces a sharp rise in greenhouse gas emissions, more expensive energy and a growing dependence on the world's most unstable regions.

The Paris-based IEA, set up to advise governments in the 70s, has also given backing to nuclear power for the first time.The executive director, Claude Mandil, said that nuclear power remains a potentially attractive option for enhancing the security of electricity supply and mitigating carbon dioxide emissions.

He said that the energy future we are facing today, based on current trends, is dirty, insecure and expensive. The next ten years will be critical because investment decisions made over the next decade could determine the energy landscape for the next sixty years.

The IEA's 600-page World Energy Outlook predicts an increase in energy demand of 53% by 2030, most of the rise coming from developing countries such as China or India. Fossil fuels continue to dominate global energy use, with China expected to be the top polluter by 2009, overtaking the United States.

The IEA's Alternative Energy Scenario shows what might happen if the world implements energy policies currently under review. These include greater use of biofuels, nuclear power growth and more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The IEA estimates that every dollar spent on more efficient electrical equipment avoids about 2 dollars-worth of investment in power generation, transmission and distribution.

Biofuels are expected to increase in importnace. Currently they represent 1% of road fuel consumption.

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