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5 December 2011, Engineering News

In an interview with Der Spiegel, International Energy Agency Chief Economist Dr. Fatih Birol has warned about turbulences in the oil market in the wake of EU sanctions on Iran and Iran’s threat to block the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. Click here to read the full article.

2 December 2011, Financial Times

Speaking at the Turkey launch of the latest World Energy Outlook in Istanbul, International Energy Agency Chief Economist Dr. Fatih Birol said that “the global economy is currently facing significant threats of Europe, the US and Asia entering into a second recession”. “These significant economic worries have delayed action on energy and climate change issues”, he added. Moreover, recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa have caused some significant concern with regards to oil supply from this region, Birol said.

1 December 2011, Hürriyet, Turkey

Oil could reach $150 a barrel in the years ahead without sufficient investment in the Middle East, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns. In its latest World Energy Outlook, the group says factors such as the conflict in Libya and the economic slowdown have kept the price of oil relatively high over the year to date. North Sea Brent crude oil futures have averaged over $100 (£63) per barrel throughout 2011. The IEA predicts further upward pressure will come from increased demand in the years ahead. Oil demand is tipped to rise from 87m barrels a day in 2010 to 99m a day by 2035, driven by transportation in emerging economies. The outlook also says questions over the future use of nuclear energy have been raised by the Fukushima Daiichi emergency in Japan and coal’s prospects are hampered by the regulatory and technical barriers to more efficient power plants and carbon capture and storage facilities.

1 December 2011, NTV MSNBC, Turkey

Envoys at last year’s climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, set a goal to contain global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) since the 19th century. Pledges made so far, which aren’t legally binding, are insufficient, according to the IEA. “With current policies in place, global temperatures are set to increase 6 degrees Celsius, which has catastrophic implications,” IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said. “If as of 2017 there is not a start of a major wave of new and clean investments, the door to 2 degrees will be closed.”

1 December 2011, Milliyet, Turkey

The oil market so far has not factored in the effects of a potential Eruopean Union oil embargo on Iran, the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency said Wednesday. “We have not yet seen major implications of these discussions on imports from Iran,” Birol said at a conference in Brussels. “We will have to see what would be the implications, but I can tell you Iran is one of the key (oil) producers today,” Birol added. Read the full article on the Zawya site (registration required).

29 November 2011, Washington Post

International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol has warned that important cuts in renewable energy subsidies could have far-reaching consequences for the worldwide use of renewable energy technologies. Speaking at the Turkey launch of the 2011 World Energy Outlook today in Istanbul, Birol also said that if oil prices were to stay at current levels, interest in alternative vehicles, especially electric and hybrid, would increase. When turning to the outlook for natural gas, Birol said that all signs were indicating that the world “may well be entering a golden age of gas”. This, however, should be accompanied by strong regulatory standards to reduce the environmental impact of increased gas use, Birol added.

28 November 2011, People’s Daily Online, China

Thats one reason Fatih Birol — the Turkish-born chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) — has one of the toughest jobs in the world. Birol helps put together the IEAs annual World Energy Outlook, a much anticipated report that gathers trends in global energy use and tries to project them into the future. And a lot of those trends are very worrying. The IEA has said that current global-energy-consumption patterns put the earth on a trajectory to warm by nearly 11°F (6°C) above preindustrial levels by 2100 if we do nothing to change them — climate change that would in effect mean an entirely different planet. "That would be a catastrophe for all of us," Birol said last week at a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

28 November 2011, Platts

Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA, told Reuters that one in two of all hybrid cars or cars powered with natural gas or electricity will be sold in China in the next 20 years, even without a binding climate agreement. The Paris-based IEA expects Chinas electricity demand to grow by a yearly average of 4 percent to reach 9,000 terawatt hours by 2035. This is 18 times the consumption of a country like France and a tripling of Chinas 2009 consumption levels. "It will significantly bring down the cost of wind turbines and PV solar modules," Birol said in a telephone interview. "This is good news for China and the rest of the world." The IEA however expects Chinas renewable energy capacity in its energy mix to remain below Latin Americas, the European Unions, Indias and the United States by 2035, it said in its 2011 World Energy Outlook (WEO).

27 November 2011, Financial Times

The International Energy Agency (IEA) echoed a similar view in its World Energy Outlook published in November, predicting that over the next 25 years, 90 per cent of the projected growth in global energy demand will come from non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries. China alone is expected to account for more than 30 per cent. Fatih Birol, IEA’s chief economist, has warned that more than 90 per cent of growth in oil production needs to come in the Middle East and north Africa because of the decline in output from fields in other parts of the world. Read the full article on the FT site (registration required).

26 November 2011, Regulación Eólica con Vehículos Eléctricos, Spain

The chief economist for the International Energy Agency said Monday that current global energy consumption levels put the Earth on a trajectory to warm by 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by 2100, an outcome he called “a catastrophe for all of us.” Fatih Birol spoke as as delegates from nearly 200 countries convened the opening day of annual U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa. “Everybody, even the schoolchildren, knows this is a catastrophe for all of us,” he said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Birol spoke in unusually blunt terms about the climate implications of the global energy mix, implications that are disputed by many conservatives in the United States who don’t believe in the connection between human activity and climate change. David Burwell, who directs the energy and climate program at the Carnegie Endowment, said Birol’s comments have “big implications for capital investment in energy,” though he noted that it will be oil executives and others in the private sector who will drive many of the key decisions.