Shift in demand over next two decades must not upset balance of global energy security

30 November 2011

As demand for energy shifts in the coming years – with notable increasing appetite expected from China, India and the Middle East – it is essential to ensure that this change does not risk global energy insecurity, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said.

In her keynote address to the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) 2011 Energy Dialogue in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 22 November, she stressed the need for more energy to be supplied in a sustainable way. Ms. Van der Hoeven noted the emergence of more institutions responsible for energy technology and energy policy.

“This has important implications for us – the evolution of international energy governance. [The IEA is] determined to embrace these changes and to expand our international collaboration so that we can together tackle the global energy challenges that we face,” she said at the conference, the theme of which was "Partnering for a Sustainable Future".

“The key will be extensive engagement, with those institutions whose specific expertise can be leveraged to contribute to global solutions. And also of course, with those countries whose importance and global weight is changing the energy landscape.”

While at the conference Ms. Van der Hoeven discussed with the host, Saudi Oil Minister Ali I. Al-Naimi, the scope for future co-operation between the IEA and Saudi Arabia, and with KAPSARC in particular, with special attention to the area of energy efficiency. Ms. Van der Hoeven also visited the Ministry of Finance for a meeting with HE Ibrahim al-Assaf.

To underscore the importance of discussion between producers and consumers, Ms. Van der Hoeven also spoke at the International Energy Forum – an organisation created to promote dialogue between producers and consumers – in Riyadh.

Click to read a press release, which focuses on the IEA Executive Director’s speech at the IEF headquarters on 21 November.