OPEC Secretary-General, Dr. Sanusi Barkindo, on Tuesday said there was no scientific proof that renewable sources of energy would overtake the use of fossil fuels in future.
Speaking at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum 2021, themed: “The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation,” he stated that though renewable sources of energy will continue to develop, oil and gas will remain relevant, occupying over 50% of the energy mix by 2045.
He noted that with the world’s population projected to grow by 1.7 billion over the next two-and-a-half decades and the world economy more than doubling, oil and gas will remain relevant.
Highlighting the continued role of oil and gas in the global economy and its role in the energy transition, Barkindo said though OPEC was not opposed to the growth of renewable energy, all the talk about oil and gas suddenly becoming useless was not founded on facts.
“Although, there are some who believe the oil and gas industries should not be part of the energy future, that they should be consigned to the past, and that the future is one that can be dominated by renewables and electric vehicles, it is important to state clearly that the science does not tell us this.
“And the statistics related to the blight of energy poverty do not tell us this either. The science and statistics tell us that we need to reduce emissions and use energy more efficiently,” he added.
According to him, renewables are coming of age, with wind and solar expanding quickly, but even by 2045, they are only estimated to make up just over 20 per cent of the global energy mix.
He explained that oil and gas combined are forecast to still supply over 50 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2045, with oil at around 27 per cent and gas at 25 per cent.
“We appreciate that some will view this as an OPEC forecast, dispute the numbers, and state that the organisation is against renewables.
“In response, it is clear that many OPEC member countries have great solar and wind resources, and huge investments are being made in this field. OPEC welcomes the development of renewables,” he said.
Barkindo stated that globally, the oil and gas market would require over $12 trillion investment between now and 2045, warning that there might be further energy shortfall without the investment.