Energy markets due for seismic shift, research firm says


Johannesburg, South Africa —“Energy markets are about to experience a seismic shift,” Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin told attendees at the 18th World Petroleum Congress . Speaking to 5,000 delegates at the event, Flavin said, “Global energy markets are at a tipping point, with new energy sources ready to begin replacing oil and other fossil fuels.”

In a plenary speech to the delegates, including ExxonMobil President Tex Tillerson and Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, Flavin said, “The question for oil executives is whether you’re in the oil business or the energy business. Production of biofuels, wind power, and solar energy are all growing at rates of 20 to 30% per year, compared with growth rates of 2% for oil and gas. New energy sources are attracting roughly $30 billion in investment annually,” he noted. “Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, and the U.S. state of California are among the market leaders.”

Flavin’s remarks were based on recent findings by his company’s research team, which closely monitors new energy technologies and markets around the world. Worldwatch Institute works with government, business, and non-government leaders to provide strategic advice on how best to tap the world’s renewable energy supplies

The 18thWorld Petroleum Congress, attended by oil industry leaders and energy ministers, was held in Africa for the first time. It focused on “Shaping the Energy Future: Partners in Sustainable Solutions.” The 19th Congress is scheduled for Madrid, Spain, June 29-July 3, 2008.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor,

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