IEA Outlook Trumped By Events

The 15 November election of Donald Trump as US president threatens to overturn many of the key assumptions on which the IEA’s latest long-term outlook is based.

The IEA, the energy arm of the Paris-based OECD group of rich countries, this week released its flagship annual World Energy Outlook.

The 682-page report contains the usual detailed forecasts and analysis on global supply and demand for oil, gas, coal and other forms of energy out to 2040 under a range of ‘scenarios’ (see p10). But amid the minutiae one word stood out by its absence: Trump.

For a large organization, the IEA is normally pretty fleet of foot in responding to, or at least making reference to, the latest events in its publications. But when reporters on a 14 November pre-launch conference call attempted to quiz IEA representatives on potential implications of last week’s momentous US election they got a terse ‘no comment.’ For sure it would’ve been ambitious to rewrite the report in less than a week, but a delay would have been understandable, especially given that the report’s analysis on shipping fuel, and thus fuel oil and diesel demand, has also been overtaken by events given that it presumes the 2025 introduction of a 0.5% sulfur limit rather than 2020 (MEES, 4 November). (CONTINUED - 1086 WORDS)