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Asia Global Energy Review-The global energy challenge: Awash with carbon

Posted Feb 01 2013 5:54am
Even though countries are burning unprecedented amounts of oil and gas, the estimates of how much is left 
continue to grow, thanks to high prices and new technologies that have enabled companies to find and 
extract new resources. A decade ago, it was the tar sands of Canada and Venezuela. More recently, 
hydraulic-fracturing technologies have opened up oil and gas resources in the United States. Across the globe, 
proven oil and gas reserves are 60% higher today than they were in 1991. At current consumption rates, those 
reserves would last for about 60 years — and that could be extended by new discoveries and unconventional 
deposits. Coal reserves have not increased in size, but the supply will last for at least a century at current rates 
of consumption.

Renewables such as solar and wind power are growing faster than any other source of energy, but are barely 
making a dent in fossil-fuel consumption. The scale of the challenge will only grow as the expanding global 
population requires more energy. This tour of global and regional energy trends makes clear that even with 
aggressive action to reduce energy consumption and curb emissions, fossil fuels will be around for a very 
long time.
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