On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), to discuss key issues influencing the global energy sector.

Dr. Birol previously served as Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics at IEA. He also spent the early part of his career as an oil market analyst at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. He is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on ‘Sustainable Energy for All.’ Forbes Magazine has named him one of the most powerful people influencing the world’s energy scene today.

Fatih and Jason spoke in front of a live audience at CGEP's 5th annual Global Energy Summit in New York City. Among many topics they discuss, several include:

  • Decarbonization efforts around the world
  • Peak oil demand and the role of electric vehicles
  • China's push to shift away from coal
  • The outlook for natural gas

 

View the Transcript 

[00:02:13]

Jason Bordoff: So we have a lot to talk about and way more than we have time for, but let me there is so much happening in the energy world now. And you -- you are responsible for analyzing, understanding and projecting all of it. I want to ask you about last year in 2014, 15 and 16 global greenhouse gas emissions were flat. The IEA wrote about the potential decoupling of economic growth and emissions. And then last year, greenhouse gas emissions rose again 1.4%. So is there a decoupling happening, is there an energy transition underway or not?

 

[00:02:49]

Fatih: First of all mixed signals. Some countries do much better than the other countries. And I can tell you that the -- when we look at the numbers we are number’s organization, date organization, the champion of reducing CO2 emissions in the world earth is United States by far. And we see for example some other countries in Europe where the climate policies are at the top of the government agenda. We see an increase in the Co2 emissions.

 

So there mixed -- we use the mixed numbers. One thing I want to underline about last year is the coal emissions and coal consumption. Coal consumption after two years declined globally. Last year we see an increase -- a significant increase mainly coming from Asia and mainly from power sector. It is a generation. So this is one of the main drivers of the increase in the emissions and slowing down of energy efficiency improvements as a result of lower energy prices. So this is the picture we see and when we look at those trends whether or not these trends are in line with the Paris of course absolutely not, not even close to that.

 

[00:04:24]

Jason Bordoff: Do you mean Two Degrees or you mean the Paris targets of 2025 or --

 

[00:03:22]

Fatih Birol: Two -- two degrees we are far from two degrees and we maybe even far from the NDCs --

 

[00:04:37]

Jason Bordoff: Right.

 

[00:04:38]

Fatih Birol: which are not even in line with the Two Degrees Target. So to sum up, last year was a year where we saw a significant increase of phosphorus, oil, gas, and coal also renewals and gas substantial and energy efficiency improvements were very poor and as a result of that we have seen the global Co2 emissions increase again.

 

[00:05:02]

Jason Bordoff: Now, as you said the U.S. saw emissions decline faster than any other country the U.S. has seen emissions drop significantly in the last decade. We’ve done analysis IEA has done analysis the primary driver not the only, but the primary driver I think being cheap natural gas. I thought it was interesting that the IEA pointed out that last year the primary driver of the U.S. decline was renewals growth. Yes, natural gas played a role, but the -- the primary driver was renewals is that a signal --

 

[00:05:28]

Fatih Birol: Yes, yes.

 

[00:05:29]

Jason Bordoff: about what we should expect in the future?

 

[00:05:31]

Fatih Birol: When U.S. emissions have been declining and until 2017 the main driver of the decline of emissions were shading us replacing coal, but last year the main driver was strong growth in wind and strong growth in solar power. So this is something that we need to take note and it is not only shading us that growth good news it is also the renewable energies.

 

[00:06:01]

Jason Bordoff: So is the U.S. on track to meet its NDCs to see continue decarbonization just for market forces alone or is policy needed?

 

 

[00:06:08]

Fatih Birol: I think the -- the market forces market dynamics are very strong and if it continues like that this is definitely a good news for U.S. and for the rest of the world.

 

[00:06:19]

Jason Bordoff: We saw global oil demand rise strongly last year 1.6% that was more than twice the decadal average. At the same time, we’re talking a lot about when peak oil is coming so when is, is peak oil over hiked peak oil demand I mean?

 

[00:06:37]

Fatih Birol: This is one of my favorite topics. And this is -- I think I am very amazed I don’t know if you have journalist here who are so much NGOs, tweets and everything who are so much such a strong role in the discussion of oil and -- and become a part of the oil debate in addition to supply demand prices those tweets. Look when we look at the in the old debate and the peak oil demand is focused is focused on electric cars. I mean the cars alone all the passenger cars only 25% of the global oil consumption. The growth is coming from trucks, jets and petro chemical industry. These are the drivers and the -- the dent that the EV's are making is very, very small.

 

I’ll give you one example, the -- people say I mean this electric cars discussion colleagues is the result of electric car penetration we are going to see peak oil demand okay. Everybody has its own view and we are all respected. And the year they say it the year we have electric cars report says one out of 100 cars sold and they were electric cars, 99 internal combustion engines. And we have calculated that not even one out of 100, but even if every second car is sold was electric car, global oil demand will still continue to grow not one out of 100, but 50 out of 100 I mean every second car.

 

Because demand growth is not coming from cars. Today, one third of the global oil demand growth comes from the Asian trucks only. Petro chemicals, we are just making a major report on petro chemicals it’s a major driver of oil demand growth. So just to look at the electric car sales ad to say that we are coming to the end of oil or we are going to see a peak oil demand is I believe a very, very wrong discussion.

 

[00:08:53]

Jason Bordoff: So what are the differences in the projections that find peak oil cum demand coming as soon as 2025 versus what the IEA projects? Are they in the pace of electric vehicle deployment or they back GDP growth, population growth what are the main differences in those projections?

 

 

[00:09:08]

Fatih Birol: I think the -- I don’t want to believe anybody -- anybody is intended to make his/her own focus, but I think the electric car penetration when you look at our numbers our numbers show a strong penetration for electric cars as a result of declining _____ [00:09:23] and government subsidies. I think the -- in my view the main difference maybe perhaps some colleagues do not look at the other drivers of oil demand _____ [00:09:35] what is happening there which is the which such as the petro chemicals, trucks, jets the ships what are their contribution it requires a much, much granular way of get those demand components.

 

[00:09:48]

Jason Bordoff: I want to move on to other things, but just quickly do you see something that could change the outlook on trucks whether it’s electrification or something else?

 

[00:09:57]

Fatih Birol: I think what could change is more than electrification this is with longer term to some fuel efficiency standards. In terms of cars today, more than 50 countries in the world have fuel efficiency standards. You discuss with the few minutes with deputy secretary general _____ [00:10:16] about the K4 standards. Now more than 50 countries have car efficiency standards, that’s only four countries have efficiency standards for trucks only four countries. And they don’t and therefore the efficiency is very, very low. Putting some efficiency standards there with different hat and it’s much easier, much short-term and very effective way of slowing down the oil demand growth there.

 

[00:10:42]

Jason Bordoff: Yeah I think people underestimate how much higher fuel economy standards even with internal combustion engines can effect oil demand growth. We talk a lot about electrification. There were something in the New York Times earlier this week that I want you to get to you respond to a column by Paul Krugman and that he wrote something. I am going to read what he wrote and I want you to respond. He wrote, there is no longer any reason to believe that it would be hard to drastically decarbonize the economy. In deed there is no reason to believe that doing so would impose any significant economic cost. The realistic debate is about how hard it will be to get from 80 to a 100% decarbonization. Can you respond to that?

 

[00:11:19]

Fatih Birol: I don’t know about this timeframe, but to have a 80 to 100% decarbonization without any economic cost is for me difficult to agree.

 

 

 

 

[00:11:31]

Jason Bordoff: I think he was saying getting to 80 is -- we can do with existing technology, we can do it little cost at GDP it’s the rest that’s hard and I was wondering if how you think about that?

 

[00:11:41]

Fatih Birol: And our -- our numbers our analysis show that there is still a lot of work to do decarbonize the system especially Asia. Look we talk about oil all the time when it comes to Co2 emission, but the main issue we are facing is power sector the coal in Asia especially some critical plants. In the United States, the average age of the coal plants is about 40 years old and the coal plant has 50 years of lifetime where it is -- it’s 40 years old in average age in the United States.

 

In Asia it is 11 years old. There is still 40 years old to run and bring return the money back. So they will not shut down the plants because we want so in Paris or Geneva and so on. There is a look in infrastructure there and if you want to shut down those plants earlier than their money is returned it requires a significant amount of money the cost. So I think -- to think that it is without any pain, without any cost we can go to 80% or100% is a type of a visionary article, but I think it requires a bit more pain in order to reach to those numbers.

 

[00:12:59]

Jason Bordoff: And as you mentioned coal demand grew. Last year Asia was an important part of that. At the same time, there is been a lot of attention paid to the increased stringency in policy in China to say face out coal fire boilers. Is China moving away from coal or not?

 

[00:13:19]

Fatih Birol: I wouldn’t say moving away from coal, but China is much more careful because of the local population in the cities. I’ll tell you something I mean you quote couple of very important numbers from our recent report on global energy and Co2 emissions one thing is very important in my view if I be discussing the gas here. China is entering to global gas markets as a giant importer now. 30% of the growth in gas global gas last year came from China alone and this is because they are replacing coal by gas especially the coastal areas from heating, for industry and others.

 

[00:14:02]

Jason Bordoff: So how much of those are driven by economics versus policy choices --

 

[00:14:05]

Fatih Birol: Most of them is policy. Most of them because putting a cap because addressing the local pollution there. So what happens -- what happened, as a result of this new policy which is six months of time when China pushed the L&G, the L&G price in Asia Pacific jumped from $6 to $12. A movie we saw several yeas ago under the title of oil so this is we are going to see again. I see the -- I hear the footsteps of China entering the global gas markets as a giant importer. And we will see more and more and it’s come to the time it’s a coincidence or not at the time when a -- we will see a lot of the L&G coming from Australia, USSR plus India.

 

India is making major efforts in gas, in solar, in electrification of the country. In my view, it is one of the biggest success stories we have ever seen that India is bringing electricity to five hundred million people in about 10 years. Only one or two years of time we will have a universal electricity access in India in my view one of the biggest victories of policy -- real policy making.

 

[00:15:23]

Jason Bordoff: One of the things I thought was interesting you mentioned gas prices nearly doubling in Asia in response to this increase in demand. And what we saw in the United States which has recently started up L&G exports orders have been passed many of the initial volumes went to South Africa. And then if you look at the and the second half of last year they also switched and went to Asia that -- that’s how markets are supposed to work --

 

[00:15:44]

Fatih Birol: Exactly.

 

[00:15:45]

Jason Bordoff: by giving to price signals --

 

[00:15:46]

Fatih Birol: Exactly.

 

[00:15:46]

Jason Bordoff: supplies flow shift. As we see gas moving from pipeline increasingly taken to the water how is that going to change the global gas market?

 

[00:15:54]

Fatih Birol: I’ll tell you something. It’s a very good news for 90% of the players in the market. So people are very much obsessed whether U.S. will be able to export L&G to Europe. It’s an important question, but in my view it is not the most important question. The most important question is now Europeans have an alternative.

 

This alternative the real alternative did not exist until recently alternative is there. And this helps the European for a negotiating the price to their geopolitical concentration. This is extremely important and I hope everybody -- everybody should appreciate this without just focusing having the fix on the whether or not how many BCM will come from U.S. It is coming -- it’s coming to Poland, it’s coming to Turkey, it is coming to the Mediterranean Sea, but important is the volumes and the BCMs it is important that the alternative is now there. I find it’s very, very important and also India also China and Middle East it’s a very important development.

 

[00:17:05]

Jason Bordoff: So what is that in 2011 you know IEA sort of famously wrote this asked the question then I won’t say predicted because there was a question market next to it is there a golden age of gas coming. So what’s the answer?

 

[00:17:16]

Fatih Birol: So our question was are we entering a golden age of gas? My answer is slowly and surely we are seeing this and last year was the golden age golden year of gas, gas demand increased very, very strongly and we will see it with the China being -- but there are two conditions. One we shouldn’t see price packs in gas otherwise it is easy to switch to coal in Asia, second methane emissions need to be taken under control. If we cannot keep the methane emission under control, if we cannot find a solution to venting and flaring then the total benefits of gas may not it’s because everything.

 

[00:18:02]

Jason Bordoff: And the IEA and it’s most recent world energy outlook put a big report out of natural gas there is a whole chapter on methane some people probably saw the environmental defense fund just said it’s spending 30 or 40 million dollars to put a satellite into space to try to monitor and measure methane emissions around the world. Tell us what you found in that study about how big a problem global methane emissions is. We spend a lot of time in -- in the U.S. trying to understand that problem better. What does it look like globally and what can be done about it?

 

[00:18:30]

Fatih Birol: Now we don’t have enough money to send the satellite as IEA, but what we do is we work with the companies, we work with the operators and the oil free service companies. And we see that the venting and flaring is a big problem and what is really important is because you talk about the regulations about half of the -- half of the metal leakages can be fixed at zero or minus cost.

 

What we need is the right regulation there and you don’t need to discover new technologies just with ancient technologies, but put the right regulation and the standards there. Some countries do better than the others, but I believe it is something that many companies are looking into that in the context of the oil and gas climate initiative of major oil companies and I believe this is an area which can be easily fixed because it is also for the benefits of the gas companies.

 

If they want to present gas as an alternative to coal they have to fix the methane emission problems otherwise they will going to score their own goal they shouldn’t do that. They shouldn’t be so greedy because what we had found out is on average the -- the cost of capital to fix to nullify the methane emissions needs seven percent additional investments seven percent additional investments to fix all the venting and flaring problems.

 

[00:19:59]

Jason Bordoff: There was a question from the audience that I think is a good one I want to get your just if you could explain you mentioned how the strongest growth in oil demand will be in petro chemicals. And to the extend that the concerned people have with rising oil demand growth is greenhouse gas emissions the question is about unburned oil. And can you explain what use of oil and petro chemicals means and how much of that leads to greenhouse gas emissions?

 

[00:20:20]

Fatih Birol: I think I am impressed two things here since we are in New York. First of all, I can’t tell you that petro chemicals together with trucks are the major drivers. The work means more and more plastic everything what we are using with the change of the society, change of the economy this means petro chemicals this mean oil demand curve. There is a link with economic growth and the petro chemical industry.

 

And the problem is we have two major restrictions here the efficiency of the petro chemical industry is always very high to -- to increase efficiencies. Difficult second, there are not many viable alternatives to oil as a fuel in the petro chemical question. Second question, the IOCs and the Co2 emissions you know this -- there is a lot of discussion between the shareholders and IOCs. IOCs change or look like they are changing this portfolio strategies and so on.

 

Now, I really appreciate the shareholders putting a pressure on the IOCs strategies IOCs and carbon footprint this is all good, but -- but once again I think we put the projector is not the right place. We have calculated Jason that the all IOCs oil production related emissions in the entire world that we make so much fuss out of it is not 40% it’s not 20% it’s a 10% it is less than four percent. All this the cover page of the newspapers here and elsewhere is focusing discussing this four percent -- it’s small part of the four percent.

 

Whereas 96% are shareholders whereas we have this newspaper why don’t they look at the 96% which are very, very important part of the story this coal plants especially sub-critical coal plants built every, everyday and valuable the sub-critical coal plant it will be with you 50 years. I think we have to put the projector not only the places which is close to us very convenient, but less convenient places where the real problems tough problems are not to look at the only the soft spots. Once again I am all with the shareholders and the NGOs and so on that the IOCs should be responsible producers and look at the carbon footprint, but with the same strategy with same care for the other more tougher environments.

 

[00:23:04]

Jason Bordoff: And I think part of the question also was getting at kind of the point that unlike say oil combusted in the internal combustion engine that you know not all oil is combusted and results in emissions when it’s converted into -- into petro chemicals. Talk about -- we see remarkably low bids emerging for investment in new solar and wind projects around the world when you look at how renewables compete based on the economics alone and then tell me how they’re doing with policy support. What do you see now and how quickly is this continued change going to happen without the cost or just falling more quickly than many expected and we are seeing renewals went on the economics?

 

[00:23:46]

Fatih Birol: Our renewables are going very strong. When I say renewals solar and wind even offshore wind in some countries in Europe don’t need significant or any subsidies anymore. But I have to make two disclaims about renewables. Number one, we are facing a major problem how to integrate the renewables to electricity systems. Now given the variable nature of the renewable solar and wind everywhere in India, in China, in Europe and how do we integrate them and how to make sure that they’re integrating the best way secure and economic way. It is not very easy this number one.

 

Number two, when we say renewables are growing, but renewables are growing only or mainly in the power sector and as it’s not equal to power sector. There is a huge other parts the transportation, buildings, industry, there is the penetration of renewable is very, very small. So therefore -- in terms of renewables in the power sector there is very strong penetration, but the challenge in terms of transmission and distribution how do we integrate them. And second how do we see renewables penetrating the non power sector such as industry, heat, households and others. So the story with renewables is not finished yet.

 

[00:25:11]

Jason Bordoff: And how do you see the emergence and -- and the pace of development in storage technologies that could increase either of transport or renewals in the power sector?

 

[00:25:20]

Fatih Birol: I think there is a lot of effort there, there is a lot of money pushed by -- put by United States, by China, by India by Europeans, but it will be very difficult to believe that in the next four or five years there will be a major breakthrough looking at the current commercial position of that.

 

[00:25:38]

Jason Bordoff: The -- the IEA in it’s most recent monthly report on oil monthly report said, I think they used the phrase mission -- that OPEC might be ready and declare mission accomplished and rebalancing the oil market. At the same time you’ve also cautioned this tremendous serge in U.S. supply that we’re going to see in 2018. So where are we with the over supply situation now what’s the outlook with -- with the prices rising sharply in the last few weeks?

 

[00:26:05]

Fatih Birol: Again we said mission accomplished the question mark --

 

[00:26:07]

Jason Bordoff: Right.

 

[00:26:08]

Fatih Birol: We are very found of question marks so and second after we said it the next day Mr. Trump said mission accomplished there is nothing --

 

[00:26:16]

Jason Bordoff: In a different context.

 

[00:26:18]

Fatih Birol: In different market yeah in different part of the work. What we have said is that we are saying that the far fear the _____ [00:26:24] stocks level now we are approaching to that in May. We would come to the level that the -- the when agreement -- the countries wanted to reach when they start this adventure. From that point of the mission is accomplished it looks like that if this is their target as they have declared.

 

But what we are seeing is definitely market are touching, plus the geo political tensions around the world Venezuela, Yemen and so on are giving addition boost to the prices, but I see is the major risk to the supply here today is more the Venezuela what is happening in Venezuela you know it very well Jason the Venezuelan oil production is halved compared to when Mr. _____ [00:27:16] took office. We have never seen in the history of oil such a big on plant in the reduction of oil production country as you’ll know here with one of the richest oil reserves in the world.

 

[00:27:33]

Jason Bordoff: They’ve been very committed to the OPEC just involuntarily?

 

[00:27:35]

Fatih Birol: Yes. The idea was 100 million -- 100000 barrels per day they declared it is now four times more than that.

 

[00:27:42]

Jason Bordoff: And as I said I mean I think the IEA may have one and a half million barrels a day I forget you know the number of U.S. production growth just -- just staggering numbers. How sustainable is that year on year?

 

[00:27:53]

Fatih Birol: We -- I tell you we you mentioned we make monthly oil report it is one of the _____ [00:28:00] of oil market discussions. And when we revised the U.S. productions numbers, I really see that we revised downwards we revise upwards so and we see that the sickened wave of U.S. shale is coming and here a warning to some of the producers. Some of the producers started to say established producer we want to see high prices than what we -- what we see today. There is a speculation here and there. If we see sustained higher prices than current levels there’ll be two effects. Number one, this U.S. shale or Brazil offshore will be much stronger that we have now. Second -- robust oil demand growth may be weaker than what we assume is a result of high pricing in the said way. So therefore one should be careful what one wishes for and actually want to see the two steps ahead of those concentrations.

 

[00:29:02]

Jason Bordoff: And Saudi Arabia went and talked about sort of brining inventories down. It’s increasingly talking about the need for prices to incentivize investment to warning about sort of a price pike that could emerge in the next few years as a result of under investment and -- and strong demand growth. Do you do you share that concern. And then -- and then to compliment that you mentioned a minute ago you didn’t quite understand some of the media headlines the perception of peak oil demand are they connected is there a concerns in which you think perceptions that we maybe moving away from oil more quickly than at least the IEA things could -- could reduce investment in the sector that could help bring about those kind of -- type markets and price pikes?

 

[00:29:47]

Fatih Birol: Okay. First of all, we have clearly said that the -- the current investment trends and which is very, very weak very weak sickened strong oil demand growth 1.5-1.6. Third -- third a key issue that I can never, never communicate well and we lose each year three million barrels per day in the aging fields. So this is _____ [00:30:18] so it means every year we have to increase the production three millions barrels per day in order to composite the decline in the existing fields plus 1.5 for the meter demand growth. So and when I look at this 4.5 every year production that needs to grow plus the investment trends we may see some surprises 2020, 2021, 2022 this is number one and therefore we need investments. But you can investments at the same into dollar in a very nice way across the world. You don’t need to higher prices than this, this investment happen.

 

Second whether or not peak oil demand discussions have the investment not happening I don’t know it maybe, but I am a big supporter of everyday says what they want to balance, but we don’t want to put anybody don’t say this, say this you’re right, you’re right, don’t categorize the people, but one should be very responsible when we put when one puts the numbers and this is and we shouldn’t believe all the numbers in the market today. There is a need to look it below the headlines there which is what IEA is doing. We are looking at all the numbers very carefully without getting too excited, but get the objective way without feeling favor put the numbers there.

 

[00:31:45]

Jason Bordoff: But you know when you offer those projections and say things about the strength of U.S. production growth or about very strong oil demand growth, you’ve seen some who criticize IEA’s projections that it is too conservative that it downplays the potential clean energy technologies. What’s your response to that?

 

[00:32:04]

Fatih Birol: I don’t know which critic you mean because we get so many critics. Thanks God this is from every side it is very it makes us very strong and immune I should say this is -- is very good. But now what we are doing is we are saying what is happening with the current policies. We are not saying what we would like to see. There are two different things. I have to -- I have to put what is happening in the real markets. I cannot put what I would like to see. This is -- this is not our job. What we are doing is with the current policies we are ending up this, but if you don’t like to go there these are alternatives A, B, and C Paris Agreement or clean energy.

 

We put also the alternatives, but I have to put the where we are going to end of which with the current policy. It is the reason why I enjoy the incredibility from all the serious players in the markets from the oil companies to governments in the western world, in the emerging world and elsewhere. It is what we are doing and we are just saying where with the current plans current policies where are we heading it. And what are the implications of despite into this and as a security because of climate change and because of environment and investments.

 

[00:33:25]

Jason Bordoff: You spoke yesterday at the United Nations about the sustainable development goals. I know that’s something that’s near and dear to your heart. You have spoken often about the sustainable development goals and despite much progress I think it’s fair to say there is still a long way to go on energy access and even further to go on access to clean cooking. The IEA projects that’s going to continue to be true for a while to come. So why aren’t we making more progress what needs to be done?

 

[00:33:49]

Fatih Birol: In fact we make progress some countries and some not. In the year 2002 I again came to the United Nations. We made our first energy access report. At that time we say there are 1.6 billion people who have no access to electricity. At that time, the electricity access problem was mainly in China, India and South Africa. China fixed this problem as of 2015, India is fixing this problem in one year or two it is a big success of the Modi government and now as of today we have one billion people still who have no access to electricity and most of them are in South Africa. Now electricity access problem now becomes mainly South Africa problem.

 

Two out of three people in Africa they have no access to electricity. This is a shame this is a real shame because when you look at Africa today it is the largest renewable resources hydra, solar, geothermal and wind huge resources Nigeria other side of Africa Mozambique, Tanzania and the others and now but I am very excited because I see many, many African countries governments are taking the access issue seriously at that time when the cost of renewables are going down. There is a good match there the political determination comes at a time when the cost of renewables which is available allowed in Africa comes at the same time so I am really hopeful there, but lots of things to do we have to learn from India, we have to learn from China from other countries how they fix it. We have to focus now in -- in Africa.

 

[00:35:47]

Jason Bordoff: What’s the role -- I asked the deputy security about nuclear power what do you think the role of nuclear in meeting climate goals is it too expensive to compete what’s it going to take?

 

[00:36:56]

Fatih Birol: I believe we have to here at United States has to be very careful with nuclear power. Look I will give you one number and I am sure many of you know that _____[00:36:09] also came from the administration. United States has been the tough nuclear power since 45 years. And but recently we don’t see new editions in United States and there is a lot of early retirements. And Jason only in seven years of time after 45 years 50 years China is overtaking United States and will be the number one nuclear power in the world.

 

Okay so they are today every -- every second power nuclear plant built in the world is a Chinese one followed by Russia’s and the others. So in my view, U.S. France and the others have to be careful to see what to do with nuclear to exporter number one. Second, nuclear power in the countries where it is accepted can be a source of electricity generation without any interruption and without an sue to emissions but we have a problem of the first capital of course being down payment being very high and therefore the options to market selective options to technology such as _____ [00:37:26] reactors. But I believe the fight against climate change when we look at this I believe there is definitely a role for nuclear power to play there.

 

[00:37:37]

Jason Bordoff: We only have a few minutes left. I just want to ask you -- you prioritized expanding IEA membership. Can you talk institution formed among OCD countries tell us how that’s going and what’s plan for the future?

 

[00:37:50]

Fatih Birol: So we were founded Mr. _____ [00:37:54] 1974 is an organization of the western countries U.S. Canada, European countries, Japan, Korea and New Zealand and it has been likely almost 40 years. And I was elected two years ago and we have started two years ago with a strategy opening the doors of the IEA emerging words. And in the -- in the last two years we have now Mexico, China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and Thailand, Singapore and Morocco became part of the IEA family now.

 

Two years ago, IEA countries were accounting about 40% of the global energy consumption and today their share is higher than 70%. So our membership in fact increased substantially because why did we do that because of the reasons that we discussed. Oil demand is coming from there, gas demand, renewables, emissions, investments, mainly American companies make more money in China and India than they do make in the United States. So it is the reason I believe a IEA to open the doors to emerging world and their colleagues here _____ [00:39:06] and others who are very helpful to us to make this happen.

 

[00:39:11]

  1. Bordoff: Thank you Fatih. And I want to thank all of you for joining us this afternoon. Thanks to those of you who are watching online. We will have the video of this event and then all of our sessions online in the near future. I look forward to seeing you in future events. John Elkaim when he moderated earlier talked -- asked about what the complexity of the energy sector would look like in five years. And I think for a sector that’s changing as rapidly as it is where the amount of ambiguity uncertainty is as high as it is. There is no lack of interesting things for us to study in the next five years in the center of global energy policy and that future is up to all of us to shape the people in this room are the ones making policy are the ones deploying capital in the space and are the students who in five years and 10 and 20 are going to be the leaders in this space.

 

[00:39:58]

Fatih Birol: May I also say that just for everybody just two more second this is not planned. So I know Jason said many years the what he did with the -- with this center in the last five years and I know how much he works. I am a hard worker. I have to ask my staff they always complain about this and Jason is amazing. He made the big, big magic here and as they say in French [foreign language] congratulations.

 

[00:40:31]

Jason Bordoff: It was a team effort, but thank you. Thank you. It was a big team of people and many of them who are in this room today. And I am very proud of what the center has achieved in the last five years and even more excited about what’s going to happen in the next five and look forward to having you be part of that journey with us. So thank you again for spending the day with us. Thank you Fahti. Thanks for tuning into Columbia Energy Exchange. As though as gain please take a moment to rate our podcast on iTunes and leave a review. We do read each and every comment as well. So please leave a comment help give us feedback fro me and my co host Bill Loveless. For more information about the podcast or the center on global energy policy visit us online at energypolicy.columbia.edu or on social media at columbiauenergy. We’ll see you next week until then I am Jason Bordoff.