IEA's insights on the energy trilemma

How does the energy industry reconcile the need for reliable, affordable and available fuels in the immediate future and the long-term goals around sustainability? In a series of exclusive interviews, the leading thinkers at the IEA lay out a difficult but achievable pathway and the important role oil and gas companies have to play.


Executive director Fatih Birol speaks of the need for an “orderly transition” and the dual challenge of an energy crisis and a climate crisis. “We in the IEA have no problems with any source of fuels,” he says. “Our problems are with emissions. If we can use these fossil fuels in an emissions-free way, such as making CCS part of our energy system, and if we can abate the emissions of the fossil fuels, then there is no problem.”


Gergely Molnar, the IEA’s main LNG analyst, highlights the near-term security push for new gas and LNG infrastructure, especially as Europe pivots away from Russia, and how these investments can be future-proofed to meet changing demand patterns. Toril Bosoni, the head of the IEA’s oil market division, warns of a potential crunch in crude investment given the way the energy industry is becoming more reluctant to spend on lengthy, high-cost projects.


Sara Budinis, the IEA’s top thinker on carbon capture, points out that CCUS is one of the key tools for decarbonising the energy system but that “governments and industry must act now to accelerate its deployment at scale”. Meanwhile, the IEA’s methane specialist, Christophe McGlade, does not pull his punches when talking about the “complete no-brainer” of tackling the costly and damaging methane issue. And the IEA’s hydrogen expert, Jose Bermudez Menendez, makes clear that the economic case for hydrogen still has to be made “because the only reason for using hydrogen as a fuel at present is the current decarbonisation objectives”.

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