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Shell sounds alarm over energy growth

CAIRO, April 22 (UPI) — The Middle East will struggle to keep up with rising demand even with “heavy investments” in conventional and alternative energy, Shell officials said in Cairo.

Malcolm Brinded, executive director for upstream business at Royal Dutch Shell, told an audience at the American University in Cairo that rising energy demand and increasing population levels are putting global energy supplies under pressure.

He pointed to estimates from the International Energy Agency that suggest global energy demand will double by 2050 in part because of economic growth in developing economies.

Environmental stresses, meanwhile, are growing because of the rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

In the Middle East and North Africa, he said, energy consumption is expected to outpace major European economies.

The IEA said roughly $1 trillion per year was needed to meet rising demands in energy across the globe, he stressed.

Brinded cautioned, however, that this might not be enough to keep pace.

“Even with heavy investment in all energy sources — from oil and natural gas, to biofuels, nuclear power, solar and wind — it will be extremely tough for the world to keep pace with rising demand,” he said.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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