Is energy crisis inevitable

14 March 2016
Stefanija Novak Zoroe
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In the crowded hall at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, on 02.03.2016. on the occasion of celebrating Croatian Engineers Day Academician Mirko Zelić held a lecture titled “IS ENERGY CRISIS INEVITABLE?“

As Mr. Zelić stated at the beginning two important factors determined the title of his lecture. One is Paris agreement addressing climate changes, and the other is sharp drop in oil prices. Industry estimates indicate that by 2035 primary energy consumption will increase by 40%. Paris Agreement and low oil prices resulted in huge losses in the EU banking sector due to bad loans, and cancelled investments in the energy sector. Furthermore, oil companies (Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobile, BP) generated 50 to 80 per cent lower profits, and more than 250,000 jobs were lost.

As regards the global scale, Mr. Zelić presented data about world oil and gas reserves which show that there is sufficient oil for another 50 years, while we will have enough gas for another 60 years.

Speaking of energy in Croatia, Mr. Zelić mentioned the annual primary energy production in Croatia amounting to 4.7 million cubic meters of oil equivalent, with hydrocarbons accounting for 35 per cent of said volumes. At the same time, annual primary energy consumption in Croatia amounts to 9.4 million cubic meters of oil equivalent, with hydrocarbons accounting for 52%. He gave an overview of proved, prospective and recoverable hydrocarbon reserves and geothermal energy potential.

As Mr. Zelić claimed, if a global energy crisis is to be avoided, it is necessary to undertake all measures to step up exploration of all forms of primary energy worldwide. In addition, prices of energy products should be optimised in order to have profitable investments in discovering new sources of primary energy. Globally, a consensus should be reached on the model of rational exploration and production of energy sources.

At the same time it is urgent to take all measures for enhancing exploration and production of primary energy in Croatia in order to avoid a high degree of dependence on import of energy products. In developing and implementation of renewable energy sources in Croatia maximum participation of domestic companies should be enabled.

Academician Zelić concluded that if no agreement was reached regarding oil price optimisation, it would result in freezing of exploration and hydrocarbon reserve increase, which would inevitably result in an energy crisis, coupled with global economic downturn with unforeseen consequences.

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