Driven largely by technological advancements and policies aimed at decarbonization, the prospect that oil demand will peak in the not-too-distant future has become a topic of debate in energy circles over the past several years. So-called “peak demand” would have significant geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences for oil-producing and importing nations alike. Oil resources have afforded leverage to producing nations, even though many of these countries do not have diversified economies and are highly dependent on oil revenues for the majority of their budgets.
The new Global Energy Center report, “Shifting gears: Geopolitics of the energy transition,” by Robert J. Johnston, examines major geopolitical questions and impacts related to the prospect of a peak in oil demand that include the likely redistribution of oil market share between major producers; the potential for failed states or material internal political instability in major oil-producing countries; and the geopolitical impact of peak demand on major oil-consuming nations. The report explores two scenarios to assess the varying speeds at which such a transition might take place: the International Energy Agency’s 2019 Sustainable Development Scenario, and the even more transformational Production Gap Report Scenario from the United Nations Environmental Program. In assessing these scenarios, “Shifting Gears” provides an Oil Market Transition Resilience Index to establish a benchmark by which to evaluate the geopolitical resilience of countries in a peak demand scenario, while also exploring the potential benefits for oil-importing countries.
Read more about our oil in transition work
Global Energy Forum Jan 9, 2020
The role of oil and gas companies in the energy transition
By Robert (“RJ”) Johnston, Reed Blakemore, and Randolph Bell
Many oil and gas companies have recognized the need to decarbonize the energy system to avoid the impacts of climate change. Initial industry efforts to play a role in the energy transition show sincerity and promise. Yet the urgent need for more oil and gas production for the foreseeable future suggests that a comprehensive framework for the oil and gas industry to support a low-carbon future while simultaneously ensuring the world has enough energy to meet development and economic growth goals has yet to be fully developed. What role can the oil and gas industry play lead the way to an energy-rich, globally prosperous, low-carbon future?
Report Jul 18, 2018
Decarbonization and peak oil demand: The role of policy in the transportation sector
By Robert J. Johnston and Hilary Novik Sandberg
What is the role of government policy in the transportation sector amidst international efforts to reduce carbon emissions and peak oil demand concerns, specifically in regard to the numerous policies and technological developments that have already been adopted or could be developed to aid the decarbonization of the transportation sector, as well as the reforms necessary to their widespread adoption?
Issue Brief Jan 8, 2018
Asian energy transition: Moving the oil market one step closer to peak demand
By Robert J. Johnston and Lily Ghebrai
While the United States and Europe are considered the pioneers of renewable energy, Asia is emerging as a major player in the renewable energy transition.
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The Global Energy Center develops and promotes pragmatic and nonpartisan policy solutions designed to advance global energy security, enhance economic opportunity, and accelerate pathways to net-zero emissions.