Shifting Towards What? Europe and the Rise of Unconventional Energy

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Series Details No. 82
Publication Date 10/12/2012
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The IEA’s World Energy Outlook-WEO 2012 projects a significant geographical shift in hydrocarbon production due to the unconventional hydrocarbon revolution in North America. But neither Middle Eastern, Russian nor North African producers will be pushed to the fringe of the international geopolitical scene. The EU will remain linked to its traditional suppliers of conventional resources, but uncertainties regarding the development of unconventional resources should not put at risk investment on either renewables at home or conventional resources in the European neighbourhood. This paper criticises the excesses involved in reasoning by analogy when dealing with the geopolitics of alternative energy futures: unconventional oil and gas are not necessarily from Mars, and renewables are not essentially from Venus

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