Survey of Energy Resources 2007
This 21st WEC Survey of Energy Resources contains a chapter for each energy resource, ranging from the conventional fossil fuels to the renewables, both new and traditional. Generally, the coverage of each resource comprises a Commentary by a leading expert in the field, followed by Definitions, Tables and Country Notes. The tables summarise the worldwide resources, reserves, production and consumption of fossil fuels and comparable data for non-fossil energy sources, as applicable. The Country Notes aim to highlight the main features of the resource and its utilisation. Any review of energy resources is critically dependent upon the availability of data and reliable, comprehensive information does not always exist. While the basis of the compilation is the input provided by the WEC Member Committees, completion necessitates recourse to a multitude of national and international sources and, in some cases, to estimation. Difficulties in obtaining information continue to be compounded by trends in the energy sector. As further deregulation and privatisation take place, the availability of data tends to be reduced as some data-reporting channels may be lost or specific items become confidential. Moreover, problems in the quantification of energy resources persist, in particular for those universally-found resources: solar energy, wind power and bioenergy, owing to their evolutionary status and generally decentralised nature.
Notwithstanding the efforts of the UN/ECE Ad Hoc Group of Experts to codify and standardise the terminology of reserves and resources reporting (UN Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Resources), it remains a fact that, at the present time, almost every country that possesses significant amounts of mineral resources has developed its own unique set of expressions and definitions. Whilst the UN continues its work on harmonisation of the terminology, it will take some considerable time before the theory can be applied globally. It is customary for national-level reserves and resources to be reassessed only infrequently. The improvement in reporting will thus occur gradually over a period of time as reassessments are undertaken and subsequently reported on a codified basis. In the meantime, the resources and reserves specified in the present Survey conform as far as possible with the established definitions specified by the WEC. It is a matter of judgement for each member country to determine which, among the available assessments of resources and reserves, best meet these definitions. A similar approach has been followed for non-reporting countries, for which the Editors have selected the levels of reserves which, in their opinion, are most appropriate.
This Survey is testament to the effect of a raised oil price and increasing concern with aspects of climate change and energy sustainability. Resources and technologies that were previously uneconomic to develop are now seeing enhanced R&D, with many schemes being implemented or approaching fruition.
As Editors, we strive to develop and maintain contacts in the energy world and hope that in time the availability of data will not only improve but expand to cover those energy resources that presently go unrecorded (or under-recorded).
We are grateful to all those who have helped to produce this Survey: we extend our thanks to the WEC Member Committees, to the authors of the Commentaries, to Nada Zupanc, Bob Schock and the Studies Committee for guiding the production of the Survey and to Valli Moosa for contributing the Overview.
Judy Trinnaman and Alan Clarke