World Energy Resources

The World Energy Council, with its mission of providing a sustainable energy future for all, has been conducting the World Energy Resources study (former Survey of Energy Resources) since 1933.  The most recent World Energy Resources report covers 12 major fossil and renewable resources.  For over 80 years this highly regarded publication has been a reference tool for governments, industry, investors, IGOs, NGOs and academia.

This report presents values for reserves and production of various resources at the global level, by region and by country.  In addition to resource data, the report also assesses current and emerging technologies, to provide a solid basis for energy policies development.

“The WEC is the leading global organisation that has over decades collected and analysed such a wide range of data”.

The report aims to provide a comprehensive and regularly updated knowledge foundation for all policy and strategic decisions, including the most pertinent issues:

  • When will the world run out of oil?
  • What is the status and potential benefit of shale gas, biomass, wind, solar and other renewable and fossil energy resources?
  • What are the issues impacting smart grids, energy-water linkages, carbon capture and sequestration, clean coal technologies, fourth-generation nuclear, or e-mobility?
  • What is the energy return on energy invested?

The World Energy Resources study group engages leading experts in reviewing resource data and other information and collects data from industry, government and academia across all regions. Individual members of the study group meet regularly to discuss trends in energy resource exploration and development.

Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer, Chair of the World Energy Resources study group


Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer, Executive Chair WEC ResourcesHans-Wilhelm Schiffer is the Executive Chair of the World Energy Resources study.

Dr. Schiffer spent more than 20 years working for the RWE group in Essen, Germany, where he held various positions. He left his position as head of RWE’s General Economic Policy/Science department in April 2014, but continues to work for RWE as a consultant and advises the Executive Board on issues concerning international policy matters, in particular.

“The World Energy Resources (WER) is a unique WEC study covering 15 key energy resources (fossil, renewable and nuclear sources), energy efficiency potentials across the entire energy value chain and emerging technologies, including CC(U)S. It is an indispensable tool for energy sector planners and executives, which provides a solid basis for strategic decision-making. In addition, WER offers historical data for the main energy resources going back over 80 years and presents the latest assessments of reserves, production and use of various resources at the global level, and by country and region. The World Energy Resources is at the core of other WEC studies, in particular, the Scenarios and Trilemma flagships. The 24th edition of the World Energy Council´s Survey of Energy Resources (SER) will be published in 2016.”

Born in 1949, he studied economics at the University of Cologne and at the Pennsylvania State University. Between 1974 and 1978, Dr. Schiffer served as scientific assistant at the Institute for Energy Economics of the Cologne University. After a nine-year career with the Federal Economics Ministry, including a period with the British Department of Energy, he moved in 1987 to work with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Following his role as personal assistant to the parliamentary state secretary, Dr. Schiffer was appointed head of the Product-Related Environmental Protection division of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

For further information, contact Paul Benfield, Senior Project Manager, Resources and Technologies at WEC.

Email Paul Benfield