Eastern Europe and Central Asia may face an energy crunch by 2030 due to rising consumption unless massive investments are made to unlock capacity, the World Bank has warned in a report released here on Thursday.
“The outlook for primary energy supplies, heat and electricity is questionable for Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, despite Russia and Central Asia's current role as major energy suppliers to both Eastern and Western Europe,” the bank said.
According to the report, demand for primary energy in the region was expected to increase by 50 percent by 2030, while demand for electricity was expected to increase by 90 percent.
“Mitigation actions are required on both the supply and the demand side, and without a change in behavior, the region as a whole could face an energy crunch, moving from being a net energy exporter to a net energy importer by 2030,” said Peter Thomson, Director for Sustainable Development in the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia region.
The report showed the current financial crisis created some breathing room and a window of opportunity for the region to take mitigating actions since energy demand had been significantly dampened.
“But this is only a temporary respite before energy availability again becomes a serious concern. Once growth picks back up, so, too, will energy consumption,” it said.