Fatih Birol

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Fatih Birol
DrFatihBirol 1.JPG
Born (1958-03-22) March 22, 1958 (age 57)
Ankara, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Alma mater Istanbul Technical University
Vienna University of Technology
Occupation Chief Economist, International Energy Agency

Fatih Birol OMRI, Rising Sun 1st class, Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse (born 22 March 1958 in Ankara) is a Turkish economist. Currently, he is the Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics at the International Energy Agency in Paris. He is responsible for the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook publication, which is recognised as the most authoritative source for strategic analysis of global energy markets. He is founder and chair of the IEA Energy Business Council[1] which provides a forum for cooperation between the energy industry and policymakers.

Birol has been named by Forbes magazine among the most powerful people in terms of influence on the world’s energy scene. [2] He is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and a member of the UN Secretary-General's 'High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.'

He is a frequent contributor to print and electronic media and delivers numerous speeches each year at major international summits and conferences.[3]

IEA's World Energy Outlook[edit]

Main article: World Energy Outlook

Birol designs and directs the IEA's annual World Energy Outlook. On 15 December 2008, George Monbiot, described Birol as one of the most powerful men on earth whose words are considered as the "petroleum gospel" by world governments. Monbiot interviewed Birol on the day the 2008 annual report was published and challenged the research conclusions regarding major changes in the global petroleum sector outlook.[4]

Birol speaking at the World Economic Forum, Davos, 2012. (c) World Economic Forum

Awards and honorary positions[edit]

Birol is the recipient of numerous awards from government and industry for his contribution to energy and climate economics, including:

  • In 2013, he received the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun with gold rays and neck ribbon.[5]
  • In 2013, he was presented with two special awards from the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in appreciation of the work he and his team carried out for the Iraq Energy Outlook. The same year, he received the annual Eurelectric award for the analysis and impact of the IEA flagship publication World Energy Outlook.[5]
  • In 2012, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic,[5] the country’s highest honor. In 2009, alongside awards from the Dutch and Polish governments, Dr. Birol received the German Federal Cross of Merit, the country's most prestigious decoration (Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland).
  • He received the Golden Honor Medal of Austria in 2007 and was made a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the government of France in 2006.

These followed awards from the governments of Turkey in 2005 and the United States in 2004 and the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002. He is a past recipient of the International Association for Energy Economics' annual award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession.

Eurelectric Award 2013[edit]

Paul Bulteel, Eurelectric Electricity Ambassador announced at the Eurelectric Annual Convention in Bologna on 4 June 2013, that the Eurelectric Award went to Birol for "his outstanding contribution to improving understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the power sector." Buleel added that Birol in his 'unique position" raised awareness of power sector among policymakers, the financial community and other stakeholders. "Under Dr Fatih Birol's direction, the IEA's World Energy Outlook has become the most authoritative source of forward-looking energy market analysis. It has drawn attention to the huge challenges that will need to be overcome to maintain electricity supply in the decades ahead. Its finding that 2.6 trillion USD needs to be invested in the EU's power sector through to 2035 has become an iconic figure for the industry. Fatih Birol has made a unique contribution to raising awareness among policymakers, the financial community and other stakeholders of the issues the power sector has to deal with".[6]

Forbes magazine[edit]

In an article published in Forbes magazine in 2009, T. Boone Pickens, American financier and Chairman and CEO of BP Capital, selected Birol as number four of seven most influential people in the world's energy sector.[2] According to oil tycoon turned wind advocate Pickens, "When he says things like, 'the world would need to find the equivalent of four times the crude oil reserves now held by Saudi Arabia to maintain current production plus six Saudi Arabias if it is to keep up with the expected increase in demand between now and 2030,' the world sits up and takes notice."[2]

Early career[edit]

Prior to joining the IEA in 1995, Dr. Birol worked at the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna.

A Turkish citizen, Birol was born in Ankara in 1958. He earned a BSc degree in power engineering from the Istanbul Technical University. He received his MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna. In 2013, Birol was awarded a Doctorate of Science honoris causa by Imperial College London. He was made an honorary life member of Galatasaray Football Club in 2013.


  1. ^ "Energy Business Council". IEA. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  2. ^ a b c Pickens, T. Boone (9 November 2009). "No. 4: Dr. Fatih Birol". Forbes. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "IEA - Chief Economist's Diary". Worldenergyoutlook.org. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  4. ^ Monbiot, George (15 December 2008). "George Monbiot meets ... Fatih Birol". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Agency Announcements:- IEA Chief Economist receives Japanese Emperor's Order of the Rising Sun". IEA. 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  6. ^ "EURELECTRIC Award 2013 honours IEA Chief Economist, Dr Fatih Birol". EURELECTRIC Electricity for Europe. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 

External links[edit]