Energy Use to Double by Mid Century

OIL giant Shell predict that over the next 50 years energy demand could increase by 80% as the population nears 9.5 billion by mid-century and the fiscal advance of emerging economies.

This is the view of the future presented by Shell in their New Lens Scenarios Report entitled: ‘A Shift In Perspective For A World In Transition’. The report presents two scenarios for the future of energy use, which looks at trends in the economy, politics and energy in considering developments over the next half a century.

Dr Choo-Oon Khong, Shell International chief political analyst, commented at a media briefing on the Report in Kuala Lumpur today: "This scenario shows how the choices made by the government, business and individuals in the next few years will have a major impact on the way the future unfolds.”

The report, considers two possible scenarios for the future, taking a number of pressing global trends and issues and using them as “lenses” through which to view the world.

The first scenario, “Mountains”, sees a strong role for government and the introduction of firm and far-reaching policy measures. These help to develop more compact cities and transform the global transport network.

The two scenarios focus on areas of public policy which will offer considerable influence over the improvements in energy efficiency, development of cleaner fuels and on moderating greenhouse gas emissions.

What the report calls the Mountains scenario portrays a relatively stable world with natural gas prominent as a cleaner global energy system replacing the currently dominant coal-fired power and taking over the 70 year rule of oil.

At the media briefing Khong referred to the second scenario, titled Oceans. This second scenario foretells a volatile but prosperous world where energy demand surges, due to strong economic growth. Power is more widely distributed and governments take longer to agree major decisions. Market forces rather than policies shape the energy system: oil and coal remain part of the energy mix but renewable energy also grows. By the 2070s solar becomes the world’s largest energy source.

Photo of a LNG refinery provided by Shell for journalistic use

Tuesday 9th July 2013

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