World energy consumption increases every year while the kinds of energy we use is changing, and environmental standards are (unequally) improving worldwide. In short, we are using more energy – but it is ‘cleaner’ energy.
Most of the world’s energy (86%) is fossil fuel based. However, recent successes in renewable energy foretell a ‘cleaner’ future energy mix.
For instance, half of the added electrical capacity every year comes from renewable energy. And with major political initiatives in many countries, it is realistic to think that the share of renewables will increase over the coming decades.
Even large petroleum companies are a-changing their ways. Royal Dutch Shell sees a future switching to natural gas, and away from coal and nuclear until 2030, with solar power as the largest source of energy by the mid-2060’s. In Shell’s landmark report; NEW LENS SCENARIOS – A SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE FOR A WORLD IN TRANSITION the company discusses two different, but equally likely, scenarios for the global energy future.
Shell’s report paints a vastly different picture of a new order among the various kinds of energy and how energy use will change over the next 80-90 years.
The boom in natural gas figures prominently, with natural gas dramatically ramping-up to become the number one kind of energy in the world by 2030.
“The underlying pent-up demand for gas is very strong… we see it being sucked up, every molecule.” — Jeremy Bentham, the NEW LENS SCENARIOS – A SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE FOR A WORLD IN TRANSITION main authour, about the anticipated level of demand for natural gas between now and 2030
By 2060, the report has PV solar power moving from today’s 13th-place, into 1st-place, to provide at least 38% of global energy. See: Shell Sees Solar As The Biggest Energy Source After Exiting It in 2009. Due to enhanced Carbon Capture and Storage and clean combustion technology, Shell sees; “Global emissions of carbon dioxide dropping to near zero by 2100.”
By 2100, energy from oil will account for only 10% of worldwide energy use and natural gas will account for just 7.5 percent of the global total.” — Shell New Lens Scenarios
Global and National Energy Use and Consumption levels are displayed in a fascinating infographic below, showing the world’s energy demand and a breakdown of high-energy-use nations and how all that energy is being consumed.
The infographic below discusses recent energy demand and other factors relevant to the existing global energy paradigm.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
- Total energy use: World Bank (data from 2010)
- Energy use per country: World Bank (data from 2010)
- Energy use per person: World Bank (data from 2010)
- Energy us per 1000$ of GDP: World Bank (data from 2010)
- End uses for energy: Energy Information Administration (data from 2008)
- Breakdown of energy supply: REN21 (data from 2010)
“Thanks to those pesky laws of physics, when things aren’t sustainable, they stop.” — Paul Gilding
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