The Energy Roadmap explores the transition of the energy system in ways that would be compatible with this greenhouse gas reductions target while also increasing competitiveness and security of supply. To achieve these goals, significant investments need to be made in new low-carbon technologies, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and grid infrastructure.
Compared to that paper this article offers a more comprehensive look at the world's evolving energy supply picture and confines its projections to the first half of the century. Also unlike that earlier work, this article makes no assumptions about changes in human population due directly to reductions in the world's energy supply.
At the end of the article I will briefly examine one highly probable effect the decline in total energy would have on the quality of human life. The analysis is intended to clarify a future energy supply scenario based purely on the situation as it now exists and the directions it shows obvious signs of taking.
The model is not intended to show the effects of any of the large-scale changes in direction that have been proposed to cope with declining oil and gas supplies or rising CO2 levels.
Solar or nuclear power "Manhattan Project" style efforts, for example, are not considered. Treat this scenario as a cautionary tale: This article will not present any prescriptive measures for either supply or demand management.
You will not find any specific suggestions for what we ought to do, or any proposals based on the assumption that we can radically alter the behaviour of people or institutions over the short term. While the probability of such changes will increase if the global situation shifts dramatically, such considerations would introduce a level of uncertainty into the analysis that would make it conceptually intractable.
The same constraint holds true for new technologies. You will not find any discussion of fusion or hydrogen power, for example. Introduction Throughout history, the expansion of human civilization has been supported by a steady growth in our use of high-quality exosomatic energy.
This growth has been driven by our increasing population and our increasing level of activity. As we learned to harness the energy sources around us we progressed from horse-drawn plows, hand forges and wood fires to our present level of mechanization with its wide variety of high-density energy sources.
This rosy vision of continuous growth has recently been challenged by the theory of "Peak Oil", which concludes that the amount of oil and natural gas being extracted from the earth will shortly start an irreversible decline.
As that decline progresses we will have to depend increasingly on other energy sources to power our civilization. In this article I will offer a glimpse into that changed energy future.
Methodology T he analysis in this article is supported by a model of trends in energy production. The model is based on historical data of actual energy production, connected to projections drawn from the thinking of various expert energy analysts as well as my own interpretation of future directions and some purely mathematical projections.
Historical production in each category except for renewable energy has been taken from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy In order to permit comparison between categories I use a standard measure called the tonne of oil equivalent toe.
Using this measure, well-known conversion factors for thermal and electrical energy production permit the different energy sources to be easily compared.
We will first examine the energy sources separately, applying the development parameters that seem most appropriate to each. For each source I will define as clearly as possible the factors I have considered in building its scenario.
This transparency will allow you to decide for yourself whether my assumptions seem plausible. We will then combine the individual energy analyses into a single global energy projection. Notes The model was developed as a simple Excel spreadsheet. The timing of some significant energy-related events and rates of increase or decrease of supply were chosen through careful study of the available literature.
In some cases different authors had diverging opinions on these matters. To resolve those situations I have relied on my own analysis and judgment. As a result the model has remained open to the influence of my personal biases.
I make no apology for this potential subjectivity; such scenarios always reflect the opinions of their authors, and it is best to be clear about that from the start.
Nevertheless, I have made deliberate efforts throughout to be objective in my choices, to base my projections on observed trends in the present and recent past, and to refrain from wishful thinking at all times.New investment worth US$ trillion will drive renewable energy to 64% of global electricity supply through , while coal will largely be squeezed out of the grid, according to the annual New Energy Outlook report issued last .
Renewables to near 50 per cent of global energy supply by But big gas will overtake big oil in global energy mix, putting world on track to miss Paris targets, predicts risk assurance.
Renewable energy includes such sources as wind, photovoltaic and thermal solar, tidal and wave power, biomass etc.
Assessing their probable contributions to the future energy mix is one of the more difficult balancing acts encountered in the construction of the model.
Global energy demand will continue to grow. But growth will be slower—an average of about percent a year through (versus an average of more than 2 percent from to ).
There are now many reports suggesting that renewables can supply most of global electricity, or in some cases most of global energy, by around One of the more recent is from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
greater role in energy use. Renewables are becoming more cost competitive but need to be even more so to make a significant contribution to total energy supply. New generation biofuels – using agricultural food waste – could ease the pressure on oil without passing the problem on to the food chain.