Solar power may eclipse oil in 50 years: Shell2/28/2013
Solar could overtake oil as the world’s dominant energy source by 2060 in one scenario envisioned by Royal Dutch Shell.
Renewables could make up as much as 30% to 40% of the global energy mix by 2060, as oil loses its reign as the world’s biggest energy source, the oil giant said in a forecast on the energy sector’s changing landscape.
Renewable energy could reach perhaps “60-70% saturation if the time horizon is extended still further,” the report noted.
In both scenarios energy consumption is about 80% bigger in 2060 than it is now
This is one of the “messy, complicated and patchy” worlds envisioned by Jeremy Bentham and his scenarios team at the company.
Shell and rivals ExxonMobile and BP make periodic predictions on energy forecasts, but Shell’s forecast has looked further out than its competitors and also seems to be the most optimistic on renewables.
eam thinks expensive crude oil may struggle.
“In the oil world, moderate prices put pressure on technically difficult and expensive frontier projects more common outside OPEC.”
That may be a nod to Shell’s attempt to drill in Alaska, which suffered setbacks earlier this year.
Mr. Bentham expects frequent bouts of commodity price volatility, a bigger voice for the environmental movement, but also greater use in real terms of hydrocarbons and renewables energy in the future.
The long-term prediction for the global economy considers two possible paths forward.
One scenario – Shell calls it ‘Mountains’ — sees a stable, rigid, low-growth environment, in which emerging markets will disappoint economically and remain caught in the “middle-income trap.”