Up to one fifth more energy will be consumed by the world in 2025 compared to today –from a noticeably different mix of sources, especially in the power sector.

The transition is mainly being driven by:

  • Cost pressures in the oil and gas industry;
  • The imperative to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions;
  • The rapid decline in the cost of electricity generated from solar and wind; and
  • The emergence of a more distributed and consumer-centric power system.

These factors will drive technology development, and so too will new policy and regulatory measures that will influence energy source preferences and spur deployment of new solutions.

These forces are likely to result in the following changes in global energy flows between 2015 and 2025:

  • Strong growth in natural gas production;
  • Growth in nuclear power generation;
  • More than 50% growth in the use of biomass and waste for power generation and biofuels;
  • The peak and decline of coal production;
  • A sharp decline in oil-fired power generation; and
  • A booming renewable power generation sector, more than doubling global capacity.

The pace and strength of these energy flows are delicately balanced on the fulcrum of policy and regulation. This is especially the case for the transition to renewables, and the associated reductions in annual GHG emissions relative to a ‘business as usual’ trajectory, which is strongly dependent on policy intervention.

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In DNV GL we see clear signs of an energy transition to a low carbon future...


by ELISABETH TØRSTAD, CEO OIL & GAS                   


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A future where a set of solar panels on your roof may automatically trigger home storage and participation in a demand response programme, or where a mobile phone may help you make smart decisions, for example, whether to drive an electric vehicle or take the local liquefied gas-fuelled bus for your daily commute.

Our transition to a low carbon economy must be rapid to ensure that our planet’s ecosystems are able to provide a safe future for the generations to come. In DNV GL, we believe that the uptake of renewable and cleaner technologies should be greatly accelerated, supported by balanced regulations that promote safe and sustainable solutions, including standardization and technical assurance, to provide peace of mind to stakeholders and society.

Current trends suggest that, by 2025, renewable energy will have outstripped coal as the largest source of electricity, and will also be responsible for more than half of the additional annual power generation capacity. The combination of gas and renewables, with the added flexibility of various sources of gas, such as biogas, will positively impact the environment and lead to overall savings. This shift will help countries accommodate higher electricity demand and accelerate progress towards the global goal of universal access to electricity in a sustainable way.

Fossil fuels will remain a significant part of the energy portfolio for decades, although the mix will change and support a stronger position for gas. There is a big untapped opportunity to extract and use fossil fuels in a way that significantly lowers emissions. The oil and gas industry needs to stop flaring and venting, make a step change in energy efficiency, for example, by using renewable energy for power in the production and refining of hydrocarbons, and massively deploy carbon capture and storage technologies.

We foresee the emergence of industry-wide fuel efficiency targets to reduce emissions from road and maritime transport, escalate the demand for electric and hybrid energy solutions for road and short-distance maritime transport, and trigger growth in cleaner burning gas and biofuel solutions.

By 2025, global coal consumption will be in steady decline, lower emission gas will become a major transport fuel, and energy efficiency measures will increasingly be enforced in transport, industry and for buildings and consumer appliances. Combined with the renewable shift in the power sector, these measures will put the world on an urgently needed, downward trending carbon emissions trajectory.


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