Building a low-carbon energy future
A public dialogue organised by the Club of Amsterdam
The world is starting a shift towards a new, low-carbon energy future. But it will take several decades to get there. Shell is taking steps today to help build the energy system of tomorrow: producing more cleaner burning natural gas; working to deliver advanced fuels and lubricants and lower-carbon biofuels; and building a capability in carbon capture and storage.
As many countries emerge from recession and Asia’s economic growth continues, long-term global demand for energy is rising. By 2050 the world is expected to have over 2 billion more people and energy demand is likely to be twice as high as it is today. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions must fall by at least half if the planet is to avoid the impact of significant climate change.
Mapping a route to a more sustainable energy future is a challenge for governments, business and consumers alike. It is also a technology opportunity: in the future our economies will be powered by a more diverse mix of fuels and energy sources than ever before. Natural gas – abundant and affordable – will play an increasingly vital role as the world moves towards a low-carbon future. It can act as a bridge to that future and be central to the long-term, lower-carbon energy mix. By 2050 biofuels, wind, solar and other renewables could provide 30% of the world’s energy, according to Shell’s energy scenarios. Oil will remain an important energy source for many decades, as will coal. But we expect industry, cars and domestic appliances to be more energy efficient than they are today.
Transforming the world’s energy system will not be easy. The challenges are “urgent and daunting”, according to the International Energy Agency.
Replacing coal with natural gas in electricity generation where possible – for example, as old coal plants are decommissioned – would cut CO2 emissions significantly in the power sector. A new gas-fired plant produces up to 70% less CO2 than an ageing coal plant and around half the CO2 of a modern coal plant for the same amount of power generated. Gas is more energy efficient than coal and produces electricity at less cost than any other fuel. Adding carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to a gas-fired power station would further drastically reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions. For those power stations where coal continues to be used, CCS could be installed to reduce emissions. In both cases a price for CO2 needs to exist to make such investments viable.
Regulations will be needed to ensure energy savings by industry are not lost through greater energy use elsewhere. There will also need to be a revolution in consumer behaviour, with people using less power at home and at work.
More sustainable transport can play a crucial part in reducing CO2 emissions, with more advanced petrol and diesel engines powering smaller and lighter vehicles. More advanced fuels and lubricants will help. Biofuels for transport will continue to grow, while electric and hybrid cars are expected to become increasingly common.
Renewable energy will grow rapidly but it will take many years to meet large-scale demand. Traditionally it has taken around 30 years for a new energy source to capture 1% of the global market. Biofuels are there now. Wind power could reach the 1% mark at some point in the coming decade. – from the Shell Sustainability Report 2009
The speakers and topics are:
Andrei Kotov, Commercial Adviser Global LNG, Shell Upstream International
the future of Gas
Guus Berkhout, Professor of Geosciences, Professor of Innovation
New Business Framework for the Energy Industry
Using new scientific insights, I will reveal that the future energy needs of mankind will be significantly higher than published by the established energy institutes. This means that the fossil (\’ancient biomass\’) industry and the new (\’renewable\’) energy players must work towards a common goal: guaranteed supply of clean energy at affordable prices.
But it is not only the exploding energy needs that will drive the transition of the energy sector. Looking at the fundamental changes occurring in society today, corporations cannot afford to carry on with their business as usual. The purpose of economic growth must be redefined, causing a major transformation in business thinking. I will explain that markets of the future will be steered by societal needs, meaning that social and environmental externalities are essential components of future business models.
Bill Spence, Manager Strategic Issues, Shell Upstream International
Energy Scenarios & the future of Shell
Scenarios describing the future of the world and its energy systems. The
role of oil and gas companies, specifically Shell. What does the future
Moderated by Adriaan Kamp, Owner, Kamp Beheer
The conference language is English.
the future of Shell
Building a low-carbon energy future
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Location: Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam, Grasweg 31, 1031 HW Amster