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Shell Predicts that Natural Gas or Solar will Become the No. 1 Energy Source

By Charles Kennedy | Sun, 03 March 2013 00:00 | 5

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) has just released new forecasts for its ‘New Lens Scenarios’ program, which aims to predict how current business decision and policies may unfold over time and affect the markets in the future.

Peter Voser, the CEO of Shell, explained that the scenarios “highlight the need for business and government to find ways to collaborate, fostering policies that promote the development and use of cleaner energy and improve energy efficiency.”

The scenarios take two different approaches: one considers the world with a high level of government involvement, and the other looks at the markets when they are given more freedom to develop naturally.

With high government involvement in dictating energy and policies, Shell believes that natural gas will flourish to become the number one energy source in the world over the next couple of decades, overtaking coal and helping to reduce carbon emissions.

Related article: Two New Solar Power Technologies Being Funded by ARPA-E

It also predicts that hydrogen and electric power cars would become the common methods of transportation and as a result oil prices will drop. This in turn will mean that high-cost unconventional fossil fuels would remain in the ground as it would be economically unfeasible to extract them.

The other scenario exists when the government has taken little interest in the markets and has instead allowed the economy to progress naturally. Fossil fuel demand, especially for coal, would grow around the world. High oil demand would lead to higher prices, which sustain drilling for unconventional reserves in harsh, expensive environments. High energy prices in general will lead to more investment in research of alternative sources of energy, which will eventually cause solar power to become the dominant source of energy on the planet in about 50 years time.

In neither scenario do we manage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to limit temperature rise to two degrees Celsius.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Fred on March 05 2013 said:
    Despite the facts, it looks like the myth of man-made green-house gasses as the prime mover for causing temperature rises still colors every aspect of 'corporate think'. The temperature rise is from increased solar activity. Bad paradigms seldom give the desired results.
  • dfsggf on March 05 2013 said:
    So what Shell is saying they need HUGE TAXPAYER handouts to make gas work.. Still pretending it a cleaner energy. Dear Oilprice show us those NASA pics of gas flaring in North Dakota again , PLEASE... More lights than a megacity. Shell is waving about aimlessly looking for new reserves to book
  • Idadho on March 05 2013 said:
    How about some statistics about how accurate the oil industry has been in their predictions ? Do they have some magic sense that allows them to say that solar energy will become efficient enough to supply our needs without blocking out the sun resulting in a new problem ?
    They can't even explain why fossil fuels are called fossil fuels beyond unsubstantiated conjecture.
    Can we use technology growth to overcome the environmental pollutants from burning coal and oil ? Sure would be we can.
    Solar panels degrade too fast to be an economically and environmentally acceptable solution. Imagine China burning coal in low tech or no tech generation plants just so they can build cheap solar cells. Where is the advantage ?
  • Joe on March 04 2013 said:
    Where is the energy coming from to produce the hydrogen gas fuel through electrolysis and electricity to charge electric cars? Oil! IF oil consumption were to somehow fall, the price of oil will still remain high because of OPEC setting the world price.
  • Doug Lynn on March 04 2013 said:
    (1) There are no fossil fuels. They are abiotic. Oil, coal and natural gas are being produced by the earth today.
    (2) If geothermal can save half or more of the cost of our heating and cooling, why are not mandating it for all new buildings and when old equipment is replaced? We could start with new commercial building and homes over are certain price. Image the heating oil, gas and electricity we could save.
    (3) Why are we buying solar panels from China while they add a new dirty coal power plant every month or so? A tariff on stuff from China needs to be tied to their environmental and child labor record.

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