Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Real Energy Outlook

IEA and EIA - perhaps along with BP - may get the most media exposure for their energy outlooks, but one company dares to show some of the more inconvenient estimates in it's outlook. That company is ExxonMobil. It goes without saying that they have a vested interest in things happening as they lay it out, so one is advised to approach their Outlook for Energy - A View to 2030 with caution.

With that said, here's a short sampling of their scenarios with some comments.

So much for that hybrid & plug-in electric car revolution...

Commercial trucking taking the biggest chunk of oil demand growth

Renewables growing the fastest, but still being dwarfed by the fossils...

Fossils dominating even in electricity generation

Fairly optimistic assumption on efficiency growth...

Yet not overly optimistic on CO2 emission cuts.

Of course, the whole point of these scenarios is to make us think and also reflect our own assumptions of the world and energy. The backing of all this in the outlook is : "Don't worry, there's plenty of oil, gas and coal - where it all came from" as well as "we may not stop greenhouse gas emissions, but at least we'll be ever so more efficient in our economic growth".

Remove just one piece in this puzzle - constant growth of supply flow of oil - and the whole assumption falls apart.

It'll be an interesting next 20 years, that's for sure.