GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Energy Needs, Choices and Possibilities: Scenarios to 2050



Three introductory sections analyse the forces that will affect the global energy system:

  • the broad patterns underlying today’s system which are likely to persist
  • forces which influence energy patterns but are unlikely to be fundamental in shaping long-term change, and
  • three factors likely to be decisive: resources, technology, and
    social priorities.

The two scenarios Dynamics as Usual and The Spirit of the Coming Age consider different energy futures depending on the development, impact and timing of these forces. Key questions explored in those scenarios include:

  • when will oil and gas resources cease to meet rising demand, and what will replace oil in transport
  • which technology will win the race to improve the environmental standards of vehicles
  • how will demand for distributed power shape the energy system
  • who will drive the market growth and cost reduction of renewable energy sources, and how will energy storage for intermittent renewables like solar and wind be solved
  • how might a hydrogen infrastructure develop
  • how will emerging economies like China and India balance rapidly growing energy needs with rising import dependence and environmental effects
  • where will social and personal priorities lie and how will these affect energy choices?
Infrastructure, Energy, Natural Resources
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