HSBC Global Research just put out a report titled “Energy in 2050” and concludes that the world can grow without excessive environmental damage, “but it will need a change in human behaviour and massive collective government foresight” — both of which, unfortunately, we lack at the moment.
Some other interesting comments:
“As things stand, the world simply doesn’t have the luxury of turning its back on nuclear power, despite the recent disaster in Japan”
Oil demand and overall energy demand is expected to double between now and 2050 as developing countries grow and add more cars to the roads.
If we do nothing, “a doubling in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, more than three and a half times the amount recommended to keep temperatures at a safe level.”
“We have become terribly complacent in the way in which we use energy… The lowest hanging fruit is in the transport sector. Smaller, more efficient cars will get you from A to B, just not as quickly. Similarly, buildings can be powered much more efficiently, with the cost of alterations coming down quickly as technology evolves.”
“The lead times we highlight on the measures in ‘the solution’ are often long. Therefore the squeeze on fossil fuels in the interim could be both persistent and painful as oil prices are so sensitive to minor imbalances between energy demand and supply.”
It’s an interesting read, and while those who follow these issues closely won’t find anything new, it’s good to have another major institution issuing a warning and call for much-needed change in the way the world operates.