Challenges and opportunities in the energy industry
The world’s average temperature is estimated as likely to rise by 1.1–6.4 °C this century*. This will result in higher sea levels, receding snow and ice cover, and an increase in storms and other extreme phenomena. Major action is required to mitigate global warming. One way of making an impact here is by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions released by traffic and transport.
Growing demand for energy in traffic and transport
It is estimated that the world’s population will number some 9 billion people by 2050, about one-third more than today. Energy demand will continue to rise as population numbers increase. Nature is being pushed to its limits, and we need cleaner, more energy-efficient fuels if we are to be able to meet the growing demand for energy in traffic and transport as sustainably as possible.
Biofuel legislation is developing
National mandates covering the use of renewable energy are being introduced in increasing numbers worldwide and are having a clear impact on the demand for biofuels. These fuels represent an essential tool for increasing the proportion of renewable energy used in traffic and transport. The new EU directive on renewable energy, for example, requires that renewables should account for at least 10% of the energy used in traffic and transport by 2020.
Energy security is becoming increasingly critical
As much as 96% of traffic fuels are produced from crude oil today, and oil reserves are distributed very unevenly around the world. Energy security could well become an increasingly critical economic and political question in the future; and we need new raw materials alongside oil to ensure a sufficient supply of energy.
Finding new raw materials is challenging
Oil reserves are steadily being depleted and exploration is being forced to shift to increasingly difficult locations. Renewable raw materials are needed to meet the growing demand for fuel. Finding new raw materials that can be produced sustainably and on an industrial scale is one of the biggest challenges facing the energy sector.
Vehicle fleets are slow to change
Engine technology is developing all the time, and new fuel alternatives are being introduced. The large-scale adoption of these new technologies takes time, however. Electric cars, for example, are projected to become a major solution only by 2050. Liquid fuels are likely to be a major source of energy for meeting growing demand for many years to come.