GSM London lecture Ann- Marie Lafferty gives an overview of the increasingly important renewable energy sector
The oil and gas sector is living through turbulent times. The fluctuating oil price means that oil and gas firms have changed some of their priorities in relation to projects and investment. Despite these inevitable challenges, the potential for future success and profits are still there. According to Bob Dudley of BP, the world’s population is forecast to grow from seven billion (2015) to up to nine billion by 2035. Dudley also noted that energy consumption is predicted to increase by 40% by 2035 (Oil and Money, 2015).
How will this future energy demand be met? Firstly, through innovation in technology existing fields are having their lives extended and hard to access resources are now within reach. However, the energy sector still needs to plan ahead to build a sustainable supply to meet this increasing demand. It also needs to comply with legislation in helping to reduce the impact of energy production/consumption on the planet. This is where the contribution of renewables comes into the energy mix.
The role of renewable energy in the sector is one that should not be ignored. It provides an opportunity for young energy firms and established traditional operators to invest in the longer term potential of renewables. The benefits of this investment can be viewed in different ways with regards to job creation, company profits, environmental concerns and energy security both in the UK and further afield, for example in African countries.
Renewable energy combines the planet’s naturally sustainable resources such as solar, wind and wave power with man’s ingenuity. This is a powerful combination. It is an area of the energy supply which is already here and over time will grow in its significance. Re-emerging markets like Iran are highlighted in recent reports by Bloomberg (2016) regarding the potential of renewables.
The events at Energy Future’s Week will highlight the importance of renewable energy in helping to meet this future predicted demand in a sustainable way. Going forward, when you think about energy don’t just consider oil and gas but the wider energy mix where renewables will play an increasing role – this year’s Energy Futures Week is your opportunity to get involved and learn more about it.