Shell’s latest energy scenario, Sky, shows a technically possible pathway for society to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. It would require a complete re-wiring the world’s economy in just 50 years.
A critical feature of Sky is the need for much greater efficiency in how society uses energy. This is not new. In fact, this has always been a feature of the energy system, simply to meet growing demand. For example, lighting the world with Edison Electric power stations and lightbulbs from 1910 would not be possible, but very efficient modern versions of the same or similar technologies have achieved this. In Sky, efficiency allows continued demand for energy services to be met and limits overall demand growth for energy. This means that sources of energy like solar have a chance to catch up and surpass more traditional energy sources like oil and natural gas.