Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) says solar power, a business it abandoned four years ago, may expand into the world’s biggest source of energy in the next half century.
The proposition that photovoltaic panels will be the main power source by 2070 is one of the New Lens Scenarios Europe’s largest oil company published today in a report on energy demand this century. A second has natural gas as the main fuel by 2030. Both come with risks to energy producers and the climate.
“The world is complicated, and it’s a little messier going forward,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said today at an event in Washington.
Shell’s solar estimate, which assumes higher energy prices, follows an industry boom that saw capacity grow to about 102 gigawatts in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That compares with a figure of 1 gigawatt in 2000, based on figures from the International Energy Agency.