The Energy Revolution of the Coming Two Decades
Econintersect: What if oil companies' biggest threat came not from dropping prices, but from disappearing demand? In this talk, originally delivered at the Oslo Energy Forum on 17 February 2015, Amory Lovins explains, in a fireside chat format, the different trends facing oil and gas industry executives. The disruption that has just started will be driven by fundamental forces based on the economic inequalities in the concept that success is derived from value being greater than price and price being greater than cost. Fossil fuels are now losing at each inequality and market forces will rapidly drive those businesses that don't adapt to the revolution to the same demise that petroleum drove the whaling industry in the 19th century.
The history of energy technology change over the past two centuries is the frame of reference that Lovins uses to introduce the energy revolution underway today. The whaling industries of today are the fossil fuel companies and electric utility business models based on burning those fuels. Some areas in the world (among those mentioned are China, Singapore, Brazil and Denmark,among others) are already following policies that recognize and benefit from the energy revolution. Even in the U.S. a few primitive policies have been implemented.
The message here is that the changes will not be driven by environmental considerations, as vigorous as the as the carbon footprint reduction movement is; The revolution will arrive on the wings of capitalism with costs reducing, customer utility increasing and lowering investment risk.