The new lens scenarios view developments in the socio-political-economic spectrum and project to explore long-term energy environments. Supported by evidence based on various global trends, the study points out two possible ways the 21st century could unfold. The scenarios, namely mountain, and oceans have different implications for the worlds energy system and the society. Considering the prevalence of macroeconomic volatility, there is a shift of influence from west to east and a rise in wealth levels especially in emerging economies according to Smalley (2012).As a result, the global population keeps increasing steadily with a significant section of the population moving from the rural to urban societies. Over time, resources such as food, water, and energy will be scarce triggered by the rising global demand. The analysis suggests that the future of energy depends on who has power. The mountain approach represents change implemented from the top, that is, the agents of change will be leaders occupying commanding advantage with influence and set mechanisms in place to maintain that status quo. However, the ocean world, characterized by devolvement of power and inclusive policy formulation, is the most likely approach the world will take towards the future.
There is a rising trend of global liberalism in which institutional policies accommodate and tolerate diverse opinions and interest. According to Armaroli and Balzani (2011), free information dissemination, as well as the emergence of informatics(IT) as a social force, favors the ocean world. The free market competition and steady reforms of economic structures will result in revitalized growth, for example, as witnessed in India and China after adopting an inclusive financial system. Continued development will lead to urban growth sprawls, carbon capture and increased energy prices owing to the high demand. The rising prices will motivate countries to opt for more expensive energy sources that are efficient according to a report by Schoemaker and Van der Heijden (2013).For some time, liquid fuels and coal will dominate as energy sources. However, the liberal ocean approach will ensure formulation of policies geared towards developing cleaner fuels and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, hence the possible adoption of photovoltaic Solar Power or Biomass by 2070s.
Through analysis of trends, the management at Shell predicts the future business environments in the energy sector and set objectives based on plausible assumptions and quantification The scenarios approach helps the shell teams to plan and cultivate a leadership culture who are better at relating patterns and behaviors, contrary to the usual view of the world. The scenarios also make the teams realize the extent of possible outcomes to events beyond the full control of man. Since both scenarios have positive and troubling features, a clear focus is necessary in viewing the future world so as to find better means to cope. Also, the scenarios guide the business teams at Shell to make wise choices and partnerships towards shaping the future energy systems.
The current trends are for the ocean scenario. It means that with time, the governments of the day, driven by a social consensus will discourage extensive use of dirty energy. The new climate realities coupled with strict policies will ensure fossil fuels are taxed heavily by governments. The shell team ought to make steps towards adopting natural gas which is central to a cleaner energy system in future, as opposed to coal or oil. Also, Shell should consider to diverse its energy options in readiness for the electric and hydrogen power vehicles in the future cities.
Armaroli, N., & Balzani, V. (2011). The future of energy supply: challenges and opportunities. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 46(12), 52-66.
Schoemaker, P. J., & van der Heijden, C. A. (2013). Integrating scenarios into strategic planning at Royal Shell. Planning Review, 20(3), 41-46.
Smalley, R. E. (2012). Future global energy prosperity: the terawatt challenge. Mrs Bulletin, 30(06), 412-417.
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