Solar could become the world's largest source of energy, but government support is critical to drive clean energy use in addition to market forces, says the energy giant Royal Dutch Shell.
Under its New Lens Scenarios, which look at trends in the economy, politics and energy until 2100, Shell projects a dramatic increase in solar power, with photovoltaic panels becoming the world's largest primary energy source by 2070. This so-called Ocean scenario, however, sees oil and coal still dominating the world's energy use until mid-century amid the prosperous yet volatile energy landscape.
Another scenario called Mountain foresees moderate economic growth and governments maintaining strong roles in energy initiatives focusing on energy security. Natural gas becomes the backbone of the world's energy system, being used more widely in transport by the 2030s before carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology evolves to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. CCS is the process of capturing CO2 from large industrial installations such as power stations and refineries and transporting and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere, normally underground.
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