Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 7:25 EDT

New Shell Scenarios Sharpen Focus on Future for Society, Energy

February 27, 2013

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, February 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Shell today released new scenarios that explore two possible ways the 21st century
could unfold, with dramatically different implications for society and the world’s energy
system. One scenario sees cleaner-burning natural gas becoming the most important energy
source globally by the 2030s and early action to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The other
sees solar becoming the top source by about 2070, but with slower action to address the
threat of climate change.

The New Lens Scenarios, which look at trends in the economy, politics and energy as
far ahead as 2100, underscore the critical role that government policies could play in
shaping the future.

“These scenarios show how the choices made by governments, businesses and individuals
in the next few years will have a major impact on the way the future unfolds,” said Chief
Executive Officer Peter Voser.

“They highlight the need for business and government to find new ways to collaborate,
fostering policies that promote the development and use of cleaner energy, and improve
energy efficiency.”

With the world’s population headed toward 9.5 billion by 2060 and the rapid growth of
emerging economies lifting millions of people out of poverty for the first time, the
scenarios project that world energy demand could double over the next 50 years.

Called Mountains and Oceans, Shell’s scenarios explore two plausible future pathways
for society. Each scenario dives into the implications for the pace of global economic
development, the types of energy we use to power our lives and the growth in greenhouse
gas emissions. The scenarios look further into the future than many other outlooks and
highlight some surprising possible developments. Both see global emissions of carbon
dioxide (CO2) dropping to near zero by 2100. One factor is increasing use of technology
that takes CO2 out of the atmosphere, for instance by burning biomass to produce
electricity, and then storing emissions underground. Although the Oceans scenario sees a
dramatic increase in solar power, it also envisions greater fossil fuel use and higher
total CO2 emissions over the century than the Mountains scenario, which will likely have
more impact on the world’s climate.

The scenarios highlight areas of public policy likely to have the greatest influence
on the development of cleaner fuels and renewables, improvements in energy efficiency and
on moderating greenhouse gas emissions. They include:

        - Measures to promote the development of compact, energy-efficient cities,
          particularly in Asia and other rapidly urbanising parts of the world.
        - Mandates for greater efficiency in areas such as transportation and buildings.
        - Policies to encourage the safe development of the world's abundant supply of
          cleaner-burning natural gas -- and to promote its wider use in power generation,
          transport and other areas.
        - A price on CO2 emissions and other incentives to speed the adoption of
          technologies to manage emissions, particularly carbon capture and storage (CCS).


The Mountains scenario imagines a world of more moderate economic development in which
policy plays an important role in shaping the world’s energy system and environmental
pathway. Cleaner-burning natural gas becomes the backbone of the world’s energy system, in
many places replacing coal as a fuel for power generation and seeing wider use in

A profound shift in the transportation sector sees global demand for oil peaking in
about 2035. By the end of the century, cars and trucks powered by electricity and hydrogen
could dominate the road. Technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from power
stations, refineries and other industrial installations becomes widely used, helping to
reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector to zero by 2060. Another factor is the growth
of nuclear power in global electricity generation. Its market share increases by around
25% in the period to 2060.

With these changes to the energy system, greenhouse gas emissions begin to fall after
2030. Nevertheless, emissions remain on a trajectory to overshoot the target of limiting
global temperatures rise to 2 degrees Celsius.


The Oceans scenario envisions a more prosperous, volatile world with an energy
landscape shaped mostly by market forces and civil society, with government policy playing
a less prominent role. Public resistance and the slow adoption of both policies and
technology limit the development of nuclear power and restrict the growth of natural gas
outside North America. Coal remains widely used in power generation until at least the
middle of the century.

Without strong support from policymakers, carbon capture and storage catches on
slowly. By mid-century CCS captures only about 10% of emissions, growing to about 25% in
2075. This slow uptake is the main reason electricity generation becomes carbon-neutral
some 30 years later in the Oceans scenario than in the Mountains scenario.

Higher energy prices encourage the development of hard-to-reach oil resources, as well
as the expansion of biofuel production. Oil demand continues to grow through the 20s and
30s, reaching a plateau after 2040. Liquid fuels still account for about 70% of road
passenger travel by mid-century.

High prices also spur strong efficiency gains and the development of solar power. By
2070, solar photovoltaic panels become the world’s largest primary source of energy. Wind
energy expands at a slower pace, due to public opposition to large installations of wind
turbines. Elevated demand for coal and oil, a lack of support for CCS and less natural gas
development outside of North America contributes to about 25% higher total greenhouse gas
emissions than in the Mountains scenario.

To explore Mountains and Oceans in more detail, download Shell’s New Lens Scenarios at


Shell has a 40-year history of using scenario planning to explore possible future
landscapes and aid strategic decision-making. The latest publication continues a tradition
of sharing summaries of the scenarios to contribute to the public debate about possible
ways to tackle some of society’s long-term challenges.

Notes to Editors

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in
The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell
companies have operations in more than 100 countries and territories with businesses
including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied
natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and
chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit


Cautionary Note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments
are separate entities. In this announcement “Shell”, “Shell Group” and “Royal Dutch Shell”
are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and
its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to
refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also
used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies.
“Subsidiaries”, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this announcement
refer to companies in which Shell either directly or indirectly has control, by having
either a majority of the voting rights or the right to exercise a controlling influence.
The companies in which Shell has significant influence but not control are referred to as
“associated companies” or “associates” and companies in which Shell has joint control are
referred to as “jointly controlled entities”. In this announcement, associates and jointly
controlled entities are also referred to as “equity-accounted investments”. The term
“Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect (for
example, through our 23 per cent shareholding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.) ownership
interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all
third-party interest.

This announcement contains forward looking statements concerning the financial
condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell and the Shell Group. All
statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be,
forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future
expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and
involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results,
performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these
statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning
the potential exposure of Shell and the Shell Group to market risks and statements
expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and
assumptions. These forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and
phrases such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “goals”, “intend”,
“may”, “objectives”, “outlook”, “plan”, “probably”, “project”, “risks”, “seek”, “should”,
“target”, “will” and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could
affect the future operations of Shell and the Shell Group and could cause those results to
differ materially from those expressed in the forward looking statements included in this
announcement, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and
natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d)
drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and
industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the
identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful
negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in
developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative,
fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate
change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l)
political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of
contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects
and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions.
All forward looking statements contained in this announcement are expressly qualified in
their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section.
Readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements. Additional factors
that may affect future results are contained in Shell’s 20-F for the year ended 31
December 2011 (available at http://www.shell.com/investor and http://www.sec.gov
). These factors also should be considered by the reader. Each forward looking statement
speaks only as of the date of this announcement, 28th February 2013. Neither Shell nor any
of its subsidiaries nor the Shell Group undertake any obligation to publicly update or
revise any forward looking statement as a result of new information, future events or
other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those
stated, implied or inferred from the forward looking statements contained in this

SOURCE Royal Dutch Shell plc

Source: PR Newswire