“Every Energy Company and Every Energy Architecture in this world can be improved upon in order to raise the availability, affordability and sustainability of energy to all”.- Adriaan Kamp, 2015
How best can we organize ourselves in order to ensure that everyone on the planet can enjoy affordable, reliable and sustainable access to energy?
Year 2015 is and has been a Pivot Year in Energy Land
Earlier this year we could listen to the voice of Pope Francis, the G7 and UN Political Leadership– and learn from Professor Jeffrey Sachs and John Rockstrom that we are accelerating ourselves crossing planetary boundaries and – perhaps also a little bit ourselves.
At the end of 2015 -we have seen and experienced the results of years’ of climate change negotiations : The adaptation of an universal Paris Agreement.
In September of 2015, the UN agreed to embark on a ground-breaking program of capacity and capability building in the realms of Sustainable Development.
In all of these programs- Energy and the Energy Sector are crucial and vital element for it’s success.
Stewardship over the Energy Architecture, Energy transition and Innovation  in a global-, local- and corporate setting is a new and urgent government and business leadership role to learn .
In very simple terms- one could state that the Energy Sector – and over the coming 15-30 years has the following three goals:
- Support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Implement the Paris Agreement.
- Provide Energy to our Societies
To power 9 billion people sharing one planet – in harmony in and between ourselves- with energy that is sustainable, affordable and available. For generations to come.
The Paris Agreement
The UN Sustainable Development Goals
The Global Energy Change Challenge
We live in interesting times. Our world civilisation is experiencing an accelerating and dynamic change. Through technology, through innovation and through social changes. Our world is under rapid construction and development, with new wealth and wealth distribution being created, every day, and in an unprecedented speed. Over the coming two to three decades some 3 billion people in Asia, Middle-East & Africa, Latin-America are expected to join the new global middle-class and are prognosed to enjoy the same consumption patterns in their homes, in their offices and in their transportation now so much taken for granted in the OECD and upper middle class families in the emerging and developing nations. By the mid of the century, we expect we will be living with 9 billion people- sharing one planet.
Right now, 1.2 billion people are living beyond the grid and without access to energy. For millions, night-time brings darkness or the dim lighting of a kerosene lantern or candle. In Africa, these challenges disproportionately affect those living in rural areas. In Africa, over 290 million people use kerosene as their main source of lighting. Even for those living with access to electricity, this is often insufficient or unreliable.
The role access to energy plays in development, and particularly sustainable development, has only recently been fully recognised. The year 2015 will see the end of the Millennium Development Goals and the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals, with a real focus on energy, it will also see the latest in climate change negotiations; impacting on energy policy and strategy going forwards. The Sustainable Energy for All work has focused on energy access as a human right, and this will shape future decisions and actions.
Is universal energy access for all an achievable goal? Can everyone on the planet enjoy affordable, reliable and sustainable access to energy? After all, we live in the age of the great acceleration – and have already ‘polluted’ the Earth’s atmosphere with over 400ppm man-made CO2 emissions.
So, over the next decades, the energy industry and sustainable development practitioners will have to make some important decisions and create a new solutions architecture that can last.
Energy is vital and essential to modern day life. In fact, the more wealthier you get, the more energy you are likely to use. That feels logic. 
Today, all activities on our planet are fuelled by a daily energy supply of 225 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Roughly 80% comes from oil, natural gas and coal (fossil fuels). It is expected that in 2050 the total amount of energy that need be produced will amount to 750 million boe per day. This figure is based on a worldwide population growth of 50% in the coming 40 years, and a higher average level of energy consumption (5 kW per capita or 120 kWh per capita per day). How can we deliver this large amount of energy in a clean manner? How does the transition path to 50 terawatt look like?
And as we are moving over the coming decades, we already know today that we have crossed and are crossing some important planetary boundaries. Climate Change not one of the least concerning effects
Can we energize ourselves safely into this future world- as today- we live in the age of the great acceleration and that is a fact- we already have ‘polluted” the earth atmosphere with over 400 ppm CO2 man-made emissions– enough for a prognosed 2 Degrees celsius global warming. Over the first 15 years of this century we have already consumed all the carbon which was considered and believed the safe budget for this century?
Now, if all people on this planet by then were to consume fossil (oil, gas, coal) fuel energy in the same way as people presently do in the West, we may be in for trouble, as we would need Five planets (for as much as we can understand now) to find and produce these resources.
The present trend is exactly that.
So, over the next decades- the energy industry will need to find answers to the challenge.
Whilst Energy in the past was linked with a simple dimension of unlocking fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) into the markets and centralized power plants- today and tomorrow- asks and invites us actually to re-consider and re-invent some of those established energy architectures and working practices.
In fact- and as we see this- we believe that today the better energy decisions are made over a 12-dimensions decision frame.: linking choices over lifestyles, our economies, our energy intense industries (vs. eco-conscious options) and working habits with that of (the health and happiness of) people and planet- and including some new re-engineering effort over the whole energy value chain – from well-and-mill to socket or wheel.- re-designing transportation, homes and cities.
Now- and as we start to do this- better integrating, innovating and transforming the energy architectures on location, and our individual energy exploitation and consumption patterns may look and feel good– the actual results on aggregate- may not be so good – at all.
The clean-tech industry: the industry of renewable energy supply sources , smart energy infrastructures and eco-living – will have to play a significant role. Perhaps much larger then presently predicted or seen.
How about the present strength and distribution of the existing resource base in the conventional coal, oil and gas resource system. Will the new frontier reserves such as shale oil and gas be sufficient strong in order to balance the prognosed (rapid and steep) decline in the existing and large producing fields? Can (all of) these new frontier production reserves be actually produced- from an economic, ecological and societal point of view?
So with this rise in complexity- both in the demand side as well in the supply side of the world energy system , and in a socio-technical context, we may expect the world energy system perhaps to run against triple-A limits (affordability, availability, acceptability) or may become unstable (price volatilities, market swings, security or unrest, etc.).
So how are we going to do this: having only one planet to share and ideally staying out of trouble?
Well, and to start , and in a very simplified way- the countries presently divide themselves in resource rich (exporting) countries or in energy (poor, importing) countries.
So, this creates a world picture in Five (Energy) Clusters:
- OECD, or the West – The high consumers of the past, present and perhaps the future
- China, and BRICS – The new party in town
- Saudi and OPEC/Russia and Gaspec- The oil and Gas “cursed” nations
- India and leading emerging nations – Ready to join
- The Very poor – How can we join?
These clusters have all their own pattern of energy architecture and behaviors and politics.
Now the question here is how these clusters of nations are going to inter-relate, behave and develop over the coming decades.
As such- and with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development we have an open Invitation of Care.
Read also and further on www.energyandstuff.org
For some Webcasts on said subject (and from our practice):
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Ou contribution starts at 37 mins.
 UN report, McKinsey report: The next 3 billion
 See graph UNDP
 1boe = 1564 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Note that today’s energy consumption per capita is 2.3 kW or 55 kWh per day. There are big differences around the world (China: less than 2 kW; US: more than 11 kW).
 BP 2030 Energy Future Report ( central source report for our study!)
 Energy Future Project- Berkhout, de Ridder & Kamp
 E.g. micro-grids, smart and supergrids
 In this respect: oil and/or gas reserves