June 3, 2017

PITY THE POOR MALTHUSIANS:

How the Natural Resources Business Is Turning into a Technology Industry (Jonathan Woetzel, Scott Nyquist, JUNE 02, 2017, Harvard Business Review)

Consider how the dynamics of demand are changing. The adoption of robotics, internet-of-things technology, and data analytics -- along with macroeconomic trends and changing consumer behavior -- are fundamentally transforming the way resources are consumed. Technology is enabling people to use energy more efficiently in their homes, offices, and factories. At the same time, technological innovation in transportation, the largest single user of oil, is helping to lower energy consumption as engines become more fuel efficient and the use of autonomous and electric vehicles grows.

As a result, demand for resources is flattening out. (Copper, often used in consumer electronics, is the exception.) At the McKinsey Global Institute, we modeled these trends and found that peak demand for major commodities like oil, thermal coal, and iron ore is in sight and may occur as soon as 2020 for coal and 2025 for oil. At the same time, renewable energies including solar and wind will continue to become cheaper and will play a much larger role in the global economy's energy mix. We estimated that renewables could jump from 4% of global power generation today to as much as 36% by 2035 in our accelerated technology scenario.



Posted by at June 3, 2017 1:49 PM

  

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