We are in the midst of an energy transition that is taking place at different speeds around the world. Three Repsol employees from India, Canada, and Spain share their vision of the future with us.
The projections of the International Energy Agency (IEA) which appear in the organization’s latest Executive Summary foresee a 30% increase in world energy demand over the next 25 years. Renewable energies will play an important role, but that does not mean fossil fuels will be left behind. According to the IEA, natural gas consumption will increase by 50% and oil demand could hit 103 million barrels per day by 2040.
We held a virtual meeting with Bipinchandra Dugam, Mayte Nonay and Trina Conroy — from India, Spain and Canada, respectively — to have them share their points of view based on their own personal experiences.
The first to offer his opinion was senior drilling advisor Bipinchandra Dugam. After a decade at the company, seven years of which he spent in Brazil and three in Spain, this employee from India feels that we’re going through an “era of transition.” “The first step was the transition from coal to nuclear energy. The next step guarantees the co-existence of oil and gas with other energy sources,” he concludes.
Bipin is not the only one who predicts this advance towards a more varied energy mix, it is also a commitment assumed by 190 countries under the Paris Agreement on climate change. In fact, the IEA expects 60% of the total new power generation capacity to come from renewables in 2040.
At the other end of the phone line, Trina Conroy agrees with many of Bipin’s statements. Speaking to us from Calgary, Canada — some 4,800 miles away from the Repsol Campus in Madrid — Conroy cannot avoid stating that “it is a bit naive” that fossil fuels will have disappeared within a decade. She adds that “over the next 50 years, we will have more hybrid energy solutions” thanks to efforts to minimize our carbon footprint and drive sustainable energies forward.
“Consumers will play an increasingly important role in energy management”
The third Repsol employee to speak to us is the energy manager from the Division of Studies, María Teresa Nonay. Mayte stresses that “consumers will play a more important role” in this transformation process as they will live in more efficient homes and will make better use of energy resources. Her more than ten years of experience at Repsol lead her to believe that “the world is heading towards a situation in which different energy sources co-exist,” and she believes it is important to develop new ways to guarantee carbon-free electrical generation, among other things.
What’s your take on my country?
Demographic and economic changes are also marking new trends in energy consumption. Wealthy countries have reduced their overall energy demand, whereas others like India, China, and other developing areas have increased their energy consumption. We must bear in mind, however, that many people still do not have access to energy. For this reason, making it universally accessible continues to be the most pressing challenge.
In this connection, Mayte believes that India, Bipichandra’s home country “has to take some preliminary steps” in terms of energy management, “the main being global access to energy services for the entire population.” Bipin believes that Canada, where his colleague Trina lives, “is very focused on environmental issues and clean energy,” while Trina believes that Spain “is making good progress,” although it must still address a number of challenges, such as urban pollution.
The different views on energy management and its future vary considerably, but they all agree that the transition toward an energy mix is the best means of ensuring access to energy and respect for resources. This process will require innovation and effort.