The importance of energy in modern life cannot be overstated and stays on the rise. According to the International Energy Agency`s (IEA) 2018 World Energy Outlook, by 2040, global energy demand is expected to grow by 25%, and electricity demand is expected to double in developing economies to support economic growth projections. Similarly, the number of digitally connected devices and the amount of data generated are growing exponentially. McKinsey estimates that over the past two years, connected devices have generated 90 percent of all data ever produced. By 2025, the number of devices connected to the internet is expected to reach 20 billion, or nearly three times the world population.
This increase in connected devices and data combined with digital technologies and the ongoing transformation of the energy portfolio with increasing focus on decarbonization brings new opportunities and some challenges for organizations, societies and individuals. Advances in cognitive computing are giving systems the ability to learn using data to improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. This is leading to endless possibilities to extract knowledge and actionable insights from previously underutilized big data, helping to improve productivity, reliability and longevity. However, it also introduces other challenges, including cyber-security vulnerabilities, which must be addressed with a systems approach for friction-less, effective integration.
Fueling the growing global economy while ensuring the sustainability of our planet requires the integration of renewable energy resources with fossil fuel sources and advanced digitization to optimize efficient consumption. And while the mature oil & gas industry and the emerging renewable energy sectors have traditionally worked independently from each other, there is value in collaboration. Fostering a multidisciplinary cross-pollination of experience and know-how with capabilities and talents across energy sectors and in the digital technology space, we can re-imagine and accelerate a new approach to energy abundance.
This collaborative approach benefits both mature and emerging energy sectors. The accelerated learning curve and transference of lessons learned improves renewable energy competitiveness compared with fossil fuels, while the integration of distributed, sustainable energy systems in oil & gas operations helps lower its own carbon footprint.
Reimagining energy abundance to include digitized, traditional and renewable energy systems promises multiple benefits across the full energy value stream, for the planet, and for society. It is only by learning from each other that true and sustainable energy abundance can be achieved.