The rapid pace of change in energy technologies could bring forward ‘peak oil’ to the mid 2020s, a new report has claimed.

A report by Aurora Energy Research has evaluated the impact of widespread digitalisation, greening of the economy and the shift in consumer preferences on global commodities markets.

The report suggests that technological change and consumer engagement are at least as important in tackling climate change as the carbon targets set under the Paris Agreement.

‘Burnout’ scenario

Aurora has analysed the demand and supply effects of a ‘Burnout’ scenario. On the demand side, the report describes a world of widespread electrification - with 540 million electric vehicles on the road by 2040 - and the widespread use of digital technologies in the ‘internet of things’ increasing demand for power and the role of services in the global economy.

On the supply side, the report describes how new technologies allow oil and gas companies to extract resources more cheaply in the future.

Conversely, it says the phasing out of coal power generation in many countries for climate and air quality reasons will cause a decline in the demand for coal.

> Download the report