On January 27th RMSC and STC-Group organized the master trendsession on the future of Rotterdam as energy port. Thanks to the inspiring speakers of Port of Rotterdam, Cleantech Delta and RWE/Essent, we had an interesting reflection on the current ambitions and developments related to energy.
It became very clear that we are currently in an era of change and that it is uncertain which technologies and fuels will dominate the energy market in the future. Is the fossil age coming to an end or will it last some more decades? The answer to this question depends to a large extend on the breakthrough of new technologies and decentralized energy production. There are sound ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions, ratified on the recent UN climate conference in Paris. However, many political, economic and technical factors influence the transition to a less-carbon orientated system.
Predictions on future developments of the energy mix are highly uncertain, as is illustrated by recent occurrences like the US-shalegass revolution and the low oilprices. Nevertheless, in all scenario’s of the Port of Rotterdam the total share of fossil energy in the energy mix will decrease. Only the speed of the decrease varies in the different scenario’s. Furthermore technological developments are going fast and there is always a chance for a ‘black swan’: a new scalable sustainable energy solution that accelerates the energy transition.
Concluding, we can state that the use of fossil energy’s will decrease, but that it is very unsure how fast this development will go. However, it is very clear that the implications for the cargo flows, the port-related industries and the economy are huge. Therefore it is important to follow these developments closely and analyze the risks and chances for the port and maritime business.