Jeremy Bentham is Vice President Global Business Environment with Royal Dutch Shell. He has been in the energy business for 28 years and since January 2006 has been responsible for Shell’s Global Business Environment team, which is best known for developing forward-looking scenarios to support strategic thinking and direction-setting. He has also worked within Shell’s Exploration & Production Business, Shell’s global commercial technology centre, Shell Global Solutions and was previously Chief Executive of Shell Hydrogen.

Speaking at the 2009 Energy Ireland Conference in Croke Park on Wednesday 10 June, Jeremy outlined two plausible alternative futures for the energy system.

In the first scenario called Scramble policymakers pay little attention to more efficient energy use until supplies are tight. Likewise, greenhouse gas emissions are not seriously addressed until there are major climate shocks. In the second scenario – Blueprints – growing local actions begin to address the challenges of economic development, energy security and environmental pollution. A price is applied to a critical mass of emissions giving a huge stimulus to the development of clean energy technologies, such as carbon dioxide capture and storage, and energy efficiency measures. The result is far lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Energy Ireland, now in its 13th year, is Ireland’s largest and most long-established energy conference, attended every year by the key players in the Irish energy sector, as well as many from further afield who maintain an interest in how energy in Ireland is developing.

More than 300 delegates attended this year’s conference, which addressed some of the major challenges facing Ireland’s energy sector; climate change; economic crisis and a drive towards the significant development of renewable energy sources.