Drivers of Change Energy 2.0

Cover image for Drivers of Change Energy 2.0

Drivers of Change Energy reveals the key trends and issues shaping the future of energy. From rising consumption driven by urbanisation, to the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity in 2015, the drivers illustrate the huge challenges and opportunities we face.

Key features

The future of energy will affect global economic development and social change. Advances in technology, including an average year-on-year gain in battery capacity of 6%, sit alongside unsustainable patterns of consumption: typically, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings in the USA is wasted. Likewise, while poor air quality contributed to 1 out of 8 deaths globally in 2012, fossil fuels benefitted from an estimated US$5.3tr in global subsidies in 2015. This was more than the health spending of all the world’s governments combined.

Drivers of Change Energy 2.0 helps individuals and groups to explore and prioritise the trends and issues most likely to affect them, informing discussion around possible challenges and solutions. The trends help to underpin a broader perspective on the present and future of energy. 

The 25 drivers are organised into five categories based on their main area of impact: Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political, collectively referred to as STEEP. The chosen drivers are informed by research, interviews, workshops and interaction with Arup’s global network, as well as consultation with our broad spectrum of specialists. 

This new, fully-updated edition reflects changes in the production, distribution and consumption of energy since the original set was devised in 2007. With revised data and new issues including divestment, electricity storage and extreme production, the update ensures the set’s ongoing relevance and accuracy.

About Drivers of Change

Drivers of Change communicates research, trends and questions about the future. It was conceived by Arup in the early 2000s to explore the changing contexts of our world, and embodies a global and multi-disciplinary perspective. Since its inception, Arup has identified more than 250 ‘drivers’, or topics that prompt change, with input from a wide variety of stakeholders. The cards have been used in countless workshops, design projects and innovation processes. As well as printed card sets, the Drivers of Change are available online and via smartphone app, supporting rich media and encouraging social sharing and further discussion. 

A staged, comprehensive refresh of the cards ensures that the questions, topics and facts used continue to reflect the changing world around us. This review is part of Arup’s enduring commitment to enable research, exploration and tools to understand and shape the future of the built environment and society at large.