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Has a master’s degree from MIT and speaks four languages: “How we estimated the world's energy consumption until 2050”

When the global technology group should make predictions of how the world's energy consumption will be until 2050, Caroline (32) played a key role.

"It was first and foremost challenging, but also great fun," says Caroline Brun Ellefsen, senior researcher at DNV GL.

She has worked in the international quality assurance and risk management company for over three years, and in 2017 has been a key player in the development of the company's projection of the world's energy future in the Energy Transition Outlook 2017 report.

"The purpose of the work has been to make a prediction of how the world's energy consumption will be until 2050, and explain what are the drivers and the consequences of the development," says Brun Ellefsen. With DNV GL's 150-year history based on creating trust and acting in an independent role, this helps add credibility to the report as reliable research.

In addition to writing some of the content of the report, Brun Ellefsen’s task was to develop and apply advanced models to generate the projections.

The report took almost a year to make, required a three-digit number of meetings, and builds on a number of assumptions taking a lot of energy.

"We were a team of five in DNV GL's research division, in addition to some 100 coworkers and energy experts outside the company who helped us determine all the parameters. I worked full time with the project for a year,” says the 32-year-old.

Predicts that the world's energy consumption will flatten out after 2030

The report received a lot of attention when it was published in September. The largest newspapers in Norway shared the report with its readers, and it was duly mentioned in foreign media.

"Unlike similar reports, it does not list different scenarios, but presents a projection with different sensitivity analyses. This will make it quite interesting for many,” says Brun Ellefsen.

One of the projections receiving the most attention is that the world's energy consumption will stabilize and the energy demand flatten out after 2030. Perhaps a bold forecast, considering that the world's energy consumption has increased by 35 percent over the past 15 years.

"This basic downward adjustment in future demand is due to lower population growth and productivity, faster decline in energy intensity and faster increase in end-user efficiency,” writes DNV GL in the report.

In addition to this, it appears that the spread of renewable energy will continue its strong growth, and the demand for oil will fall from the end of 2020 while the demand for gas will continue to increase.

Has a master’s degree from MIT and speaks four languages: “Meaningful work”

Before Brun Ellefsen joined DNV GL in the fall of 2014, she held positions at the intersection of politics and technology – which was also the subject combination of her master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2011.

"I love to immerse myself in complex issues in society where technology plays a major role. It makes sense to go to work, she says on questions about what is most rewarding to be employed in DNV GL.”

In addition to Norwegian and English, Brun Ellefsen speaks French and Arabic.

"To me, it was also important to work in a company that has offices around the world, and that gives real opportunities to move between them if you wish," she says.

Furthermore, Brun Ellefsen says that the company she works in has a flat structure and that she has great influence.

"Despite still being at the start of my career, I feel that I get much responsibility and that I have a big influence on decisions that are important to both companies and society,” she concludes.


About DNV GL: 

Founded in 1864, formerly known as Det Norske Veritas before merging with German class society Germanischer Lloyd in 2013. Its purpose is to “safeguard life, property and the environment” by assisting customers with quality assurance and risk management to improve their business in a safe and sustainable manner. Has offices in more than 80 countries, with global headquarters in Høvik just outside Oslo.

About the Energy Transition Outlook 2017:

An independent projection of the world's energy future, with forecasts on the world's energy consumption until 2050. The report gained great attention nationally and internationally.

To access the report, click here.

Caroline-Brun-Ellefsen
Caroline Brun Ellefsen, senior researcher at DNV GL.