Which is more plausible: flying taxis, wind turbine arrays stretching miles into the ocean, and a solar roof on every house–or a scorched-earth, flooded post-Apocalyptic world? We have no way of peeking into the future, but we can certainly imagine it. There is plenty of information about where the world is headed and regardless of how reliable this information is—or isn’t—we never stop wondering. Will the energy world of 20 years from now be better or worse than the world we live in now?

The answer may very well lie in the observable trends.

 A Growing Population

The global population is growing, and it will continue to grow in the next two decades. This will drive a steady growth in energy demand, at about 1 percent per year, according to the International Energy Agency.