The renewable energy expert Harald Rostvik has warned of an imminent collapse in the oil and gas industries as supplies run dry.
Speaking at a Sustainable Housing Seminar run by Robert Gordon University, he pointed to falling UK and global production and warned that the race to find alternative energy sources was not progressing fast enough.
"As opposed to 1973 and 1991 when oil prices rose dramatically for a short period, what is happening today is permanent," he said.
"It is probably too late to avoid these dramatic consequences on a global scale, we've simply left it too late," he added.
"But we can attempt to soften the blow by introducing a massive energy efficiency upgrade and switching to renewable sources."
Meanwhile, a report commissioned by the UK Offshore Operators' Association has suggested that, although gas and electricity prices are indeed rising, they are likely to stabilise by 2007.
Whether or not gas and oil supplies are imminently to dry up, the Government is keen to promote alternative, renewable energy source as part of its struggle against greenhouse gas emissions.