In today's multifaceted energy world, a growing number of prosumer assets are increasing the complexity of power grids. This is even more important in an ever-changing climate that more and more generates huge storms such as the Typhoon Lekima which caused 9.3 Billion in damage (5th Costliest known Pacific typhoons) and more than 90 deaths in the Philippines, Taiwan and China earlier this year, or the recent monstrous Category 5 Hurricane Dorian in the Atlantic Ocean. The director-general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Joy Jibrilu, details the damage left in the aftermath from Hurricane Dorian and what the Bahamas will need to move forward especially on the infrastructures. This looks too similar to what we've seen in Porto Rico two years ago which suffered severe damage from the category 5 hurricane Maria. The blackout as a result of Maria has been identified as the largest in US history and the second-largest in world history.
It seems to be that in the short-term - that the "chasm-crossing" theory by Geoffrey Moore does not fit our smart energy industry too well. In the energy industry, there is currently still a massive challenge in the way of applying Moore's model - regulation. If we take a more long-term view, however, and look to the telecommunications industry, I believe that we will begin to see an energy utility industry that is increasingly becoming more consumer-driven. Just as smart phones, the Internet, and IoT communications revolutionized the telecommunications industry business models and consumer spending behaviors, I expect a similar revolution to occur in the energy infrastructure industry with consumers driving the change. In other words, in the long-term, the Smart Grid will eventually cross the chasm with prosumers leading the charge.
Rising energy demands, fluctuating oil prices, renewable integration, aging infrastructure and changing regulatory requirements are all challenges facing the energy industry today. While multiple approaches exist for addressing these realities, one constant remains -- technology will be at the heart of the majority of solutions. Whether it's sensors and cameras monitoring utility and oil and gas assets, drones that perform high-risk inspection operations, or machine learning tools that identify energy efficiency opportunities, technology innovation is critical for the future of the industry. The shift to smart electricity grids and digital oil fields does not come without risk. The technologies proliferating in the energy industry are also endangering it -- opening up critical systems to cyberattacks.
As blockchain makes steady strides in changing the foundation of economic and social systems, the market for this versatile ledger technology is expected to be worth more than US $3 trillion by 2024. Over the last 5 years, venture capitalists have invested more than $1 billion into blockchain companies, underlining its market potential. Energy is one area where blockchain applications are gaining traction, as I previously discussed earlier in 2016. Energy consumption is expected to increase by more than 40% globally over the next 25 years, with demand in some parts of the world possibly exceeding 100% in that time. This entails an increase in competition for resources and higher costs.
In this column I have been writing about how servitization is an important trend for industrial companies and beyond and how IoT services are creating an outcomes-based economy that benefit tech suppliers and end users alike. Perhaps that's why it makes a lot of sense to extend the discussion and take a closer look at smart cities and how IoT (Internet of Things) services will play a role in helping cities prepare for a huge upcoming shift--urbanization. According to the UN (United Nations) Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 55% of the world's population currently lives in urban areas. By 2050, that percentage is expected to increase to 68%--that's nearly seven out of every 10 people worldwide living in an urban environment. In addition to this shift from rural to urban areas, the world's population is also going to be growing at a rapid rate.