Top Priorities for Energy Chiefs

THE World Energy Council’s annual survey of global energy leaders - the 2016 World Energy Issues Monitor - tracks the concerns of over 1000 global energy leaders.

This year’s report identifies ‘A climate of innovation - responding to the commodity price storm’ and for the first time highlights the views of China’s energy leaders amongst the over 30 national deep dives in this pivotal study.

Launched in Beijing, the Chinese Issues Monitor reflects the direction of the 13th five year plan which will be formally adopted this month and runs from 2016-2020. The analysis also reflects the importance which the government has placed on the commitment which it made at COP21 in 2015.  As such, carbon reduction and lowering the carbon intensity of GDP is at the heart of the issues facing China’s energy leaders.

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council said, “There is a climate of innovation amongst energy leaders across the world in response to the need to de-carbonise, the opportunities arising from decreasing renewables costs, and emerging new risks on the environmental and cyber fronts – and this in the midst of a commodity price storm.

“This year we see that industry leaders remain most concerned about commodity price volatility, global recession and climate framework uncertainty with new market design and electric storage featuring as new items of innovation focus. The quest to finance the transition to a more sustainable energy system remains an issue that keeps leaders busy at work, whilst there is a growing acknowledgement that adaptation to new resilience challenges, smart innovation and regional interconnection will be key parts of the solution.”

After the Paris COP21 talks, the World Energy Issues Monitor shows that we are entering a period of transition in the energy sector where there are three powerful drivers that will influence change and result in different ways of thinking about infrastructure and critical system components. To navigate these transitions with limited resources defined by a sluggish growth context, investors and governments have to be very clear what their strengths and priorities are.

The report says that the three key drivers of change will be:

  • Decarbonisation transition – a wide range of different new technologies are becoming a reality
  • Market design transition –  increasing shares of zero-marginal-cost energy from intermittent renewables in combination with the decentralisation of systems; increasing use of smart data, and decreasing entry barriers for new suppliers.
  • Resilience transition – the impact of extreme weather events, cyber security threats and the energy-water-food nexus.

Friday 11th March 2016

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