Key issues for world’s energy leaders? Innovation and low carbon transition

Innovation and the shift to a low carbon energy market are two of the biggest issues that the world’s energy leaders are facing. That’s according to the World Energy Council’s […]

Register now!

By Jacqueline Echevarria

Innovation and the shift to a low carbon energy market are two of the biggest issues that the world’s energy leaders are facing.

That’s according to the World Energy Council’s (WEC) annual survey which tracked the concerns of more than 100 CEOs, ministers and experts in the sector.

The ‘2016 World Energy Issues Monitor’ stated energy leaders are also concerned about commodity prices, the ongoing effects of economic slowdown and continued climate framework uncertainty.

Innovation is a problem, in particular energy storage, market design and climate resilience. They have become increasingly important drivers of change within the energy transition, it added.

WEC also believes carbon capture and storage (CCS), unconventional technologies and nuclear are suffering from the current context.

LNG has become an increasingly global issue, the report added, as volumes of exports have grown and existing supply routes have become increasingly challenged.

In the UK, electric storage is the main issue for the country’s energy leaders, according to the report.

That’s because of an anticipated expansion in the use of and increasing dependency on weather-dependent renewable energy technologies as well as a “significantly increased level of interest” in decentralised systems.

It added while energy efficiency remains a key concern in Europe and in the rest of the world, there has been “a notable decline in both the criticality and perceived need for action” in this area in the UK.

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the WEC said: “There is a climate of innovation amongst energy leaders across the world in response to the need to decarbonise, 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.”