The world is worried about commodity prices

The world is worried about commodity prices. That’s according to a new report from the World Energy Council (WEC), which surveyed 1,200 energy leaders from more than 90 countries about the potential impact […]

Register now!

By Jonny Bairstow
Featured Video Play Icon

The world is worried about commodity prices.

That’s according to a new report from the World Energy Council (WEC), which surveyed 1,200 energy leaders from more than 90 countries about the potential impact and future uncertainty of various issues in the sector.

The majority of ministers and businessmen questioned said they expect prices to become even more volatile as energy demand growth ramps up to its expected peak before 2030.

The report says concerns have deepened further due to investments in alternative energies generally failing to offset declining oil reserves.

Developing nations with a reliance on energy imports and wealthier nations like Saudi Arabia that are heavy exporters are particularly worried about the impacts unexpected changes could bring.

Uncertainty

Those questioned also said they felt uncertain about global climate frameworks but suggested this would have less of an impact, as many believe the world is finally on an irrevocable path to decarbonisation, whether or not the ideal policies and regulations are in place.

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

The energy leaders agreed technology is key, especially with regards to battery storage and renewables, which they say could dictate the pace and scale of the green energy transition.

Green cash

The report shows worldwide investment in renewables in 2015 was $265.8 billion (213.09bn), more than double what was spent on new coal and gas, at $130 billion (£104.2bn).

Coal was rated as a relatively low impact area, despite currently being used to provide 40% of global power.

It was seen as a more important consideration in India, China and Indonesia, nations responsible for 66% of the fuel’s usage.

In Europe, leaders think innovations in clean power, heating and transport will have the largest impact in the near future, along with smart technologies and the digitalisation of the energy system.

UK cyber threat

Those in the UK were most worried about what this might bring – they said cyber security posed an increasingly large threat due to the nation’s rapidly evolving energy architecture.

They also said a lack of action in the energy efficiency sector in the last few years has made the issue more of a concern and blamed failures and cuts to various support mechanisms for this.

British energy leaders said although energy storage looked to become a gamechanger, a raft of regulatory and commercial barriers need to be come first.

They added Brexit and the implementation of the Competition and Markets Authority findings are likely to add another layer of volatility to the wider issue of commodity price uncertainty.