New World Energy Council report identifies the critical issues holding back the transition of the global energy sector
Concerns arising from the current depressed economic outlook have overtaken nuclear energy as one of the top critical issues.
NEW DELHI - Continued uncertainty in the future direction of climate
region, energy price volatility, and the global economic recession are what
energy leaders consider as the top 'insomnia' issues driving the world
energy agenda this year, according to the 2013 World Energy Issues Monitor,
published today by the World Energy Council (WEC).
Speaking at the launch of the report in New Delhi at the World Energy
Leaders' Summit, Pierre Gadonneix, WEC Chairman, said:
"With energy now topping the global agenda, our 2013 World Energy Issues
Monitor clearly reveals that the critical issues identified by energy
leaders are macroeconomic and geopolitical. In particular, uncertainties
surrounding climate framework reveal the strong desire of the energy sector
to have clearer and more balanced governance. The survey also reveals the
need to identify pragmatic, cost-effective, and technology-neutral
The study, which captures the view of the WEC's energy leaders' community,
also reveals that carbon capture, (utilisation) and storage (CCS/CCUS) is
the issue which has changed most radically in energy leaders' views over the
past year. Whereas CCS/CCUS was seen to have high impact, the issue has now
moved down the energy sector's priority list. Energy leaders believe that
until there is clarity on the price of carbon, CCS/CCUS will continue to be
seen as an additional cost on energy, especially given the current
recessionary context. This is in marked contrast to previous surveys which
identified CCS as a potential panacea.
Author of the report, Dr Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World
Energy Council, said:
"The report is significant and clearly shows the insomnia issues keeping
energy leaders awake at night. For me the most significant change is the way
CCS is now being viewed with a clear tension between the desire of energy
leaders for a climate framework and the lack of confidence in some
mitigating technologies. This change in perception is of considerable
concern as the success of new technologies like CCS will be critical if we
are to achieve the massive transition required in the energy sector."
Concerns arising from the current depressed economic outlook have overtaken
nuclear energy as one of the top critical issues. While nuclear energy
continues to be closely observed and debated, its perceived uncertainty and
impact have dropped to pre-Fukushima levels. This reflects the prudent
re-evaluation of nuclear energy in many countries.
While unconventional fossil fuels - including shale gas and unconventional
oil - are now firmly considered game changers that will impact the sector
for decades to come, the WEC study finds that further action is required to
realise their potential. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are also
areas needing further action, as they can contribute to diversity and
security of supply, as well as enabling energy access to the 1.3 billion
people of the world who still do not have access.
For India in particular, the critical uncertainties are volatile energy
prices, climate framework, energy-water nexus, and the impact of a weak
currency given India's dependence on energy imports. Meanwhile, developing
renewable energy and energy storage requires further action.
Dr Frei added:
"Renewables and energy storage have huge potential in helping India increase
energy access and enhance security of supply. But in order to do so, the
sector must find the right innovations and the right investments to
integrate those technologies into the Indian power system. The
opportunities are huge, and having the right enabling policies are crucial
to delivering those opportunities."
The 2013 World Energy Issues Monitor is the latest of the WEC's annual
assessment of the issues impacting the global and regional energy sector
based on the views of the WEC's energy leadership community. It identifies
the key uncertainties while highlighting the areas where action is most
required to enable the sustainable supply and use of energy. For the first
time, the study this year includes specific assessments of selected
countries: Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and
The 2013 World Energy Issues Monitor was unveiled at the World Energy
Leaders' Summit in New Delhi yesterday (6 February), where over 70 ministers
and CEO's from more than 30 countries gathered to discuss the critical
issues affecting the energy world.
About the World Energy Council
The World Energy Council (WEC) is the principal impartial network of leaders
and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally
sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all. Formed in 1923, WEC
is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy
spectrum, with more than 3000 member organisations located in over 90
countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations,
academia, NGOs and energy-related stakeholders. WEC informs global, regional
and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing
authoritative studies and working through its extensive member network to
facilitate the energy policy dialogue.
Further details at www.worldenergy.org and @WECouncil
World Energy Leaders' Summit (WELS)
The World Energy Leaders' Summit is organised twice a year by the World
Energy Council (WEC) for its community of global energy leaders to engage in
a high-level dialogue on the critical issues affecting the energy world.
WELS is generally held in countries critical to world energy interests, and
co-hosted by the country's energy minister and the Chair of the WEC's Member
Committee of that country. Participation is by invitation only and is
exclusively for the WEC's Patron and Global Partner CEOs, a select number of
energy ministers, the WEC's Officers and Chairs of National Member
Committees, and select guests and