The army of futurologists marches on producing ever more scenarios of feast or famine but the forecasts they come up with receive and deserve less and less attention. For the energy sector, forecasting has become a mildly amusing hobby of little relevance to real business decisions. How then can companies plan long-term investments that are designed to produce returns over decades? There are two reasons why the world has lost confidence in forecasts. First: the record is awful. Remember the predictions of oil at $200 a barrel or the view that nuclear energy would be so cheap that no one would bother to meter its use? The second reason is that events, especially around technology, are moving so rapidly that it is difficult to keep up with what is happening already, never mind what could come next. Artificial intelligence, energy storage and, at a very different level, the spread of religious fundamentalism are all potential game changers in the energy market. Yet predictions of how and when their influence will be felt are no more than guesses.
FT 15th June 2018 read more »
Renewable energy grew by the largest amount ever last year, while coal-fired electricity also reached a record high, according to new global data from oil giant BP. However, set against continued rapid rises in energy demand fuelled by oil and gas, renewables were not enough to prevent global CO2 emissions rising significantly for the first time in four years, the figures show. This was partly because cyclical economic changes had flattered progress in previous years and, last year, cancelled out some of the slow, continuing shift towards a lower-carbon energy, BP says.
Carbon Brief 15th June 2018 read more »