The Energy Transition – Outlook and Implications for Upstream Commodities

Tackling climate change is one of the world’s top priorities. In 2019, a survey of more than 30,000 people from 28 countries revealed that more than half believed climate change was “very” or “quite” likely to bring about the extinction of the human race. At the same time, it is widely acknowledged that energy access is essential for economic progress and advancements in living standards, particularly in emerging regions. As a result, there is growing momentum across government, industry, academia, and the investment community to identify and implement solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions without sacrificing economic and humanitarian imperatives. Since energy consumption generates more than 70% of total annual anthropogenic GHG emissions and is responsible for the vast majority of growth over the last 25 years, the prospect of a greener future is tied to the development of a clean, expansive, cost-effective energy network.

This evolution, commonly referred to as the energy transition, revolves around electricity and transportation as they are the primary GHG culprits. 

Critically, a large, stable installed electrical generation/transmission/distribution network already exists, and renewable power technologies are becoming increasingly viable. At the same time, the transportation sector is being revolutionized by the rapid improvement in and availability of affordable electric vehicles. So, the idea is to “green the grid,” and then electrify as many different sources of energy demand as possible...”