About EFF 2016
The second Energy Futures Forum began with an in-depth literature review to help identify major themes. Nine trends were subsequently researched through appropriate literature and conversation with experts.
This preliminary research and deliberation culminated into four major trends, featured at the second annual Energy Futures Forum in May 2016. These final topics are included below.
- Chinese Energy Investment Abroad: whether Chinese overseas energy investment may shift production trends;
Energy sector investments made by Chinese state owned enterprises or by the Chinese government have played an important role in energy sector finance over the last couple of decades. How Chinese energy sector investments might change in terms of volume, direction, and investor, over the next decade could have unexpected impacts could have on particular countries, sectors, and the energy markets.
- Middle East Crises: how the geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East impacts both energy supply and demand in the region;
Many oil and gas producing economies in the Middle East are pursuing economic reforms to cope with the economic and fiscal stress resulting from the current oil price downturn. Undertaking these reforms in an uneasy political and security environment is both a promising and perilous endeavor. How these countries fare could have important impacts on regional and global energy supply and demand balances over the next ten years.
- Illumageaddon: how lighting may provide a pathway to a smarter grid;
The growth of intermittent, distributed generation, along with changing usage patterns, is leading to greater variability in the electric grid. Depending on how they are managed, distributed energy resources offer great potential to increase reliability, reduce carbon emissions, and result in energy savings. One specific potential control technology, advanced lighting, may help integrate distributed resources and act as an accelerator for a more advanced grid.
- The Natural Gas Bridge?: whether natural gas demand will be as robust as projected or will be crowded out by cheap coal and cheap renewables.
Natural gas is plays a significant role in projections of future energy demand, in many major oil and gas companies strategies, and in the transition to a lower carbon energy future. Yet the competitive landscape for gas is not clear – with cheap coal and government-backed renewables potentially eating into gas’ market share. Natural gas’ future can be best understood by looking at its competition on a sector by sector basis and at the policy incentives that may influence the fuel mix in the coming decade.