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The 21st annual report examines the electricity and gas markets in North America, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, India and China.

Reframing crisis as opportunity

The 21st annual World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) reveals a world struggling to balance the the desire for continued economic growth with the need to take deliberate and drastic steps against climate change.

In 2018, global energy consumption rose 2.3 percent—nearly twice the average rate since 2010—as driven by a robust worldwide economy. Despite the rapid growth of renewables in some regions, oiI, gas and coal accounted for nearly three-quarters of the increase in total energy demand, their highest share in five years. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions climbed 2 percent globally, a significant break from the plateau of 2014 to 2016.

While renewables remain the fastest-growing energy source worldwide, investments during the first half of 2019 declined 14 percent compared with the same period in 2018. Population growth, as well as a lack of anticipated technical breakthroughs over the next two decades, further contribute to a bleak medium- and long-term landscape.

This year’s WEMO report explores these issues in greater detail and presents new ideas for how utilities, policymakers and private companies can embrace a long-term strategy that balances growth and change—and draws opportunity from crisis.

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