The 23rd edition of Capgemini’s World Energy Markets Observatory pays special attention to effective, yet practical, strategies for accelerating energy transition efforts on both a global and regional level. The report reveals a world struggling to balance the critical need to accelerate energy transition while maintaining energy affordability.
In this report, we review how advances in enabling technologies, new investments, and industry transformation have the potential to help mitigate the effects of climate change – and the steps that must be taken to turn possibility into impact.
Key findings include:
- Electricity spot markets are at record high levels, linked to sustained demand, lower generation capacity margins, high gas prices, and, in Europe, high carbon prices.
- Supply of renewable-based electricity has increased while renewable costs continued to decrease in 2020: both solar and wind power generation capacities rose in 2020, representing 10% of the electricity generation market. The downward cost trend could reverse in 2021 and in the following years, as critical metal, equipment, and transportation prices as well as interest rates increase.
- Growing momentum around green hydrogen, which has the potential to decarbonize an additional 15% of the world economy. Green hydrogen is costly, around three times more expensive than fossil-based hydrogen; however, decreasing renewable electricity and electrolyser costs could lead towards parity by 2030.
- Competition in the electricity and gas retail markets has largely recovered early 2021, however, presently, high energy prices are triggering consolidations. Whilst utilities demonstrated financial resilience in 2020, oil and gas players were more severely hit, though many have now recovered thanks to higher demand and prices for oil and gas. Stakeholders pressure on oil and gas majors has accelerated their diversification towards electricity, renewables and e-mobility and reinforced their carbon neutrality commitments, particularly for European International Oil Companies (IOCs).
- Energy and utilities players are moving quickly to decarbonize and harness the current energy transition to develop new models and reinvent themselves in valuable ways. By digitizing and embracing low-carbon technologies. Many are attempting to find the right balance between meeting stakeholders’ expectations and ensuring business transformation in competitive markets.
- Whilst the appeal for clean technologies, essential to energy transition, begins to intensify, it is crucial to remember that achieving this means not compromising on security of energy supplies or energy affordability.
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