Issues Map 2012/2013
Issues map 2012/2013 ( PNG Image, 221KB)
In order to assess the global energy agenda and its evolution over time, the World Energy Council conducts an annual issues survey with the Chairs of its Member Committees who are ministers, CEOs and leading experts in over 90 countries. It includes views at both the global and regional levels.
Analysis - How to interpret the results?
This years’ issues survey has been conducted in the context of high uncertainty and overall, many of the issues that were emerging over the past years have stabilised their position or confirmed their trend, both up and down: among the big question marks that hasn’t settled yet remains what will happen to nuclear post Fukushima.
WEC’s latest Issues Map reflects the impacts of the current geopolitical and energy climate on the leadership of the energy sector. The four top insomnia issues are:
- the continued uncertainty towards a future climate framework
- the fear of a lack of political stability in the Middle East / North Africa region
- the high energy price volatility,
- the global recessionary context, which has replaced post-Fukushima nuclear that was among the key critical uncertainties.
It is worth noting that energy price volatility is much more than just the question of low natural gas prices and high differentials between regions that highlight transport bottlenecks, particularly to Asia.
Where Energy Leaders have changed their views most radically?
- The issue with the most dynamic change over the past years is carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCS/CCUS) which is almost flying off the map: without a formal price for CO2 emission avoidance this technology is at risk of simply being seen as adding cost and bringing down energy efficiency.
- The issue that is most clearly identified as a game changer, with its solid trend towards the action space, is unconventionals. This is about unconventional oil (shale oil, tight oil, beyond Canadian oil sands or Venezuelan heavy or extra-heavy oil) as much as it is about the still-hot topic of shale gas.
- Post Fukushima nuclear remains a closely observed and debated issue. Last year’s map saw nuclear jump into the high uncertainty space. This year’s position of nuclear on the monitor shows that uncertainty is almost back to where it was before Fukushima. However, a slightly lower perceived impact indicates that the nuclear renaissance has been slowed down – a message that also came out of WEC’s World Energy Perspective: Nuclear Energy One Year After Fukushima report.
Renewable energies and energy efficiency have stayed dominant issues in the action space.
- Renewables are not only driven by climate policy as shown by the weak regional correlation between climate framework uncertainty and renewables. Renewables are seen as a contribution to diversity and security of supply as well as a critical enabler to enhancing access for the 1.3 billion without access to energy.
- Large hydro is moving into the action space, explained by huge un-used potential in central Africa, Latin America, Russia and Canada.
- Regional interconnection, which is often the feasibility basis for large energy projects, is also robust in the action space.
How to read the issues map: Issues with high uncertainty and high impact ("critical uncertainties" - in the upper right corner) include these, which will most benefit from multi-stakeholder dialogue and scenario analysis. The issues on the high-impact/low uncertainty side are these where immediate action finds easy consensus ("need for action" - bottom right). The low impact/low uncertainty ones include issues of perceived lesser importance but also "weak signals" (bottom left), which may be issues that are still badly understood. Further, the urgency of an issue is proportional to the size of its bubble. Finally, the four different categories of issues - macroeconomic risks, geopolitics, business environment and energy vision - are represented in four different colours