Financial markets must play role in energy development

Posted on 15 October 2013

  • Markets must assist to encourage energy investments
  • Governments need to fashion long-term energy policies to ensure financing
  • MENA political turmoil could offset promise of cheap energy prices due to U.S. shale gas boom.

Financing SessionEnergy experts told delegates at the World Energy Congress Daegu 2013 that financial markets must assist to ensure investment in energy. Seethapathy Chander, Director General of Regional Sustainable Development at the Asian Development Bank, said, “The problem with Asian capital is that people prefer to park it in Europe and the US. He added that “We need help from established companies and governments to make [investment] happen”. An expert panel agreed that governments need to be more careful in designing long-term sustainable energy policies without relying heavily on energy tariffs. “ One of the “major risks to renewables is retroactive changes in government policy, changing tariffs and wiping millions off balance sheets,” said Guy Turner, Chief Economist & Director of Commodity Research, BNEF, UK,

The future energy landscape will be governed by security and stability issues linked to the energy self sufficiency of the U.S. due to the shale gas boom. Turner explained that if the cost of MENA gas supplies changes because of political turmoil, it could have massive implications for European energy policy, removing the prospect of cheap gas supplies far into the 21st century.

Turner also said that Korea was an example showing that a shortage of energy resources does not dictate economic success, rather “the most important resource is intellectual capital.” The IMF predicts that Korea’s income will be one of the highest per head by 2030. Turner expressed his belief that Korea’s technology expertise could be exchanged for energy resources as an example of the markets working.

This news story is based on the Opening session, “Financing tomorrow’s energy”, at the 2013 World Energy Congress.