What keeps Future Energy Leaders awake at night?

Future Energy Leaders (FEL) have created their own World Energy Issues Monitor 2016.

The World Energy Issues Monitor provides an annual assessment of the issues impacting the global and regional energy sector based on the views of the Council’s energy leadership community. The maps identify the key uncertainties while highlighting the areas where action is most required to enable the sustainable supply and use of energy.

Compare the FEL-100 map with other maps available in the data section.

FEL map 2016

 How to read the Issues Monitor

  • 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.
  • The urgency of an issue is proportional to the size of its bubble.


The Future Energy Leaders’ (FEL) issues monitor reflects the influence of both global and local events which have been spotlighted in the international energy agenda. It may explain the great similarities with the global monitor. The position of commodity prices is a clear example of this resemblance. It has experienced an important growth in all the three dimensions this year: impact, uncertainty and urgency, becoming the monitor’s top critical uncertainty. The oil price falling is one of the main drivers for this movement, triggered by a weak demand in many countries due to a lower economic growth and a higher development of energy efficiency measures, coupled with surging non-OPEC countries production. Additionally, it may reveal the oversupply and low price of coal as well as the enhancement of conventional energy resources in the electricity mix.
Renewable energies and energy efficiency remain as top need for action priorities in the FEL’s agenda, as well as in the Global monitor. FEL’s urge current energy leaders to reinforce the international commitment to move towards a low-carbon energy model and to boost energy efficiency as a key element to enhance growth, sustainability and decrease each country’s energy dependence rate. Energy subsidies has moved towards a higher impact area over the last period, echoing the FEL’s concern about phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies in order to support the implementation of more sustainable measures and the development of renewable energies.
Market design and electric storage are still top priorities in this edition with a high uncertainty degree for the FEL Community. It might reflect the attention of the young professionals to innovative policies and further technology development which enable a higher renewable energy share.
There is a cluster of energy geopolitics and regional issues placed as critical uncertainties that reveal the FEL’s concern for including them in the energy leader’s agenda. China/India has increased its uncertainty and decreased on impact. The recent slowdown in China’s energy consumption or the Indian government’s announcement about increasing coal production and gradually decreasing its imports on this resource might help to understand this movement. Nevertheless, the huge energy consumption of both countries is definitely leading future forecasts and it will play an important role on commodity prices.
US Policy is also perceived as a critical uncertainty. The potential lift to the U.S. ban on exporting crude oil or the strengthening of the USD and its influence on changes in oil prices may be evidences of this viewpoint.

Regional Interconnection has emphasised its impact’s perception over the period, aligned with its position on the world’s monitor. International cooperation is understood to be absolutely required to ensure the security of supply under precarious conditions and to serve as the basis of a solid regional energy market.

Climate framework maintains a prominent position in terms of impact, similar to the World‘s awareness, having reduced the uncertainty’s perception regarding last year’s monitor. The COP21 was expected to be a crucial milestone in order to search for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol as a universal and legally binding climate agreement. A solution to the current global warming and the emission of greenhouse gases must be on the top of the list of current leader’s agenda.

Other issues that have experienced a larger movement towards a higher impact area over the last period have been corruption and talent. Regarding this last one, its position on the FEL map reflects the international attention over the energy sector to attract and retain both young and senior talent in order to fulfil the requirements of the energy trilemma.

In the weak signals area, the FEL’s monitor shows several coincidences with the world one. Biofuels and land use are both placed in this zone. FELs understand that low oil prices decrease biofuels competitiveness, for example on the transportation sector, and it also has a certain nexus with land use in terms of agricultural services.