What keeps Future Energy Leaders awake at night in 2015?

Future Energy Leaders (FEL) have created their own World Energy Issues Monitor 2015.

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 2015

 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.


In line with rising geopolitical instability, the Council’s Future Energy Leaders (FEL) emphasised the recent tension between Russia and Ukraine as well as the Middle East Dynamics as critical uncertainties which could disrupt energy supply (Figure 47). These issues strike a contrast with the FEL analysis conducted in previous periods, as well as from the current world community view. On the demand side, the constant rise of India and China continue to be a major concern for both the FEL and greater world community. FEL put significant emphasis on a stable geopolitical environment, which they view as crucial to tackle energy-specific challenges.

Year after year, the FEL-100 Issues Monitor emphasises a higher degree of importance on sustainability and climate change than the world community. Not surprisingly, the climate framework, a proxy that consolidates multiple global efforts to reduce pollutants, remains one of the primary uncertainties. The perceived lack of collective commitment and international cooperation and the difficulty of establishing comparability and equivalence in heterogeneous policy frameworks contribute to this uncertainty.

The FEL survey also puts greater emphasis than its global counterpart on related sustainability issues such as the energy-water-food nexus. It thus comes as a surprise that extreme weather events, generally believed to be partly a consequence of climate change, is seen as having a much lower impact by the FEL.
In terms of consistent priorities, FEL pay much attention to advancements in electric storage that may have an outsized impact on the transition to a renewable and decentralised energy system. As storage technologies mature, variable electricity production can be smoothed and electric vehicles will become increasingly competitive. However, the development of such technologies will likely be accelerated only with the adoption of specificinnovative energy regulation – an inter-connected issue that FEL see as critical.

Energy prices remain a high-uncertainty issue for both the FEL and world community. They dictate access and affordability whilst strongly influencing the development and implementation of renewables and energy efficient systems, two other high impact-issues. Surprisingly, FEL put less emphasis than the broader pool of global leaders on the challenges of volatile commodity pricesand the effects of the global recession that may contribute to issues ofenergy poverty and inadequate energy access.

In what is probably a testament to the passion of youth, the FEL-100 Issues Monitor is consistently more polarised than that of the broader community, with issues being cast more readily to the edges of the chart. In conclusion, FEL call on young and senior energy leaders alike to address these critical issues on the road to a sustainable, inclusive, affordable and resilient energy system in the 21st century.