Interview Synopsis

Energy outlook 2021 – oil, renewables & potential Biden administration

  • Multi Asset
  • Energy
  • North America

How we choose to create energy will be one of the determining factors in hitting the Paris Agreement targets. To understand the global energy landscape, particularly its move towards renewables, Third Bridge Forum interviewed a consultant from Equinor ASA.

Challenges lay ahead for renewables uptake

“Today, global energy demand is about 70,000 TWh per year. That’s equivalent to a kitchen toaster running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for every man, woman, and child on the planet. By 2050, it’s going to be 65% larger.” 

The three big opportunities for renewables in the global energy landscape, they explained, are solving excess grid capacity, expanding into unsaturated markets and non-obvious renewables. For this latter point, they pointed to geothermal energy, explaining the process and some of the companies exploring this option.

The implications of overcrowded grids and negative energy prices were next on the energy outlook 2021 agenda, as well as how this could put projects at risk. “I’m not trying to bash renewables. Like I said, we need to be spending USD 600bn a year on wind and solar to meet my decarbonised energy targets, but I think there are some questions around decline rates, realised power pricing [and] degree of dispatch.”

The global energy landscape for renewables

The discussion turned to the topic of whether there could be a bubble forming in renewable energy and the factors contributing to this. “I think you’re going to see more subsidies announced for single individual technologies in 2021, as part of the Biden administration and Democratically controlled House and potentially Senate. I think that’s the expectation and that’s what’s driving some of these bubbles to continue building.” 

Oil demand recovery and its effect on renewables uptake and how the Amazon’s deforestation intersects with the climate change fight were also covered.

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s Energy outlook 2021 – oil, renewables & potential Biden administration policies Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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