World Energy Council: Industry leaders are increasingly worried about volatile commodity prices

 
Jessica Morris
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California Oil is Source of Wealth and Fear
Commodity prices have yo-yoed recently (Source: Getty)

Global commodity prices have overtaken energy prices as the number one critical concern among energy leaders and world experts.

The World Energy Council’s annual survey showed global industry leaders are most concerned about this, the effects of a global economic slowdown and its impact on demand, as well as continued climate framework uncertainty.

"This movement of commodity prices, to a position of extreme importance in every region, reflects the global recognition for energy leaders of the severity of the current market environment," the report said.

“This puts enormous pressure on many key players throughout the energy sector.”

Brent crude oil prices shed around 75 per cent from over $110 per barrel in June 2014 to below $30 in the first quarter of this year. They've since recovered somewhat, inching above $40 earlier this week.

The World Energy Council said this has strained the energy sector’s revenues and budgets, the potential for further reductions in capital expenditure and led to delayed final investment decisions.

But energy market participants are shrugging off the upheaval to become increasingly innovative across a range of areas, such as energy storage, market design and climate resilience.

The drive has been aided by regulatory pressure to move towards low carbon technology, which is also becoming more attractive given the falling cost of renewables.

Christoph Frei, secretary general of the World Energy Council, said: "There is a climate of innovation amongst energy leaders across the world in response to the need to de-carbonise, the opportunities arising from decreasing renewables costs, and emerging new risks on the environmental and cyber fronts - and this in the midst of a commodity price storm."

"This year we see that industry leaders remain most concerned about commodity price volatility, global recession and climate framework uncertainty with new market design and electric storage featuring as new items of innovation focus."

"The quest to finance the transition to a more sustainable energy system remains an issue that keeps leaders busy at work, whilst there is a growing acknowledgement that adaptation to new resilience challenges, smart innovation and regional interconnection will be key parts of the solution."

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