The World Energy Organisation has released its World Energy Outlook for 2017, finding that the global energy scene is rapidly transitioning with the deployment and steep declines in the costs of major renewable energy technologies; the growing importance of electricity in energy use across the globe; profound changes in China's economy and energy policy, moving consumption away from coal; and the continued surge in shale gas and tight oil production in the United States.
The report provides an update of energy demand and supply projections to 2040 based on different scenarios. The projections are accompanied by detailed analyses of their impact on energy industries and investment,as well as implications for energy security and the environment.
Key points include:
The in 2016, growth in solar PV capacity was larger than for any other form of generation; since 2010, costs of new solar PV have come down by 70%, wind by 25% and battery costs by 40%.
In 2016, spending by the world’s consumers on electricity approached parity with their spending on oil products.
The position of the United States as the biggest oil and gas producer in the world despite lower prices.
The report this year includes a focus on China, examining how China's choices could reshape the global outlook for all fuels and technologies.
A second focus, on natural gas, explores how the rise of shale gas and LNG are changing the global gas market as well as the opportunities and risks for gas in the transition to a cleaner energy system.
Finally, the WEO-2017 introduces a major new scenario – the Sustainable Development Scenario – that outlines an integrated approach to achieving internationally agreed objectives on climate change, air quality and universal access to modern energy.