Sustainable Energy Market Analysis and Reports | USA Conference Series

Market Analysis - Sustainable Energy 2017

The transition towards renewable energy is creating a fundamental, long-term shift in the global economy. This shift can be expected to have a significant impact on fossil-fuel producers, including the oil- and gas-exporting countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The landmark December 2015 Paris Agreement, backed up with detailed plans by countries around the world to overhaul their energy sectors, could imply the eventual softening of global demand for oil and gas, the main drivers of local economies. But it also presents an exciting opportunity for economic diversification and entry to new markets. With the advent of lowest solar prices in the world, Gulf countries are set to capitalise on their promising solar resources for power generation and water desalination. As the present market analysis finds, the GCC region can cut its annual water use by 16 per cent, save 400 million barrels of oil, create close to 210,000 jobs and reduce its per capita carbon footprint by 8% in 2030 – all by achieving the renewable energy targets that national and sub-national governments have already put in place. The year 2015 was an extraordinary one for renewable energy. High-profile agreements were made by G7 and G20 governments to accelerate access to renewable energy and to advance energy efficiency. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal on Sustainable Energy for All (SDG 7). Despite a dramatic decline in global fossil fuel prices, the world saw the largest global capacity additions from renewables to date. However, continuing fossil fuel subsidies and low fossil fuel prices did slow growth in the heating and cooling sector, in particular. Renewables are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels in many markets and are established around the world as mainstream sources of energy. Renewable power generating capacity saw its largest increase ever. Modern renewable heat capacity also continued to rise, and renewables use expanded in the transport sector. Distributed renewable energy is advancing rapidly to close the gap between the energy haves and have-nots. This year’s report clearly demonstrates the enormous potential of renewables. However, to accelerate the transition to a healthier, more secure and climate-safe future, we need to build a smarter, more flexible system that maximises the use of variable sources of renewable energy and that accommodates both centralised and decentralised as well as community-based generation.