Global energy investment totalled more than USD 1.8 trillion in 2018, with the power sector attracting more investment than the oil and gas industry for the third year in a row

Energy markets focus on the trade and supply of electricity, gas and liquid fuels. They consist of three main elements: generation or production, transmission and distribution, and supply. Once electricity is generated or gas and oil is produced, it is sold on the wholesale market to suppliers, who sell it on to consumers and arrange for its delivery. It is distributed to homes and businesses through transmission and distribution systems. Depending on a country’s government policy, these elements of energy markets may be nationalised or privatised. Energy markets are closely regulated to ensure secure access to energy at fair prices, since energy is a necessity for sustained economic output and human welfare. Energy markets in the UK are privatised and regulated by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), which is responsible for protecting the interest of consumers by promoting fair competition. UK energy markets have recently experienced significant changes due to diversification of electricity generation through the rise of renewable energy sources, as well as the addition of many new suppliers.

Around the world, investments in the energy system are shifting, with increasing funds flowing into renewables, grid flexibility mechanisms, and low carbon transport. An appropriate policy and regulatory environment is required for continued investment towards a low carbon economy while maintaining energy security. The low carbon transition often requires the government to drive and guide private spending since investments in low carbon energy infrastructure are often capital-intensive and require long-term returns. There is growing need for new market structures to be defined and existing ones to play different roles in order to encourage low carbon investments across all sectors of energy, while also keeping the energy system stable and conventional sources flowing. Increased interconnection is also an option for moving towards more sustainable and cost-effective energy systems; integration of national energy systems through cross-border infrastructure can redefine investment agendas.

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Learn more about markets and investment by reading our Energy Insights.

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What's new?

UK can lead world in net zero energy technologies – but investment is critical

The UK’s Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has published a comprehensive roadmap setting out the critical technologies needed to deliver an integrated net zero energy system on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), highlighting the major economic opportunity this transformation offers.Closing the ga...

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ADNOC investment in Jebel Dhanna terminal

ADNOC Onshore, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), has awarded two engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to upgrade two main oil lines and crude receiving facilities at the Jebel Dhanna terminal in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.The EPC contracts have a combined...

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Asia-Pacific power generation could attract $1.5tn investments this decade

The power generation sector in the Asia-Pacific region could attract $1.5tn worth of investments over the decade ending 2030, reports Wood Mackenzie. Solar and wind represent 66% or $1tn investment opportunity in Asia-Pacific through 2030, while fossil fuels, mainly coal and gas, make up the re...

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Ofgem fines SSE £2.06 million for failing to publish inside information about the wholesale energy market

SSE failed to publish, in a timely manner, information about the future availability of its generation capacity.This was likely to have had a significant effect on forward wholesale electricity prices.SSE breached legal requirements on the publication of inside information because it made the wrong ...

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Downstream oil investment shrugs off COVID-19

Global oil refining capacity is set to continue to expand despite the demand and price shock caused by COVID-19, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF). It forecasts global investment in new downstream oil refining and integrated chemicals capacity will average $5bn/y to 2025, leading global crude distill...

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Events and training

Optimizing Project Risks, Costs and Safety in Electrical System Protection

An EIC Live webinar discussing power system protection and regulations.

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EI LIVE | Oil and Gas Industry Fundamentals - Awareness - November 2020

This 4-day awareness training course provides delegates with an overview of principal activities in the international upstream, midstream and downstream petroleum industry.

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CQRM - Certified in Quantitative Risk Management - November 2020

This 4-day CQRM - Certified in Quantitative Risk Management training course will teach delegates how to acquire updated and practical knowledge in risk management from a quantitative approach to measure, analyse and make decisions.

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EI LIVE | Economics of the Oil and Gas Industry

A 4-day online introduction to the economics of the oil and gas industry. This course is suitable for students who are new to the oil and gas industry.

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EI LIVE | Introduction to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - November 2020

This 4-day training course provides an introduction to the LNG chain. Suitable for students who are new to the LNG sector and/or those with a non-technical background.

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Technical guidance publications

Proceedings of the 20th World Petroleum Congress. Energy Solutions for All: Promoting Cooperation, Innovation and Investment. 4-8 December, 2011, Doha, Qatar

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Financial investment in energy efficiency

Taken from Croner's Energy Management loose-leaf manual, this 30-page module identifies a number of accountancy techniques to help energy managers quantify potential savings by investing in energy efficiency. It outlines the basic principals of investment appraisal, explains the barriers to investin...

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