Global energy investment in 2017 totalled almost $1.8 trillion, accounting for 2.2% of global GDP

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?

Will the pandemic put the brakes on the growing EV market?

The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound impacts on the transport sector, and road transport in particular. How are electric vehicles likely to fare during and after the crisis? Elliot Tawney takes a look.

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Green light for Northern Lights investment

Equinor, Shell and Total have decided to invest in the Northern Lights project in Norway's first exploitation licence for CO₂ storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Plans for development and operation have been handed over to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.The investment decisio...

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Oil market fall less than expected

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest (May 2020) Oil Market Report says that better-than-expected mobility in OECD countries and the gradual easing of lockdown measures means it now forecasts 2Q2020 demand to fall by around 20mn b/d year-on-year, about 3mn b/d under its original forecast. F...

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Hydrogen central to oil and gas industry decarbonisation as expectations for market growth surge

A new report reveals that hydrogen has surged up the priority list of many oil and gas organisations, taking a primary position in the sector’s decarbonisation efforts. A fifth (21%) of senior oil and gas industry professionals surveyed say their organisation is already actively entering the hy...

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The road to oil market recovery will be slow and choppy

Oil markets can expect more pain to come in the weeks and months ahead as they face an uphill battle back to ‘normal’,’ reports IHS Markit Energy Advisory Service. The raw market forces that have been unleashed – record demand destruction, record supply cuts, record inventory bills and even, for a m...

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Events and training

EI LIVE free webinar | Energy investment & innovation

Energy investment & innovation - strategic challenges for an industry in transition - 2 June 2020, 12pmThis free online webinar is organised by the UK Committee of the World Petroleum Council in association with the Energy Institute. The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has quickly evolved i...

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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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Oil and Gas Industry Fundamentals - Awareness - September 2020

This 2-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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EI LIVE | Introduction to LNG - September 2020

This 4-day online 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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