Energy hasn’t been so hot since they invented fire… who will win this race?
Nothing in the energy business can compete with oil for volatility, geopolitical drama, or sheer utility. Its low price per barrel won’t last forever, but it may last through the year(s) ahead. What will be changing at a historic pace in the next years? Everything else. Gas. Coal. Solar. Wind. Batteries. Cars. This is every energy source for itself, one clawing its way over another for markets, financing, subsidies, and friendly policies.
Coal is the biggest loser, broken and bleeding, as banks decline to lay out funds for new plants. New laws are locking in less polluting fuels, and the international climate movement is trying to zero out carbon emissions in the decades ahead.
Beyond coal’s pain, change is so monumental that it’s difficult to say who the winner will be. It’s easier to say what won’t be. Nuclear won’t. It’s kind of running in place, benefiting from its status as a low-carbon power source but suffering from its expense and most everyone’s reluctance to welcome new reactors in their backyards.
Natural gas is the coal killer, undercutting coal’s price as a power generation fuel. Low prices are great for destroying competitors, but they can leave investors hurting.
Renewables are no longer “alternative energy.” Solar power is competitive with fossil electricity in more and more places every year. Global demand for the sun reached a new high this year, and solar is that rare thing that liberals and many free-market conservatives in the U.S. can agree to love. Wind power is cheaper than coal in Germany and the U.K., which closes all its coal plants by 2023.
Which brings us back to oil. Prices may stay low thanks to resilient U.S. output, renewed Iranian exports, and Saudi Arabia’s strategy to sell at whatever price it needs to maintain market share. And there’s a funny thing about oil that you might not have noticed. It doesn’t really compete with other energy sources. It powers cars, ships, and planes. The others generate electricity.
So the true wild card for oil, beyond any price whips, is how fast cars start to run on electricity instead of gasoline. If electric vehicles unify transportation and generation, that would draw the lifeblood of civilization into the no-holds-barred energy slugfest…
And the revolution is just beginning.
Energy is at the heart of everything we do to make its transition to a lower-carbon world, combining experience, technology, and skills from energy, infrastructure, transportation, automotive & aviation, internationally – Asia EMEA USA focused.
Business Development in Power, Oil, Gas, and Fuels
The construction of power plants in the EPC, EPCM, and E+P formulas or according to investors’ expectations.
We engage in providing comprehensive, specialist contracting services for natural gas, crude oil, and fuel facilities. We act with general contractors, consortium members, or sub-contractors with respect to engineering design work, construction, repairs, operation, and maintenance in the field of production of natural gas and crude oil, the transmission of natural gas and crude oil, storage of natural gas and fuels (LNG, LPG, C5+, and CNG).
In the fuel segment, we carry out projects involving both constructions of new facilities and modernization of existing fuel terminals, together with auxiliary infrastructure.
Low Carbon Transition
Investing in natural gas, LNG, electricity, and renewables.
Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the energy industry, but the energy industry is not the biggest challenge for a world trying to tackle climate change. We do not pump oil and gas from the ground and then leave it sitting in storage facilities. People consume it. They drive. They cook. They run their businesses.
You can see the acceleration of how society is mobilized, which we think is a good thing, But there is no way to make such a huge energy transition without huge investments – part of the problem is that people don’t want to pay for it. So the world needs a more mature debate where suppliers and users of energy join to figure out how to do things.
The Future of Energy
The future of energy is electric. It is a future that is evolving rapidly, bringing significant changes. Traditional suppliers are scrambling to stake their claims and remain relevant. Market trends point toward a future that is low carbon. The future market will deliver lower costs for some, but higher prices and more power disruptions for others. This transition is being driven by trends that industry experts call “the Three Ds,” that is, decarbonization, digitalization, and decentralization. These three trends are impacting the power grid and will provoke changes that deliver more-reliable power for some customers, but more challenges for others.
Microgrids Will Impact the Energy Market
Microgrids are an example of the three Ds converging. Imagine customers who decide to take control of their energy destinies by installing a combination of distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs can include solar, wind, batteries, combined heat and power (CHP), fuel cells, and more. These elements can be combined to form a microgrid, giving customers the capability to isolate themselves from the electrical grid.
If the power grid goes dark for any reason, microgrids can keep facilities operating. When properly designed, microgrids can help deliver cost-effective, reliable, relatively clean power. These qualities are immensely important for facilities that must operate around the clock, such as hospitals, data centers, airports, manufacturing plants, or wastewater treatment facilities—and the list is growing.
The proliferation of microgrids will have a huge impact on how the energy market works both for those that use microgrids and those that don’t. The growth of microgrids has the potential to create a have/have-not situation in energy, as those without microgrids could face higher costs and more disruption, while those with microgrids will have access to reliable power, even if the electrical grid experiences problems.
Cost Increases for Some Customers
As more organizations embrace microgrids and reduce reliance on traditional power suppliers, or exit the grid altogether, the customer pool shrinks, and the fixed costs of transmitting electricity and maintaining infrastructure are spread across fewer customers. So, as the electricity market evolves, customers reliant on traditional suppliers may see costs rise, while also experiencing more power disruptions or reduced power quality due to aging infrastructure with limited resources for upgrades and repairs.
Low-Carbon Energy and Transmission Costs
While many power generation sources are declining in price, the actual cost for delivering electrons has not changed much. In other words, delivering cheaper power produced by wind farms in rural areas still requires transmission and distribution lines to get to the market. Even if the costs of wind and solar dip well below natural gas, overall costs to the average customer may still rise due in part to the cost of transmission, distribution, and other factors.
While lowering the cost of transmission and distribution is challenging, the ultimate game-changer for impacting costs may be the pairing of renewable energy with battery storage. Technologies such as solar, wind, or battery enhancements are evolving so rapidly that cost curves from just two years ago are now completely out of date. Batteries are declining in cost, solar is now cheaper than conventional generation, and wind turbines are becoming larger and more efficient. Right now, natural gas generation picks up the slack from the intermittency of renewables, but in the future, storage technologies will fill more of this void.
The way the world produces and consumes energy is in transition. It’s clear the future will have more low-carbon power generation, but what that will mean for end-user costs and how the power grid will adapt are still unanswered questions