The Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (IEF), Dr Sun Xiansheng and the Head of Research at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), David Hobbs moderated dialogue on energy security in transition at the 4th IEF-KAPSARC Thought Leaders’ Roundtable meeting on 15 February 2018. Discussions, governed by Chatham House Rule, explored whether fossil fuels will share common or differentiated energy futures, and how energy transition policies influence oil and gas investment assessing realities and visions.
The roundtable examined the future of oil, gas, and coal in a low demand growth environment. Panelists highlighted how subsidies on both fossil-, and non-fossil fuels, from coal to renewables, affect supply and demand patterns in producer and consumer countries differently according to varying needs. Panelists from consumer countries emphasised the importance of infrastructure investment to ensure networks are sufficiently resilient and robust to accommodate new technologies and changing demand and supply patterns. Though technology breakthroughs in unconventional oil and gas production and decentralised electricity generation are difficult to foresee, producers and consumers who swiftly adapt to these developments will succeed in the new market environment. Producer country representatives underlined the importance of improving energy efficiency in energy supply chains and economic sectors that rely on fossil fuels. They also highlighted the importance of diversifying energy technologies by unlocking investment from the private sector.
The roundtable follows up on a year-long engagement to explore scenarios for producers and consumers navigating the transition to a lower carbon energy future. The initiative was launched at the Third IEF-KAPSARC Thought Leaders’ Roundtable in 2017. Outcomes of these discussions will help to inform the global energy dialogue at the 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial Meeting under the theme "The Future of Global Energy Security, Transition, Technology, Trade, and Investment" hosted by India in New Delhi on 10-12 April 2018.