Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The rapid growth in the world’s population from 7.6 billion to 9.8 billion by 2050(as per UN report) and the escalating demand for urbanization continues to drive energy price. The global electricity demand has been growing two times the overall energy use, while, the global agencies are trying to devise policies to reduce harmful emissions of fossil fuels. In recent years, the world recorded significant growth in the development of carbon centric energy sources and the greatest competition in the sector comes from the environmental friendly sectors.
Everything we use today from automobiles to appliances works on energy. The energy industry contains – electrical power industry, gas, coal, petroleum and the renewable energy sector. The sector often used to refer to oil is the most important resource of the economy. In the last 15 years, The Energy Select SPDR ETF which holds broad ranges of such companies outpaced the Dow Jones Industrial average by > 220 per cent.
No industry has a bigger impact on the world than the oil and gas industry. The production and consumption of oil are one of the main factors for the global economies to sustain and grow. The sector is driven by supply and demand principles, and there are many companies involved in various stages of production and supply. It is a highly regulated market where the government regulates and restricts the participation of private companies. Oil output is expected to keep growing to meet the demand. There are diverse investment options in the oil and gas sector where one can invest in upstream oil or natural gas drilling or in mining stocks of companies into coal and uranium mining.
Due to the rapid increase in clean and sustainable energy, the demand for coal is expected to decline. Coal was mostly used for electricity generation, steel production, cement manufacturing and as a liquid fuel. Currently, 38 per cent of the world’s electricity is produced from coal power plants but there are numerous calls for global coal phase-out.
Also, there are alternative options in energy conservation and storage sectors like electric battery and carbon fuels where one can invest in stocks of companies in areas like efficiency improvement or the industrial giants working in giving way to more efficient fluorescent bulbs / LEDs. The energy sector involves stages – generation, networks and retail. The generators produce energy and the networks help to transport the energy to homes in several stages. The retail sells it to consumers.
In the last few years, the demand for renewable energy has increased where PV installation grew significantly. The global agency expects such energies to supply at least 30 per cent of the global needs by 2040. In the last decade, natural gas accounted for 45% of the increase in energy consumption and its demand is expected to moderate in coming years. Nuclear energy made a growing contribution to clean energy and there were 449 reactors across the world in the last year. By the end of 2020, it is expected that 20 new reactors will join the global grids.