The consequences of cheaper fossil energy

How do lower fossil prices affect renewables, climate policy goals and the competitiveness of regions?

Date: Thursday 19th of November 2015
Time: 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm
Venue: Bryggarsalen "Brygghuset", Norrtullsgatan 12 N, Stockholm.

Over the past few years considerable shifts have occurred in the markets for fossil energy. The so called shale revolution in the US brought down prices for natural gas, in turn affecting coal. Last year the shale boom contributed to a sharp price reduction also for oil. Other factors are curbing global demand both for energy and other commodities. These shifts have effects for international trade patterns and for the competitiveness of different kinds of fuels. It is quite possible that we have entered a longer period when the prices of fossil fuels will vary around lower trend lines than the ones we got used to during the first years of this decade.

The seminar focused on the consequences of this development for the competitiveness between the fossil fuels and renewables in different markets and applications; e.g. power generation, heating and transportation. Lower costs for fossil fuels will also affect nuclear power. As background we compared the development of prices for fossil fuels over the past years, and examine how the trade patterns have changed.

Affordable prices for fossil fuels will stimulate economic growth and tend to increase the demand for both coal and oil. We discussed how this may affect climate policy and the ambitions to make the energy system more sustainable, internationally and in Europe.

The changing energy markets have also caused energy costs to develop differently between regions. We looked into the consequences of this development and what effects it may have for the competitiveness of industry in different parts of the world, among others Europe and Sweden.

Moderator

Joshua Prentice, Policy Officer at the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and Energy.

Speakers

  • Bjarne Schieldrop
    Chief Analyst Commodities, SEB Merchant banking, previously active as consultant in carbon market analysis and in trading of energy derivatives.
  • Marianne Haug
    Professor of Energy Policy and Sustainable Development at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, previously Director at the International Energy Agency.
  • Stefan Fölster
    Head of the Reform Institute, Adjunct Professor of Economics at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, previously Chief Economist at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.