February 1, 2023

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CEOs on gas, renewables and the energy crisis

2 min read

From the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain shocks to rising inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, governments and businesses around the world are attempting to tackle and solve major crises — many of them interlinked — on multiple fronts.

Against this challenging backdrop, energy markets have been roiled, with gas and oil prices surging and fears over security of supply — Russia is a major exporter of hydrocarbons — heightened following the war in Ukraine.

All the above is taking place at a time when major economies and big firms are formulating plans to move away from fossil fuels to low and zero-emission alternatives.

Events in Europe over the past few months have thrown the fragility of this planned energy transition into sharp relief. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, said he thought we were “in the middle of the first global energy crisis.”

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During a separate discussion at Davos moderated by CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick, a panel of experts and business leaders addressed how best the world could find a way out of the tumultuous situation it now faces.  

“We are at a crossroads,” María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition, said. “One could think that, because of the energy crisis, it makes sense to invest in fossil fuels, but it’s rather the opposite,” she said.

Gas was now more expensive than solar or wind, Mendiluce argued. The goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels — a key part of the Paris Agreement — was, she said, “pretty much dead unless we accelerate the transition.”

Clean energy, Mendiluce said, provided energy security, jobs, a healthy environment and was cost competitive. “So it is now or never … if you’re going to invest, you’d rather invest in renewables than … in an asset that might become stranded pretty soon.”

Patrick Allman-Ward is CEO of Dana Gas, a natural…

2022-06-03 02:23:48

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