Will the coronavirus pandemic hasten the move away from fossil fuels and accelerate a transition towards cleaner energies? Or will the economic downturn see green investment slow as cheaper, less efficient energy becomes a necessity as companies strive to recover from the recession? These questions lie at the heart of debate as energy companies consider the fallout of the crisis and what it means for the global energy transition. No sector has been left unscathed; energy demand plummeted during the crisis across oil, gas, coal and power sectors ; oil and gas companies face an existential challenge only heightened by the crisis which has seen oil prices reach historic lows and investors question their continuing support for the sector as dividends decline. Renewables have fared better, benefitting from continuing growth, but the pandemic may divert attention and halt momentum in this fast growing sector. Yet, despite the many challenges ahead, the direction of travel remains clear. The pandemic provides an opportunity to refocus policy, economic stimulus measures and investment priorities on the challenges ahead – to move deeper and faster to accelerate the energy transition and ensure Paris climate goals are met.
This year’s FT Energy Transition Strategies Summit has the fingers on the pulse of the disruption in the industry. Our distinguished panel of policymakers, industry experts and investors bring the discussion back to energy – to the measures and actions now needed to reach the goal of net zero carbon, the future of power markets, and the strategies to survive and thrive in the energy transition reshaped by a global pandemic.