Industrial users are going to have to bear the brunt as governments around the world struggle to bring down carbon emissions.

That is the finding of a new white paper produced by Schneider Electric Professional Services – “Five Global Trends Shaping the Future of Energy”.

It is well known in the UK that government policy is often driven by domestic energy cost concerns, but 75% of consumption is from industrial users. Now industrial users seem set to take the heat to achieve increased carbon reduction.

The white paper takes a bold look at the future of energy across the globe in the coming years with discussion and explanation of what it means to energy users.

The document is divided into five key sections – Global Energy & Crude Oil Trends; Global Emissions Schemes; Crude Oil’s Shale Revolution; Global Natural Gas; and Global Power trends.

Some interesting findings from the white paper include:

  1. Global energy demand will continue to grow in the coming decades – just not in developed countries.
    This presents a distinct dichotomy in global energy consumption. For although global energy demand is set to grow by a third over the next two decades, demand from developed nations is set to remain relatively flat. In other words, global demand growth will be entirely generated by developing nations.
  2. Harsh lessons for the European carbon market should benefit new emissions schemes.
    What hasn’t worked for the EU ETS will ultimately be cast aside by developers of future schemes, while greater focus will be placed on what has been more successful. The EU ETS has been taught some harsh lessons in recent years, and it is these lessons which should be of the greatest benefit to those new markets that are being planned. But the EU ETS looks a roaring success when compared to its United Nations counterpart.
  3. Why the US oil shale revolution is a big deal – except for the consumer.
    So while the US will see distinct benefits from rising domestic production in the form of greater energy independence, benefits at the pump seem a much less likely scenario. The common presumption that the US shale oil boom should reduce gasoline and diesel prices in the US is a great example of how counterintuitive these markets can be without in-depth research to drive conclusions and actions.
  4. Global natural gas – how price divergences are bringing the world together.
    The increasingly interdepending natural gas markets will introduce new complexities to natural gas markets everywhere.
  5. Power Price Volatility & the Changing Generation Mix.
    Unlike coal, natural gas, oil products, and many agricultural commodities, electric power cannot be stored in commercial quantities. This provides a distinct market differentiation for power relative to other commodities. As renewable generation capacity and utilisation grows in global power markets, we are likely to see increasing volatility in electric power prices.