In this report

Emerging stories suggest there are momentous changes under way in the global energy system, undermining received wisdom in the sector. It is clear that the world is shifting toward renewables and — as a proportion of total consumption — away from oil, gas and coal

Fossil fuels lose out to renewables

Indian workers construct part of the France-India Solar Direct Punjab Solar Park project in Muradwala
©AFP/Getty Images

Old certainties no longer hold sway as new plans for energy supply surprise

In March 2016, the first LNG cargo from the Gorgon Project was successfully loaded and set sail from Barrow Island.

Dismal delivery puts big oil projects at risk

The majors can no longer afford delays or cost overruns on ‘megaprojects’

Tilling the land: farmers working irrigated fields

Kenyans use solar power to water their land

Renewable power reduces agricultural labour costs and diesel demand

(LtoR) Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande pose for a family photo during the "Mission Innovation - Accelerating the Clean Energy Revolution" meeting on the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015
©AFP/Getty Images

Cleantech investors need patience after losses

The Silicon Valley model did not work for clean energy, but world leaders promise more money

A map of renewable and fossil fuel subsidies

Government support for ‘dirty’ fuels across the world still exceeds that for renewables

This wheel’s on fire: a nuclear reactor design by General Atomics of the US

Small modular reactors are nuclear’s future

Scaled-down plants offer price gains over conventional sites

Electric cars must charge harder

Despite the hype, electric vehicles enjoy niche rather than mass-market appeal

©James Ferguson

High ambitions for carbon capture falter

Governments have been scaling back their support for emission reduction schemes

Tough times generate energy efficiency

Impressive progress is being made to reduce the cost of power

A vintage Shell sign is seen illuminated at a Shell gas station in Cambridge, Massachusetts, December 12, 2014
©Brian Snyder/Reuters

Renewables scrutinised as oil price falls

The collapse in the cost of hydrocarbons undermines those who advocate alternative energy sources

Argentina aims to join shale trailblazers

The country pins its energy hopes on enviable unconventional resources

Saudi Arabia looks towards solar power

The kingdom seeks to supplement grid supplies with green power

Inspection drones take off as flying robots replace rigworkers

Unmanned aerial vehicles offer the prospect of cheaper, quicker and safer inspectors

Denmark considers wind a less volatile option

As the UK wrangles on subsidies, Danish support for renewables remains high

Others seek to mimic US shale success

America’s headstart in fracking relied on a unique set of conditions

Oil groups squeeze capital investment

Oil companies are squeezing investment so they can maintain dividends


Technology drives smarter thinking

Disruption pushes sector to reinvent the way it does business

New generation biofuels pass a milestone

Science and regulations still temper expectations

Japan revisits pre-Fukushima nuclear past

Three years on, there are moves to restart the reactors

Smart meters deliver benefits – and costs

Savings for suppliers and consumers come at a price

Managing Germany’s switch to greener power

There is new hope for struggling traditional providers

Reforms aim to cut cost of ‘Energiewende’

New rules protect Geman industry but increase the burden on consumers

US shows how to conquer energy peaks

Users get better deals for accepting supply interruptions

Costs hamper shale extraction in China

Companies struggle with geology and state monopolies

Hydropower under scrutiny over value

Study comes amid new push to build more mega-dams

UK consumers resist calls to shop around

Nearly 40 per cent have never changed supplier