Yesterday Carbon Brief attended a provocative
event on energy hosted by right-leaning magazine the
The tone of the event was set by the titles
assigned to panel discussions including "how broke is the UK energy
market" and "does Europe have a credible energy policy"
The whole thing was best summed up by Marcus
Trinick, partner at law firm Eversheds, which hosted the event.
"There is no such thing
as objective truth in energy policy. Truth is the first casualty of
the discussion. Everyone has a position."
Here's a summary of some of the discussions that
Predictions are hard, especially about the
The broadly unforeseen yet transformational
impacts of the north American shale revolution were cited
frequently at the event.
This is a good example of how hard it is
predict the future of energy. But the
failure to accurately predict the future signified different things
to different people. For Aldo Flores-Quiroga, secretary general of
the International Energy Forum, it suggested that assumptions on
energy futures should always be discussed and
These assumptions have recently been converging
around a shared set of ideas, he said. For instance the idea that
future increases in energy demand will be driven by rising Asian
consumption and that rising demand can be met by unconventional oil
and gas supplies. Yet the evidence around the profitability and
productivity of shale gas was unclear, Aldo-Quiroga
Aldo-Quiroga also questioned the value of oil
price projections. Predicting where oil prices will go in future is
"futile", he said.
"I know it's the
business of traders and investors to bet on prices but I don't know
why people do these very long-term projections. There are too many
moving parts, we just don't know what will happen."