The World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) is Capgemini’s annual thought leadership and research report, created in partnership with De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, Vaasa ETT and Enerdata that tracks the development and transformation of electricity and gas markets in Europe, North America, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, and China.

Now in its 23rd edition, this year’s report focuses on six key areas:

The report also explores the evolution of leading industry players and predicts major trends for the future. Key findings include:

  • Electricity spot markets are at record high levels, linked to sustained demand, lower generation capacity margins, high gas prices, and, in Europe, high carbon prices.
  • Supply of renewable-based electricity has increased while renewable costs continued to decrease in 2020: both solar and wind power generation capacities rose in 2020, representing 10% of the electricity generation market. The downward cost trend could reverse in 2021 and in the following years, as critical metal, equipment, and transportation prices as well as interest rates increase.
  • Growing momentum around green hydrogen, which has the potential to decarbonize an additional 15% of the world economy. Green hydrogen is costly, around three times more expensive than fossil-based hydrogen; however, decreasing renewable electricity and electrolyser costs could lead towards parity by 2030.
  • Competition in the electricity and gas retail markets has largely recovered early 2021, however, presently, high energy prices are triggering consolidations. Whilst utilities demonstrated financial resilience in 2020, oil and gas players were more severely hit, though many have now recovered thanks to higher demand and prices for oil and gas. Stakeholders pressure on oil and gas majors has accelerated their diversification towards electricity, renewables and e-mobility and reinforced their carbon neutrality commitments, particularly for European International Oil Companies (IOCs).
  • Energy and utilities players are moving quickly to decarbonize and harness the current energy transition to develop new models and reinvent themselves in valuable ways. By digitizing and embracing low-carbon technologies. Many are attempting to find the right balance between meeting stakeholders’ expectations and ensuring business transformation in competitive markets.
  • Whilst the appeal for clean technologies, essential to energy transition, begins to intensify, it is crucial to remember that achieving this means not compromising on security of energy supplies or energy affordability.

Recommendations from WEMO to meet climate change goals whilst ensuring energy security of supply, and affordability for citizens, are:

  • Setting ambitious but realistic energy transition plans considering the adaptation time of societies, their industries, and the lifestyles of their populations.
  • Accelerating research in low carbon technologies (solar, wind, electrical batteries, green hydrogen) and reducing administration obstacles for the construction of renewable installations.
  • Measuring the effect of actions taken. Financial institutions should define standardized extra-financial criteria, thus enabling comparisons between efforts undertaken by companies.
  • Paying special attention to cybersecurity. Smarter systems, notably smarter electrical grids, are needed to accommodate a large share of renewables. However, this is tied to an increased cybersecurity risk as more devices become connected to networks.
  • Implementing adaptation measures to cope with the delay in reaching climate objectives.