The world is on the cusp of global energy changes


  • Alexey Mastepanov Institute of Oil and Gas Problems of RAS, Moscow, Russia; Gubkin RSU of Oil and Gas, Moscow, Russia; Institute of Energy Strategy, Moscow, Russia


world energy, energy transformations, geopolitics, global climate change, energy markets, globalization, energy philosophy, energy surplus, low-carbon energy, long-term forecasting, Russia


The paper describes the features of the world energy development at the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with a special focus on the main events, trends and factors of energy transformations in this period. A new energy landscape of the world and the most important challenges, processes and factors that shape this landscape have been analyzed. The inconsistency of a number of trends was especially noted, which, in the author's opinion, indicates an increase in the degree of uncertainty in the development of the world economy as a whole and the world energy in particular. Globalization, geopolitics, and the rapid development of science and technology make their contribution to this growth. The situation is aggravated by the emerging surplus of energy resources, which changes the very basis of the energy philosophy. The new driving forces of the observed and upcoming transformations are examined in detail, in particular the need to respond to the challenges facing  humanity due to climate change, and the projected alterations in the energy balance caused by the effects of the 4th industrial revolution. The most important directions and tools for implementing a climate-oriented energy policy, including the formation of low-carbon or carbon-free energy sector of the future, the role of globalization in the future energy development, as well as trends and transformations of global energy markets, are explored. Consideration has been given to new approaches to the long-term forecasting of the global energy development, that are applied by leading international and national analytical centers, as well as to their assessments of trends in global consumption of energy, oil and other liquid fuels. The current energy situation in Russia is analyzed and conclusions are made about the need to change the priorities of the energy policy of the Russian Federation in the context of the global energy changes.