With Day One well and truly hurtling us into future focused thinking, Day Two kicked off with a theme around navigating a cleaner energy future.
We are certainly in a period of transition across the energy landscape. We all have a key role and Australia is playing its part in shaping the conversation around a lower carbon economy.
From population increase to technological innovations, leadership and organisational buy-in to robust commitments around low cost solutions the context is extremely favourable to working together, more than ever before, as we collectively shape the future of the energy industry.
We asked a range of important questions yesterday and the list justifiably continues:
How do we better explain the positive role our sector can play? How can we collaborate more often? How can we put our sector’s role front and centre across domestic and global policy discussions?
Experts and thought leaders throughout Day Two focused on ways in which we can tackle these challenges – powered by new solutions, innovation, different perspectives and the ability to see both the granular details and the bird’s eye view.
Based on all the speakers and presenters from Day Two, here are five key themes that will steer our society to a cleaner energy future:
#1 A future fuelled by hydrogen
Discussions brought to life the use of hydrogen to address our emission targets. Hydrogen is a valuable option due to the high levels of energy produced and low emissions.
While it doesn’t exist in its natural form (unless in the stars), the ability for it to be a powerful renewable pathway is most valuable. The biggest opportunity explored is the use of hydrogen for transport, across small and large vehicles, heating our buildings, for electricity storage and generation. Hydrogen as a source of energy has enormous growth potential.
There is a growing demand for hydrogen (such as that mentioned in Japan), as well as plummeting production costs. Furthermore, decreasing utilisation costs means that hydrogen can become a key player. From hydrogen powered cars to fuelling trains (and even a ferry), there are a diversity of cost benefit outcomes.
What does this all mean? It adds up to a great opportunity for Australia. The race is on – against a backdrop of safety measures, commercial scalability and regulation.
#2 Collaboration is critical
Ready to drive change? We heard today from the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – a voluntary CEO-led initiative taking practical actions on climate change. OGCI members leverage collective strength to lower carbon footprints of energy, industry, transportation value chains via engagements, policies, investments and deployment.
A theme that emerged strongly was a focus on collaboration across the entire industry and all levels of leadership. The direct engagement of CEOs and teams are critical in driving change, sharing experiences and moving towards sustainable energy solutions.
This sense of teamwork and working together is one that applies to all areas of the energy industry. It’s a focus on improving practices, targets, our collective ambition and the ability to unlock lower carbon solutions across the entire value chain.
Collaboration is also about promoting excellence. This lies in the ability to share best practices and to engage dynamic thinkers across the industry – looking at long term scenarios and immediate imperatives.
By working together we can all develop practical actions for a sustainable future – from reducing methane, carbon dioxide emissions and more. Technology is going to have an increasingly critical role in achieving game changing solutions for the industry.
Industry and Government, along with communities and NGOs need to collaborate further to achieve win-win outcomes.
#3 Renewables, technology, opportunity and affordability
In 2019 and beyond we’re likely to see a continued investment in the core renewable space, with low carbon transport options on the rise.
Across this changing energy terrain, differentiation is key – offering a suite of services to customers, including residential players, consumers and corporations. It’s about considering: will customers want to purchase clean energy services from an oil and gas company or their current provider?
Demand for renewables is expected to grow. For example, smart cites are incorporating more renewable components and emerging markets are also increasing their demand. With this challenge comes a greater opportunity for developments around affordability, reliability and cleaner energy solutions.
During this time of change, it’s critical that the customer and user experience moves front of mind.
#4 Insights on the investor experience
The questions kept on coming throughout Day Two. What’s driving investment decisions across oil and gas?
Investors are acting on climate change because they see it as a financial and investment risk. In terms of how they are thinking about climate change, it is certainly evolving. There has been deep consolidation of those drivers around ways of thinking.
Investors are looking for clarity around direction and purpose – are you dealing with the challenges that investors are considering? How well are you really managing these issues?
Constructive conversations are critical. In business strategy, improvements across the value change are needed.
Consistency, consistency, consistency.
That is what investors are looking for. It’s important to keep this front and centre – investors are looking to invest in technology and solutions across the industry, are taking different approaches and have varying levels of risk appetite.
#5 Local and global perspectives on LNG
The world is experiencing an unprecedented energy transition – and this is being felt in the LNG market. LNG is competing against long term commitments for other projects versus the needs and dynamic changes of the market place – and a new breed of buyers.
It was expressed that the close-knit LNG group of the past is breaking up. When it comes to determining the future, it’s interesting to look at signposts (from crude oil markets) around demand, flexibility, volatility, institutions and overall transparency – and how they apply to LNG.
What’s in store? Well, insights revealed that it’s likely new business models will emerge, LNG indices will continue to evolve and portfolio players and new digital platforms are key.
If we shift our focus locally to across Asia Pacific, it was discussed that rapid urbanisation has driven China’s energy consumption. LNG provides supply diversity – but in order to grow its market share, LNG must be price competitive. China’s demand for LNG will continue to have implications across the industry and China is on track to become one of the world’s biggest LNG buyers.
Ready to inspire action?
We’ve seen today that collaboration is such an important theme. It’s about understanding risk and challenges – to plan, mitigate, survive and thrive. A collaborative conversation is crucial.
We are in the midst of enormous opportunity and that’s why now is the time to unlock potential. Individuals don’t have all the answers – let’s all continue to work together as we inspire leaders and organisations of today and tomorrow.