Energy policy is closely connected to such important metrics as employment and profit growth, household income as well as overall economic growth. So, knowing what to expect in energy for the rest of 2019 is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of business leaders.
And these executives gathered at the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s offices on April 3 to hear from Nick Loris, research fellow in energy and environmental policy with The Heritage Foundation and a nationally known expert on energy matters.
Loris spoke during the 2019 GCP Energy Breakfast sponsored by Kinect Energy and explained to attendees what they should expect from the nation’s energy markets for the remainder of 2019. Specifically, Loris covered topics including what’s ahead for energy pricing for the remainder of the year; how the energy supply outlook is shaping up; an overview of the regulations coming out of Washington, D.C. and the impact they have on energy; and the latest developments in energy efficiency trends and mandates.
Following are just some of the highlights Loris covered during his 45-minute presentation.
Energy demand. There’s been an increase in consumption both in the United States and developing countries during the past several years, driven by natural gas and, in part, its increased usage during recent colder winters. Also, developing countries such as China and India have helped demand for oil rebound thanks to the strong economic growth currently happening in those countries. Meantime, domestically, oil production has been “phenomenal” and is continuing to break records and he is not expecting that production to slow.
Electricity and energy consumption growth in happening in several industries, such as in the plastics sector, as well. Finally, Loris pointed out there’s been a dramatic shift during the past decade toward renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy. Speaking of energy efficient sources, Loris said that global energy efficiency has improved but not at the rapid pace seen in 2015-2016. Further, Loris emphasized that efficient energy sources does not necessarily translate into less energy use; rather, it incentivizes people to use more energy, which can cause a rebound in demand. Loris added that while more regions are making significant investments in renewable energy (Texas, for instance, would be the world’s fifth largest wind power producer if it were its own country), that doesn’t mean that fossil fuels will be going away. Fossil fuels remain cheap and abundant and will remain a key player on the world’s energy scene for a long time, Loris said.
Challenges. One of the biggest question marks going forward as it relates to energy has to do with infrastructure and how to get natural gas and other fuel sources to market, as well as how to get them exported elsewhere. If planned infrastructure projects do end up going online, it will have a big impact on the country’s standing in the energy industry. For example, the United States stands to be the world’s largest liquid natural gas exporter if all of these projects end up coming to fruition.
As far as nuclear power is concerned, Loris does not expect to see many new reactors built because they have become more costly and time-consuming to build, not to mention the fact that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission closely limits the number of licenses granted to develop reactor technology.
The GCP’s team of energy advisors consult on a wide range of energy-related issues, including natural gas and electric procurement; risk management; infrastructure development; sustainability programs; regulatory services; financial solutions; and a full slate of rebates and incentives. Learn more about our Energy Team and how they can help your business achieve its energy goals to increase efficiencies, enhance sustainability and decrease and manage costs.
The 2019 GCP Energy Breakfast is just one of the many events held by the Greater Cleveland Partnership each year to help companies build connections and obtain the resources they need to grow. View a calendar of events and find a topic that will help your business succeed.