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The fast-growing online finance community ‘Finimize’ recently brought together a panel of industry insiders to discuss the future of renewable energy in a world still powered predominantly by oil and gas. While the event was aimed primarily at investors, it provided an interesting insight into the feasibility of the energy transition.
Panellists included Forbes Mitchell, a member of Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) Europe, Rebecca Williams, a Policy Manager at the renewable energy trade association RenewableUK, and Bas Sudmeijer, a partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group. While the latter two share a positive outlook on the ability of renewables to undercut and disrupt the market for traditionally-sourced energy, Forbes Mitchell believes that industry giants such as Saudi Aramco, will remain profitable investments for the foreseeable future.
The panellists laid out the current themes influencing energy markets - increases in global demand for energy, growing awareness of the risks associated with warming climates, carbon pricing, and the rapid growth and resulting drop in prices of commercial-scale renewable energy generation – all of which represent underlying risks to the oil and gas industry that are now being priced into its valuation.
Next, barriers to a successful transition to renewable energy were discussed – the huge financial cost of sunk assets, the
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