Geopolitical market changes and energy have a tendency to intertwine, and 2018 has proven no exception. Global energy is in the midst of what has been characterized as radical transformation – a world where Saudi Arabia invests in wind and solar, and Tesla Motors has a higher valuation than Ford. Similarly, the world’s political order is in flux with a surge of populist sentiment in the west and China’s continued rise shifting the global balance of power further east. That both arenas are amid profound shifts is not coincidence, nor unrelated.
In any case, 2018 should cement a central theme: global energy is becoming more renewable, less carbon-intensive and more resilient.
Ultimately, some of 2018’s most impactful energy trends will come from the political arena:
• In the U.S., a Republican-led overhaul of tax policy will continue to have major implications for U.S. energy over the next decade.
• In Europe, with one eye still on managing borders and the financial cost of the Brexit divorce, Germany is negotiating the formation of a coalition government. This coalition would determine critical targets to phase out coal and lift renewable capacity in Europe’s largest economy.
• In China, Xi Jinping is using climate change to boost China’s leadership on the global stage.
To catch up on these and other regional developments throughout the United States, China, India, Germany and the European Union – or to read up on 5 other trends impacting the energy and sustainability landscape in 2018 – download our Global Energy Outlook.