Although we hear a great deal about national energy policies it is important to remember that this is a global sector. Prices are set internationally. So are patterns of investment and developments in technology. Emissions and climate change are international issues. National policies can protect, subsidise or tax different elements of energy production and consumption – but they are essentially local responses to external, global developments.
I think it is therefore worth looking at what is shaping the global market. It would be silly to reduce a complex system to a single answer but what stands out at the moment and for the foreseeable future is the absolutely critical role of China. Read more