For the first time ever, the electricity sector edged ahead of the oil investment in thailand 2017 gas sector in 2016 to become the largest recipient of energy investment. Today, energy investment in China is increasingly driven by low-carbon electricity supply and networks, and energy efficiency. United States, owing to a strong government push to modernise and expand India’s power system and enhance access to electricity supply.

2014 and 2016, it appears that upstream oil and gas investment will rebound modestly in 2017. The oil and gas industry is undertaking a major transformation in the way it operates, with an increased focus on activities delivering paybacks in a shorter period of time and the sanctioning of simplified and streamlined projects. The global cost curve has rebased, and the significant component of cost reduction experienced over the last two years is likely to persist in the foreseeable future. Financial health of oil and gas companies The downturn in oil prices did not significantly affect the funding of investments by oil and gas companies, though most of them increased leverage significantly.

100 billion between late 2014 and early 2017. Independent US oil companies, which have a more leveraged business model, initially saw debt costs soar, but the availability and cost of bond financing has improved with a rebound of oil prices since early 2016 and their financial health has improved with efficiency gains. Increased interest in shale assets by large oil companies and financial pressures to reduce debt led to a series of asset sales by independents. 718 billion, with an increase in spending on networks partially offsetting a drop in power generation. China, though investment remained elevated in India. Gas-fired power investment remained strong, most of it in North America, the Middle East and North Africa where cheap gas resources are abundant.

The 10 GW of nuclear power capacity that came on line in 2016 was the highest in over 15 years, but it results from investment decision taken years ago. India and Southeast Asia, where the grid is expanding rapidly to accommodate growing demand. Impact of policies and new business models Government policies and new business models are having a profound impact on the way investment in electricity supply is funded. However, significant changes are occurring in some sectors and markets.

In wholesale markets, funding new thermal generation increasingly depends on capacity payments or other revenues beyond wholesale markets. While Europe spent the most on energy efficiency 2016, the fastest growth occurred in China, where a strengthening of energy efficiency policies is helping to reduce the energy intensity of the economy, alongside structural changes. Room for improvement in performance standards While the energy performance standards of equipment and appliances in emerging economies are gradually tightening, there is still a lot of room for improvement. 10 TWh in India alone, exacerbating peak loads.

These technologies improve overall efficiency and if co-ordinated with renewables deployment could help decarbonise space heating and mobility, though so far their impact on oil and gas demand is small. The 750 000 EVs sold in 2016, another record year for EVs, are expected to reduce transport oil demand by only 0. This share has barely changed in recent years, though sources of finance are changing in some sectors. Sources of finance for the USD 1. This is largely due to the increased role of SOEs in electricity sector investment, notably in China. Productivity improvements are also unfolding for key renewable power generation technologies. A snapshot comparison of different power generation technologies suggests that renewables tend to create more upfront jobs in construction and manufacturing whereas thermal generation requires more ongoing employment in operations and fuel supply.

However, the impact on employment of investment in different power generation technologies is likely to be highly region-specific, partly because of the geographical mismatch between fossil fuel production and clean energy deployment as well as due to differences in the international competitiveness of relevant engineering and construction industries. Labour intensity also varies markedly across regions for the same technology. The role of digital technologies in the energy sector The future role of digital technologies for generating, handling and communicating data has taken centre stage in energy discussions. 47 billion was spent in 2016 on infrastructure and software directed towards digitalisation of the electricity sector to facilitate more flexible network operation, demand management and integration of renewable resources.