Medium-Term Reports (Coal, Gas, Oil, Renewables and Energy Efficiency)

Each year the IEA publishes reports that forecast market trends and developments for the next five years concerning the primary energy sources for global markets: oil, coal, gas and renewables. In addition, a market report assesses energy efficiency. This year's series started with Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2015, which was launched in London at Energy Intelligence's International Petroleum Week. Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015  was unveiled in June at the World Gas Congress in Paris. Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 was launched on 2 October on the sidelines of the Group of 20 leaders' meeting in Istanbul. Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 was introduced on 8 October via webinar and exceptionally is available for free download this year in view of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. The other title in the series, Medium-Term Coal Market Report, will be launched in Singapore on 18 December. 

The medium-term reports aim to contribute to market transparency through a comprehensive analysis of the recent trends and future prospects in terms of global demand, supply, processing and trade for oil, coal and gas as well as analysing the current drivers and barriers influencing deployment of renewable energy worldwide. The series examines planned investment in new capacity and infrastructure, highlighting potential market pressures to 2020. Trends in price formation and inter-fuel substitution potential are also covered.

Although published at different times of the year, the medium-term reports are consistent in terms of broad economic, price and policy assumptions, providing an integrated view of energy development over the medium term.

The most recent editions of the market reports can be ordered via the IEA Bookshop, and the Medium-Term Oil Market Report forms an integral part of the annual subscription service for the benchmark monthly Oil Market Report (OMR). 

Older editions of the medium-term reports are available below for free download.

Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR)

The recent oil market sell‑off, brought on by deep imbalances after years of record-high prices, will likely prove a milestone in the history of oil. Whichever way prices eventually evolve, markets may never be the same. The 2015 edition of the Medium-Term Oil Market Report sizes up the magnitude of this transformation so far and sketches the oil landscape at the 2020 horizon.

It is not just oil price signals that have changed, but also the market’s responsiveness to them. On the supply side, this Report’s forecast reflects not just lower price assumptions, but also the high price-sensitivity of US light tight oil compared with conventional crude, as well as OPEC’s embrace of market forces in late 2014 in a bid for market share.  On the demand front, it shows how the response to lower prices will differ in a low-growth, deflationary environment compared with a higher-growth one.

Not all factors can be easily predicted. Much hangs on the end of sanctions with Iran, on Islamist violence in oil-producing countries, and on future relations between Russia and the West. Such geopolitical risk factors are themselves a defining feature of the oil market for the medium term.

As in previous editions, this Report also offers key projections of global refining capacity, crude trade flows and product supply, this year with special focus on the impact of changing bunker fuel legislation.

Rarely has the oil market faced changes as sweeping as today. That makes the insights from the IEA Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2015 all the more timely and valuable. 

The Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2015 is now on sale in the IEA bookshop. Read the press release here.

Previous Medium-Term Oil Market Reports from 20142013 and 2012 are all free to download. 

Medium-Term Gas Market Report

The Medium-Term Gas Market Report provides a detailed analysis of demand, upstream investment and trade developments for the following five years that will shape the gas industry and the role of gas in the global energy system. Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015 was launched on 4 June at the World Gas Congress in Paris and is available for sale at the IEA Bookshop. Read the press release and see accompanying material here

Global natural gas demand remained weak in 2014, growing well below its ten-year average, according to the report. High prices for gas in the past two years undermined its competitiveness, bringing to light a harsh reality: in a world of cheap coal and falling costs for renewables, gas has laboured to compete. Although Asia has been regarded as an engine of future gas demand growth, the fuel has struggled to expand its share of the market in many parts of the region. This has raised questions over the viability of gas as an attractive strategic option across Asia.

The context for gas markets is changing rapidly, however. Falling oil prices have resulted in much lower gas prices in many parts of the world. As a result, gas demand is enjoying the tailwind of substantial price drops while the upstream sector is suffering amid large capital expenditure cuts. The interaction of these opposing effects on gas markets is examined in the IEA Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2015, which provides a detailed analysis of global demand, supply, and trade developments through 2020. The impact on global gas markets of Russia’s strategic shift in its gas export policy and the rising tide of liquefied natural gas supplies are given careful consideration. Two special insights also feature in this report. The first analyses the progress Europe has made in strengthening its gas infrastructure since 2010 and the major bottlenecks that still remain in enhancing the security of supply in the region. The second takes a close look at reforms to the gas and electricity sector in Mexico, investigating their impacts on North American gas markets. 

The previous Medium-Term Gas Market Report, for 2014, is available for free download here; the editions for 2013 and 2012 are also available for free download.  

Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report

Renewable sources of energy now stand poised to lead the world in new electricity supply. Supported by policies aimed at enhancing energy security and sustainability, renewable power expanded at its fastest rate to date in 2014 and now represents more than 45% of overall supply additions. Deployment continues to shift towards energy-hungry emerging markets, and some countries, such as China and India, have bolstered ambitions. Moreover, sustained technology progress, expansion into newer markets with better resources, and improved financing conditions are facilitating more cost-effective deployment for the most dynamic technologies (solar photovoltaics and onshore wind).

But will renewable growth in the coming years falter, or could an even faster expansion take place? Dramatic falls in fossil fuel prices over the past year have raised questions over the competitiveness of renewables and government willingness to maintain policy support. Policy uncertainties remain in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where electricity demand has peaked in most markets and the rapid deployment of renewables can put incumbent utilities under pressure. For emerging markets, regulatory, grid and financing conditions can pose challenges to growth. Meanwhile, progress in the transport and heating sectors remains comparably slow, with advanced biofuels and renewable heat technologies requiring enhanced policy attention to scale up.

Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 assesses these trends in the electricity, transport and heat sectors, identifying drivers and challenges to deployment, and making projections through 2020. It also assesses the potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power, which would put the world more firmly on a path to a more sustainable and secure energy system. 

Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 was launched on 2 October on the sidelines of the Group of 20 energy ministers' meeting in Turkey. Read the press release here.

The previous edition, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2014, presented for the first time an investment outlook for renewable power capacity, in addition to projections for renewable electricity technologies, a global biofuels supply forecast and extended analysis of final energy use of renewables for heat. It is free to download here, as are the Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Reports from 2013 and 2012

Medium-Term Coal Market Report

Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2015 will be launched in Singapore on 18 December.

In the meantime, Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2014 is available for sale at the IEA Bookshop. It highlights how global demand for coal over the next five years will continue marching higher, breaking the 9-billion-tonne level by 2019. The report notes that despite China’s efforts to moderate its coal consumption, it will still account for three-fifths of demand growth during the outlook period. Moreover, China will be joined by India, ASEAN countries and other countries in Asia as the main engines of growth in coal consumption, offsetting declines in Europe and the United States.

Global coal demand growth has been slowing in recent years, and the report sees that trend continuing. Coal demand will grow at an average rate of 2.1% per year through 2019, the report said. This compares to the 2013 report’s forecast of 2.3% for the five years through 2018 and the actual growth rate of 3.3% per year between 2010 and 2013.

As has been the case for more than a decade, the fate of the global coal market will be determined by China. The world’s biggest coal user, producer and importer has embarked on a campaign to diversify its energy supply and reduce its energy intensity, and the resulting increase in gas, nuclear and renewables will be staggering. However, the IEA report shows that despite these efforts, and under normal macroeconomic circumstances, Chinese coal consumption will not peak during the five-year outlook period.

Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2014’s forecasts come with considerable uncertainties, especially regarding the prospect of new policies affecting coal. Authorities in China as well as in key markets like Indonesia, Korea, Germany and India, have announced policy changes that could sharply affect coal market fundamentals. The possibility of these policy changes becoming reality is compounding uncertainty resulting from the current economic climate. These issues will be furthered addressed in Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2015.

Medium-Term Coal Market Reports from 2013 and 2012 are free to download. 

“How to fix the 21st Century’s dirty engine of growth” – a Huffington Post commentary by IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven

Energy Efficiency Market Report

Energy efficiency improvements over the last 25 years saved a cumulative USD 5.7 trillion in energy expenditures. This virtual supply of energy generates multiple benefits for governments, businesses and households, including greater energy security from reduced dependence on energy imports and billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Strengthening our understanding of the energy efficiency market and the prospects over the medium term is becoming increasingly important. Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 evaluates the impact of energy efficiency in the energy system and assesses the scale and outlook for further energy efficiency investment using detailed country-by-country energy efficiency indicator data and IEA expertise. 

Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 includes an in-depth look into the buildings energy efficiency market and the electricity sector. Energy efficiency investments in the buildings sector totalled between USD 90 billion in 2014. In the electricity sector, energy efficiency has proved critical in flattening electricity consumption in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries, driving utilities to adapt their business models.

Promoting and expanding energy efficiency markets is a worldwide phenomenon, and Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 presents a number of case studies at the national, state and municipal level. These include examinations of Latin America’s two largest economies, Brazil and Mexico, which are looking to efficiency to boost productivity and social development. Energy-exporting countries like Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation are also increasingly turning to efficiency to increase exports and reduce the costs of growing domestic energy consumption. In addition to national governments, major urban areas such as Tokyo, Seoul and Paris are increasingly enabling energy efficiency investment.

Read more here

Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 is available via the IEA Bookshop, but is offered as a free download this year as a special offer tied to the COP21 climate negotiations in late 2015 in Paris.

Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 and the debut Energy Efficiency Market Report from 2013 are free to download.