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.
The 2016 series started with the publication of the Medium-Term Oil Market Report on 22 February at the IHS Energy CERAWeek conference in Houston. Next will be the launch of the Medium-Term Gas Market Report on 8 June in Brussels. Later in the year will follow the Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report, the Energy Efficiency Market Report and the Medium-Term Coal Market Report.
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 market reports are available below for free download. See the below sections for more detail and the download links to the most recent and older editions of all the market reports as well as related material.
Medium-Term Gas Market Report
The context for global natural gas markets is changing rapidly, raising new challenges for industry and policy makers alike. The slowdown in Asian gas demand that started in 2014 intensified in 2015, prompting a rare decline in the region’s LNG imports and pushing prices to new lows. As the world prepares to welcome a large wave of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, market players are left with one burning question: where will all that gas go?
Heavily oversupplied markets in the short term have triggered sharp investment cuts across the industry; if under-investment persists it could sow the seeds of a classic bust-boom commodity cycle. Unlike previous downturns, however, this time there is greater uncertainty about future demand prospects.
Caught between cheap coal and continued policy support for renewables, global gas demand has so far failed to react to the steep fall in prices. Industry participants are now wondering whether this is temporary or whether it marks the beginning of structurally lower growth for gas demand. How countries reassess environmental policies in the aftermath of the Paris Agreement will be key to determining what comes next for gas.
The Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016 assesses these trends and provides a detailed analysis of global demand supply and trade development through 2021. It also explores the links between today’s oversupply and emerging shifts in trade patterns, pricing mechanisms and market structures that have the potential to substantially reshape the global gas industry over the next few years.
In early 2016 crude oil prices for WTI and Brent fell below $30/bbl for the first time since 2003, having halved in just a few months. In a departure from the past four decades, producers continue to produce and sell what they can, letting the market set the price. Low prices are a major short-term benefit to consumers and will provide a boost to demand growth. But if low prices persist, investments in new supply are cut back – as has been demonstrated recently by a succession of announcements from major companies. Unless the heavily oversupplied oil market can return to balance and high levels of stocks start to diminish, oil prices cannot rise to the levels necessary to support investments in the higher-cost resources that must be developed to meet rising oil demand. The result could be a sharp rise in oil prices that risks curtailing economic growth.
In the 2016 edition of its Medium-Term Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency analyses the key factors impacting the supply and demand for oil from today out to 2021. These include: high-cost supply resilience from light, tight oil producers in the United States; the lifting of nuclear sanctions on Iran; the impact on demand of lower oil prices – including recent subsidy changes in the Middle East; and the timing of the oil market’s return to balance. This report is published during one of the most fascinating periods in oil market history.
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. Download the Executive Summary here; it is also available in Chinese and Japanese.
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
Although it has received less attention than the plunge in oil prices since mid-2014, the drop in coal prices has had a profound impact on global energy markets. Underpinning the weakness in coal prices is the decline in coal consumption in China for the first time this century, while pledges to reduce CO2 emissions made by dozens of countries ahead of the UN climate negotiations in Paris in December 2015 are also providing negative sentiment for coal producers. Partly offsetting the gloom is demand from a few populous emerging economies in Asia – particularly India – and the high odds that coal will remain China’s top energy source for several years to come. Market players are now wondering if coal prices have hit the bottom, how long producers can survive at these levels and when oversupply will be balanced. Whereas the low prices make coal producers struggle, they prove very attractive for power generators despite increasingly strong environmental policies, growing competitiveness of renewables and declining gas prices.
This year’s edition of the IEA’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report presents, for the first time, a Chinese Peak Coal Scenario, which explores the factors that could cause coal use in China to enter a structural decline. It also studies the potential impact of such a peak on supply, prices and trade flows. As in past editions, the report analyses recent trends in coal supply, demand and trade; provides forecasts for the next five years, and gives insights on questions that concern industry and policymakers.
Click here to read the press release for Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2015. Download the Executive Summary here and a factsheet here. The Medium-Term Coal Reports from 2014, 2013 and 2012 are free to download.
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.