Global Energy Markets: 1750 to 2100

This model breaks down 2050 and 2100’s global energy market, based on a dozen core input assumptions.

You can ‘flex’ these assumptions, to see how it will affect future oil, coal and gas demand, as well as global carbon emissions.

Annual data are provided back to 1750 to contextualize the energy transition relative to prior transitions in history (chart below).

We are positive on renewables, but fossil fuels retain a central role, particularly natural gas, which could ‘treble’ in our base case.

A fully decarbonised energy market is possible by 2050, achieved via game-changing technologies that feature in our research.

The Top Public Companies for an Energy Transition

This data-file compiles all of our insights into publicly listed companies and their edge in the energy transition: commercialising economic technologies that advance the world towards ‘net zero’ CO2 by 2050.

Each insight is a differentiated conclusion, derived from a specific piece of research, data-analysis or modelling on the TSE web portal; summarized alongside links to our work. Next, the data-file ranks each insight according to its economic implications, technical readiness, its ability to accelerate the energy transition and the edge it confers on the company in question.

Each company can then be assessed by adding up the number of differentiated insights that feature in our work, and the average ‘score’ of each insight. The file is intended as a summary of our differentiated views on each company.

The screen is updated monthly. At the latest update, in October-2021, it contains 220 differentiated views on 120 public companies.

The Top 40 Private Companies for an Energy Transition

This data-file presents the ‘top 40’ private companies out of several hundred that have crossed our screens since the inception of Thunder Said Energy, looking back across all of our research.

For each company, we have used apples-to-apples criteria to score  economics, technical readiness, technical edge, decarbonization credentials and our own depth of analysis.

The data-file also contains a short, two-line description follows for each company, plus links to our wider research, which will outline each opportunity in detail.

Power plants: cold starts and ramp rates?

The purpose of this data-file is to aggregate the ramp-up rates of conventional power generation sources: both as they start up from “cold”, and then as they ramp up (in percent per minute, or MW per minute).

Hydro power and simple cycle gas turbines offer the best short-term performance, ramping immediately and rapidly. Next come combined cycle gas plants, then coal, then nuclear.

Nuclear is nuanced. It might take a day to cold-start up a nuclear plant. But the average facility is 1.1GW. So even a 1% ramp rate is equivalent to adding 10MW per minute, similar in size to the average utility-scale solar plant.

Insulation: deliver us from gas shortages?

Insulating materials slow the flow of heat from a warm house to the outside environment by a factor of 30-100x. This matters as 60-90% of today’s global housing stock is 30-70% under-insulated. And the world is now grappling with devastating gas shortages, which may encourage policymakers to re-prioritize nearer-term energy savings. We think renovation rates could treble. This 12-page note screens who might benefit.

Integrated energy: a new model?

This 14-page note lays out a new model to supply fully carbon-neutral energy to a cluster of commercial and industrial consumers, via an integrated package of renewables, low-carbon gas back-ups and nature based carbon removals. This is remarkable for three reasons: low cost, high stability, and full technical readiness. The prize may be very large.

Integrated gas and renewable power?

This data-file considers how to supply 100MWe and 1,000GWH pa of energy to a mid-sized consumer: reliably, at a low-cost and with zero net CO2 emissions. We think this is possible at a delivered power price below 10c/kWh, which is highly competitive.

The model captures the costs, gross CO2 intensity and nature-based offset requirements from a mixture of wind, solar, CHPs and gas turbines.

Following this model could create great potential for an integrated gas and power company, while supplying a complete, zero-carbon energy solution to consumers in the energy transition.

Heat pumps: hot and cold?

Some policymakers now aspire to ban gas boilers and ramp heat pumps 10x by 2050. In theory, the heat pump technology is superior. But in practice, there are ten challenges. Outright gas boiler bans could become a political disaster. The most likely outcome is a 0-2% pullback in European gas by 2030. We have also screened leading heat pump manufacturers in this 18-page note.

Heat pumps: a screen of providers and reviews?

This data-file tabulates our subjective opinions on c20 different heat pump companies, and our own preferences to use their heat pump on a future European residential heating project.

Factors we have considered include pricing, reliability, efficiency, company size, the range of models, integration with home smart energy systems, and visual/acoustic properties.

A large portion of the work was based on tabulating customer reviews, from online forums. A key challenge is opacity, as many companies do not provide full pricing details on their models or have many customer reviews.

Gas turbines: what market size in energy transition?

Combined heat and power systems are 20-30% lower-carbon than today’s gas turbines, as they capture waste heat. They are also increasingly economical to backstop renewable-heavy grids. Amidst uncertain policies, the ultimate market size for US CHPs could vary by a factor of 100x. We nevertheless find 30 companies well-placed in a $9trn global market.