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- Kurt Barrow
The global oil markets have undergone numerous oil price cycles since the 1960s. The energy transition will alter how these cycles come about—and how long they last. Historically, demand pressures were the prime catalyst of long-lasting cycles of deficit and rising prices. But this situation is changing as supply-side dynamics become the prime catalyst, which could shorten both cycles of surplus and deficit. Weakening oil demand, hurdles to investment, and highly reactive barrels explain this shift. The result is shorter price cycles. Will peak oil demand in OECD countries and regulations to restrict oil/gas investments create more price volatility? What should large energy importers do to adapt to shorter price cycles and periods of greater volatility? Why are we seeing such significant price volatility in gas prices? What is the role of shale oil as the most reactive part of the oil industry to dampen price cycles, especially as the energy transition accelerates? How will oil market management of OPEC+ evolve as the global energy mix changes to new energy sources such as renewables, hydrogen, and carbon capture?
In the full spectrum of low-carbon solutions, waste-to-energy plays the role of bringing together the value propositions of the circular economy, affordable transport fuels, and revenue streams to the agricultural/municipal waste sectors to generate a range of products such as electricity, biodiesel, and biogas. Recently, the Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the UN Industrial Development Organization, and the Global Environment Facility jointly launched a loan interest subvention scheme that will provide monetary assistance for innovative waste to energy bio-methanation projects. What is the potential of waste-to-energy in India’s primary energy mix? What are the most promising and scalable technologies in this area? What are the policy actions the Government of India is taking to speed up deployment? The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has characterized Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) projects as “priority sector” for lending, and the State Bank of India has pursued the policy of financing CBG projects. What other financial support mechanisms are needed to accelerate the scaling up of the waste-to-energy sector?