Developments regarding the multidimensional energy space over the last three years have shaken expectations of a linear global transition as climate goals compete with economic development, energy access, energy security and affordability.

The new edition of S&P Global’s Look Forward research series, titled Look Forward: Multidimensional Transition, explores expectations for a multispeed, multifueled and multi-technology transition – with different road maps and end points for different countries.

“We are at a pivotal moment in the energy transition. Sweeping financial investments have set the stage for a decade of deployment,” says Saugata Saha, president of S&P Global Commodity Insights. “Thousands of new projects and new technologies will enter the world’s energy ecosystem, from hydrogen to carbon capture and more.

“In addition, artificial intelligence is transforming capabilities in data processing and decision-making that will impact the energy industry.”

Key findings from Look Forward: Multidimensional Transition include:

* Ensuring energy security is a high priority: events in recent years have demonstrated that the energy transition depends on energy security to proceed at a steady pace and at scale.

* Climate policies and investments in the Global North alone are not sufficient to solve climate change issues worldwide – effective solutions will need to engage the developing economies of the Global South.

* Wars, polarisation and political divides will challenge governments and the private sector to secure energy supplies while also navigating investments for energy transition.

* Electrification of the world’s vehicle fleet is gaining momentum, yet progress remains concentrated on select markets.

* Gas in its various forms needs to be part of the environmental policy toolkit – the immediate push of natural gas can help achieve fast decarbonization by accelerating the phaseout of coal with a proven alternative technology.

* At least 1 000 GW of new renewables capacity are needed globally each year – or more than double today’s levels – to meet the COP28 pledge to triple renewables capacity.

* Energy transition dynamics may incentivise, or even require, companies to test and use AI to manage the increased complexity created by more renewable generation in the energy mix.