Energy and the economy

Energy is crucial to feed the rapid economic growth of emerging and developing economies and to maintain the high consumption standards in the developed world, while undergoing the technological ‘revolution’ needed to meet the climate challenge. In particular, reducing energy poverty and promoting energy access in the developing world is a necessary condition to promote its economic and social development.

Moreover, since different patterns of consumption and growth in emerging economies are likely to have important repercussions on the international energy markets and technology development, a better understanding of the drivers of energy demand at the global and regional levels is needed, and is one key focus of FEEM research in this area.

Through policy analysis and quantitative instruments, FEEM research analyses the most important socio-economic determinants of energy consumption, such as demographic and urbanization dynamics, patterns of income growth and distribution, as well as changes in lifestyles and market prices. On the supply side, FEEM research investigates the main effects of the increasing integration of global energy markets, in terms of market efficiency, security of supply, decision-making processes and so forth, accounting for the supply of both conventional and unconventional fossil resources, as well as for uncertainty in technological innovation in the energy sector. In this regard, FEEM research also aims at developing an economic assessment of technological change and of the portfolio of investments in energy technologies needed under a set of plausible future scenarios.

Another key issue of this area is energy price, in particular the oil price. Whatever future energy scenario, the oil price plays a central role because it heavily affects environmental and energy policies and consumption patterns. This is why FEEM addresses the issue of financial speculation in the oil market and the determinants of the oil price, defining the concept of financial speculation, describing its role in the oil derivatives market (volatility and price) and elaborating statistical models to explain what determines the price of oil. Additional information on this project (“Financial speculation in the oil market and the determinants of the oil price”) is available on FEEM’s website.

In the light of FEEM’s growing interest in energy markets a new project in cooperation with eni was started in 2011. The main aim of the “EU Energy Model” project is to update and review eni’s model for forecasting the final energy consumption of European countries. The activities within this strand of research will continue in 2012 and 2013 with a new project aimed at designing a new European model for electricity generation.

Finally, in 2011 FEEM defined a new project on energy poverty and energy access. The first output was the organization of an international workshop on these issues in March 2012, which marked the starting point for the creation of a specific research network and strand of research.

Research Team
Ongoing Projects
For a Sustainable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa  - SETiSSA
Research project Ongoing Projects
January 2017 / December 2018
For a Sustainable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa - SETiSSA

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