The consulting firm Capgemini recently polled 125 senior energy executives on a variety of topics concerning the future of the energy industry.
Among the interesting questions and responses in the poll were:
1. “What is the technology that has the greatest potential to transform the energy industry by 2015?” 41% responded with clean coal technology, 27% said advanced meter reading, 25% said fuel cells.
2. “What will be the price of oil ($/barrel) in 2010?” Fully 80% thought that oil prices would remain higher than $40, with 34% predicting prices above $70, and 9% expecting prices over $100.
3. “What is the best way that an energy company can demonstrate industry leadership?” 33% suggested customer care, 24% said environmental record, 22% said safety, and only 21% responded commercial success.
4. “What is the top threat to the growth of the energy industry?” 51% responded with government regulations, 27% were most concerned with an aging workforce, 16% were concerned about consumer backlash to rising energy prices, and only 6% raised terrorism as the greatest threat.
Of course, these results don’t really mean anything, because they just represent opinions about how the future will play out, and energy industry executives have historically shown no special aptitude for making accurate predictions on the future of their own industry. But, it is interesting to get an insight on the current collective state of mind of the leaders of the companies that arguably have the biggest impact on the environment.