Our key takeaways from the Lisbon Energy Summit 2024

As the global energy transition accelerates, collaborative investment, renewables deployment and energy security are high on the agenda to fuelling a low-carbon future

4 minute read

This year’s Lisbon Energy Summit & Exhibition 2024 centred around the theme of ‘Creating Tomorrow’s Energy System Today’. Over three days, industry experts highlighted the need for industry and governments to focus on progress over perfection to tackle decarbonisation. 

Following Wood Mackenzie’s presentation at the event, we share some of the key takeaways we gathered from other speakers at the exhibition. 

Fill in the form at the top of this page to download our full takeaways, or read on for an insight into how key industry players view the acceleration towards a RES-based system: 

The energy transition is now of global importance 

Global energy markets are evolving, and several regions are competing to capitalise on new energy technologies.  

The energy transition has become much larger than a subset of environmental concerns, and is now a movement of strategic global importance.  

Likewise, with more than half of the world’s population heading to the polls in 2024, global attention is focused on energy security as a cornerstone of national sovereignty, industrial growth and living conditions.  

Achieving energy security means diversification 

The ongoing Ukraine conflict and geopolitical tensions have spurred European countries to protect consumers and avert an energy crisis.  

Energy sovereignty is now at the top of Europe’s political agenda and is intertwined with the pathway to low-carbon energy.  

Through REPowerEU and favourable weather conditions, market reports indicate that Europe’s reliance on Russian gas has decreased from 40% in 2021 to 8% today. However, Russian LNG still accounts for 15% of imports, highlighting the need for further diversification.  

Public funding required to scale renewables 

Global stocktake at COP28 revealed that no major country is on track to meet their Paris Agreement climate goals. Public funding should therefore focus on the expansion of newer technologies and infrastructure, while private investment supports mature solar, wind, and energy storage projects.  

However, scaling renewables with the grid requires the removal of bottlenecks in permitting, in addition to market regulations and funding across all sectors.  

COP29 must therefore address critical issues such as carbon pricing, critical materials and enhanced global cooperation. 

A shift is needed to accelerate renewables deployment 

To achieve Net Zero by 2050, the EU requires an exponential increase in wind and solar - tripling capacity by 2030.  

However, at the current pace of deployment, only half the required wind and solar capacity will be deployed by the target date.  

Several resolutions were discussed throughout the conference, including the streamlining of permitting processes, the need for regulatory consistency across technologies, and prioritising funding for grid build-outs over renewables in the short term. 

Collaboration is key to effective investment 

To accelerate the energy transition, greater collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential. As such, the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, aims to unlock US$26 trillion in global investments, and create 65 million jobs by 2030. 

Likewise, venture capital can help bridge the funding gap for first-of-a-kind projects and technologies to decarbonise the heavy industry, agriculture, and food sectors.  

For offshore wind investments, a centralised model could provide certainty for investors as an alternative to Contracts for Difference and seabed allocation. 

Cybersecurity is critical to developing smart cities  

Urban areas contribute to 70% of global CO2 emissions, predominantly through transport and buildings. Efficient resource management is therefore pivotal to developing smart cities and digitalisation. 

Cybersecurity was also highlighted as a critical concern, given the current geopolitical environment and the interconnected nature of energy infrastructure.  

Expert panels stressed the need for robust cybersecurity measures and skills development, drawing on examples from the telecoms and finance sectors. 

Project delays are holding the hydrogen industry back 

The hydrogen market is off to a slow start with only 2% of the projects announced in Europe having reached Final Investment Decision (FID).  

The expected delays and cancellations were met with disappointment among industry players.  

On a positive note, ammonia experts agree on the chemical compound’s potential to become a global fuel leader, and not only a feedstock to decarbonise industries. 

Hydrogen to play an important role in Portugal’s market 

Portugal has shown clear evidence of its commitment to decarbonisation, and hydrogen will play a key role in enhancing its market attractiveness.  

The country is represented in nine Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and two projects have been awarded by the first auction of the European Hydrogen Bank.  

The government is taking several actions to accelerate the transition, including developing its offshore wind power policy and the launching of a renewable gases auction on the first day of the Summit. Portugal also aims to reach climate neutrality by 2045, with a 49% renewables share in gross energy, and a 26% renewables share in transport by 2030. 

Download our full takeaways insight 

To read all of our takeaways from the Lisbon Energy Summit & Exhibition 2024, and to learn more about the challenges and opportunities in the global energy transition, fill out the form at the top of the page.