The energy industry encompasses all the sectors involved in the manufacture and sale of energy, which includes petroleum processing, production, refining and transportation. In addition, the energy sector also encompasses the power generation industry and the transmission and distribution of electric power. This article will briefly clarify some of the key players in this rapidly growing sector. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were no energy companies. They were only a few men and women who had accumulated shares in a few power companies that supplied steam power to small communities. A few years later these companies started assembling plants, with mines and other forms of thermal energy production.
The emergence of the oil and gas industries changed the complexion of the energy sector. Petroleum exploration and production are the essence of the energy sector. The oil and gas industry now contributes more than fifty percent of the gross domestic product in many parts of the world. There are a number of multinational companies in the energy sector with their own unique brand names. These include E.ON, EDF, Enron, Shell, Total, and Peabot.
Oil and gas producers enjoy numerous advantages over the renewable energy companies. First, oil and gas producers can raise and sell more refined products. Second, they do not have to depend on public utilities for their electricity. And third, because most of the oil and gas produced by these energy companies comes from deep within the earth’s crust, there is an abundant supply of oil and gas. Thus, these energy companies have a comparative advantage when it comes to price and delivery times.
Apart, from being major players in the energy industry, the renewable energy sector has also developed. Several countries are now planning to develop green energy sectors. For example, France and Germany have recently signed an intergovernmental agreement to develop offshore wind and solar energy. Developing alternative energy sectors helps Germany and France cut down on their energy dependence.
The growth of the oil and gas industry has also created an imbalance in the power equations of several countries. For instance, the UK’s reliance on nuclear energy has made them dependent on foreign energy sources, which they are currently finding difficult to get. India’s massive dependence on crude oil has also created a problem. The country’s huge energy reserves are being depleted at an alarming rate. To make matters worse, India’s population is also rapidly growing, meaning that its needs will rapidly outpace its ability to provide energy.
All these factors have had an impact on the political and economic structure of several countries. With globalization takes hold, many of these countries will have to look to other alternative sources of energy, like oil and gas. It is for this reason that oil and gas companies are feeling the pinch. They have already seen a drop in profits as a result of the rising price of natural gas.