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The Future of Trade

Energy Markets, Trade and Transition

Explore the Emerging Trends of the Competitive Energy Market

This publication serves as the first in-depth DMCC thought leadership report on the global and regional energy sector. Against a backdrop of the world's biggest climate gathering of COP28 in Dubai, this report evaluates the MENA region's competitive advantages in the dynamic energy landscape and energy transition. The report also explores the market trends and prices, oil and gas movements and the rise of low-carbon and renewable energy technology.


The Developments of the Energy Industry

Energy Intelligence: Energy Transition Scenarios to 2040

In a world of uncertainty, the energy transition pathway can realise various outcomes. DMCC’s exploration of the energy transition trajectory identified four main pathways:

Accelerate Scenario

  • A growing momentum behind transition efforts driven by technology adoption and global policy support.
  • Introducing key clean energy technologies will be the main catalyst for faster action, despite headwinds.
  • Long-term implications include:
    • Temperature rises stay within 2.5°C
    • Oil demand peak: around 2030
    • Gas demand peak: around 2040/later

Boost Scenario

  • A faster transition path, supported by potential policy support.
  • Inflection point seen by 2025 led by robust support amid rising climate urgency.
  • Assuming a self-reinforcing cycle of stronger policy incentives and corporate responses, faster technological progress and falling costs.
  • Long-term implications include:
    • Temperature rises stay within 2.0°C
    • Oil demand peak: around 2020s
    • Gas demand peak: around 2030

Blowout Scenario

  • Limited pace of action due to technology, policy and investment challenges.
  • No acceleration in activity pre-2030: Policy, technology and cost obstacles delay transition efforts.
  • Rising climate risks pre-2030 may fuel pressure for action in the 2030s.
  • Long-term implications include:
    • Temperature rises of 2.5°C or above
    • Oil demand peak: mid-2030s or later
    • Gas demand peak: mid-2040s or later

Net Zero Scenario

  • A scenario which requires dramatic, rapid divergence from current market trends.
  • Disruptive acceleration in the near term, driving abrupt change well before 2030.
  • Alignment in various factors which outweigh near-term headwinds, enabling short-term policy action and rapid investment.
  • Long-term implications include:
    • Temperature rises stay within 1.5°C 
    • Oil demand peak: mid-2020s
    • Gas demand peak: before 2030

Key Recommendations for the Future of the Energy Industry

birds eye view of a container ship leaving a port


Firms should develop an awareness of how the shifting geopolitical and geoeconomic landscape impacts traditional energy supply chains. To mitigate risks, firms should undertake supply chain audits and critical assessments to better manage their supply chains. This includes reshoring efforts for industrial operations. 

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The energy sector should prepare for regulatory volatility due to political upheaval and changing national strategies and policies towards energy consumption. The diverse and volatile landscape of energy policies worldwide means firms should brace for sudden shifts in regulations in the energy sector.

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silver panels laying on top of each other


Uncertainty should be minimised by firms by avoiding the adoption of a single “house view” and considering a range of perspectives on potential market outcomes that better prepare and insulate against unexpected developments, especially in periods of elevated volatility.

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Maintain a transparent investment climate from all stakeholders in the energy sector to attract capital and ensure sustainable energy development. This includes stable national energy policies, streamlined processes facilitating ease of investment, and more access to relevant data such as energy demand forecasts in key markets.

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wind turbine amongst the clouds near dusk time


Access to conventional energy supplies is essential to maintain energy security and a smooth transition to cleaner energy sources. Governments should also maintain a diverse energy portfolio to provide resilience against supply disruptions and fluctuations in renewable energy generation.

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Public-private partnerships should be encouraged as they play a key role in fostering innovation. In the Middle East, strategic partnerships with local players like NOCs are key to establishing market credibility and facilitating the transfer of advanced energy technologies. Local content regulations will make firms who choose greater localisation better positioned.

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