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Energy shortages are set to persist through 2023


Energy shortages are likely to persist this year in various parts of the world because of project delays resulting from continued supply chain challenges – the legacy of the pandemic lockdowns – as well as lower Russian gas supplies to Europe and extreme weather.

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This is according to management consultancy Brunel, which just published its 2023 Energy Outlook Report. The Netherlands-based company partnered with for the survey, which collected more than 24,000 data points between August and November 2022 for a glimpse into the dominant attitudes in the energy industry.

According to the study, 56 percent of energy industry managers and leaders expect tight energy supply this year. Interestingly, more workers from the industry expect these energy shortages to be most severe in North America, at 65 percent, than in Europe, where 59 percent expect the most severe shortages. Shortages are also expected for South America, which has been hit by lower hydropower generation because of droughts.

In addition to the expectations of energy shortages, the industry appears concerned about a talent shortage: an aging workforce and skills shortages are spelling trouble for the future of energy. Brunel notes in its outlook that the energy transition will drive an influx of workforce from other sectors, notably technology, especially after the massive layoffs Big Tech recently announced.

Companies from the industry would also likely address the causes of that expected workforce shortage: inadequate succession planning for knowledge transfer and skills retention, education and training, and better motivation.

Challenging as these may be, the biggest concern of energy industry managers appears to be inflation. Some 43 percent of respondents in the Brunel survey saw higher costs as the top problem for the next five years. “Economic uncertainties” rank second among the top concerns, with 37 percent of respondents naming these as a concern. The final big concern for the industry is the looming skills shortage coupled with an aging workforce.

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