The energy industry is the sum total of all industry sectors that produce and sell energy, such as fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining and distribution. Today, the energy needs of the planet’s populace have never been greater. Therefore, the massive amounts of fuel that are required to keep things running make the energy industry a vital part of the global infrastructure.
Types of Energy Industry Companies
Specific types of energy industry companies include petroleum companies, such as oil firms, petroleum refineries, gas stations, natural gas extraction companies, coal gas producers and so on. Electrical energy and nuclear energy companies also fall under the energy industry category.
Nowadays, alternative energy sources are more prevalent in the energy industry, including those that produce wind power, solar energy and hydroelectric energy. In addition, old-fashioned energy industry segments, such as wood for fires used to cook and to heat, are also part of the energy industry.
OPEC’s Role in the Energy Industry
OPEC stands for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. This governing body represents a dozen oil-producing companies across America, Asia and Africa. This organization co-ordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of its member nations, ensuring that these guidelines offer safeguards that protect personal and collective interests.
In addition, OPEC ensures that prices are stabilized within international marketplaces for oil, thereby decreasing or eliminating negative fluctuations. Lastly, OPEC oversees the efficient supply of petroleum to nations and ensures fair return on capital to shareholders within the oil industry.
History of the Oil Industry
Energy usage has played a pivotal role in the development of society, by allowing people to control and adapt their environments. The management of energy usage is a key concern in any society. The advent of industrialization heralded the development of new practices for farming, transportation, garbage collection, communication and other industries, and energy needs grew as these industries became more mechanized.
Since the Industrial Revolution, the growing need for energy has created problems. Since many energy sources are finite, there are now concerns about whether or not there will be enough energy sources to power the world for future generations. In addition, the environmental toll that using energy takes is extensively studied and analyzed, with a view to creating and utilizing greener energy sources.
The Energy Industry and Politics
Energy is very important, and it is always a key consideration for industrialized societies. Therefore, the question of who owns energy resources (or controls them) often plays out in political arenas. Nationally, governments work to influence the distribution of energy through myriad sections of society.
Government may also monitor the environment as it pertains to energy and the production and distribution of energy. Therefore, energy producers may be beholden to a variety of government rules and regulations, which may or may not impact their ability to make profits and to set up processes and systems.
Lobby groups actively seek out influential politicians, in order to move forward the interests of certain energy companies and collectives. Energy companies may prefer less regulation of their industry. However, lobbying is not always enough to achieve this goal.
American Energy Industry
The United States is one of the biggest producers of energy and it’s also one of the globe’s leading energy consumers. The energy industry is the 3rd largest industry sector in America. U.S. energy firms produce oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, renewable energy and electricity services. They also provide energy and electricity technologies through export to other nations. U.S.-produced energy and accessories dominate the domestic market and grab plenty of market share outside of the nation’s borders.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the total domestic spending for energy services will grow from a current 1.2 trillion dollars to over 1.7 trillion dollars by 2030. Since demand for energy continues to rise, the energy industry is one of America’s strongest industries.
Renewable Energy Sources
As technology evolves, America may continue to develop more renewable energy sources, thereby finding other ways to power the country’s machines and the machines of other nations. Renewable energy sources may weaken dependence on oil and other finite natural resources, while also being more planet-friendly in terms of creating less pollution and toxins.