How oil demand pans out over the next fifteen years will wield a massive influence on investment portfolios, since oil and gas companies globally comprise more than four trillion of dollars of stock market value. Energy companies constitute 7 per cent of the S&P 500, while around one-third of the FTSE 100 is represented by oil, gas and mining companies such as Rio Tinto, Glencore and BHP Billiton. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund, one of the most popular natural resources exchange traded funds, still has 83 per cent of its holdings in oil and gas companies. The gap between a future that looks increasingly based on renewable energy and investment portfolios still long on fossil fuels sharpens the pressure on fund managers to correctly model how radical the change in the energy mix will prove. Over the past five years, the share of electricity that the world’s 20 major economies are generating from the sun and the wind has jumped by more than 70 per cent, according to data compiled for the FT by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
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