South Stream Shapes European Energy Security, Nabucco Falls Behind
South Stream is an ambitious endeavor of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom to get direct access to the EU energy market. It is portrayed and criticized by some politicians in Europe as a “dangerous” gateway to a broader economic relationship with Moscow. Remarkably enough, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary have one-by-one opted for the project.
The Big Drill: All Eyes on Cyprus’ Aphrodite
By Ana-Maria Tolbaru
It’s Spring 2013. The time is now for Noble Energy men to start gearing up for a new drilling leg in the Eastern Mediterranean waters, offshore of Cyprus. In a usual so-called ‘appraisal’ procedure, several wells will be drilled in various spots of Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field to determine its size and quantify the hydrocarbon reserves. A rig should be made available by June, so that the operation can kick off as planned. Cyprus, together with the Noble Energy team, is holding its breath: this discovery could turn Cyprus into Russia’s main competitor in European gas supply. But are they right to be hopeful? European Energy Review looks into the level of certainty of the recent gas finds.
How the Alternative Energy Megatrend will impact global geopolitical relations
The Greening of Geopolitics
By Dr Alexander Mirtchev
The advent of renewable energies is generally regarded from a fairly narrow perspective: whether – and to what extent – they are able to replace fossil fuels and what this would mean for the energy system and the economy. Such a perspective profoundly underestimates the potential consequences of what is in fact a revolutionary global development: a socio-political and techno-economic megatrend that has the ability to become a global societal game-changer, writes Alexander Mirtchev, Vice-President of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI). According to Mirtchev, the ‘Alternative Energy Megatrend’ will have far-reaching effects on global geopolitical relations and security concerns – effects that have yet to be fully grasped by most observers. This article is adapted from his upcoming book: “The Alternative Energy Megatrend: A Global Security Discourse in the Universally-Securitized World”.
EER Monthly May 2013
During April EER travelled through the world. In our story ‘Towards a future-proof energy system for The Netherlands’ by Gert van Wijland, you can read how the benevolent possession of a huge volume of natural gas is not per se stimulating a progressive transition towards the input of renewable energy sources. An in-depth research led to the conclusion that the Dutch have to accelerate to reach the EUtargets. That will not be easy in harsh economic times. Reiner Gatermann put together the facts concerning the difficult position in which the Swedish company Vattenfall has ended up. The title of his article is a possible indication of one of the main causes: Vattenfall - is the state the right and good owner? Of course, between the lines one can read that such a question also can be applied to similar relations in other countries...
- Collaboration is Shell's strategic answer to future volatility - 29 April 2013
With its recently published New Lens Scenarios, Shell provides contrasting visions of the future in the decades ahead. CEO Peter Voser indicates what may emerge: "We expect demand for critical resources, like water, energy and food to have risen by 40% - 50% by 2030..."
- New Approach towards "the life blood of our society" - EU Energy Infrastructure - 25 April 2013
The importance of energy infrastructure for the integration of European energy markets is unquestionable. The European Union and its member states have already recognized many times the significance of the development of trans-European networks...
- Profile: Jochen Homann, Marathon Man for the Energiewende - 22 April 2013
The Merkel government thought it was getting something different when it appointed Jochen Homann to the powerful post of President of the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur, BNetzA) just over a year ago...
- Can power markets resuscitate natural gas in Europe? - 18 April 2013
If the integration of variable renewables into Europe’s power systems is to continue in the decades to come, more needs to be done to ensure that the most flexible resources are available in the market. Gas-fired power generation is considered to be a key enabler of the energy transition. However, increased electricity production by renewables, low coal prices, energy efficiency measures and overall economic woes have reduced gas demand in recent years...
- Vattenfall – is the state the right and a good owner? - 15 April 2013
Vattenfall has become a success story. However, not everyone, especially in Sweden, sees it that way, and even less so after the acquisition in 2009 of the Dutch gas company Nuon for €8.5 billion. Some, among them the newly elected leader of the social democratic opposition party, Stefan Löfven, calls it the “worst business transaction in Swedish history”...
- Kurdistan's natural gas resources may become a game-changer over the longer term - 11 April 2013
If a firm manages to create a dominant position in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRG) oil business this could, in the long term, open a door to the gas business. The KRG’s proven gas reserves are estimated at 2.8-5.7 trillion cubic meters. That is about four times more than Azerbaijan's reserves...
- The Netherlands has to speed up its transition efforts - 8 April 2013
With its strategic location, huge gas reserves, highly developed infrastructure and well-developed information economy, the Netherlands is a crucial link in the northwest European energy market. But due to the lack of a long term vision its much-needed transition to a sustainable energy supply has barely taken off...
- EER Monthly April 2013 - 4 April 2013
Energy sources, sectors and systems, whether it concerns markets, volumes, technology, prices or politics nothing displays a standstill. The world of energy is like energy itself. Actual activities cast their shadows on the future, long term scenarios touch today’s decisions. It seems as if all time zones interfere. Our March features form an impression of this whirlpool or should I write worldpool...
- Onshore power supply: caught in a chicken and egg situation - 28 March 2013
The EU is mulling ways to get ships to use onshore power instead of diesel generators when they are in port. Onshore power supply (OPS) can play a key role in improving local air quality and cutting noise pollution in port regions, as well as being an effective weapon in the battle against climate change...
- Nordic Balance Settlement, cornerstone to a common Nordic power retail market - 25 March 2013
The EU has many visions, more or less realistic ones. One vision is the creation and establishment of an European common retail market for electricity. On the way to this goal there are many obstacles to be removed...