Interview  |  18 December 2014

Interview with Torstein Indrebø, Honorary Secretary General of IGU

Gas is part of the long term solution to climate change 

Torstein Indrebø, then Secretary General of the International Gas Union, was a distinguished guest of the XXI Autumn Gas Conference organised by the Slovak Gas and Oil Association. Energy analyst Jozef Badida discussed with him the role of natural gas in a low-carbon energy mix, climate goals, Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute and challenges ahead of IGU.

 

Expert contribution  |  18 December 2014

Operations maturity: Smart management of smart grids

By Kai Hui

A utility with two million smart meters in the field is inundated with approximately 750 million data elements each day – that’s almost twice as many data elements as there are tweets floating around the global Twittersphere on a daily basis.

Report  |  4 December 2014

Smart grids set to revolutionise national power systems

By Jeremy Bowden

Smart meters, big data, analytics, cloud-based technology, and the internet of things are all making contributions to a smarter energy system, which is likely to revolutionise the energy sector, according to delegates at the recent Smart Grid World Summit in London. The combined impact is expected to rival that already seen in telecoms or banking, where much of the technology has its origins. Development is being driven by regulators in the area of smart metering, and by price variations and customer choice in countries with competitive markets, along with the need to accommodate more intermittent renewables, major offtake points and distributed generation. All this has major potential implications for utilities, new business models and consumers.

Analysis  |  20 November 2014

Russia. Still-life Under Sanctions

Irina Mironova

From the headlines that we see in the press lately it seems that Russia’s main problem is economic sanctions imposed by the West in relation to the Ukrainian crisis. The Russian economic situation can be characterized as cautiously pessimistic: in light of the sanctions currently in place, the 2015 economic development prospects aren't very positive. There are certain expectations that the sanctions will be lifted at some point sooner or later; but as it stands today, the Rouble is becoming weaker, prices are increasing and oil price developments aren't favourable for the Russian budget dependent on oil export income. However, it is questionable whether these developments are solely the result of sanctions introduced against Russia by US and the EU throughout 2014; moreover, it is questionable whether the lifting of the sanctions will solve any of the problems effectively, as many of the commenters hope.

Report  |  6 November 2014

Finns are not nuclear power friendly – they are pragmatic

By Reiner Gatermann

The Finns are attributed with two national characteristics: Sisu (best described as the strength not to give up, bravery, resilience and acting rationally in the face of adversity) and – secondly – they are pragmatic. Finland’s entire history of nuclear power, commencing at the end of the seventies and still going strong, is characterised by these two attributes. There cannot be many countries in the world where about half of the population is in favour of nuclear power, where communities were competing to become the home of a new nuclear power plant, where government, parliament and companies are not deterred by the extreme – about nine years - delay of the still pending start up of a nuclear power plant, and where Greenpeace is in vain looking for stronger support in the population and the media. According to Katarina Koivisto, energy writer for the Swedish speaking Finnish newspaper Huvudstadsbladet, “the Finns see nuclear power as the one alternative to get more power to a price that does not rise too high”.

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