|Interview | 17 April 2014
Powerful benefits of “clean energy”
EER’s Jozef Badida recently attended the fourth annual Euro-Mediterranean Energy Efficiency Forum in Monaco. Policy and decision makers discussed the potential of energy efficiency to support Europe’s path to sustainable economic growth. Best practices were shared and an answer was sought to the question what policies should support energy efficiency investments. Intrigued by the keynote speech of Mark Radka who heads the UN Environment Programme’s Energy Branch, Jozef interviewed Mr Radka afterwards.
Floating ideas to cut LNG costs
By Alex Forbes
The vital role that LNG can play in diversification of natural gas supply sources has been highlighted by the Ukraine crisis. Some are suggesting Europe should lessen its dependence on Russian gas by importing liquefied shale gas from North America. However, the LNG industry is facing a major challenge: the ballooning of construction costs for new supply projects. The utilisation of floating LNG (FLNG) production facilities has emerged as a possible solution. But how credible is FLNG as a means of cutting costs?
|Executive summary | 3 April 2014
The high voltage vision of Germany’s Environmental Council
By Ben Warner
The energy transition process in Germany is suffering from its success. The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) calls it a critical phase in its youngest special report “Shaping the electricity market of the future.” There is a need for reform, but the reforms should not put the development processes at risk. One of the central political tasks for the coming term of parliament will be to find the right balance between continuity and change. A closer look at the conditions the SRU advocates as necessary.
|Viewpoint | 27 March 2014
Carbon Capture and Storage
Securing the future of renewables
By Frank Ellingsen, MD of CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad [note 1]
The inherent intermittency of renewable energy means that for technologies such as wind, solar and wave to be adopted at scale, they must – ironically - be supported by flexible fossil fuel power to cope with demand, at least in the medium term. At the CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad, the only large scale gas-fired test centre, an amine carbon capture unit can scale the CO2 capture rate from zero to 90 percent CO2 removal (3,2 tonnes of CO2 per hour) in less than two hours - mimicking a power surge scenario of the grid going from full renewables reliance to reliance on fossil fuels.
A real option: more Energiewende to lessen gas dependence
By Paul Hockenos, Berlin
Can the Ukraine crisis force Germany to backtrack on the Energiewende? No, regardless of Poland’s off-the-cuff critique. But it’s fuelling anew the debate in Germany over security of supply.
- Europe competes with Asia - 13 March 2014
Europe was already destined to engage the ever more energy guzzling Asia on the international markets for oil, gas and coal. The worrying developments in Ukraine may speed up this encounter. Should Europe attempt to replace Russian supplies as a result of the troubled political upheaval in Kiev, all the sooner would it have to fasten its seatbelt even tighter for competition with China and the rest of Asia as the emerging epicentre of global energy demand.
- The Russo-Ukrainian crisis : possible gas scenarios - 6 March 2014
While no-one doubts Russia can militarily conquer Crimea and hold on to it, Ukraine and its allies have economic options in this conflict that mainly relate to the energy sector. The speed at which events unfold would make a prognosis of the conflict itself obsolete within days...
- Kjell Aleklett: Fracking is not for Europeans (part II) - 27 February 2014
In this second part of the interview with Kjell Aleklett, the Uppsala professor does not see any advantages for the Europeans to get into fracking, and he talks about his frustration with companies and politicians for not taking his warnings seriously. To his mind this ignorance is harbouring a danger for democracy.
- Kjell Aleklett: Peak oil is more relevant than ever (part I) - 20 February 2014
Twelve years ago Kjell Aleklett, professor in Global Energy Systems at the Uppsala University in Sweden, got interested in oil and its future. Soon he and Colin Campbell created the term “peak oil”: they predicted that the top production for crude oil would not be far away and that it was time to look for alternative energy systems in order to replace oil...
- "The Commission is doing its job, but other parties have to follow" - 13 February 2014
Even though Professor Klaus-Dieter Borchardt has been Director of the Internal Energy Market at DG Energy for only ten months now, he has already had to face some demanding challenges. A breach of the Third Energy Package was announced, caused by bilateral agreements on South Stream. Secondly, the Commission has been quite active in promoting the Slovak-Ukrainian interconnector. And last but not least, the Commission recently presented the EU’s new 2030 Climate and Energy Package...
- Robust or anti-fragile? - 13 February 2014
The first European Energy Forecast Summit: 2014 Outlook organized by the Paris and Brussels-based think tank Premiere Circle took place last week in Brussels. Having established a business platform that provides opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing across energy professionals in Europe, this year Premiere Circle took a step further...
- Energiewende can't be stopped, so get on board - 6 February 2014
Germany’s Energiewende has led to price dumping and unfair competition for industry in neighbouring countries, say Dutch critics. Understandable anger, a rearguard action or both?
- Shale opportunity Europe almost lost - 30 January 2014
The shale revolution has driven down US energy bills, freed up household income and made North American businesses more competitive. Has cautious Europe already missed the boat?
- Norway's offshore investments have reached their peak - 27 January 2014
In 2014 and 2015 Norway’s offshore investments will see a slight increase, but in the following years they will level out. However, with annually estimated NOK 210 billion (25 billion euro), they still remain high. It is noteworthy that after years of steady decline, with production falling by 5 percent in 2013 compared with 2012, Norway’s oil production is expected to improve in 2014 from 1.46 to 1.47 million barrels (bbls) per day with an outlook for “relatively stable oil production in the next few years”, according to the Norwegian Oil Directorate NPD...
- There may be trouble ahead – BP - 23 January 2014
Launching its Energy Outlook to 2035 in London last week, BP posed three fundamental questions about our energy future: Do we have sufficient energy resources to meet growing demand? Can we meet demand reliably and securely? And can we do so sustainably?