"Responsibly energising a growing world" - while dashing for coal?
Take-aways from the 21st World Petroleum Congress
Whether it is despite the latest complications in the international politics or thanks to them, Moscow was in the centre of world of energy for the past couple of months – with the grand opening of the 21st World Petroleum Congress at the Kremlin Palace taking place on June 15 being one of the highlights. What followed was a four-day event, undoubtedly the largest oil and gas industry conference of the year. The World Petroleum Congress gathers once in three years; its programme covers all aspects of the petroleum industry (including upstream and downstream sector – also for natural gas – as well as sustainable management, new technological solutions, etc.) and brings together representatives of the industry, governments, non-governmental organisations, international organisations and research institutions.
EU’s energy transition: the triple challenge of sustainability, competitiveness and affordability
by Daria Nochevnik
On the road to the EU 2050 decarbonisation objective, regulatory unpredictability is considered to be the most important investment challenge by a number of energy professionals in the power sector, while too low prices in the power and ETS markets are perceived as the second biggest challenge [note 1].
The question posed by some leading experts, is ‘do we want to live in 2035 when the politicians of 2015 dictated the terms of the CO2 regime?’ [note 2]
What Future for Russia’s Nuclear Exports Post-Ukraine?
By Melissa S. Hersh
Recent events in Ukraine are a watershed moment for Europeans to fundamentally re-think their energy policies and reduce their dependence on one, major supplier: Russia. Re-thinking, however, is not equal to rejecting or renouncing, but perhaps more on par with revising or re-assessing, how to prevent the preventable and mitigate the probable.
The Role of 'European formulas' in the Russia-Ukraine Gas Debate
By Andrey Konoplyanik, Moscow
The current Russia-Ukraine gas debate has been making the international media headlines though it has been discussed there mostly from political angle. Being interviewed recently in “Quest means Business” at CNN, I was asked by Richard Quest whether I “think that energy is being used as a diplomatic and political tool by Russia in this case”? This question reflects, from my point of view, a key perception that Russia is using its gas supplies to Ukraine as a 'political weapon'. This perception is being spread internationally by means of what President Obama has recently called “our [US] ability to shape world opinion” and “mobilization of world opinion and international institutions served as a counterweight to Russian propaganda”.
"...because CCS is not as sexy as renewables"
By Reiner Gatermann
Scientists, engineers, experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and politicians seem to agree: to limit the global increase in temperature to a maximum of 2°C without the introduction of a comprehensive Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) system is almost impossible. However, listening recently to the experts from around the world at the third Milestone Mongstad conference in Bergen, Norway, one cannot avoid the impression that today the world is far away from the installation of an effective CCS weapon to fight CO2. The main obstacles seem to be the nonchalance of politicians in almost all parts of the world, which means a lack of public funding and as a result of this, companies are hesitant to invest in R&D. There is obviously another hurdle, which is the absence of public support and its resistance to examine and accept this new technology. Or as Jarad Daniels from the US Department of Energy put it: “...because CCS is not as sexy as renewables”.
- Germany Embarks on Major Energy Reforms - 22 May 2014
Germany is currently pushing through long-awaited reform of its seminal renewable energy laws, introducing measures intended to better control the so-called Energiewende without stopping it...
- Pressure mounts to develop UK shale, as drillers jostle for acreage - 15 May 2014
In the UK politicians are becoming excited over the prospects for shale development, anticipating lower energy prices, improved energy security, higher growth and jobs, lower emissions and increased tax revenue, with many of the early fears apparently proving unfounded. However concerns remain over lengthy and complex planning rules and public protest...
- The Caspian: challenges in environmental and energy governance - 8 May 2014
While EU’s dependency on Russian energy resources has been in the spotlight of the political and media debates in Europe and across the Atlantic over the last months, the ‘New Great Game’ in the Caspian seems to have gone slightly out of sight...
- U.S. Energy Master Limited Partnerships: Worth the Hype or a Disaster in the Making? - 2 May 2014
To increase capital to finance upstream and midstream energy sectors the United States Congress enacted the Master Limited Partnership (MLP) legislation in the 1980s. MLPs offer substantial tax advantages to the partners to encourage investments. However, the MLP structure's requirement to pay out 90% of its taxable income to unit holders, may be undercutting necessary spending on basic maintenance of energy infrastructure that they operate...
- Break Russia's Gas Stranglehold with Energy Efficiency - 24 April 2014
The Ukraine crisis has underscored again just how dependent much of EU Europe is on Russian gas imports – and how helpless it would be should worse ever come to worse. This is why Germany’s Chancellor Merkel recently proclaimed: “There’s going to be a review of all of our energy policies.”
- Powerful benefits of "clean energy" - 17 April 2014
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...
- Floating ideas to cut LNG costs - 10 April 2014
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...
- The high voltage vision of Germany's Environmental Council - 3 April 2014
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...
- Securing the future of renewables - 27 March 2014
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 - 20 March 2014
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.