Energy

255 Items

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

Max Avdeev/Flikr

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

| May 30, 2018

This month, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring Germany to drop its support for a major new Russian gas pipeline if Europe wants to avoid a trade war with Washington, while a senior U.S. diplomat warned that the project could be hit with U.S. sanctions; Russian President Vladimir Putin responded defiantly. This development, sadly, fuels the further politicization of the European gas market—a space that, in many ways, has reflected the triumphs of a depoliticized, pro-market technocracy, which has managed to stimulate competition and lower prices irrespective of changing political trends. Just last year, Trump called on European countries to buy American liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which, for now, remains more expensive than Russia’s pipeline gas. Certainly, the U.S. has much to gain on the global gas market, which has changed drastically over the past decade, as America rapidly transformed from an importer to an exporter. Europe’s gas market, meanwhile, has much to gain from additional supply. But Trump’s approach, especially if the latest reports are true, both alienates Western European partners and feeds into a sensationalist, simplistic portrayal of the new U.S. role’s effect on Russia—as a zero-sum game, in which these new, plentiful U.S. gas supplies serve as an antidote to Russia's “gas dominance” in Europe and hence to Moscow's political leverage.

A Tesoro Corp. refinery in Anacortes, Washington.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Analysis & Opinions - Axios

How energy deals could cut the U.S.–China trade deficit

| May 18, 2018

When President Trump demanded that China cut its $375 billion trade deficit with the U.S. by $200 billion, Chinese officials and the U.S. press shrieked. It seemed impossible. However, there's a simple way for China to give Trump this “win”: buying $200 billion worth of American oil, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Alaska, Texas and Louisiana.

solar panels are seen near the power grid in northwestern China

AP/Ng Han Guan, File

Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters

Climate, Air Quality and Human Health Benefits of Various Solar Photovoltaic Deployment Scenarios in China in 2030

    Authors:
  • Junnan Yang
  • Xiaoyuan Li
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| 2018

Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation can greatly reduce both air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel electricity generation. The Chinese government plans to greatly scale up solar PV installation between now and 2030. However, different PV development pathways will influence the range of air quality and climate benefits. Benefits depend on how much electricity generated from PV is integrated into power grids and the type of power plant displaced. Using a coal-intensive power sector projection as the base case, the authors estimate the climate, air quality, and related human health benefits of various 2030 PV deployment scenarios.

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - Oxford University Press

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power

| May 01, 2018

In conclusion, much has been written about the world's energy resources, but only a few books have been able to link energy realities to geopolitics. Windfall provides an important corrective to conventional wisdom on foreign and energy policies—and shows how the US can take full advantage of the new energy landscape. Thus O'Sullivan shows that by looking at both foreign policy and energy markets, businesses will make better investment decisions and policy-makers will make better strategic decisions.

A woman wears a face mask as she looks at her smartphone while walking along a street in Beijing

AP

Journal Article - Applied Energy

Potential Co-benefits of Electrification for Air Quality, Health, and CO2 Mitigation in 2030 China

    Authors:
  • Junnan Yang
  • Xi Lu
  • Denise L. Mauzerall
| May 15, 2018

Electrification with decarbonized electricity is a central strategy for carbon mitigation. End-use electrification can also reduce air pollutant emissions from the demand sectors, which brings public health co-benefits. In this article, the authors focus on electrification strategies for China, a country committed to both reducing air pollution and peaking carbon emissions before 2030. Considering both coal-intensive and decarbonized power system scenarios for 2030, they assess the air quality, health, and climate co-benefits of various end-use electrification scenarios for the vehicle and residential sectors relative to a non-electrified coal-intensive business-as-usual scenario.

Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping held talks in Beijing, June 25, 2016.

President of Russia

Journal Article - Taylor and Francis

Explaining the 2014 Sino–Russian Gas Breakthrough: The Primacy of Domestic Politics

| Jan. 22, 2018

On 21 May 2014, during a state visit by President Vladimir Putin to Beijing, China and Russia signed a $400 billion, 30-year gas deal. Under this agreement, China will import 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom, beginning in 2018. Why, after 15 years of stalemated negotiations, did this breakthrough occur in 2014? Why did a natural, symbiotic gas relationship not develop earlier and more gradually? Most studies explain this by looking at Russia’s international isolation post Ukraine. Based on interviews with both Chinese and Russian officials this article argues the following: domestic incentives, rather than foreign-policy pressures, are the real force behind the timing of Sino–Russian energy breakthroughs in 2014.

Windmills on shore

Flickr

Journal Article - Oxford Energy Forum

U.S. Energy Diplomacy in an Age of Energy Abundance

| November 2017

For decades, fears of energy scarcity drove American energy diplomacy. The dependence of the global economy on oil, and America’s need to secure ever-growing quantities of this commodity, underpinned complex networks of alliances and intensive diplomatic endeavors. An atmosphere of ever-increasing global competition for resources made these labors all the more urgent and highstakes. Today, in an age of energy abundance, many anticipate that the new US energy prowess will render such efforts obsolete and pave the way for US disengagement in the world. Yet a sober look at reality suggests that this should be far from the case.

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power, by Meghan O'Sullivan. Published by Simon & Schuster on September 12, 2017.

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - Axios

Good Use of Your Holiday Gift Card (Before it Vanishes Behind the Fridge)

| Jan. 02, 2018

During our holiday newsletter hiatus, I finally had time to read Meghan O'Sullivan's book (pictured above) about how the shale boom is shaking up global oil-and-gas markets — a phenomenon that has broad and important geopolitical effects.

The boom benefits U.S. global posture and economy, but O'Sullivan warns that policymakers cannot be complacent and must take steps to harness its geo-strategic benefits while mitigating environmental risks.

Gazprom sign in Moscow.

Martin Griffiths

Journal Article - Post-Soviet Affairs

Understanding Russia’s energy turn to China: domestic narratives and national identity priorities

| Dec. 22, 2017

This study investigates whether, as part of a broader “Asian Energy Pivot,” Russia’s energy giant Gazprom refashioned its export strategy away from Europe, and what impact such a reorientation might have on the EU–Russia gas relationship. It uses four empirical cases to emphasize the domestic movers underlying Russia’s eastward shift in energy trade, developing a constructivist theory rooted in the dynamics of Russia’s dominant public narrative and the contours of domestic politics. It argues that Russia’s national interests changed as a result of how Russian policy-makers interpreted and reacted to the stand-off with Europe, in response to what they perceived as Europe’s attempt to isolate it economically and geopolitically.