EnergySource

Resilience of the electric grid and the role of diversity of fuel sources within it have recently become hotly debated topics. In 2017, the US Department of Energy (DOE) attempted to shore up grid resilience by introducing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would compensate power generators for maintaining ninety-day supply of fuel on site. The response to this proposal was split. On the one hand, proponents argued that system reliability has been undermined by ignoring long-term risks of reduced dependence on baseload sources like coal and nuclear, which can ramp up quickly, provided sufficient fuels are accessible. On the other hand, a chorus of voices from states, grid operators, and industry panned the notion as aggressive regulatory intervention in search of a problem.

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The new Italian government’s declaration that it is reviewing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project threatens to derail a $40 billion set of projects that will bring Caspian gas to Europe and hand Russia a major victory in the process.

What is at stake is the final leg of a complex set of projects referred to as the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), a project intended to carry an initial 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azeri gas to Italy, with the potential to double in capacity and provide gas to customers beyond Italy. Almost all the required infrastructure has already been built.

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Following the lifting of international sanctions in January 2016, there was a great deal of optimism for Iran’s oil economy. Even though the global oil industry was a year into a price collapse, many companies were eager to explore investment opportunities in Iran’s neglected oil and gas assets. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Iran’s oil ministry were also enthusiastic about revitalizing Iran’s oil and gas fields and bringing new discoveries online with the help of foreign investment and expertise.

However, in the nearly two and half years between the end of international sanctions and President Trump’s May 2018 decision to reinstate US sanctions, Iran accomplished very little in terms of revitalizing its oil industry.

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This piece is the first in a series examining geothermal potential in Iceland and elsewhere and the contribution geothermal resources can make to energy security and diversification as well as sustainability and emissions reductions.

A combination of necessity, a great deal of ingenuity, some stubbornness, a "problem solving" mentality, and daring policy decisions have enabled Iceland’s small but impressive geothermal sector to become a global leader.

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Technology, policy, consumer preference, and price are driving dramatic changes in the energy mix, and the United Arab Emirates is at the forefront of efforts to innovate and diversify.

In an interview with Randolph Bell, director of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive officer for petroleum and petrochemicals at the UAE’s Mubadala discussed the future of oil demand, changes underway in the global energy market, and Mubadala’s forward-looking strategy for energy innovation.

Q: What is your view on the future of oil demand, and how do you manage uncertainty in oil demand?

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Solar power has been gaining ground in the global energy mix, and its importance will likely only continue to grow. However, the contribution that solar ultimately makes in the power sector, and whether it will make inroads in other energy intensive sectors, will be shaped by a range of factors, including technology development and innovation and a the enabling policy framework.

In a recent visit to their office in a Dallas, Texas technology park, the Global Energy Center’s Ellen Scholl discussed the future of solar with Arun Gupta, CEO and founder of Skyven Technologies, a solar technology startup focused on using new technology to improve the efficiency of solar panels.

The following is an excerpt of their interview.

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While it might be difficult to tell, as the lights are still on, the global electricity system is in the midst of a profound transformation—one that will impact every facet of people’s daily lives. The transformation underway will ultimately lead to an energy system that delivers more usable energy to more people across the globe at a lower cost, and with a smaller environmental impact. The energy transformation will likely lead to increased utilization of indigenous energy resources—such as wind, solar, and biomass—providing a greater level of domestic energy security. Beyond transforming the system, these changes will also put key decisions about how energy is produced and used into the hands of consumers.

In short, the energy system is transitioning from one based on large, centralized conventional power plants, to one that includes both conventional power plants and new emerging technologies that are either centrally located or distributed throughout the network, to serve local electricity demand.

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In a new report, Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Group Chairman and Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Senior Fellow David Goldwyn and co-author Andrea Clabough examine the progress Latin American countries, including the Southern Cone countries, Central America, and the Caribbean, have made in working toward their climate goals, with a focus on modernization and improved sustainability of the countries’ energy systems.

The Issue: In December 2018, countries will meet in Katowice, Poland for the 24th Conference of the Parties to assess progress towards their commitments under the Paris Agreement. In advance of that meeting, Latin American countries have made impressive—if uneven—strides toward their climate goals, but serious challenges remain in many countries.   

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Note: This blog is the third in a series examining the global energy transition through the lens of communities with a significant stake in the traditional energy economy. In examining the social, political, and economic dynamics, policy choices that are made or missed, and the approaches that seem most promising and scalable, there is the possibility of strengthening social cohesion and equitable outcomes amid the global energy transition.

Kentucky has been hit hard by recent trends in energy markets, particularly the downturn in the fortunes of coal. Beyond the trends, it has also been deprived of some of the positive policy architectures that helped to buttress San Joaquin Valley.

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The planned Croatian liquified natural gas (LNG) import terminal is a critical, if yet unrealized, piece of the Central and Eastern European energy security puzzle. If constructed, the terminal would provide a gateway for LNG to reach landlocked markets in the region, thus creating competition for Russian gas and ensuring access to alternative supplies in a crisis. However, without financial support from Central and Eastern European governments, who stand to benefit the most from the proposed terminal, and concerted diplomatic engagement by Brussels and Washington it will not be realized anytime soon.    

From a purely market perspective, the Croatian terminal is a classic case of redundant infrastructure. However, from a security of supply perspective, it is absolutely vital.

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