Publications

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While the United States and Europe are considered the pioneers of renewable energy, Asia is emerging as a major player in the renewable energy transition. Although experts predict Asia will remain the fastest growing market for oil, gas, and coal, even as an energy transition takes hold, slowing regional fossil-fuel consumption could have significant market and geopolitical implications—and signal that the world could be moving closer to reaching a peak in global oil demand. The transformation on the horizon, spurred by a shift from energy-intensive growth to improved efficiency and focus on electrification, has already occurred in major Asian economies, providing a model for shifts in the transportation sector, for example, to address the energy security and climate challenges facing the region. So, how plausible is electrification and deep decarbonization of Asia?

 
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Across the Middle East and North Africa, population growth is driving demand for air conditioning, water, and infrastructure, which has in turn led to more demand for electricity. Middle Eastern countries, particularly in the Gulf, are increasingly looking to renewable energy to meet their growing energy needs. Much of the emphasis is on solar, including photovoltaic panels and concentrated solar power, along with increased interest in wind energy. 

 
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Oil production already provides much-needed revenue and economic development and underwrites the Iraqi federal budget. Meanwhile, gas development could also play a key role in Iraq’s future by fostering broad based economic development, improving electric service provision, and fostering value-added industries, according to the report, Shaping Iraq’s Oil and Gas Future, launched at The Atlantic Council’s 2018 Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi. 

 
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When global oil and gas prices fell in 2014, many oil-producing countries, including those in the Gulf, felt the consequences and began to face the stark reality that oil revenue-based economies must diversify in order to continue prospering. In the wake of the dramatic price change and the expectation that prices will not return to their previous highs, many oil revenue-based economies in the Gulf region began to implement, or are planning to enact, economic reforms. Four such countries are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Their reforms are important, but for these four nations, in order to continue innovating and prospering economically, it is crucial to craft policies that strive to include women in the workforce. 

 
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Although often overshadowed by significantly larger energy systems in India and China, Indonesia is assuming an increasingly important role in international energy markets and global efforts to address climate change. In Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries: Indonesia’s Diversification Challenge,” Global Energy Center nonresident Senior Fellow Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Jr. identifies the challenges Indonesia faces in the energy sector and provides recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders on strategic priorities. As Ichord points out, Indonesia is a critical country for international power sector transformation—the question is how to meet Indonesia’s growing electricity needs in a clean, efficient, and affordable manner. 

 
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US energy policy is on the brink of a dramatic shift as President Donald Trump seeks to dismantle the Obama Administration’s environmentally-friendly energy initiatives, remove environmental and climate concerns from US energy policies, and reorient focus on producing low-cost energy and creating American jobs. To achieve the desired increase in domestic fossil fuel production and energy employment, President Trump, his administration, and his allies have promised to implement the America First Energy Plan, intended to reinvigorate the US coal industry, expand domestic fossil fuel production, cut regulations, open federal land for fossil fuel exploration, and reduce federal support for climate and environmental programs. 

 
With US sanctions against Nicolás Maduro firmly in place, the Trump administration is set to take more severe economic actions if the Venezuelan government continues to repress political and civil liberties. What is in the US toolbox and what would be the effects of implementation? 

The Venezuela Spotlight is authored by David Mortlock, former director for International Economic Affairs at the White House National Security Council and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center; and Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and founding director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Management Studies Institute (IESA) in Venezuela. Together, they break down the options and lay out principles to be applied as the international community assesses next steps.

Click here to view the interactive report.
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In the Baltic Sea Region, there is an important but often overlooked and underestimated security challenge brewing. Russia is increasing its foothold in Belarus by facilitating and supporting the construction of the Ostrovets NPP, while simultaneously blocking other strategic energy projects. Issues of broader environmental and safety concerns are generally at the heart of the debate over the Ostrovets NPP project, but these are not the only issues with the Belarusian nuclear program.

 
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The rise in US natural gas production, enabled by the shale boom, is influencing global markets and geopolitics. As domestic natural gas production grows, so too has US export capacity and the potential to drive shifts in the global market for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

 
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Given the renewed attention to pipeline politics in the years following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, taking a critical look at the relationship between energy considerations and political behavior is not only warranted, but crucial. Based on historical examination and analysis of Russia’s approach to energy development in its neighborhood, The Caspian Sea and Southern Gas Corridor: A View from Russia provides insight into Russian behavior—and valuable lessons for how to influence it. 

 


    

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