Recent Events

On October 31, 2017, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, along with the Council’s Future Europe Initiative and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, convened an expert panel for a conversation about the current state of climate action in the United States and in the transatlantic relationship more broadly. Ambassador Richard Morningstar (Ret.), the Global Energy Center’s founding director and chairman, introduced the event by noting the important and timely nature of the conversation, given the upcoming twenty-third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) in Bonn, the Trump administration’s announcement that the United States plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and the emergence of pledges from state and local governments and businesses to remain committed to trying to reach the agreement’s goals.
On Thursday, October 5, 2017 the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center jointly hosted Mr. Gonzalo Aguirre, Mr. José María Castro, Mr. Giovani Machado, and Ms. Sue Saarnio for a discussion about the changing energy markets in Latin America and the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the regional energy mix. The discussion was moderated by the chairman of the Global Energy Center’s Advisory Group and Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s nonresident senior fellow, Mr. David Goldwyn.

The event opened with remarks from Mr. Goldwyn, who provided context on economic and energy developments of the last decade throughout Latin America, from increasing hydropower and renewable energy production to fiscal crises that have impacted cross-border trade. Following this introduction, Mr. Aguirre, Director of National Transport and Measurement of Hydrocarbons in the Argentinian Ministry of Energy and Mining, discussed regulatory frameworks for LNG in Argentina, as well as the country’s trade relationships with Bolivia and Chile. When asked about the status of energy in Colombia, Mr. Castro, general manager at Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao (SPEC LNG), touched on the country’s opening of a new LNG import terminal, the government’s mechanisms for financing projects including thermal generators, and the country’s trade relationship with Venezuela. Mr. Castro also called for increased energy integration throughout the region, pointing to a successful trade relationship between Bolivia and Brazil.
On Wednesday, September 13, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and Brent Scowcroft Center’s Asia Security Initiative hosted expert panelists for a discussion on Dr. Ichord’s new report on the power diversification strategy in Indonesia given current political and economic obstacles confronting the country and region. The discussion was moderated by Benjamin Soloway, assistant editor at Foreign Policy.  Topics of the discussion included market prospects for geothermal and renewable energy, nuclear energy, liquefied natural gas, oil, and coal production in Indonesia, the types of investment changes necessary to support infrastructure demands and carbon dioxide emissions goals, and the power sector challenges associated with transitioning from a decentralized to a more centralized form of government.
On Wednesday, July 19, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosted Daniel Yergin, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Ambassador Daniel Fried, Jeffrey Turner, and David Mortlock for a discussion about the Russia sanctions bill making its way through Congress. The discussion was moderated by Global Energy Center Associate Director Ellen Scholl.

The event opened with remarks from Vice Chairman of IHS Markit Daniel Yergin, who also joined the panel discussion, which covered European concerns, the intent of the bill, Office of Foreign Asset Control licensing authority, Congress’ ability to make changes to the bill, precedent for carve-outs, Nord Stream 2, Russia’s potential reaction to the bill, what part of the US government will manage the sanctions, and potential fixes for the bill.
On June 15, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosted BP’s Group Chief Economist, Spencer Dale, for the US launch of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017. The BP Statistical Review is looked to as the gold standard by policymakers, industry analysts, and energy stakeholders for yearly analysis of the changing energy market.

During his presentation, Dale highlighted the key global developments in each energy sector. Drawing from these developments, Dale concluded that in 2016 the global market was subject to two separate forces: short-run, cyclical adjustments and long-run, structural shifts. Short-run adjustments like weak energy supply growth and increasing demand growth have occurred in response to a period of excess supply, particularly in the oil market. On the other hand, a structural transition is also underway, as demand growth is increasingly being driven by developing economies, and has manifested predominately in the form of robust renewable power development.
On Monday, June 12, the Global Energy Center hosted Meg Gentle, President & CEO of Tellurian Inc. as part of its CEO Series. Gentle discussed the future of US natural gas production, the outlook for US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, and Tellurian’s forecast of global LNG markets. Richard Morningstar, founding director and chairman of the Global Energy Center, delivered welcome remarks and moderated the discussion.
On June 7th, the Energy Diplomacy Initiative within the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center held a half-day conference on Energy Security in Central & Eastern Europe: New Challenges and Opportunities, which brought together government officials, business leaders, and experts to discuss the implications of the changing global LNG market, progression of the European Energy Union concept, and the priorities of the new US administration for Central and Eastern European energy security.

Advances in energy technologies are enabling individuals, communities, and nations to produce ever-increasing amounts of energy from locally available resources. Since Secretary of Defense James Mattis called for the US military to be “unleashed from the tether of fuel” in remote military operations, the US military has become a leader in seeking energy innovation to power remote operations. On April 13, the Atlantic Council hosted expert panelists from both the public and private sectors to discuss how advances in energy technologies are impacting national and economic security and transformation, with particular focus on military needs and opportunities.
On Wednesday, April 19, the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and the Global Energy Center co-hosted a conversation on energy innovation and entrepreneurship in the Middle East featuring Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, presidential deputy envoy for hostage affairs at the US Department of State; HE Majid Al-Suwaidi, consul general of the United Arab Emirates in New York; and Mr. Salah Tabbara, general manager of ALBina Industrial Construction Company and moderated by Ms. Mirette Mabrouk, deputy director and director of research and programs of the Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

Dr. Nesheiwat presented a global perspective, detailing the proliferation of clean energy as well as the decreased cost to deploy these systems. She noted that renewable energy sources accounted for 55% of new energy developed in 2016, and at 23% lower cost than in 2015. In 2016 solar power cost 17% less to produce, onshore wind cost 18% less, and offshore wind cost 28% less – making these industries even more competitive with fossil fuels. She also discussed the importance of economic diversity to protect the state against market shock in the oil and liquid natural gas markets during supply fluctuations and under threats from violent extremism, this holding especially true for the Gulf states.

HE Al-Suwaidi zeroed in on the UAE, discussing innovative programs like Masdar City, partnerships with Pacific Island states, and the mandate for 27% of the Emirates’ energy demand to be supplied by renewable technologies. He explained that the UAE has known from early on that oil and natural gas are finite resources. Diversifying into aviation, finance, and tourism have proven lucrative for the Emirates, and a strong sense of environmental stewardship has steered innovation away from fossil fuels. The country’s current green growth strategy is pushing for meaningful sustainability in both economic and environmental sectors. Al-Suwaidi also explained how the UAE’s Masdar initiative has invigorated innovation research and development, from partnerships with MIT to bring students from around the globe to participate in innovation competitions, to the Masdar City project,  which he described as a “living lab” for new technologies to be field-tested.
On Monday, April 10, 2017, the Global Energy Center launched Dr. Ian M. Ralby’s latest report, Downstream Oil Theft: Implications and Next Steps. Moderated by Ambassador Morningstar, the expert panel included Ian Ralby, John Gannon, and Terzah Tippin Poe, and discussed how hydrocarbons crime impacts global security, the market, and the environment, and how stakeholders can work together to address this underrecognized issue.