Global Energy

  • Energy Geopolitics and the Four Transitions

    At the Atlantic Council’s recent Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, the global energy transformation and diversification in energy and power markets were recurring themes. A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation, helped to frame the discussion of these themes. The report argues that the emergence of economically competitive renewable energy sources is fundamentally changing the nature of energy geopolitics by driving changes in import and export dependency on oil and gas, as well as creating new leaders and international alliances in clean energy technologies, reducing the role and leverage of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries, and furthering the decentralization and democratization of the


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  • The Time is Right for Energy Transformation in Puerto Rico

    Late last year, a group of us from the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center had the opportunity to travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a series of meetings on hurricane recovery and the future of the island’s electric grid.  It was an interesting time for a visit. While the remnants of the storm were visible if you looked hard, the clear message from our hosts was that Puerto Rico is open for business—an amazing fact given what the island confronted just over a year earlier.

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  • Atlantic Council 2019 Global Energy Forum Day Two

    Atlantic Council 2019 Global Energy Forum

    An Update on Saudi Vision 2030 & the Oil Market

    Speaker: H.E. Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Moderator: Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council


    Location:  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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  • From Fiscal Drain to Economic Engine: The Case for Reforming Ukraine’s Energy Sector

    After Russia invaded in 2014, Ukraine managed to avoid direct imports of Russian gas, weakening the Kremlin’s most important lever over the country’s economy and sovereignty.

    However, Ukraine still faces a dire choice as inefficiency, corruption, and lack of transparency continue to hamper its natural gas sector.

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  • Mexico’s New President and the Power Sector: Sunshine or Storms?

    The incoming President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly referred to as "AMLO") will enter office with many tailwinds in his favor, including significant public support for his stated focus on promoting social inclusion and combating corruption, the growing dividends of a largely successful set ofenergy reforms introduced by the outgoing Peña Nieto administration, and the historical weakness of the main opposition parties, the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). It should be a time for Mexico to be seizing manifold opportunities for its underdeveloped power sector, including cheap US natural gas to the north and abundant renewable energy opportunities at home.
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  • The Climate Finance Partnership: Mobilizing Institutional Capital to Address the Climate Opportunity

    It has been impossible to attend any serious climate change conference over the past decade that hasn’t included a significant, and ever-increasing, focus on the topic of private capital mobilization—institutional capital, more specifically. Why? There are two main reasons, one driven by the enormity and immediacy of the challenge, the other by the scale of the opportunity.
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  • The Three Seas Initiative: The Way Forward

    Last month, the third Summit of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) came to a successful close in Bucharest. The gathering, hosted by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, brought together leaders from Europe and the United States to present regional government-approved projects and concrete progress in the integration of 3SI’s framework, which aims to improve interconnectivity in transportation, digitalization, and energy.

    The goal of the initiative is to create greater cohesion within the Union through regional development and economic interconnectivity and growth.

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  • Global Energy Center Experts Weigh In on Iran Sanctions

    At 11:59 p.m. ET on November 4, the remaining sanctions on Iran’s energy, ship building, shipping, and banking sectors that had been lifted or waived under the JCPOA came back into full effect. Iran’s oil exports and revenue are a major part of the administration’s strategy to spur change in Iran on the part of the regime. Speaking during a briefingon November 2, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed sanctions on Iran, declaring that, so far, the reduction in Iranian oil exports since the US withdrew from the JCPOA in May has far exceeded expectations because “maximum pressure means maximum pressure.”

    What effects will the official end of the 180-day wind-down period have on global markets? As sanctions against Iran come into full effect, Global Energy Center experts weigh in on the...

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  • Russia-Iran Economic Deal: Sanction Relief or Political Game?

    In May, the US government announced it would unilaterally withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-impose the sanctions previously lifted or waived. While the re-imposition of sanctions is certainly not welcomed by Iran, it is also nothing new. Iran has long struggled with various economic sanctions and the Iranian economy has suffered under international sanctions for decades. As a result, Iran has looked east for economic cooperation. Over time, the country has also formed multiple mechanisms to bypass sanctions, including oil payments in gold and Asian currencies.

    As a result, Russia and China have become the two most important allies of the Islamic Republic.

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  • Pulling East: The Gravity of China’s Belt and Road in Eurasian Energy

    Uncertainties about the global oil market, apprehensions concerning Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas, and an evolving geopolitical situation in Eurasia call for renewed focus on the Caspian Basin. Engaging the region, however, will be different than in the years following the Soviet Union’s collapse. At the time, the idea in Washington and other capitals was moving oil and later natural gas west out of countries in the region, preferably without crossing Russia or Iran. Today, China looks at the region’s hydrocarbons as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Moreover, Russian and Iranian ambitions—and the way the United States and the West address them—have direct impacts, including on how readily the region’s hydrocarbons can be made available to world markets.
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