Robert F. Ichord

  • 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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  • Ichord Quoted in US News & World Report on a New Design for a ‘Small Modular Reactor’


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  • Ichord Quoted in NEI on U.S. Nuclear Power Leadership


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  • US Nuclear-Power Leadership and the Chinese and Russian Challenge

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    For decades, the United States has been a global leader in nuclear energy, both in terms of domestic power generation and the formation of global nuclear policy. In his issue brief, US Nuclear-Power Leadership and the Chinese and Russian Challenge, Global Energy Center Senior Fellow Robert F. Ichord, Jr. examines the diverging developments in US nuclear power vis-à-vis its Chinese and Russian counterparts. He concludes that it constitutes a Chinese and Russian challenge to US nuclear power leadership, with significant geopolitical and security consequences.

    Nuclear energy remains an...

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  • Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030: Key Electric Power Decisions Ahead

    Bilateral and global energy issues are front and center as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, arrives in the United States. While the biggest focus might be on Saudi Arabia’s vital role as the world’s largest crude oil exporter and the impact that growing US oil production and market influence are having on Saudi leadership and OPEC, the energy implications of the crown prince’s Vision 2030 for the modernization and diversification of the Saudi economy and opportunities for US commercial involvement are also critical. 

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  • Renewable Energy Marches On in 2017: Europe, the United States, and the Global Outlook

    As technologies advance, costs fall, and policy support and public acceptance grow, the rapid commercial growth of renewable energy continues to be one of the biggest stories in global energy. As countries continue to transition to a low carbon future in the early years of Paris implementation, evidence suggests that the outlook for renewables’ growth is bright.

    Expected to account for nearly all of the growth in primary energy demand, China, India, and other developing countries are critical to the transition. However, developments in the United States and Europe will also be significant and help pave the way for further efficiency improvements and driving reduction in the costs of these technologies.

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  • How is India Faring with its Clean Energy Goals?

    As signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement meet in Bonn for COP23—and new forecasts show an increase in CO2 emissions after three flat years—India’s efforts to transform its energy system are a key focus of attention. 

    As the world’s second-largest coal consumer and third-largest carbon emitter, India’s policies and actions are critical to the future global emissions trajectory. India is also the world’s third-largest primary energy user and the largest user of non-commercial biomass. Its energy consumption has been growing at over 5 percent a year and demand will continue to increase as...

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  • Nuclear Power: A Victim of Market and Technological Changes?

    Super hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have put a spotlight on US President Donald J. Trump’s policy position on climate change, which seems to deny the scientific reality. Although its “energy dominance” policy seeks to expand coal, oil, and gas, the Trump administration in June announced a “complete review of US nuclear energy policy” with the goal of revitalizing this energy resource the future of which is in serious doubt.

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  • The United States is the Biggest Loser in Trump’s Decision to Quit Paris Climate Pact

    US President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is in line with his past denials of the reality of climate change, which he has called an “expensive hoax.” His decision, however, will have grave consequences for the United States.

    Supported by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, Trump has made clear his intention to scrap former US President Barack Obama’s greenhouse-gas-emissions-reduction targets and to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. Moreover, Trump and Pruitt have also declared that the United States will renege on its $3-billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund. 

    The Trump administration appears to have few qualms about the potential for increased CO2 and methane emissions from coal and natural gas production. It believes these sectors create jobs and are important to...

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  • Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries: The Critical Role of China in Post-Paris Implementation

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    The global transformation of the electric power sector will be one of the key factors determining the success of the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change in curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since the International Energy Agency projects that almost 90 percent of world growth in electricity generation in 2014-2040 will occur in developing and non-OECD countries, increasing investment in clean energy and changing the electricity mix in these countries are of critical importance. China’s role will be central, accounting for an estimated one-third of future electricity growth in...

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