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Commentary & analysis
Working with a wide-ranging community of experts and stakeholders, the Global Energy Center provides timely commentary and analysis on the geopolitical, sustainability, and economic challenges of the changing global energy landscape.
Thu, May 21, 2020
The race to net-zero emissions is an uphill one. Despite the effects of climate change mounting and time running out, global energy demand is set to grow 50 percent by 2050. One solution to decarbonizing the global energy system while also meeting rising natural gas demand is carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). However, CCUS has historically been too expensive to be viable, and deployment remains far off track. Enter the Allam Cycle: a novel natural gas power plant design that can theoretically capture 100 percent of emissions while being cost- and efficiency-competitive with advanced natural gas plants.
Mon, May 18, 2020
Coronavirus emergency measures should persuade Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey to legitimize energy reform, not reverse it
For years, Eastern European governments and Turkey have bought into a global trend, arguing that long-term strategies in the energy sector should revolve around market deregulation. In light of the coronavirus outbreak and emergency measures implemented worldwide to contain it, the energy industry may face an increase in interventionist policies such as price controls and consolidation of state-owned enterprises as governments push to mitigate the shockwaves of expected consumer impacts. Such measures would be detrimental to economies, and there are compelling arguments to suggest that governments should remain committed to their initial market goals.
Mon, May 11, 2020
The conventional wisdom that the United States is the only viable partner for Gulf states is now being challenged by a new reality: the main importer of Gulf oil is now China. At the same time, China’s strategic goals increasingly encompass stability in the Middle East, while a more activist foreign policy under Xi Jinping ensures greater involvement in the security, as well as economic, discourse in the region.
Fri, May 8, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis and US and EU emissions in the new decade: Opportunities for a clean energy recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden decline in global electricity demand of up to 20-25 percent in some countries, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects global electricity demand for 2020 will fall by 5-10 percent, contributing to an 8 percent overall drop in energy sector CO2 emissions. This piece updates evaluates the performance of the US and EU power sectors in 2019 within the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
EnergySource by Robert F. Ichord, Jr.
Wed, May 6, 2020
The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and caused unprecedented harm to the global economy. At the same time, the pandemic has diverted global attention away from other matters of concern, notably the Floating Storage and Offloading Vessel (FSO) SAFER, a converted oil tanker moored four miles off the coast of Ras Isa, Yemen, in the Red Sea continuing to degrade after years of neglect. If no action is taken, the SAFER will spill as much as 1.14 million barrels of Marib Light crude into the water. Much of the world’s activity may be on hold, but the ongoing corrosion on the SAFER is not taking a break to wait out the pandemic.
Tue, Apr 21, 2020
Amid the haze of uncertainty wrought from coronavirus and oil market fallout, clean energy actors will not take a backseat as the world evolves. As the status quo dissolves before a global crisis, and fossil energy markets grow increasingly volatile, renewables and clean tech have an opportunity to chart a new path forward amid the recovery.
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In-depth research & reports
Leveraging its broad network of experts, the Global Energy Center produces in-depth research and reports to help governments, industry, and civil society understand and navigate the changing global energy landscape, with the ultimate goal of helping shape a world with secure and sustainable energy.
Thu, Apr 30, 2020
Aviation’s reliance on fossil fuels, its expected future growth rates, and the service lifespan of aircraft make it a difficult section of the transportation sector to decarbonize.
Fri, Mar 6, 2020
The Western Hemisphere is full of potential and we have the opportunity to galvanize it into an energy powerhouse. This new US energy strategy for the Western Hemisphere will help raise the global competitiveness of the hemisphere, advance its shared prosperity, and improve national and energy security as a result.
Report by David L. Goldwyn
Thu, Jan 9, 2020
Many oil and gas companies have recognized the need to decarbonize the energy system to avoid the impacts of climate change. Initial industry efforts to play a role in the energy transition show sincerity and promise. Yet the urgent need for more oil and gas production for the foreseeable future suggests that a comprehensive framework for the oil and gas industry to support a low-carbon future while simultaneously ensuring the world has enough energy to meet development and economic growth goals has yet to be fully developed. What role can the oil and gas industry play lead the way to an energy-rich, globally prosperous, low-carbon future?
Energy Advisory Group
The Atlantic Council’s Energy Advisory Group (EAG) comprises a small number of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s highest-level partners and stakeholders. The EAG meets at least twice each year to discuss the GEC’s vision and strategy, and it remains in close contact with the GEC’s founding chairman and director throughout the year to provide guidance on areas of growth, programming, and fundraising. The EAG is chaired by David Goldwyn, former US Department of State special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs.
Global Energy Center events
The Global Energy Center regularly convenes government, industry, civil society, and public stakeholders to discuss pragmatic solutions to the challenges presented by the rapidly changing energy landscape, working to enhance energy security for countries and individuals around the world.
Spotlight: 2020 Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi | January 10 – 12, 2020
Held Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces.
The Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi is the premier international gathering of government, industry, and thought leaders to set the global energy agenda for the year and anticipate and respond to the dramatic changes in the world of energy. Convened in partnership with the Ministry of Energy of the United Arab Emirates, ADNOC, and Mubadala, the forum is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
Thu, Jan 9, 2020
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is projected to experience significant demographic growth by 2050, growth which will have to be met with commensurate economic expansion and job opportunities, or the region will risk an increase in political instability. To meet this challenge, countries in the region must diversify their economies beyond the energy sector and expand their energy sector beyond hydrocarbons. What are the key trends that MENA countries will have to contend with, what is already being done, and what further steps should be taken?
Sat, Jan 11, 2020
A widening gap between perceptions and reality of the global energy markets could increase volatility as governments, policy makers, and industries struggle to tackle climate change, according to Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency.
New Atlanticist by
Sun, Jan 12, 2020
“There are some who believe that gas should play no role in the global energy mix,” Ambassador Richard Morningstar, founding chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, said at the introduction of a panel on the future of gas at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum hosted in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on January 12, 2020. At the other end of the spectrum, he added, some have “called gas a destination fuel that provides a clean baseload energy needed for the developed world to grow.”
New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer
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