energy trade

Energy Union: Delivery pending

Maroš Šefčovič Vice-President of the EC in charge of Energy Union (photo Europe by Satellite)

Electricity market design, renewable energies, energy efficiency – the EU Commission’s recent “Winter Package” touches upon some of the core themes of the envisioned “Energy Union”. But finding  agreement on all these dossiers will be difficult in this politically turbulent year, writes Severin Fischer of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich. According to Fischer, five aspects deserve closer attention. Courtesy Policy Perspectives. … [Read more...]

What a CO2 price floor can (and cannot) do for German climate goals

photo Luc van Braekel-slider

Germany can meet its climate goals for the energy sector if it introduces a CO2-price floor of between €50 and €75 per ton, write Fabian Huneke, Carlos Perez Linkenheil and Simon Göß from the Berlin-based independent energy market specialist Energy Brainpool. However, if neighbouring countries don’t take similar measures, more than half of the reduced CO2- emissions will be shifted abroad, note the authors. As long as power markets are … [Read more...]

Gazprom plays ball: the depoliticization of the European gas market

Alexei Miller CEO Gazprom photo PortalPE10-slider

Gazprom’s gas supplies to Europe and Turkey reached an all-time record in 2016. This might suggest Europe is becoming more dependent on Gazprom, but according to Danila Bochkarev, Senior Fellow at the EastWest Institute, the Russian company gained market share by playing by the rules of the market. The European gas market is finally becoming depoliticized. … [Read more...]

France can’t meet its own power demand

photo EPA

France was heavily dependent on power imports from Germany during the first cold spell of this winter, despite the fact that most of the country’s nuclear reactors are back online, writes Craig Morris from the Energy Transition blog. As the US is now also investigating 17 nuclear reactors with parts from reactor producer Areva, just rescued by the French state, it shows the perilous state the French power sector is in. Courtesy Energy Transition. … [Read more...]

The new outlook for oil: prepare for a bumpy ride in 2017

oil-glut-slider

After two and a half years of opening up the taps (or rather: not closing them) OPEC has changed course in what is looking to be a gamechanger for the oil market. Market sentiment has shifted and the oil price has gone up. But that doesn’t mean we can go back to the status quo ante, writes geophysicist (ex-Shell) Jilles van den Beukel. Some things have changed permanently. Saudi Arabia’s position within OPEC has weakened, Iran’s has strengthened. … [Read more...]

How utilities can deal with the threat of community energy

Solar settlement in Freiburg, Germany

Community energy is the next big threat to utility companies – unless they manage to become part of this emerging energy economy. They still have a window of opportunity, says Craig Cavanaugh of software services company Omnetric Group, who spent six months researching the energy community market in Europe and the US. He sees three main opportunities for utilities: they can become “collaborative partner”, “community energy service provider” or … [Read more...]

Energy may be ripe for the sharing economy, thanks to Bitcoin’s blockchain technology

lexie briggs article-slider

The marriage of blockchain technology with microgrid applications could transform the way communities and organisations use renewable energy, writes Lexie Briggs of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), an association of businesses in the US that includes companies such as Vestas, Siemens, Microsoft, GE and Schneider Electric. Siemens has just launched a project in Brooklyn, New York, that allows neighbours to purchase solar power from each other’s … [Read more...]