Resources and Energy

ip journal

Oil Price Collaterals
Oil Price Collaterals

The new Saudi strategy shakes Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, but they are not its real targets

02/02/2015 | by Thomas W. O'Donnell | Worldwide, Resources and Energy

Since July 2014 the price of oil has been falling, and a new OPEC strategy pushed through by Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi makes a reversal unlikely in the near future. OPEC felt obliged to defend its market share against US fracking firms and other “marginal producers.” The pain felt in Moscow, Tehran, and Caracas is an unintended – if not unwelcome – byproduct.

ip journal

Would Solidarity Suffice?
Would Solidarity Suffice?

Stress-testing a Russian gas cutoff, the EU may be too optimistic

17/11/2014 | by Thomas W. O'Donnell | Europe, Resources and Energy

With the actions of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin becoming ever more unpredictable, the EU Energy Stress Test was an important step to prepare for the contingency of a supply stop of Russian gas to Europe. Relying on solidarity and LNG imports, however, may not be enough.


Faint Praise for EU Climate Diplomacy
EU and German efforts fall short in Doha
13/12/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
The EU did more than just about anyone else at the recent UN climate summit in Doha to make progress on an array of issues that could slow global warming. But this praise is consciously faint. The meager steps forward in Qatar – like the formulation of a successor treaty to Kyoto – won’t keep global temperatures from rising less than 2 degrees in coming decades or coastal states from being swallowed up by the Pacific.
Category Climate and Environment, Climate Change, Resources and Energy, Renewables, European Union, Climate & Energy Policy, Qatar, Near and Middle East/North Africa
Model or Maverick?
Peter Altmaier and Günther Oettinger discuss Europe’s Energiewende
06/12/2012 | by Peter Altmaier, Günther Oettinger
The EU plans to modernize its public power supply, to create an integrated energy infrastructure, and to take the leap into the era of renewable energy. Is Europe on the right track? And what is Germany’s role? Here are three questions for the Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Altmaier and European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.
Category Resources and Energy, Renewables, European Union, Climate & Energy Policy, Geographical areas of Europe, Germany
The Primacy of Economic Interests
Economic interests trump security and challenge Western unity
15/11/2012 | by Michael Rühle
As traditional security policy is superseded by economic and energy interests, we must begin to discuss the “economization of security policy” – the implications of which go far beyond the current global financial crisis and its effects on the security policy of the West. One voice inside NATO describes what needs to be done to ensure that this commercialization of security will still allow the friendly member countries of NATO and the EU to avoid 21st century conflicts and to continue to act collectively.
Category Financial Crisis, Finance, Economy and Finance, NATO, European Union, Regional Organizations, Law & Institutions, Military Capacity, Security, Resources and Energy, China, Russia, Worldwide
Transitioning to Renewable Energy
Can Germany Do It Alone?
24/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
At a time when German politicians are questioning whether Germany is on the right path, it’s worth underscoring that the process of energy transition involves its entire European neighborhood.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Climate and Environment, Climate & Energy Policy, European Union, Germany, Central Europe, Europe, Western Europe, Northern Europe
Subsidizing the Wrong Guys
Money for dirty fuel during a green energy transition
11/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Complaints about the cost of Energiewende subsidies are rife within the German media and public discussion. But the cost of subsidizing far dirtier forms of energy remains overlooked.
Category Non-Renewables, Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Unlikely Revolutionaries
Support for the Energiewende goes beyond the usual suspects
04/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Another misunderstanding about Germany’s clean energy shift is the idea that somehow “the state” or green tree huggers are behind it.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
The Heart of a New North-South Axis?
Joint infrastructure projects reconnect the Visegrad Four
02/10/2012 | by Polish Institute of International Affairs
Central Europe's relative strength during the EU fiscal crisis may result in a necessary and beneficial compass realignment of European political and economic interests.
Category Resources and Energy, European Union, Poland, Central Europe, Europe
Choppy Waters for Offshore Wind
If the Energiewende is to succeed, offshore wind will be crucial
28/09/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Germany’s offshore wind power is one of the missing links in the Energiewende. The German government wants to see a ginormous 25,000 megawatts of offshore wind parks installed in the Baltic and North Seas—the equivalent of 20 large nuclear power reactors. Yet there are only two wind parks in commercial operation, and one of them operates at just a fifth of capacity.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Lying About Electricity Prices
The incentive to spread false information about Energiewende costs
18/09/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
We have to talk about prices one more time. It’s all over the media that Germany’s transition to renewables is killing—or going to kill German industry. How can Germany compete abroad when it pays so much for its energy? It’s all a consequence of the Energiewende! This is a lot of rubbish.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
The Truth About Coal
The dirtiest fossil fuel is making a comeback in Germany
04/09/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Because of the decision to get rid of nuclear power following Japan's Fukushima disaster, Germany has had to rely more and more on burning coal as a backup for its renewable energy sources. But this choice is slowing down progress on lowering German carbon emissions.
Category Non-Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Smart or Super?
The debate over Germany's energy grid
29/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
The volume of electricity produced from renewable sources of energy in Germany is burgeoning, which is good news—except that the country's present transmission grids haven't kept up with renewable energy production. Right now, capacity is no where near adequate for Germany's goals of where it wants to be with renewables in 10 or 15 years time.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
The 10 Point Plan
The new environment minister's progress—and potential pitfalls, after 100 days
21/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Germany's new environment minister has recently laid out a 10 point plan for the energy transition that potentially holds a lot of promise. But his wish to revamp the country's Renewable Energy Law to please some of the government's neo-liberals could put a lot of environmental progress in jeopardy.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Best Practices in Feldheim and Freiburg
Two German renewable energy success stories prove size doesn't matter when it comes to going green
14/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Tiny Feldheim and urbane Freiburg have little in common other than that they're two of Germany's, and perhaps the world's, best models for the transition to green energy. The two towns prove that what counts when it comes to going renewable is commitment and ingenuity, not size.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
More Milestones and Momentum
Germany is making big progress in its transition to renewables, but power consumption still isn't falling very much
09/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Record volumes of renewable energy production in Germany have just been posted. At the same time, the country still has a conservation challenge. Power consumption may have declined a small amount, but it didn’t come from efficiency and conservation measures.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Bioenergy? Not So Fast
Leading German scientists attack bioenergy strategy
31/07/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
There’s no one, set-in-stone blueprint for Germany’s energy transition. A lot of it will be made up along the way and plans will change as we learn more. One of the Energiewende’s pillars, for example, namely bioenergy, has just been subjected to a blistering critique by Germany’s foremost scientists.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Beer, Lederhosen, and Solar Panels
Bavaria adds something else to its worldwide reputation—a solar panel fixation
24/07/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Bavaria's success at promoting solar power has become so renowned, that the German state is getting a green reputation to add to its Oktoberfest fame. That's because investing in solar panels has become a smart financial move for property owners.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe
Merkel’s Stalling Revolution
Chancellor slipping in environmental goals
18/07/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Two normally antagonistic ministries suggest Merkel's environmental commitment is faltering and Germany's renewables industry will suffer more to please big automakers.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Who’s Paying and Why
Calculating the costs of Germany's variable energy pricing
21/06/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
It’s high time to say something about the raging debate over the high and rising electricity prices in Germany. Almost unanimously they’re being blamed on the Energiewende, and are being employed by opponents to stop or at least slow down the energy transition. It is not fair.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe