ISPI Energy Watch

Keystone is not a keystone: US refiners and Canada’s tar sands
21 Febbraio 2015

by Matteo Villa - Wherever you live in the world, there is a chance you already heard about the Keystone XL pipeline project, especially now that the US Congress has approved its construction and the ball is again in President Obama’s court.

From Russia with energy - 2015/6
19 Febbraio 2015

by Diana Shendrikova - From Russia with energy is a weekly column of ISPI Energy Watch, aimed at bringing about the latest issues of Russia’s Energy Policy and at acquainting readers of the latest development in Russia’s economy and politics in response to the low oil prices and global geopolitical issues by analyzing the latest research on the topic and debate in the national media.

The Italian electricity retail market: a critical overview of the recent monitoring report by the National Regulatory Authority
15 Febbraio 2015

by Simona Benedettini - Last Thursday, by acknowledging the duty imposed by the Third Legislative Package on National Regulatory Authorities to monitor “the level and effectiveness of market opening and competition at wholesale and retail levels”, the Italian Regulator released a report on the results of the monitoring activity concerning both the power and gas retail markets for the years 2012 and 2013.

May shale be the next swinger?
13 Febbraio 2015

by ISPI Energy Watch - Shale oil industry is the most closely observed player amid recent oil dynamics. It is the real element of novelty in the current oil crisis, having allowed a once-in-a-lifetime unexpected and largely underestimated increase of the US production by 80% since 2008, from just 5 Mbbl/d to more than 9 Mbbl/d. As oil prices started to drop – when the robust global supply fed by shale lymph matched in June 2014 with signals that Chinese demand was hitting the brakes – many betted that shale oil would have been the most likely production to be taken out of the market. However, after 7 months and a 60% drop in international prices, there is still not much evidence that this will happen.

From Russia with energy - 2015/5
11 Febbraio 2015

by Diana Shendrikova - From Russia with energy is a weekly column of ISPI Energy Watch, aimed at bringing about the latest issues of Russia’s Energy Policy and at acquainting readers of the latest development in Russia’s economy and politics in response to the low oil prices and global geopolitical issues by analyzing the latest research on the topic and debate in the national media.

The Italian retail electricity market: where do we stand?
10 Febbraio 2015

by ISPI Energy Watch - Since the Second Energy Legislative Package which established specific deadlines for the liberalization of electricity and gas retail markets - July 2004 for industrial customers and July 2007 for private households – the Italian gas and power retail markets have still to accomplish important steps to acknowledge their full liberalization.

Discounting carbon taxes. And making them fossil
06 Febbraio 2015

by ISPI Energy Watch - The oil price falls, and there is a mushrooming of suggestions that this provides us with opportunity, room and time for introducing a carbon tax. At first sight the idea may look fascinating. The downsides of cheap oil may include slowing down the path towards going green; and they may also increase carbon sources consumption meanwhile. Let’s tax (directly or indirectly) their consumption, and this alone will take us back to the magic equilibrium we enjoyed when the barrel was stably exceeding 100 dollars apiece.

From Russia with energy - 2015/4
04 Febbraio 2015

by Diana Shendrikova - From Russia with energy is a weekly column of ISPI Energy Watch, aimed at bringing about the latest issues of Russia’s Energy Policy and at acquainting readers of the latest development in Russia’s economy and politics in response to the low oil prices and global geopolitical issues by analyzing the latest research on the topic and debate in the national media.

Less gasoline, more taxes
03 Febbraio 2015

by Matteo Villa - Total fiscal revenues from automotive oil in Italy have changed remarkably little in the last twenty years. Early in December, government revenues generated by excise duties and value-added taxes (VAT) applied to hydrocarbon oils (mostly gasoline and diesel) were forecasted at €41.3 billion for the whole 2014. In real terms (calculated using the GDP deflator annualized to 2014), that is almost unchanged compared to 1995. As fiscal revenues declined by 8% in 2014 compared to 1995, total domestic products consumption in the automotive sector was down by 7%. At face value, then, consumption of oil products and taxes appear to go hand in hand. Right?

No grid, no party - Electricity
30 Gennaio 2015

by ISPI Energy Watch - The road to Energy Union is paved of good intentions but to a lesser extent of good works. Actually, though Energy Union is a top priority agenda item, as recently stated by the newly appointed commissioners Miguel Arrias Cañete and Maroš Šefčovič, the realization of the necessary electricity infrastructure is still a chimera.

From Russia with energy - 2015/3
28 Gennaio 2015

by Diana Shendrikova - From Russia with energy is a weekly column of ISPI Energy Watch, aimed at bringing about the latest issues of Russia’s Energy Policy and at acquainting readers of the latest development in Russia’s economy and politics in response to the low oil prices and global geopolitical issues by analyzing the latest research on the topic and debate in the national media.

No grid, no party - Natural gas
23 Gennaio 2015

by ISPI Energy Watch - The European Union, thanks to the ECB and its quantitative easing, has finally shown a hint of financial unity, but much remains to be done to foster the single market. The case of energy is paradigmatic: despite many efforts, the creation of a single, Europe-wide market is still far away. Even if there's no need for a "big bang", also a piecemeal and progressive evolution is a major challenge whose timing cannot be taken for granted.

An oversized electricity system for Italy
22 Gennaio 2015

by Nicolò Rossetto - The year just behind us has been a tough one for the Italian electricity sector. As the data recently released by Terna and the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici shows, output and prices decreased vis-à-vis 2013 and they are now significantly lower than the heights reached before the economic crisis. Indeed, what seemed to be only a temporary halt in the always increasing trend of consumption is now something more like a structural change. Utilities and public authorities should be aware of that and be ready for a significant transformation of business models as well as for a fundamental downsizing of the industry.

From Russia with energy - 2015/2
21 Gennaio 2015

by Diana Shendrikova - From Russia with energy is a weekly column of ISPI Energy Watch, aimed at bringing about the latest issues of Russia’s Energy Policy and at acquainting readers of the latest development in Russia’s economy and politics in response to the low oil prices and global geopolitical issues by analyzing the latest research on the topic and debate in the national media.

The Italian gas market: a painful decline
20 Gennaio 2015

by Matteo Verda - Natural gas consumption in Italy dropped 12% in 2014. In one year, 7.9 Bcm of demand went missing, while reduction during the past four years amounted to more than 20 Bcm. Power sector accounted for the largest share of this reduction, due to the overall decrease of electricity demand and to the competition of subsidised renewable sources.

New publication - "Energy and geopolitics"
19 Gennaio 2015

ISPI released a new publication in Italian: "Energia e geopolitica. Gli attori e le tendenze del prossimo decennio" ("Energy and geopolitics. Actors and tendencies for the next decade"), edited by Matteo Verda.

The downsides of cheap oil
16 Gennaio 2015

Oil price dropping 50% or more in a few months should be good news for the economies of consuming countries. Thus, we are flooded with the econometrics of the expected raise in national GDP; and daily presented with the goodies that cheap oil will deliver to economic growth. That we will benefit in the short term may be a fact (history will tell); and how much we will benefit we can thus leave to modelling. That there may also be downsides seems however to attract less interest and literature. And unfortunately downsides there are, and may be as bad as to overcome short-term benefits.

The Shale Revolution and the oil slump
15 Gennaio 2015

Massimo Nicolazzi, head of the ISPI Energy Watch, delivered today the opening lecture at the annual conference of the Centro studi di economia tecnica dell’energia Giorgio Levi Cases (University of Padua).

From Russia with energy - 2015/1
14 Gennaio 2015

by Diana Shendrikova - Russia is the second-largest producer of dry natural gas and third-largest producer of oil in the world. Moreover it is an important regional power with its economy, highly dependent from oil and gas exports. From Russia with energy is a weekly column of ISPI Energy Watch, aimed at bringing about the latest issues of Russia’s Energy Policy and at acquainting readers of the latest development in Russia’s economy and politics in response to the low oil prices and global geopolitical issues by analyzing the latest research on the topic and debate in the national media.

2014 in refining: Europe is ailing, Italy is worse
13 Gennaio 2015

by Matteo Villa - The recent reversal of fortunes of European refiners has made national headlines whenever a plant shut down, but has largely been ignored by policymakers, ending up being grouped together with many other setbacks that have plagued industrial production in the wake of the global and European economic meltdown. This article attempts to draw a comprehensive picture of the peculiar situation European refineries currently face, shedding light on some common trends as well as trying to assess the state of national refining systems after the recent wave of plant closures.

Pagine