Energy comments

Even laundry machines will step into the smart grids puzzle

by Fabrizio Armani - Hardly a day goes by without news or updates from the smart grid world over newspapers, media, or the internet. They tell us that the world is going to change completely and the business models of the past are doomed: the future is all about storage systems, smart metering, demand side management, electric vehicles, residential PV – all of them interconnected, of course.

Fighting on all fronts: Nigeria’s 2016 budget, and beyond

by Michele Delera - In early June, Niger Delta militants – under the banner of a newly-formed group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) – blew up two oil wells owned and operated by Chevron. The attack is the latest in a new phase of an ongoing insurgency in the oil-rich region.

Energy Infrastructures in and to Europe: Risks, and Strategies

by Sergio Matalucci - In a moment of geopolitical uncertainties, fluid changes on an international level, and increase fo-cus on terroristic threats, this article wants to discuss the possible risks for energy infrastructure and examine how grave they are. Speaking with representative of the industry, think tanks, and academia, we try to shed special light on the infrastructures in Turkey and in the nearby region.

Higher than you think: myths and reality of Nord Stream’s utilization rates

by Matteo Villa - Here at ISPI Energy Watch, we delved deeper on issues concerning the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline and its proposed expansion. However, a high degree of confusion still needs to be dispelled about the exact quantities of natural gas reaching German shores through the pipeline.

Nord Stream 2: The Legal Context

by Francesca Morra – Regardless of the pros and cons of the project from a EU energy policy perspective, Nord Stream 2 will certainly need to face a number of legal constraints, stemming from the entry into force of the so-called Third Energy Package.

Regulatory congestion: Are we heading to a wave of M&A in the energy sector?

by Murad Harasheh - What’s going on in the European arena? Regulators, trading venues, market participants, financial and commodity analysts and data reporting agencies are all debating on the legal and operational implications of the various recent financial and energy regulations in the EU, whose implementations are already in effect either fully or partly.

Monopolies still reigning the liberalized energy market

by Andrea Renzulli - Managing the power system is a complex task. Supply and demand, as well as increases or decreases of the energy flows, have always to be perfectly balanced in every moment due to the characteristics of electric networks and to the costs and difficulties to efficiently stock electricity. For market participants this means continuous forecasting, recalculating and balancing their market positions, until real time.

Polish coal: enfant terrible of the EU climate policy

by Maciej Hacaga and Krzysztof Dzieciolowski -As conservative Law and Justice party is still enjoying its spectacular success in the October Polish parliamentary elections, its recently formed government is already facing a challenge which, if managed inappropriately, has a potential to severely damage its popularity. The once mighty Polish hard coal mining industry is effectively on the brink of disaster. Long disregarded problems of economic inefficiency and bad management in the sector are proving to be lethal in a period of very low world coal prices. What makes the whole situation even more complicated is that both domestic coal is still the cornerstone of the Polish energy generation and that major mining companies remain state-owned enterprises. While short-term solutions are necessary, this has to be seen in the wider context of the EU climate policy which openly aims at decarbonisation. In effect, Poland is becoming increasingly isolated with its pro-coal narrative in Europe.
In order to speculate about the future of the Polish coal and how it can be impacted by current developments, it is crucial to understand the rationale behind Polish preference for coal, often perceived as myopic and irrational by international commentators.

Oil in Oman. Labour tensions and political paralysis.

by Michele Delera - Omani crude is currently trading at below $40 per barrel. Drilling activity in the country has hardly been affected. Crude and condensates production hit record levels recently, with 1mm b/d produced for the first time in the country’s history in July. But spending in the hydrocarbon sector is increasingly under pressure. At least 1,000 Omani workers – around 5% of Omani nationals employed in oil and gas companies – have been laid off since the start of the year. More redundancies are expected in the months ahead. With over 45 percent of Oman’s population being less than 20 and the memory of the 2011-12 protests still fresh, this is a sensitive issue.

Eurogas Sees 7% Y-o-y Increase in Europe’s Gas Consumption in 2015. But Where Does This Up-tick Come From?

by Sergio Matalucci and Antonio Sileo - Eurogas wrote at the end of October that gas demand in Europe is expected to grow by 7% in 2015 compared to 2014, explaining that the first half of the year should drive most of this rise. The organisation representing national gas associations concluded that ‘taking 2015 as a whole, gas demand would correspond to an EU 28 & Switzerland annual consumption of about 4760 terawatt-hours or 441 billion cubic metres.’ What are the eventual reasons for this change? More importantly, does it make sense to use gas consumption as a proxy variable for industrial performance as some commentators already hypothesised and hoped for? Or shall we rather say that the uptick in consumption has simply to do with weather conditions?

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