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A double oil shock scenario

March 30th, 2008 by Denis Babusiaux, ENSPM, Paris

As far as oil prices are concerned, many scenarios are possible. A jump to $300 per barrel or more in the near future may be the result of a geopolitical crisis in Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. Low price scenarios seem unlikely today but cannot be completely excluded. Another one which we consider of interest is a “dual-crisis” or “double-shock”. It would present a number of similarities with the development observed between 1973 and the end of the eighties.
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Achieving 20 % less CO2 by 2020

March 16th, 2008 by Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Energy

Which mix of policy tools is required to achieve the 2020 objective? My answer is we need both market based instruments and regulations. I recently discussed this issue in a Conference on Integrated Climate and Energy Policy at Bocconi University. Here is the videopodcast. Continue reading »

The Third EU Energy Package: Are we singing the right song?

March 12th, 2008 by Jacques de Jong, Clingendael International Energy Programme

The song that is being sung by the stakeholders in the debate about the third package needs to be tuned. The lyrics of the song should not be about the legal structure and governance of the physical networks of the industry, but about which steps should be taken to truly achieve integrated EU markets, first of all in electricity.

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The role of the Energy Charter Treaty in securing European gas supply

March 9th, 2008 by Andrey Konoplyanik, Energy Charter Secretariat

What are the new risks within and outside the EU in the value chain of Russian gas? Here is the videopodcast of the speech I delivered at the last CESSA conference (Cambridge, 14-15 December 2007). Continue reading »

What do models tell us about natural gas competition in the EU?

March 5th, 2008 by Yves Smeers, University of Louvain

Gas models mainly focus on the oligopolistic character of the European gas market. This emphasis responds to two concerns. Firstly, it is commonly (but not universally) admitted that the upstream gas market is concentrated. This reduces competitiveness and security of supply, which may in turn limit the recourse to gas in the European quest for sustainability. Secondly, the Commission and industrial consumers are also worried about concentration in the downstream market. The industry complains that it leads to high prices and hence reduces its competitiveness. Can gas models tell us something relevant about these questions?
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Transparency for all and monitoring by few

February 27th, 2008 by Jacopo Torriti, University of Reading

The development of organised markets for electricity and gas requires a high degree of transparency and in turn it helps in providing it. Yet the virtuous circle does not happen spontaneously. Then a satisfactory degree of transparency should be a policy goal of the authorities in charge of the markets. Continue reading »

Russia’s energy weapon

February 17th, 2008 by Andreas Goldthau, Central European University

The Kremlin has only a limited ability to use Russian oil and gas as a “weapon.”

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Coal on trial

February 10th, 2008 by Fereidoon Sioshansi, EEnergy Informer

Coal, the mainstay of US power generation, has been facing unprecedented resistance, including from some unexpected sources.

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Does electricity market integration benefit to consumers?

February 5th, 2008 by Dominique Finon, CNRS Paris

Market integration results in increasing electricity bill for consumers in countries enjoying large power generation capacities at low cost. Generally, the rationale for opening-up the market makes sense if enough freedom of choice exists so that considerable effects of production reallocation can be expected. When there are too many restrictions in the system, market opening leads to redistribution without any reallocation. Continue reading »

Long term contracts in US and EU: Where are we going?

January 30th, 2008 by Giuseppe Bellantuono, University of Trento

Long-term energy contracts are under attack by antitrust authorities and courts on both sides of the Atlantic. Should we protect contract certainty to promote infrastructure investments? Or should we deny the validity of contracts concluded in non-competitive energy markets?
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