Latin America’s renewable energy challenge
Prices for renewable energy are dropping in Latin America, making decarbonization – once a far-fetched notion – a very real possibility. The question is whether the political will is there. Many of the country's grids are in bad shape and unprepared to handle the change, while legislation, sometimes intended to help renewables, has ended up throwing obstacles in the way. Can countries in the region implement the necessary reforms?
Energy cybersecurity: The need for effective resilience
Despite repeated warnings of a “digital Pearl Harbor,” advanced economies such as the United States and the European Union are more exposed to cyberattacks than ever. These vulnerabilities can be traced to the spread of new digital technologies, the electrification of transport and heating systems, robotics and artificial intelligence. That puts a premium on efficient cybersecurity strategies based on a layered defense in depth, focused on mitigating the effects of attacks and allowing faster recovery of critical infrastructure.
Increased electricity usage could derail EU energy targets
The digitization and electrification of the transport and heating sectors, as well as the robotics revolution in industry, have many excited about conserving energy and improving efficiency. But those hopes may be ill-placed: all those factors point toward increased electricity usage in Europe in the years to come. That could mean the EU's energy policies for the next couple of decades overly optimistic, if not entirely unrealistic.
Four implications of electric mobility
China is doubly dominant in electric vehicles (EV), as the world’s biggest market and largest battery maker, with 55 percent of global production. EV makers also increasingly depend on critical raw materials from China such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and rare earths. This growing dependency, along with production bottlenecks and the environmental costs of EV production, may limit its impact on the global energy mix.
The fog of cybersecurity
A worldwide surge of sophisticated cyberattacks has alarmed business, governments and experts alike. As long as it remains difficult to identify the attackers, while offensive cyber tools become more commonplace and easily available, one can expect such assaults to increase. Disruptive attacks on critical infrastructures have already crossed the “red lines” of past forecasts. Even so, we may still be underestimating the threat.
Argentina’s Macri in the crosshairs
Argentina’s Mauricio Macri spent his first 16 months as president playing whack-a-mole with a host of problems – including a faltering economy, an incompetent and often corrupt bureaucracy, and rising public anger at utility price hikes. Now, with parliamentary elections looming, he needs to come up with a strategy to avoid becoming a lame duck for the rest of his term.
The greening of China’s auto industry
Chinese car ownership and production have shot up spectacularly in recent years. The country has joined the push for driverless electric cars as part of an environmental strategy that also stresses greatly expanded public transport. Depending on which strategy Beijing selects, carmakers could be headed for boom years or hard times.
Risks for China’s energy strategy
China faces three big challenges in its energy strategy: reducing pollution, mitigating the negative effects of climate change and securing overland supply. The country has made huge investments to achieve its goals, but macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties could yet derail Beijing’s plans. In the end, China is likely to be successful, but will have to deftly manage its energy policies and alliances.