Oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, energy prices, electricity and climate issues. Scenarios, forecasts and analysis from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) experts on energy trends.
GIS Dossier: The impact of oil and gas
Few commodities come close to having the same influence on geopolitics as oil and gas. Recently, low oil prices have put strain on OPEC while shale technology has reshaped energy markets. Both factors have put global climate policies in question. What are the trends to watch in this crucial sector?
China and the automobile’s future
China has become the world’s biggest car manufacturer, but not a global player in the industry. Rapid change in automotive technology, though, provides it with the same challenges and opportunities as it does the industry’s leaders. Chinese companies are investing heavily in electric car and autonomous-vehicle designs. Much more needs to happen, though, both in China and in the global environment, for the Asian giant to be able to go international.
China won’t save global climate protection policies
China has made big strides in greening its energy sector. But while some hope this means the country can become a new leader in the fight against global climate change, Beijing’s goals are different. The moves it is making now are aimed at putting China in an advantageous geopolitical position, especially in terms of trade. Moreover, its momentum on the green energy front may not be sustainable.
Return of shale? Scenarios for the Trump administration
The first shipments of what promises to be a flood of shale gas from the United States have reached Asia. These exports could dramatically increase U.S. political leverage in the region. Most importantly, they have the potential to forge new bonds with China in a time of stress and help check Russian expansion.
Shale energy shows the power of markets
The cutting edge of energy is often seen in the government-subsidized renewables sector, especially solar and wind power. But if you want to know the truly disruptive, market-rattling technology of our era, look no further than shale oil and gas.
Rising U.S. LNG exports could lead to European gas price war
The glut of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the global market is growing as exports from the United States increase and demand from Asia wanes. These trends are fueling competition in regional gas markets, and none is as hotly contested as Europe. The geopolitical implications of such trends could be far-reaching.
Tunisia’s fragile transition
Tunisia’s fledgling democracy is on the right track, but social unrest, terrorism and a wobbly economy threaten its progress. Economic reforms to encourage investment – especially in oil and gas – would go a long way toward stabilizing the country, providing both jobs and government income.
Technology exporters are the biggest beneficiaries of nuclear power
When total outlays for a nuclear energy plant are considered, from construction to accident prevention to decommissioning costs, nuclear energy is an expensive proposition. The companies that export this technology and their governments are going the extra mile to attract foreign buyers and see the deals through because their benefits go far beyond a power plant deal.
Mozambique looks for a way out of crises
Mozambique, once held up as a model country for the way it ushered in peace and reconciliation after a long civil war, now faces a new round of potential crises – from a huge corruption scandal, to fiscal instability, to a possible return of civil war. However, with new international investors in its natural resources and an incoming U.S. administration, momentum will likely be found to resolve these issues.
China modifies its lending strategy to Africa and Latin America
China has overtaken the IMF and the World Bank as the biggest provider of loans to African and Latin American governments. But that could soon change as slower Chinese growth and huge investments in Eurasian transportation networks have crimped Beijing’s finances. The inevitable cutbacks will strain what has been a mutual beneficial relationship between China and other developing countries.