Oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, energy prices, electricity and climate issues. Scenarios, forecasts and analysis from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) experts on energy trends.
China at the center of global energy change
A sluggish world economy and sustained improvement in energy efficiency caused growth in global energy consumption to slow to 1 percent in 2015, well below the 10-year average of 1.9 percent. Taking a closer look, one country stands out: China. Its changing economy shaped the dynamics of global energy last year and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
India’s new nuclear push
India is making a big push to finally join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which sets global rules on the spread of nuclear technology. Becoming a member is crucial for India, since it would solidify its ability to import and export nuclear technology freely. Without this, its nuclear energy sector could wither, with dire impacts for the country’s climate goals and its economy.
Oil prices: headed for a Goldilocks scenario?
Oil prices are headed for a sweet spot between $50 and $70 per barrel that would benefit key geopolitical players, including Europe, China, India and Russia. Market forces may keep them there. The result would be faster global growth, unless political conflicts intervene.
Russia’s pivot to China: a bridge to nowhere
For Moscow, strategic partnership with China was supposed help put wind in Russia’s economic sails – in particular through diversifying its exports and improving its economic footprint in Siberia. More recently, this “pivot to Asia” is also being used to balance off the West politically, after the war in Ukraine ratcheted up tension between Russia and NATO. The problem is that China refuses to see things quite the same way.
Saudi Arabia’s economic reform
Saudi Arabia has come up with a new strategy to diversify its oil-dependent economy. It would be easy to dismiss the McKinsey-endorsed plan as another paper scheme that will soon be forgotten. But with climate change and demography working against them, this time the Saudis may be serious.
The geopolitics of gas: Qatar, Iran and Russia
Qatar and Russia have little reason to like each other. They are adversaries on several Middle Eastern battlefields and heavyweight rivals on the world gas market. But Doha, for its own reasons, wants to keep the communication lines open with Moscow.
Australia’s LNG woes herald changes in global market
Australia has become a global leader in liquefied natural gas (LNG) extraction, export and technology. But the fall in oil prices has brought gas prices down as well, while cost overruns have hurt the industry. How Australia’s LNG producers deal with these challenges could have ramifications for the sector around the globe.
Strategy needed as Islamic conflict zone widens
As war threatens to engulf a region stretching from Iraq to sub-Saharan Africa, the United States, Europe and their allies must come up with a coordinated strategy for intervening. A major international conference where a plan could be hashed out would be a good place to start. In any possible intervention, Europe will have a special role to play.