The limited global impact of Trump’s ‘America First’ energy policies
Coal is back in the U.S., with production and exports rising. This has coincided with a President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies in the energy sector. But coal’s comeback is more a function of market forces than politics. And it could be short-lived. Despite all the sound and fury, Mr. Trump's initiatives to support fossil fuels will have far less of an impact on energy markets and global efforts to reduce climate change than his critics claim. Europe, however, could still benefit.
Another twist in the Gazprom saga
Until recently, the EU deliberately shielded its gas business with Russia from the disruption caused by turbulent East-West politics. Now a new round of anti-Kremlin sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress and the shale gas revolution threaten to upset the complicated energy relationship.
The myth of cheap Russian gas
As arguments swirl over the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, one thing is taken for granted – Gazprom can sell gas cheaper than rival suppliers. But reserves of low-cost gas from Russia’s West Siberian fields are dwindling, while output from the new Yamal fields must be heavily subsidized to offset high production and transport costs. The European Union could be entering an era when U.S. LNG is fully cost competitive or even cheaper than Russian gas, if it doesn’t let Russia distort the market.
The risks of German unilateralism on Nord Stream 2
Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the most controversial energy project in Europe, is putting strain on Germany’s relationship with other European Union members. Berlin’s support of the project at the expense of other partners could deepen rifts in the EU and lead to a renationalization of energy policies, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.
The South Caucasus – a conflict zone
South Ossetia’s land grab by a vital east-west oil pipeline in Georgia and more fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh illustrate a key fact about the South Caucasus – Russia is just fine with the status quo.
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.
Ethnic strife continues to stymie Myanmar’s economic potential
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has seen decades of ethnic conflict and corrupt military rule stifle its considerable economic prospects. With an advantageous geographic location, abundant natural resources and ample labor force, Myanmar has the ingredients needed to become a regional economic power. A win by pro-democracy groups in last November’s elections offers a...
Global trends: India’s all-out push for economic growth
The government of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going into 2016 with two principal policy objectives. One will be implementing the economic reforms that he has promised to foreign investors. Such reforms are considered crucial to industrialization and further accelerating India’s growth, which currently clocks in at a respectable 7 percent rate. The other...
Macedonia - an enigma for regional stability
The Republic of Macedonia faces new security risks 14 years since war ended and 20 since the first Balkans Peace Agreement, the Dayton Accords. The region has regained its strategic importance following new Cold War clashes between the West and Russia. The US has warned that Macedonia is first in line of fire from Russia and Russia’s foreign minister claims the Wes...
Iran gas an option for Europe as Russia leaves energy gap
The strategic energy ellipse is one of the hottest geopolitical regions in the world - home to vast reserves of oil and gas and stretching from western Siberia to the Arabian Peninsula. Critically, Iran and Iraq are at its centre. As Russia eases out of the picture as the main provider of energy to Europe – several others are looking to take its place. The axing of...