Last week I was invited to attend a conference on “Regional Energy Governance and Nexus Perspective: Challenges in the Asia Pacific Region.” The conference was jointly organized by the Konrad-Adenaur Stiftung (KAS) and ISIS Malaysia and held in Kuala Lumpur, 5-6 December 2012.
I gave a presentation on “Energy Governance in the European Union: The Role of the Market.” I spoke about the basic contours of the EU’s market-based energy policies, particularly with regard to transitioning to a low-carbon energy system. In my conclusion, I reflected on what lessons the European experience holds for other countries and regions such as the Asia-Pacific.
From climate change over peak oil to the geopolitical scramble for the Arctic, there are ample signs that a global energy crisis is unfolding. The sheer scale and urgency of this looming crisis calls for international coordination. Yet, even a cursory look at the existing international energy institutions leads to a sobering conclusion: the global energy governance architecture is weak, fragmented and incomplete. This policy brief discusses both the flaws in the multilateral energy architecture and some emerging ideas to strengthen it, such as the proposal for a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement and the new American disclosure rules for the extractive sector. It is available on the website of the Egmont Institute, Brussels. You can read it, by clicking here.
Willen we stilvallen, in duisternis gehuld? Mekaar uitmoorden om ‘zwart goud’? Met ‘geopoliticoloog’ Thijs Van de Graaf (UGent) en jurist en woordvoerder van de consumentenlobby, Ivo Mechels (Test-Aankoop). Helaas (?) zegt de thermodynamica dat energie niet uit het niets kan worden gecreëerd. We moeten dus energie steken in het opwekken van energie en, als we de mensheid niet willen decimeren, de energie-distributie duurzaam en billijk maken. Helaas, betoogt Thijs Van de Graaf in zijn recent doctoraat, is het niet zo geregeld: botsende belangen, gefragmenteerde beslissingscentra, nauwelijks politieke greep. Als vertegenwoordiger van het kind van de rekening, de consument, u en ik dus, nodigde Werner Trio enabler Ivo Michels uit. Woordvoerder van Test-Aankoop, en auteur van “100 procent voor de consument” (Borgerhoff & Lamberigts).
Herbeluister het interview hier.
Benzine slaat morgen nog maar eens op, met meer dan twee cent. Super 95 komt dan op maximaal 1.808 euro. Dat is een nieuw record. De officiële reden voor de prijsstijging is dat olie duurder is geworden op de internationale markten. Maar dat kan niet de enige reden zijn. Want olie is vandaag tien procent goedkoper, dan bij het vorige record, van begin april. Bekijk de reportage hier.
Founded in response to the 1973 oil shock, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is arguably still the most important multilateral organization for energy-importing countries. Yet, the global geopolitical landscape has changed considerably since the IEA’s creation. The rise of new energy consumers, new energy-related challenges and new international energy forums prompt a rethink of the agency’s current role and institutional design.
This article seeks to contribute to the recent debate on the future role of the IEA by examining specific drivers, avenues and constraints for institutional reform. The method used is SWOT analysis, which allows to summarize the key factors emanating from an assessment of an organization’s internal characteristics (strengths and weaknesses) and its external environment (opportunities and threats).
Building on this SWOT analysis, the article formulates a strategy for the IEA to remain the focal point in global energy governance. Key elements of this strategy include: stronger engagement with new consumers, rapprochement with OPEC, becoming a leading voice in the energy transition, and changing the agency’s internal governance practices.
Access the article here (subscription required). See more publications here.
Worldwide – and that includes much of the emerging economies – there is a widespread conviction that regardless of any controversy on climate change or “peak oil”, it is vitally important to boost all forms of sustainable energy as much as possible.
To achieve this on a global scale, three years ago the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was founded in Germany. If you have not heard much of IRENA so far, there is a reason: the organization got off to a rocky start, complete with a financial and managerial crisis.
However, under the leadership of its new Director-General, the dynamic Kenyan lawyer Adnan Amin, IRENA has quickly recovered in recent times. It is increasingly becoming recognized in international forums as the major international voice for renewable energy policy and is launching major new initiatives, such as the Global Wind and Solar Atlas.
Still, one may wonder whether we really need another international energy organization in an already crowded policy field. I had an elaborate exchange of views with Adnan Amin in London – with some surprising results. It turns out Amin is a man who very much has his eyes on the ball: he is highly ambitious about spreading the renewable energy gospel, but at the same time highly pragmatic – and impatient to get real results.
You can read the interview by clicking here.