What is energy? Why are we so interested in energy and why is it so important? FEEM researcher Samuel Carrara answers these questions by explaining the concept of energy, the relationship between energy and economic development, and the key issues of energy availability and security, sustainable development and climate change.
Energy efficiency is one of the key crossroads between energy, climate and economic issues. This column explores the potential for energy efficiency gains in Turkey, a country characterized by a strong growth in energy demand and by a strong need of better security of supply, emissions reduction and economic competitiveness.
What are the new challenges and opportunities for European gas markets? Leading energy experts interviewed on the occasion of the fourth edition of FEEM's annual "Gas Talks" provide their views on the current situation and shed light on a potential way forward, spanning from COP21 to shifting geopolitical balances.
Over the last years EU energy policy has strongly focused on the development of renewable energy, also through the adoption of a dedicated 2020 target. But is the EU currently on track to meet this target? This article aims to provide a quick overview on the issue, looking at both the EU-wide and the national levels of analysis.
The workshop on “Recent evolutions of oil and commodity prices”, organized by FEEM, focused on the decline in the oil price in 2014. This is explained by a complex set of factors. It had implications on forecasting the price of oil and on oil price volatility and uncertainty, which increased.
Following the International Conference on “The Recent Evolutions of Oil and Commodity Prices” organized by FEEM on 4-5 June, 2015 Re3 interviews energy experts Leo Drollas, Vincent Kaminski, Lutz Kilian, Charles F. Mason, Apostolos Serletis and Adonis Yatchew on the drop in oil prices and their research on this issue.
We discuss the concepts of macroeconomic uncertainty, oil price uncertainty and oil price shocks. Given the relevance of oil and macroeconomic uncertainty, we illustrate how economic uncertainty can be defined and measured. We describe our proposed measure of oil price uncertainty and we illustrate the contribution of its underlying components.
In this article FEEM energy analysts Manfred Hafner and Simone Tagliapietra present the key results of a new study, just published in the FEEM Series "Note di Lavoro", aimed at analysing the rise of the Turkish Stream project and at investigating what strategy Europe might assume vis-à-vis this new reality.
Despite huge solar and wind energy potential, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries lag far behind most other regions in the world in terms of solar and wind energy deployment. The article explores the reasons of this paradox, focusing on the key barriers to the development of renewable energy in the region.
Energy has always been linked to the history of mankind and human development. The publication presented in this review, “Global challenges, integrated solutions: a cooperation matrix against energy poverty”, aims at offering guidelines and proposals to support all the actors involved in the process of improving access to energy.
Leading international energy experts, convened in Milan for the 3rd edition of FEEM’s Gas Talks (20-21 November, 2014), discuss mid- to long-term challenges and opportunities for European gas markets. FEEM researchers Manfred Hafner and Simone Tagliapietra report and comment the highlights of the meeting.
What are the future prospects of a new "EU Energy Union"? After the 2014 Ukraine crisis, momentum has emerged around the need to create a truly European energy policy. This article argues that the EU should seize this historical opportunity to advance its energy policy, focusing on security of energy supply.
Jacopo Bonan, Catholic University of Milan and LabExpo, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation, comments a selection of interviews to leading experts Ujjayant Chakravorty, Shonali Pachauri, Carlo Carraro, Stefano Bologna and Lucius Mayer-Tasch, collected during the International Workshop “Energy Poverty and Energy Access: Global Challenges and Goals" held in Milan on July 10, 2014.
Concentrated solar power generation in Africa and the Middle East could potentially supply up to 20% of European power demand. However, it is currently much more expensive than fossil fuels and geo-political challenges need to be overcome. This article evaluates the technological, economic, and political feasibility of this idea.
Interviewed by Re3, Francisco H. G. Ferreira - World Bank Chief Economist Africa Region and Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn) - discusses development policies in Africa, human capital empowerment and how to deal with religious and cultural conflicts and promote nation-building processes.
What are the future prospects of EU-Turkey energy relations in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukraine crisis? This article summarizes the key results of a new study that outlines the urgent need to enhance the EU-Turkey energy partnership and proposes the establishment of a new “EU-Turkey Natural Gas Initiative”.
The jihadist group formerly known as ISIS, which already controls vast areas of Syria and Iraq, has recently proclaimed the restoration of the caliphate. This article discusses the presence of a jihadist state in the Middle East, which represents a formidable threat to the Arab state system.
Comparing the cost of batteries used in passenger vehicles can be problematic. This article aims to clarify some of the issues that have led to confusion when discussing the cost of batteries. Recently, confusion over both the current price and a break-through price of batteries has prevailed.
John M. Deutch – Emeritus Institute Professor at the MIT - addresses the consequences related to the unconventional oil revolution, focusing on US foreign policy, the driving forces leading towards a new world energy balance, the role of new players in a renewed energy scenario and the political, sociological and geostrategic dynamics.
This article presents the key results of a field study carried out in Istanbul by FEEM researcher Simone Tagliapietra with the aim of exploring Turkey’s potential to become a regional gas hub by analyzing the future prospects of the Southern Gas Corridor and of the potential Eastern Mediterranean Gas Corridor.
After the Fukushima incident in 2011, many countries decided to revise their nuclear power programmes. Phasing out nuclear power would be costly, but the article shows that these costs would be largely offset by the implicit subsidy to R&D in renewables, which suffer from innovation externalities.
In their volume "The Globalization of Natural Gas Markets: New Challenges and Opportunities for Europe", Manfred Hafner and Simone Tagliapietra provide a comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities of the global gas industry, with the aim to provide a clear snapshot of a market characterized by growing uncertainty and volatility.
In short interviews granted during the recent FEEM Gas Talks held in Milan on November 5-6, 2013, leading energy experts debate on European gas demand and supply and on the future of gas pricing and European gas governance, shedding light on a market characterized by growing uncertainty and volatility.
The European energy infrastructure is ageing and, in its current state, is not suited to match future demand for energy, to ensure security of supply or to support large-scale deployment of energy from renewable sources. This article explores innovative tools to promote private sector financing of energy infrastructure projects.
The 2013 edition of the International Energy Workshop was held in Paris on June 19–21. In their interviews to Re3, keynote speakers Carlo Carraro, Jos Delbeke, David Hobbs, Jiang Kejun, Leena Srivastava and Jorge Vasconcelos discuss the challenges related to the intertwined issues of energy, climate and economic growth.
Concern over access to resources is high in EU political consciousness, given recent political instability and resource nationalism in resource-rich nations. The article offers an overview of the EU project POLINARES, aimed at identifying the challenges related to competition for access to resources, and at proposing approaches to collaborative solutions.
Following the International Conference on “Oil Price Forecasts and Trends” organized by FEEM on May 23-24, 2013, Re3 interviews energy experts Bahattin Buyuksahin, Leo Drollas, John Elder, Wincenty Kaminski, Charles F. Mason and James Smith on the key issues of oil price forecasts and international energy markets.
The European gas industry has experienced an extraordinary success over the last decades. Gas experts from the academia, international organizations and the industry discuss mid- to long-term challenges and opportunities for European gas markets in order to shed light on a market characterized by growing uncertainty and volatility.
Would universal access to modern sources of energy like electricity and clean cooking fuels significantly increase CO2 emissions? This article briefly describes a methodology for the formal assessment of this issue by means of a model of current and future energy consumption.
Anil Markandya, Scientific director of the Basque Center for Climate Change, discusses environmental fiscal reform and provides a short overview of his work on some of the main concerns with this reform, such as its effects on competitiveness and feasibility.
Is there a causal relationship between oil prices and autocracy? This article argues the importance of going beyond deterministic formulations to investigate this relationship, and to use the analytical tools provided by the Rentier State Theory to gain a better understanding of the Arab uprisings and their aftermath.
How is the Eastern Mediterranean energy landscape changing? This article provides an overview on new regional developments and proposes a critical discussion of the market opportunities and geopolitical risks related to the potential emergence of a new Eastern Mediterranean Energy Corridor.
China’s global quest for resources – in particular, oil and natural gas - has received unprecedented worldwide attention. But are the stakes raised unnecessarily high? In this article ZhongXiang Zhang, Distinguished Professor and Chair at Fudan University, China seeks to clarify these points.
Is the German example able to show the path for the decarbonisation of Europe? Andreas Löschel from ZEW starts from analysing the current German renewables energy market, giving some prospects on its likely future development, to then broaden the picture on Europe's desire for decarbonisation.
Einar Hope explains why Energy Economists should adopt an interdisciplinary approach in their research, adding that universities should request multidisciplinary research as part of the qualification system for academic careers.
The Global Energy Assessment is a major initiative launched at the RIO+20 conference to assess worldwide global energy challenges. Interviewed by FEEM, Thomas B. Johansson, Executive Committee Co-Chair of the GEA, and Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, give an overview of the GEA report.
Francesco Gattei from Eni gives an overview of the industry perspective on the important issue of energy security, topic of his talk at the plenary session "Energy supply and security" at the 12th IAEE European Energy Conference.
The article investigates the economic and climate change mitigation potential of consumer adoption of smart energy behaviours enabled by smart-grids and advanced-metering systems. The results indicate that consumer empowerment and involvement induce important and efficient benefits to the electric power sector.
Carlo Andrea Bollino, Vice president of the Italian Association of Energy Economists and General Conference Chair of the 12th IAEE European Energy Conference, gives an overview of this year's main themes and challenges tackled during the conference.
This article aims to provide a comprehensive framework of understanding of the growing strategic relevance of Turkey for both the EU and the overall Euro-Mediterranean region. In particular, the focus is on EU-Turkey energy relations and on the crucial role of natural gas and renewable energy in enhancing energy cooperation between the two players.
The article briefly reports the information collected through an expert elicitation protocol on the future costs of biofuels, the potential role of RD&D (Research, Development and Demonstration) programs and what non-technical barriers to diffusion should be considered when designing renewable energy policies.
While the earth summit Rio+20 is taking place, top scholars from IEA, KTH, CEPS, IIASA and EBRD discuss the main issues concerning Energy poverty which should be kept at the centre of the political and scientific debate.
How can policies and programs influence consumers’ perception and enable investments in energy efficiency in those countries where the population faces financial constraints? This article presents a candidate policy that provides up-front funds to residential property owners, allowing them to make energy-efficiency improvements to their buildings.
Between now and 2050, humanity must face a double problem: the growing scarcity of oil and the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Solving this complicated riddle may appear an even harder task after the Fukushima disaster. This article focuses on a joint interdisciplinary research effort to solve this puzzle.
In his speech at the Energy Think conference in Venice “Sustainable Energy for All” on March 13th, Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA, provided several insights on the critical trends of climate change, nuclear power, and energy poverty arising from the latest World Energy Outlook.
The European gas industry has experienced over the last decades an extraordinary success. Natural gas could well continue to play an important -and even increasing- role in the future European energy mix. However, some actions will be necessary to reinforce the overall EU gas security of supply architecture.
China’s impressive economic growth, fuelled by its rapid industrial expansion in recent years, has caused a growing appetite for natural resources and energy. High energy intensity of output, coupled with an even higher carbon intensity of energy, have given China a crucial role in determining the world’s future climate.
In the past decade, financial institutions have assumed an ever greater role in energy derivatives (or "paper") markets. Recent studies provide evidence of this "financialization". This article summarizes their findings, identifies questions that remain unanswered, and discusses what data or theoretical breakthroughs could shed light on these issues.
The sharp swings in oil prices and the marked increase in volatility during the latest 2008-2009 price cycle and more recently in 2011 raise concerns about the role of speculators in the oil market. Observers in the oil industry and in academic institutions have opposing views on the key drivers of oil prices.
For some years now, the price of oil has been out of control. None of the industry players are able to set the price level or influence its movement. Some consumers still believe that the oil price is determined within the context of the power balance between producers and consumers, but since the end of 1998, no one has been able to forecast the oil price correctly.
This article discusses the results of an expert elicitation survey on solar technologies carried out within the ICARUS project on innovation in carbon-free energy technologies. Leading European experts from the academic world, the private sector and international institutions took part in this survey on Photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power technologies.
In this study real oil price dynamics have been assessed over a few important episodes since the 1990s. The evidence provides support to the demand side view: in this respect, macroeconomic shocks would appear to be the major upward driver of the real oil price over the whole period investigated.
This article contributes to the literature in two directions. First, it investigates the behaviour of futures prices returns for different energy and agricultural commodities, over the period 1986-2010. Second, it measures the market vulnerability to financial speculation for energy commodities over the period 1992-2010.
A key policy question when discussing REDD is how to balance low-cost forestry emission reductions, available in the near term, with investments to drive technological innovation in energy, industry, and other sectors over the longer period. Here we report a research effort showing that linking REDD to an international carbon market is, as expected, economically efficient.
On the occasion of the international workshop on “Financial Speculation in the Oil Market and the Determinants of the Oil Price”, leading world experts were interviewed on the financial speculation in the oil market and its effects on the price of oil. We here report the interview held with Bahattin Buyuksahin, Senior Oil Market Analyst, International Energy Agency.
On the occasion of the international workshop on “Financial Speculation in the Oil Market and the Determinants of the Oil Price”, leading world experts were interviwed on the financial speculation in the oil market and its effects on the price of oil. We here report the interview held with Leo P. Drollas, Director and Chief Economist, Centre for Global Energy Studies.
IEW N. 2013.01
Water and Sewerage Industries
European Monetary Union
EU Energy Policy
Foreign Direct Investment