Energy Security Current Issue Wrestling the Russian Bear Russia's curtailing deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine goes far beyond the bounds of a common commercial dispute between an energy supplying and an energy consuming nation. It is indicative of Russia's foreign policy vis-à-vis the Soviet Union's former allies spread across Central and Eastern Europe not to mention a warning shot across the bow of Central Asian energy exporters. IAGS Senior Fellow Dr. Kevin Rosner outlines necessary steps to neutralizing Russia's energy weapon.
Sino-Japanese competition for Russia's far east oil pipeline project There are two significant energy trends underlying the competition between China and Japan for Russia's Far East oil pipeline project: the need to seek additional energy supplies and to pursue greater energy diversification. And for both China and Japan, Russian energy offers a significant additional supply source and contributes to greater diversification. But these trends in energy interests are matched by an equally dynamic and intense geopolitical rivalry, defined by a complex and contradictory set of converging and diverging national interests. Within this context, the competition between China and Japan, as well as the Russian role in exploiting this rivalry, is driven by the distinct energy interests of each country. IAGS Associate Fellow Richard Giragosian analyzes.
Sino-Japanese oil rivalry spills into Africa China and Japan - the two giants of East Asia - are competing for energy resources around the globe. Their rivalry in the East China Sea, Russia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia has been well documented. Yet little has been written in Washington about the impact of Sino-Japanese rivalry in Africa.
With one-third of its top 15 oil suppliers in Africa, the United States ignores the challenges of this geopolitical dynamic at its peril. Joshua Eisenman and Devin T Stewart discuss.
China deals a blow to India's aspirations in Kazakhstan The "unconditional" final ruling of October 26 2005 by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Canada, in favour of China's China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) dealt a severe blow to the last Indian hope of acquiring PetroKazakhstan. The defeat in securing an important energy deal does not bode well for India's energy security concerns considering its growing energy needs and illustrates India's vulnerability in competing and securing depleting international energy sources. At the same time it opens up for greater debate the Indian energy minister's fervent argument that Asia's two emerging economic giants should co-operate rather than compete in securing international energy deals.
Oil puts Iran out of reach
As diplomatic rumbles regarding sanctions against Iran fill the airwaves, IAGS' Gal Luft notes that given Iran's key position as an oil supplier and the tightness of the oil market, Iran's influence on the world's economy makes it virtually untouchable.
No doubt, Iran is heavily dependent on petrodollars and denying it oil revenues would no doubt hurt its economy and might even spark social discontent. Oil revenues constitute over 80 percent of its total export earnings and 50 percent of its gross domestic product.
But the Iranians know that oil is their insurance policy and that the best way to forestall U.S. efforts in the United Nations is by getting into bed with energy hungry powers such as Japan and the two fastest growing energy consumers, China and India.
Threatening Iran with sanctions may well force it to flex its muscles by cutting its oil production and driving oil prices to new highs in order to remind the world how harmful such a policy could be.
On the technology front How utilities can save America from its oil addiction Utility companies which have traditionally viewed themselves as providers of "power" for lighting homes or powering computers, can now break the dominance of Big Oil in the transportation energy sector and introduce much needed competition in the transportation fuel market. Gal Luft explains how.
Comparing Hydrogen and Electricity for Transmission, Storage and Transportation
Study: Coal based methanol is cheapest fuel for fuel cells
A recently completed study by University of Florida researchers for the Georgetown University fuel cell program assessed the the future overall costs of various fuel options for fuel cell vehicles. The primary fuel options analyzed by the study were hydrogen from natural gas, hydrogen from coal, and methanol from coal. The study concluded that methanol from coal was the cheapest option, by a factor of almost 50%.
Major improvement in fuel economy and range of Honda's fuel cell vehicles
The 2005 model Honda fuel cell vehicle achieves a nearly 20 percent improvement in its EPA fuel economy rating and a 33 percent gain in peak power (107 hp vs. 80 hp) compared to the 2004 model, and feature a number of important technological achievements on the road to commercialization of fuel cell vehicles.
Biodiesel fueled ships to cruise in Canada
A Canadian project will test the use of pure biodiesel (B100) as a fuel supply on a fleet of 12 boats of various types and sizes, 11 boats on pure biodiesel (B100) and one on a 5-percent blend (B5).
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India's Hidden Civil War: Consequences for Energy Security
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an Oxford and Cambridge-trained economist not given to careless exaggeration, recently referred to a domestic political crisis as "the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country". Yet despite the longtime prominence of this problem within India and its potentially catastrophic effects on India's energy sector, many energy analysts outside of India are unaware of its existence. The security challenge in question is posted by the Naxalites, a loosely organized group of "Maoists" who now have an estimated 20,000 soldiers under arms and are waging a war against the Indian state, terrorizing and destabilizing much of the Indian countryside. The success or failure of their campaign against the government will have profound consequences for India's stability, and, most particularly, its energy security. For the Naxalite insurgency is strongest precisely in the areas of India with the richest natural resources, especially the coal which powers the Indian economy.