Energie : papiers de recherche moissonnés (4/04/2016)

Boom and Bust 2016: tracking the global coal plant pipeline / Christine Shearer, Nicole Ghio, Lauri Myllyvirta, Aiqun Yu, and Ted Nace. CoalSwarm, Greenpeace, and Sierra Club, March 2016, 79 p. http://sierraclub.org/sites/www.sierraclub.org/files/uploads-wysiwig/final%20boom%20and%20bust%202017%20%283-27-16%29.pdf

Executive summary : The world has too many coal-fired power plants, yet the power industry continues to build more. While the amount of electricity generated from coal has declined for two years in a row, the industry has ignored this trend and continues to build new coal-fired generating plants at a rapid pace, creating an increasingly severe capacity bubble. The problem of overbuilding is especially severe in China, where the average coal plant is now run less than half the time and the government recently announced plans to halt new coal plant approvals. Worldwide, 338 GW of new coal capacity is in construction and 1,086 GW is in various stages of planning—the equivalent of 1,500 coal plants. The amount of capital potentially wasted on these plants amounts to US$981 billion, or close to one trillion dollars. Meanwhile, as clean, renewable energy becomes more affordable and more accessible, the amount of capital wasted on these unneeded plants will be one and a half times the amount the International Energy Agency estimates could provide electricity to the 1.2 billion people who need it worldwide…

OPEC vs US shale oil: Analyzing the shift to a market-share strategy / Alberto Behar and Robert A. Ritz. Cambridge : Energy Policy Research Group, March 2016, 30 p. (EPRG working paper ; 1612) http://www.eprg.group.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/BeharRitz_OPECshale_March2016_final.pdf

In November 2014, OPEC announced a new strategy geared towards improving its market share. Oil-market analysts interpreted this as an attempt to squeeze higher-cost producers, notably US shale oil, out of the market. Over the next year, crude oil prices crashed, with large repercussions for the global economy. We present a simple equilibrium model that explains the fundamental market factors that can rationalize such a “regime switch” by OPEC. These include: (i) the growth of US shale oil production; (ii) the slowdown of global oil demand ; (iii) reduced cohesiveness of the OPEC cartel; (iv) production ramp-ups in other non-OPEC countries. We show that these qualitative predictions are broadly consistent with oil market developments during 2014-15. The model is calibrated to oil market data; it predicts accommodation up to 2014 and a market-share strategy thereafter, and explains large oil-price swings as well as realistically high levels of OPEC output.

Europe’s Energy Union: Foreign Policy Implications for Energy Security, Climate and Competitiveness / Thomas Raine and Shane Tomlinson. London : Chatham House, 2016, 29 p. https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/europes-energy-union-foreign-policy-implications-energy-security-climate

By addressing structural divisions between member states, the Energy Union could have a beneficial effect on the EU’s capacity to conduct a unified and effective foreign policy…

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