Energie : papiers de recherche moissonnés (29/04/2016)

Striking the Right Balance? GCC Energy Pricing Reforms in a Low Price Environment / Bassam Fattouh, Anupama Sen and Tom Moerenhout. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, May 2016,21 p. (Oxford energy comment) https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/striking-right-balance-gcc-energy-reforms-low-price-environment/

In 2015, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries began implementing and accelerating pricing reforms targeting the removal of energy subsidies. While the price increases were from a low base and domestic energy prices are still well below international levels and among the cheapest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the recent increases represent a fundamental shift in the GCC’s economic and social policies. In this Comment we analyse the fiscal pressures which led to the acceleration of pricing reforms, which we argue were building even during the period of record high oil prices preceding it; we review recent energy pricing reforms in GCC countries; and we analyse the implications of these reforms for the social contract between GCC governments and their citizens. We conclude that recent energy pricing reforms have been driven primarily by short-term revenue needs, and, while the implicit social contract is not as rigid as originally perceived, it may not prove sufficiently elastic to accommodate further price increases. Deeper reforms will therefore not be viable unless governments introduce mitigation measures and implement effective communication strategies which emphasize the importance of energy pricing reform for national transformation.

Pétrole, d’une crise à l’autre. Problèmes économiques, n°3132, 15 avril 2016 http://www.ladocumentationfrancaise.fr/ouvrages/3303332031320-petrole-d-une-crise-a-l-autre

Au sommaire : Le casse-tête pétrolier, The Economist ; Prix du pétrole : des chocs aux contre-chocs / Patrick Criqui, The Conversation; Émergents : les conséquences de la baisse du prix du pétrole / Marie Albert et Thomas Gillet, Lettre Trésor-Éco ; Le « grand retour » des majors du pétrole / Rodolphe Greggio et Benoît Mafféï, Gérer et comprendre ; Arabie saoudite : vers la fin de l’économie de rente ? / Entretien avec Giacomo Luciani

Assessing Energy Security in a Low-Carbon Context: The Case of Electricity in the UK / Emily Cox. SPRU, March 2016, 39 p. (SWPS 2016-07) http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/documents/2016-07-swps-cox.pdf

As part of a growing body of research into potential ways of achieving a secure transition to a low-carbon energy system, this paper assesses the future security of the UK electricity system in a low-carbon context. A new mixed-method set of indicators for assessing security of both supply and demand has been developed and applied to a set of three transition pathways for the UK electricity system, all of which seek to reduce UK carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. This paper uses the results to highlight some of the key risks and trade-offs which may emerge under different routes to a low-carbon electricity transition. In particular, the results indicate that a major risk may be experienced by a lack of flexible, responsive supply capacity in low-carbon electricity pathways. A trade-off is also identified between ‘affordability’ and ‘environmental sustainability’ objectives. The paper finds that energy security is often conceptualised as the avoidance of causes of insecurity (such as insecure fuel imports), but that an equally important aspect of security lies in maximising responses to insecurity, for example by increasing the flexibility and responsiveness of both supply and demand.

Energy efficiency in French homes: how much does it cost? Edouard Civel et Jérémy Elbèze. Paris : Chaire Economie du climat, 2016, 30 p. (WP #2016-03) http://www.chaireeconomieduclimat.org/publications/working-papers/wp-2016-03/

A strong cut in heat consumption can be realized by the thermal renovation of buildings: this article gives an assessment of energy savings achievable in the French residential stock and their associated investment costs. A bottom-up approach, using a dataset on material and labor costs for renovations and a thermal model (including a representation of the “rebound effect”) is applied to a description of existing dwellings in France. Renovation investment costs increase with the efficiency target of the housing stock: two inflection points are identified, for 40% and 60% reduction targets. If the first inflection is driven by a quantity effect, the second one is pushed by a price effect. Specificities of the thermal renovation market imply a lock-in risk: at the micro-scale, the discount rate could induce households to realize low ambition renovations, whereas at the macro-scale, having successive short-term objectives triggers important over-costs, above 15% of the optimized investment costs. We suggest that policy-makers take the risk of low ambition renovations into account, as it may nip the potential of energy savings in the bud. Relevant policies would set today the long-term efficiency target and earmark public incentives, like tax credits or interest-free loans, to ambitious renovations.


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