Energie : papiers de recherche moissonnés (jeudi 24 août 2017)

International Status and Prospects for Nuclear Power 2017. IAEA, 28 July 2017, 16 p. https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/long-term-potential-of-nuclear-power-remains-high-iaea-report

Nuclear power’s long-term potential remains high, although its global expansion is projected to slow down in coming years, according to this new IAEA report. The decline compared to previous projections is mainly on account of early retirement or lack of interest in extending life of nuclear power plants in some countries, due to the reduced competitiveness of nuclear power in the short run and national nuclear policies in several countries following the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011…

Quelle place pour la voiture demain ? / Laurent Burelle et Henri de Castries, dirs. Institut Montaigne, juin 2017, 202 p. http://www.institutmontaigne.org/fr/publications/quelle-place-pour-la-voiture-demain

Malgré les indéniables progrès déjà réalisés pour rendre l’automobile plus propre, celle-ci reste source d’externalités indésirables. Au niveau français, le transport représentait ainsi 26,9 % des émissions de gaz à effet de serre en 2013 et 28 % des émissions de particules en Ile-de-France. De plus, les embouteillages dans les centres-villes entraînent aussi une perte de temps – estimée à 38 minutes par jour à Paris – et d’argent considérable pour les usagers de la route. La voiture est-elle vouée à disparaître des usages et des mentalités ? Ne reste-t-elle pas un élément indispensable pour la mobilité des citoyens ? Ses potentielles évolutions ne pourraient-elles pas permettre de concilier enjeux environnementaux et besoins d’une mobilité fluide et efficiente ?…

Stockage souterrain de gaz / Anne Duthilleul, Nicolas Havard et Philippe Follenfant. Rapport au ministre de la transition écologique et solidaire, au ministre de l’économie et des finances, 1/08/2017, 54 p. https://www.economie.gouv.fr/cge/stockage-souterrain-gaz

Réalisé conjointement par l’inspection générale des finances, le conseil général de l’économie et le conseil général de l’environnement et du développement durable, le rapport consacré au stockage souterrain de gaz constate l’instabilité du système actuel et la nécessité de sa régulation. La mission propose d’instituer pour les stockeurs un revenu autorisé financé par un terme tarifaire de transport en cas de différence entre ce revenu et les montants moyens tirés de la commercialisation aux enchères des capacités de stockage, avec un traitement particulier pour les industriels gros consommateurs de gaz. Comparable au système institué en Italie, la mission propose que soit débattu rapidement, sous l’égide de la CRE et de la DGEC, un projet législatif permettant de mettre fin à l’instabilité de ce secteur stratégique.

Russia’s Use of the “Energy Weapon” in Europe / J.D. Gabriel Collins. Rice University’s Baker Institute for Pulbic Policy, 18/07/2017, 9 p. (issue brief) https://www.bakerinstitute.org/files/12025/

If Gazprom truly prioritized commercial concerns over political ones, we would expect to see more consistent use of legal processes to enforce agreements and settle disputes and fewer questionably timed price increases and supply curtailments.

Mexican Energy Reforms, Oxford Energy Forum, n° 109, 2017, 52 p. https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/oxford-energy-forum-mexican-energy-reforms-issue-109/

This issue of the Oxford Energy Forum is devoted to Mexico’s recent energy sector reforms. The reforms were designed to open up the country’s energy sector to international and local private players, inject competition, provide new partnering opportunities for PEMEX, establish new markets domestically, and potentially strengthen Mexico as a key link between the American and international markets for energy trade. However, these landmark reforms – which have significant implications for the country’s overall economy and the role of Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the state oil company that hitherto dominated its energy sector – are also not entirely without wider economic implications which need to be carefully considered as the country moves forward. This issue presents a spectrum of views on energy sector reforms in a country that continues to be important to both the regional and international energy systems.

A restrained optimism in Canada’s oil sands: Is the improved efficiency, pipeline outlook, and technology bolstering the world’s largest petroleum resource enough to make it competitive? / J. Peter Findley. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Aug. 2017, 19 p. https://www.oxfordenergy.org/publications/restrained-optimism-canadas-oil-sands-improved-efficiency-pipeline-outlook-technology-bolstering-worlds-largest-petroleum-resource-enough-make-competitive/

Since the 2014 price collapse, many observers have leaned towards a pessimistic view on future attractiveness and growth prospects in Canadian oil sands. The cooling off of integrated oil company enthusiasm for the oil sands provides easy fodder for analysts and journalists trying to extrapolate an underlying industry trend. These notions are however oversimplifications of a more nuanced and complex story. While oil sands costs escalated relentlessly from the ramp-up in the early 2000s through 2014,  recent cost reductions are impressive, due to decreasing differentials, a lower Canadian dollar, lower operating costs, lower capital costs, lower natural gas costs, and lower condensate costs for diluent. With their backs against the wall and shareholders clamouring, producers are consolidating and adapting as they have in previous downturns to become lean manufacturers. Suppliers and the labour market are starting to follow suit, further driving down costs with more competition and less rent-seeking than during the boom years. And though oil sands production is far from being environmentally innocuous, the visually unappealing open face mines are being reclaimed and greenfield projects have halted, while the lower-land impact, but higher-emitting SAGD operations are becoming less carbon intensive. Therefore, whether one is bearish or bullish on oil sands growth is a matter of perspective. Oil sands producers and investors may have a number of reasons to feel sanguine. But rapidly falling costs, streamlined designs and operations, labour and supplier availability, technological improvements, environmental impact reduction, and (eventually) new exit pipeline capacity, all point toward some level of continued growth in the oil sands. Looking ahead, the most vital for further oil sands growth is that the cornerstone Canadian-based producers demonstrate success in driving down full-cycle production costs, even beyond what has been already accomplished.

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