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Tag: energy

Building back greener: a roadmap for rebuilding post-war Ukraine

Ukraine can play an important role in the European Union’s energy transition. A green agenda should be prioritised as a part of Ukraine’s post-war recovery. Its integration into the EU’s energy market and energy transition priorities should become key targets not just for the EU, but for other external donors and international financial institutions.

Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine in February triggered a global energy crisis and has forced the European Union to speed up its vision for energy security. It has also broken down the barriers between energy security and climate policy. At the same time, Ukraine needs to review its own vision for energy security; as a candidate for EU membership it ought to enact binding targets to reduce its fossil fuel use. The EU’s climate target for 2030 was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half compared to levels in 1990. This target is in line with the EU Green Deal objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

September 29, 2022 - Oksana Khomei

Georgia’s move towards a green economy: possibilities, drawbacks and structural challenges

Green issues are usually not the first thing that comes to mind regarding Georgian politics. Despite this, the signing of a recent treaty shows that the country is starting to take climate change seriously. Tbilisi must subsequently make sure that such promises now result in real change.

August 16, 2022 - Lasha Gamjashvili

What Russia needs most is cash for bombs

An interview with Piotr Woźniak, former president of Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Poland’s largest gas company. Interviewer: Mykola Voytiv

MYKOLA VOYTIV: If we look at prices and the war, what do you think awaits the European gas market?

PIOTR WOŹNIAK: The sharp rise in natural gas prices was caused by increased demand from the European Union in November and December 2021 – Russia expected this and prepared by not pumping natural gas into underground gas storages in the Netherlands, Austria and Germany. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine only intensified this dynamic. Keep in mind, that natural gas prices are a relative concept. Whilst some are fixed in bilateral contracts for gas supply, such as Russian natural gas, natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf, or LNG, others are priced in line with European energy exchanges and hubs.

July 14, 2022 - Mykola Voytiv Piotr Woźniak

A lot at stake for Estonia as it shifts away from oil shale

Amidst rising concerns over climate change, the Estonian government has pledged to stop burning oil shale for power generation by 2035. Tallinn will also give up the fossil fuel altogether by 2040. Oil shale, however, has a long history in Estonia and is the country’s main source of electricity. Abandoning its use is not only a climate-related issue, but a geopolitical one as well.

In the weeks immediately following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Estonia’s top brass showed up, one after another, in Narva, Estonia’s third largest and overwhelmingly Russian-speaking city. This included the country’s president, prime minister and defence and interior ministers. They gathered in places never far from the “Friendship Bridge” connecting Estonia’s most eastern city with its Russian sister city Ivangorod. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that she had come to assert her government’s “commitment to the region's development”.

July 14, 2022 - Isabelle de Pommereau

The Ukrainian electric power industry on the front line: challenges and opportunities ahead

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has directly threatened the operation and future of the country’s energy industry. Despite this, the ongoing challenges faced by the sector and opportunities that opened up may make it more resilient and adaptable in the long run.

May 3, 2022 - Ruslan Kermach

Dirigisme 2.0. The way to go for the region?

Most countries of Central and Eastern Europe that are now members of the EU developed impressively since the collapse of the centrally planned economy. Yet, Poland and other countries in the region still lack their own capital to compete on a global scale. The merger of Poland’s two state-owned refineries, Orlen and LOTOS, could illustrate a solution – selective state-ownership in crucial sectors.

Economic power is not shared equally across the European Union. Only one out of all EU companies in the Global Fortune 500 ranking is based in one of the new member states that joined the union after 2004. The remaining 112 companies are based in the “old” EU. Yet, as the case of a merger of two state-owned Polish oil companies shows, this unparalleled level of inequality is not being addressed by Brussels.

September 4, 2020 - Jakub Bartoszewski Michael Richter

Energy independence should be priority

Since independence, Belarus has not been able to overcome its total dependence on Russian energy supplies. With the construction of a Belarusian nuclear power plant, this dependence will only become stronger.

As is well-known, Belarus purchases crude oil from Russia and so far has earned good money from it. It imports Russian oil without any tariffs, and only after exporting the processed oil does it generate export duties, which are then transferred to its own budget. Prior to 2015 Belarus had transferred it to the Russian budget, but since the announcement of the implementation by the Russian Federation of the "tax manoeuvre" in the oil industry, Minsk requested compensation for its costs, mainly due to the ratification of the treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). As a result, Moscow agreed to allow export duties on oil products from Belarus to be transferred directly to the Belarusian budget through 2024.

September 1, 2018 - Tatiana Manenok

Energy union. Time for delivery

If the European Union’s ambition is to attain secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy for every European, member states should agree on how, when, and to what extent they would be ready to ensure energy solidarity and transparency among them. In the case of natural gas, this could well require strengthening the European Commission’s supervisory powers, at least for some time, in order to accelerate completion of the internal energy market and improving coordination of interactions with third countries, such as LNG exporters.

July 18, 2016 - Jarosław Ćwiek-Karpowicz

Bulgaria on course to diversify gas supply

Bulgaria has recently moved closer to diversifying its sources of natural gas supply. This time, it seems it may be happening with less geopolitical grandeur and fanfare. After years of flirting with Russia over its monster pipeline projects on the Balkans, a 182km long gas interconnector link with Greece may do the trick. The source? Most probably Azerbaijani gas.

June 2, 2016 - Kamen Kraev

Iranian gas in Georgia. A feasible option?

Over the past few months the Chief of Russia's Gazprom, Aleksei Miller, and Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze have been negotiating an energy deal between the two countries. The main issues on Georgia’s agenda have been its diversification plans and increasing energy consumption. Meanwhile, Georgia has not yet ruled out importing gas from Iran. According to Alireza Kameli, the Head of the National Iranian Gas Export Company, Georgian public and private sectors were interested in buying Iranian gas and Georgia and Iran have reached a preliminary agreement on the transportation of 500 mcm of gas to Georgia via Armenia. Georgia denied the statement, claiming that the two countries have not come up with any tangible agreement.

May 27, 2016 - Ilgar Gurbanov

Russia, Ukraine and European energy security

An interview with Natalia Slobodian, a National Centre for Strategic Studies energy expert living in Kyiv. Interviewer: Wojciech Jakóbik 

May 26, 2016 - Nataliia Slobodian

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