International, Podcast

Outlook for Energy in Mexico

A new president took office in Mexico on December 1. Andrés López Obrador easily won Mexico’s presidential election on July 1 as a populist representing a party he founded four years ago. His nation’s energy future is among the critical issues he will face. On this edition of the Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless interviews Amb. Carlos Pascual, a senior vice president at IHS Markit, where he concentrates on worldwide energy issues and international affairs. Carlos served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 2009 to 2011 and to Ukraine from 2000 to 2003. At the U.S. State Department, he established and directed the agency’s Energy Resources Bureau as a special envoy and coordinator for international affairs from 2011 to 2014. He is also a non-resident fellow at CGEP. Bill caught up with Carlos recently during a trip Carlos made…

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Climate, Energy, International, Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Said Mouline

Officials from around the world will soon gather in Morocco, a country that is increasingly investing in renewable energy technologies, to discuss implementation of the newly ratified climate agreement reached in Paris last December. On this episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange host Bill Loveless talks with Said Mouline, director general of Morocco’s national agency for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and a member of Morocco’s steering committee. They discussed: What to expect at COP22 in Marrakech and to what extent renewable energy can help address the goals of the Paris agreement; Morocco’s development of the world’s largest concentrated solar plant, the Noor complex; How Morocco might serve as a model for other nations, especially within Africa, to integrate renewables into their energy mix; The role of public-private partnerships in meeting Morocco’s renewable energy goals and the challenges posed by this model. (Listen here)

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Article, Economy / Finance, Energy, International, Organizations

OPEC meets this week as oil optimism builds

The OPEC oil cartel plans to hold an informal meeting in Algeria this week to consider whether steps should be taken to stabilize oil prices following a slump of more than two years. Ministers of the 14 OPEC nations flirted with a similar notion earlier this year in a meeting with Russia in Qatar, but the prospect of a freeze in oil output failed because rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran refused to back off on their drives to increase market share, regardless of price. (Read more)

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Energy, International, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Richard Nephew

One year ago, the United States and its partners concluded their negotiations with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement intended to reduce the threat from Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Implementation of the agreement began in January 2016. Richard Nephew, program director for economic statecraft, sanctions and energy markets at the Center on Global Energy Policy, who was the lead sanctions negotiator for the United States from 2013-2014, has written a report on six months’ implementation of the nuclear deal, particularly with respect to sanctions relief. He concludes that sanctions relief has been stalled as much by concerns over residual sanctions as domestic regulatory factors and low oil prices globally. On this special episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Nephew to discuss his report and the status of the Iran agreement’s implementation at…

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Climate, Government and Politics, International, Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: David Sandalow

Seven years ago, David Sandalow pitched an idea that’s turned into one of the biggest international gatherings on clean energy. While an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandalow proposed to then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu an annual meeting of energy ministers from around the world to help accelerate the transition to clean energy technologies. The first Clean Energy Ministerial was held in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2010. Recently, the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial took place in San Francisco.  Delegates from 23 governments and the European Union participated.  Sandalow, the Inaugural Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, was in San Francisco and, not long after returning, joined Bill Loveless on the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast (Listen here).

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Article, Consumer, Corporations, Economy / Finance, Energy, Government and Politics, International, People

Oil supply uncertainty helps pump up prices

With oil markets stuck in a slump for two years now, it’s easy to forget how much a sudden loss of supply can impact prices. But the U.S. Energy Information Administrationreminds us of that risk in a new report that puts “unplanned” oil supply disruptions throughout the world at a five-year high in May. (Read more)

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Article, Defense, Energy, Government and Politics, International, Technology, Utilities and Providers

An attack on the grid? Power execs push back on Koppel claims

Eight months after veteran broadcast journalist Ted Koppel published a book predicting a devastating cyberattack on the U.S. power grid, leaders of the utility industry are sounding off over what they say is an exaggerated claim. “We’re speaking out on it now because we think there is an important story to tell,” Scott Aaronson, the managing director for cyber and infrastructure security at the Edison Electric Institute, said last week at a briefing for reporters. (Read more)

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Article, Energy, International

Green-energy gathering aims to build on Paris plan

Six months after the Paris climate talks, government officials from around the world will gather in San Francisco this week to try to build more momentum for the development of cleaner energy technologies. The 7th Clean Energy Ministerial will include representatives of the U.S. and 22 other countries and the European Commission, all focused on policies, technologies and networks that would make energy less polluting, and more affordable and efficient. “It is a fact that coming out of Paris, nearly every country in the world is committed to a low-carbon trajectory,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who will host this week’s gathering. “That means those markets are going to start growing even faster.” (Read more)

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