1. Russian Oil Policy and Trends
The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) (Komori, Kurita, Nakashima, “THE RUSSIAN OIL POLICIES AND ITS OIL INDUSTRY TRENDS,” December 2005) released this paper examining the Russian oil industry vis-à-vis the rest of the world. The paper begins with a discussion of the political and economic trends in Russia and details Russian energy supply and demand. Next, oil policy and structural changes in the oil industry are examined including an overview of the Russian oil companies. The paper concludes with a discussion of Russian oil production, exports and the effect on the global oil market in terms of two production scenarios.
2. Australasian Emissions Trading Review
The Australasian Emissions Trading Forum (AETF) released the December 05/January 06 edition of its bi-monthly publication, the AETF Review covering international and domestic (Australia & NZ) emissions trading developments and research. The contents of this edition include an article examining four scenarios for the Kyoto Protocol to explore the question “Is Kyoto Dead?” The publication also includes an article that outlines the conclusions of the IGES study on Asian perspectives on a future climate regime as well as an article that reviews proposals from the ‘post-2012’ climate change policy community in terms of the carbon market.
3. Japan Energy Strategy
Japan Focus (Masaki Hisane, “JAPAN’S NEW ENERGY STRATEGY,” January 18, 2006) released this article addressing Japanese energy security. Author Masaki Hisane provides a “survey of the energy challenges confronting Japan while suggesting some of the problems with the new energy policy regime about to be officially adopted by the Koizumi Administration. The issues are pertinent not only to Japan but throughout the Asia Pacific and globally.”
4. Community for Energy, Environment and Development Report
The Boston Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI-Boston) released the fourth issue of reCOMMEND: the newsletter of the Community for Energy, Environment and Development (COMMEND) initiative. “This issue gives particular attention to methodological issues in energy planning approaches. It discusses a new interactive planning approach developed at Aalbor University, argues that energy planning should focus more on the energy markets used by the peri-urban poor and goes into the approach used in the national biomass energy planning project in Ethiopia and the IES program of the US Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the results of the recent Cape Town Energy Futures Program are presented and the implications of the MDG’s on energy planning are discussed.”
5. PRC Recent Energy Developments
Financial Times (“CHINA ENERGY REPORTS ROUND-UP 20 JUNE-15 NOVEMBER 2005,” January 13, 2006) reported on PRC’s current energy outlook. The report summarizes recent developments in PRC’s energy sector and includes developments in production, transmission, and distribution. The summary includes an examination of economic and political impacts of energy developments.
6. PRC Energy Regulation
Associated Press (Cassie Biggs, “POWER-HUNGRY CHINA BEGINS DRAFTING LAW TO REGULATE ENERGY,” January 26, 2006, Beijing) reported that PRC is drafting an energy law to regulate the country’s voracious appetite for power and improve safety in its deadly coal mining industry, state media said Thursday. PRC has been battling acute energy shortages as its economy roars ahead at breakneck speed, seeing growth last year of 9.9 percent. Increased power consumption, by individuals as well as industry, has left it increasingly reliant on imported oil, a situation PRC feels threatens its national security.
7. PRC DC Power Transmission
The Press Trust of India (“CHINA TO BUILD WORLD’S FIRST 800 KV DC POWER TRANSMISSION LINE,” January 23, 2006, Beijing) reported that PRC has decided to build the world’s first 800 KV Direct Current (DC) power transmission line to send electricity from resource-rich Yunnan Province in southwest PRC to energy-scarce Guangdong province. The 800 KV DC electricity transmission line would be completed before 2010, Yuan Maozhen, chairman of the China Southern Power Grid Corp. (CSG), PRC’s second largest electricity distributor said.
8. Japan Spent Fuel
Kyodo News Service (“NUCLEAR ENERGY PANEL SAYS UTILITIES’ PLUTONIUM PLANS ‘APPROPRIATE’,” January 24, 2006, Tokyo) reported that the governmental Atomic Energy Commission on Tuesday concluded that Japanese utilities’ recently unveiled plans to use plutonium for power generation are “appropriate” from the viewpoint of improving transparency of its uses. The plans are aimed at addressing concerns that Japan may hold a surplus inventory of the radioactive substance, a key ingredient for nuclear weapons. It is produced by domestic nuclear power plants after burning uranium.
Kyodo News Service (“U.S. DEMOCRATS URGE JAPAN TO HALT PLAN TO REPROCESS SPENT NUKE FUEL,” January 27, 2006, Washington) reported that six U.S. Democrats have urged Japan to suspend its plan to begin a test operation to extract plutonium at a nuclear-waste reprocessing facility in the village of Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture, Democratic congressional sources said Thursday. “We firmly believe that the continued extraction of weapons-usable plutonium poses significant and unnecessary threats to international security and nonproliferation,” the six Democrats said in a letter that they sent to Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ryozo Kato.
9. Clean Energy Technology
Business Wire (“FUELCELL ENERGY ANNOUNCES SALE OF ITS FIRST 1 MEGAWATT POWER PLANT IN JAPAN AT SHARP ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING FACILITY ,” January 24, 2006) reported that FuelCell Energy, Inc., a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean electric power generation plants for commercial and industrial customers, announced that its Asian distributor has sold a one megawatt (MW) Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC(R)) power plant to provide electric power and high-quality heat for a Sharp Corp. production facility in Japan that manufactures advanced flat-screen TVs. The 1 MW DFC power plant will be part of a green onsite generation power system in which the fuel cells will provide base load power, and a photovoltaic array will provide peaking power. The combined heat and power (CHP) application of the DFC power plant is expected to reduce the Kameyama factory’s CO2 emissions by 2,300 tons.
Financial Times Information (“NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR TO BE BUILT ,” January 23, 2006) reported that an experimental device that aims to generate clean energy using nuclear fusion will be built in the next few months in Hefei, capital city of East PRC’s Anhui Province. Experiments with the advanced new Tokamak device, a doughnut-shaped reactor, will start in July or August. If the experiments prove successful, PRC will become the first country in the world to build a fully-functioning Tokamak fusion device, experts said.