1. DPRK Energy Brief
The United States Energy Information Administration (US Energy Information Administration, “NORTH KOREA COUNTRY ANALYSIS BRIEF,” February 2006) released an updated Country Analysis Brief of North Korea. The brief provides a brief background of the current economic and political situation in the country and a more detailed energy overview. The energy overview describes the state of DPRK’s energy sector with summary of oil, natural gas and nuclear energy
2. PRC Electric Power
Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) (Chun Chun Ni, “CHINA’S ELECTRIC POWER DEMAND AND SUPPLY IN 2005,” January 2006) released this paper recapping supply and demand in electric power in China for 2005. According to the paper, power shortage was continued in 2005, but power-rolling level was slightly mitigated compared to the last two years. By the end of 2005, total installed capacity reached to 508 GW, an average annual growth rate of 14.9 per cent. Meanwhile, total power consumption increased by 13.45 per cent to 2,469 TWh.
3. Hydrogen R&D
The International Energy Agency (“HYDROGEN PRODUCTION AND STORAGE: R&D PRIORITIES AND GAPS,” 2006) released this review of priorities and gaps in hydrogen production and storage R&D in the context of the activities of the IEA Hydrogen Co-ordination Group, the advisory policy committee on hydrogen and fuel cells. The review includes two papers. The first offers an overview of the technologies for hydrogen production and the second provides a discussion of the possible hydrogen storage options available today and in the foreseeable future.
4. EU PRC Clean Coal Technology
Financial Times Information (Tu, “EU, CHINA TO SIGN PACT ON CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY,” February 20, 2006) reported that the European Union and China will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on near-zero emissions coal technology next week, the European Commission announced in Brussels yesterday. The MOU builds upon and strengthens work on such programs or areas as the Action Plans on clean coal technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energy, the EU-China Dialogue on Energy and Transport Strategies, the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement and the EU-China Energy and Environment Program, according to the EC.
5. PRC Nuclear
Agence France Presse (“CHINA TO BUILD NEW GENERATION NUCLEAR REACTOR,” February 22, 2006) reported that China will begin building a revolutionary “pebble-bed” nuclear reactor this year with the aim of making the technology commercially viable by 2020, state press reported Wednesday. Construction of the 190 megawatt reactor will begin near Weihai city in eastern China’s Shandong province with the production of electricity slated for 2010, the China Daily reported.
6. PRC Power Shortages
Agence France Presse (“CHINA EXPECTS POWER SHORTAGES TO END THIS YEAR: REPORT,” February 20, 2006) reported that China expects its seemingly perennial energy shortages to end this year, only to risk facing the opposite problem of having too much power-generating capacity, state media and analysts said Monday. The elimination of the nation’s widespread brown-outs will come about as new capacity comes online while growth in electricity demand slows, the China Daily reported. “This marks a turning point in the electricity supply shortfalls of a few years ago,” said Zhang Guobao, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, the top planning body.
7. ROK Energy Imports
Financial Times Information (“S KOREAN ENERGY IMPORTS UP 335 PCT IN 2005,” February 24, 2006) reported that South Korea’s energy imports rose sharply in 2005, as the price of oil, gas and other fuels rose from greater worldwide demand, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said Thursday. Imports rose 33.5 percent year-on-year to US$66.7 billion, accounting for 25.5 percent of the country’s total imports of $261.2 billion for the year, the ministry said in a preliminary tally. South Korea relies almost exclusively on overseas oil and gas to meet its needs, making it vulnerable to energy price fluctuations.
8. Russia Energy Exports
Agence France Presse (“RUSSIA PLANS SHARP BOOST IN ENERGY EXPORTS TO ASIA: MINISTER,” February 22, 2006) reported that Russia plans a sharp increase in exports of oil and natural gas to the Asia-Pacific region over the next 14 years to meet soaring demand there, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said in an interview published Wednesday. “Asian countries … will consume more and more energy” in the foreseeable future while Western countries will continue seeking to regulate or cut back on energy consumption, Khristenko said in an interview with the government daily Rossiikaya Gazeta.
9. G8 and Oil Security
Japan Economic Newswire (“G-8 CALLS FOR STABLE OIL SUPPLY, EYES SOLID WORLD ECO GROWTH,” February 11, 2006) reported that Group of Eight finance ministers on Saturday called for greater investments by oil producers in drilling, transport and refining to ensure stable supply and improved energy efficiency among consumers in a joint quest to curb “high and volatile” oil prices. While confirming solid world economic growth in 2006, the ministers said after a two-day meeting in Moscow that rising oil prices, sparked most recently by the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program, and the spread of avian influenza from Asia to parts of Europe and Africa pose a threat to economic growth and financial markets.