The Nautilus Institute (DPRK delegation, “ENERGY SECTOR ACTIVITIES AND PLANS IN THE DPRK,” May 13th-16th, Beijing, China) released this report by the DPRK delegation from the Institute’s Asian Energy Security Workshop 2005 in Beijing, China, hosted by the Energy and Environmental Technology Center (EETC) at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The report describes the “Urgent Requirements for Energy Security” in the DPRK, the “measures followed to meet energy needs”, and the DPRK’s “plans for utilization of various energy resources”
View report here.
2. The Natural Gas Market
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (G. Luciani, “SECURITY OF SUPPLY FOR NATURAL GAS MARKET. WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IS IT NOT?,” September 2004) released this paper for the Nota Di Lavoro Series in connection with the Insuring against Disruption of Energy Supply (INDES) Project. The paper strives to offer a systematic framework of analysis of import dependence and energy security in terms of natural gas in the EU. It also discusses several alternatives to strategic stocks for risk management. The author concludes that, while the EU has never seen major gas-import supply interruptions, the risk of a major interruption of supply is political in nature and diplomacy is the primary tool to address it.
View report here.
3. Middle Eastern Energy
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (Anthony H. Cordesman, “THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF MIDDLE EASTERN ENERGY,” March 15, 2004) released this paper from the Nota Di Lavoro Series in connection with the Insuring against Disruption of Energy Supply (INDES) Project. This paper addresses the growing importance of Middle-Eastern energy and the geopolitical and energy security implications of that significance. Cordesman writes, “The MENA region dominates world energy exports today, and will almost certainly do so for decades to come. This is true even if one assumes steady progress in conservation, major improvements in the supply of renewables, and major increases in energy supplies from gas, coal, nuclear power, and renewables.”
4. PRC Petroleum Reserves
Xinhua news (“CHINA SHOULD ADJUST ITS PETROLEUM RESERVE STRATEGY, EXPERT”, 2005-06-01) reported that the PRC should adjust its oil reserve strategy by increasing planned oil reserves and establishing hinterland bases for future oil storage, said Associate Professor Cai Rongsheng with the Chinese People’s University in an article published in Wednesday’s Economic Daily. Due to the PRC’s rocketing oil demand and imports, the country has found it urgent to establish its own strategic oil reserve to safeguard its energy security, Cai said. The PRC has decided to establish four coastal bases for strategic oil reserves in Zhejiang and Shandong in east China and Liaoning in northeast China. Cai suggested more hinterland reserve bases should be built in central and northeast China’s oil fields so as to prevent earthquakes and fires. Cai also suggested that the PRC pass special laws on petroleum reserve establishment, and encourage private companies to participate in petroleum reserve work.
5. APRC Energy Supply
Xinhua (“CHINA’S ELECTRIC POWER SHORTAGE THIS SUMMER TO EXCEED 30 MILLION KW “, 2005-06-01) reported that the PRC’s electric power shortage may climb to more than 30 million kilowatts this summer, its greatest ever, according to figures released by the State Grid Corp. of China. Of the total, 25 million kw will be experienced in north PRC and 7 million in the country’s south, said the national power grid company. Though strain on the country’s power supply has tended to ease to some extent, the whole situation remains stark in 2005, said Liu Zhenya, head of the company.
6. Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Future
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (“END-USE ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND PROMOTION OF A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE,” Energy Resources Development Series No. 39, March 15, 2005) published this report as part of a series on energy resources development. The paper draws on discussions from the Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting by the same name and focuses on contemporary issues related to energy consumption. It emphasizes the importance of the four primary energy intensive sectors – industry, road, transport, building, and construction and electrical appliances. The vital policy options for these sectors are discussed and supplemented with experiences, case studies, basic energy data and sustainability parameters.
7. Sino-Japanese East Sea Gas Dispute
Agence France Presse (“TOKYO TO TAKE OVER TEST-DRILLING IN GAS FIELDS DISPUTED WITH CHINA”, 2005-06-01) reported that Japan plans to speed up test-drilling of gas fields contested with the PRC and put the project under government control after bilateral talks on the dispute ended in stalemate, a Japanese newspaper reports. Japan in April said it would let private companies apply to explore potentially huge gas and oil fields in the East China Sea. But amid rising tension with the PRC, Tokyo will make any selected company work under government contract, the Mainichi Shimbun said. The daily said the Japanese government wanted to show it was dedicated to the project and believed the move would speed it up, with a company to be granted drilling rights as soon as mid-2005.
View the report here.
8. Japan Monju Nuclear Reactor
The Associated Press (“COURT UPHOLDS JAPAN NUKE REACTOR APPROVAL”, 2005-05-31) reported that the Supreme Court upheld Japan’s approval of an experimental fast-breeder nuclear reactor Monday, paving the way for the reopening of a plant that was shut down a decade ago by an accident and cover-up. Environmentalists were outaged by the ruling, which overturned a 2003 decision by a high court to nullify the government’s 1983 approval for the Monju reactor in Tsuruga, 200 miles west of Tokyo, court spokesman Takao Arakawa said. The decision was a big boost for the plutonium-fired plant, the centerpiece in the government’s campaign to expand resource-poor Japan’s reliance on nuclear energy.