1. PRC Energy Policy
The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) (Yue Zhang, “CHINA’S ’11TH FIVE-YEAR GUIDELINES’ WITH A FOCUS ON ENERGY POLICY,” April2006) released this report to briefly overview the essential elements and characteristics of the PRC’s 11th Five-Year Guidelines, with a particular focus on energy related policies. The “11th Five-Year Guidelines on the National Economy and Social Development (2006-2010)” were published after a March meeting of PRC’s 10th National People’s Congress. The Guidelines set out the factors that will be most influential in shaping PRC’s social and economic development over the next five years
2. Energy Security and Climate Change
Institute of Energy Economics, Japan( IEEJ) (J. Macnaughton,”ENERGY SECURITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE 21ST CENTURY – WHO HAS THE ANSWERS?” 7 April 2006) released this presentation from the 3rd IEEJ Joint Energy Seminar. The presentation discusses challenges in 21st century energy markets and outlines a framework for rational investment in hydrocarbons. A plan of action for addressing climate change issues is outlined and an energy efficiency scenario introduced. The author concludes that the roles of government, markets, and environmentalists must all be considered in the discussion of energy security and climate change.
3. Nuclear Energy
Japan Focus (Hisane Masaki, “JAPAN JOINS THE RACE FOR URANIUM AMID GLOBAL EXPANSION OF NUCLEAR POWER,” April 22, 2006) reported that Energy-hungry Japan is revving up its drive to secure uranium abroad as global demand for nuclear power rises amid stubbornly high oil and gas prices and growing environmental concerns. Major Japanese trading and energy firms are looking at multibillion yen investments in uranium mine projects, with electronics conglomerate Toshiba in February purchasing Westinghouse, the US power plant arm of British Nuclear Fuels, for about US$5.4 billion. Meanwhile, the government, which attaches great importance to nuclear power as a key to ensuring national energy security, is also considering assistance to help domestic firms in the intensifying global competition for fuel at nuclear power plants.
Jiji Press (“U.S., JAPAN AGREE ON JOINT NUCLEAR ENERGY TECH DEVELOPMENT,” May 5, 2006) reported that the United States and Japan agreed Friday on five areas of cooperation for the joint development of nuclear energy technology to enhance energy security and promote nonproliferation. Under the partnership, the United States and Japan will jointly design nuclear fuel recycling facilities to be built in the United States. They will develop a new type of nuclear fuel by using Japan’s “Monju” fast breeder reactor and “Joyo” experimental reactor, structural materials to build small-scale nuclear reactors and a steam generator for a sodium cooled reactor.
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Junichi Miura, “CHINA SEEKS NUCLEAR-POWERED ENERGY SECURITY,” May 8, 2006) reported that PRC is constructing or planning to build more than 30 nuclear reactors in a quest for energy security for its booming economy. At the same time, the world’s most populous nation is working on a policy to establish a nuclear fuel cycle to ensure efficient utilization of uranium, including a spent-fuel recycling plant, while also constructing a fast-breeder reactor. PRC’s nuclear development dates back to 1955 when it concluded an atomic energy cooperation agreement with the then Soviet Union. However, little progress was made regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy in PRC for many years following the signing, due partly to an ensuing confrontation between the two communist powers.
4. PRC Pipelines
Agence France Presse (“RUSSIA AND CHINA PAVE THE WAY FOR GAS PIPELINE,” May 6, 2006) reported that Russia and PRC were set on Saturday to approve the construction of a gas pipeline between the two countries, following a successful feasibility study, Russian gas giant Gazprom said. “The feasibility study has been completed,” Alexander Ananenkov, deputy chairman of state-controlled Russian gas giant Gazprom, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
The Press Trust of India (“CHINA STARTS RECEIVING OIL THROUGH PIPELINE FROM KAZAKHSTAN,” May 3, 2006) reported that PRC has started receiving crude oil through a cross-border pipeline from oil-rich Kazakhstan, meeting the communist giant’s need for a stable and sustainable mode of supply. The crude oil arrived at the Alataw Pass in northwest PRC’s Xinjiang, after a 1,800-kilometre “trudge” early this week, media reports here said.
5. PRC Bio-energy
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA FOCUS: CHINA WORKS ON POLICIES TO ENCOURAGE PRODUCTION OF BIO-ENERGY FOR OIL,” May 2, 2006) reported that PRC is working on fiscal policies to encourage production of biological energy as substitutes for oil, a move experts say would help PRC reduce its reliance on oil and build an environmentally friendly society. Zhu Zhigang, vice-minister of finance, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that the ministry is working on policies that will enable the government as well as energy consumers to share the cost and risks of bio-energy production in case oil prices are too low for bio-energy business to be profitable.
6. World Bank Clean Energy
Energy Washington Week (“OFFICIALS SAY CLEAN COAL, NUCLEAR WILL BE KEY TO EMERGING ECONOMIES,” May 3, 2006) reported that responding to a new World Bank framework for promoting clean energy in emerging economies such as PRC and India will require not just wind, solar, and other renewable energies, but also clean coal, nuclear and a broad range of energy technologies, a General Electric senior official and other panelists said during a discussion of the new guidelines at bank headquarters recently. But environmental groups blasted the new framework, “Clean Energy and Development: Towards an Investment Framework,” arguing that it “does nothing to address global warming” and instead sacrifices the world’s poorest people “on the altar of ‘business as usual,'” according to a statement released by Sierra Club, the Institute for Policy Studies and the British group Corner House.
7. Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development
Federal Information and News Dispatch (“ASIA-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP ON CLEAN DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE,” May 1, 2006) reported that the six countries of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate met in Berkeley, California, April 19-21, 2006, to further develop the ambitious, results-oriented action plans for the eight task forces of this new model for public-private collaboration. Over 300 government and private sector representatives from the partner nations of Australia, PRC, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States explored new avenues to meet national pollution reduction, energy security and climate change goals in ways that reduce poverty and promote economic development.
8. US-ROK Relations
Yonhap News Agency (Lee Dong-min,” KOREA-US ALLIANCE UNDERCUT BY MISCONCEPTIONS FORUM,” May 2, 2006) reported that both ROK and the U.S. have an interest in maintaining their alliance, and any problems come not from a change in this premise but more from misperceptions and missteps, scholars and experts said Monday. DPRK’s nuclear issue, ROK’s worsening relations with Japan, and the generational changes in ROK were commonly named as challenges to the alliance by panelists on the opening day of the Korea-U.S. Forum, co-hosted by Washington’s Brookings Institution and Seoul’s Sejong Institute.
9. US-Russia Relations
The Financial Times, “(Stefan Wagstyl, “CHENEY HITS AT PUTIN OVER ENERGY ‘BLACKMAIL’ *FIERCE ATTACK ON KREMLIN’S GROWING AUTHORITARIANISM,” May 5, 2006) reported that Dick Cheney, US vice-president, yesterday criticised the rule of Vladimir Putin, Russian president, warning the Kremlin against using gas and oil supplies as “tools of intimidation and blackmail” and accusing the Russian authorities of “unfairly” restricting citizens’ rights. It was the strongest public rebuke by a senior US official of Russia’s growing authoritarianism and its increasing willingness to employ energy policy for political ends.