Coal is looking like the energy winner in the current economic crisis, David Victor and Varun Rai say in Newsweek. Declining coal prices coupled with a crippled world economy means more countries are pushing ahead for energy extracted from coal. The implementation and further development of clean coal technology is also at a standstill due to a lack of investment capital and falling CO2 prices.
China's need to lower its carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions could steer its energy demand towards natural gas. However, this shift would be contingent on financial reforms in particular. This study delves deeper into the geo-political factors behind the potential for this energy source in three major urbanizing regions in China.
What to do about Mexico's oil company, Pemex, may seem like a parochial issue of interest only to Mexicans and a few oil industry executives. But the matter should be of concern to anybody who is wondering when oil will come down off its near-record highs.
Democrats voting in Ohio and Texas may well decide the shape of the U.S. presidential election. Regardless of who they choose to run against Sen. John McCain, the all but certain Republican candidate, it is likely that energy issues will figure more prominently in the election than at any time in the last generation.
The timely contribution by David Victor titled "Fragmented carbon markets and reluctant nations: implications for the design of effective architectures" appears in the book Architectures for Agreement: Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post-Kyoto World.
The BP Foundation has awarded a five-year, $7.5 million grant to Stanford University's Program on Energy and Sustainable Development to support research on modern energy markets. The foundation is funded by BP, one of the world's largest energy companies.
In Boston Review's January/February 2007 issue, PESD Director David Victor and PESD researcher Danny Cullenward discuss why pursuing technologies that burn coal more cleanly is the "only practical approach" to stopping global warming. Their proposal is part of a larger forum on climate change led by MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel.
The world's energy system seems to have come unhinged. Oil is trading at record high prices because demand keeps rising even as supplies become unreliable. Oil exporters from Iran to Russia and Venezuela are using their petrocash to pursue agendas that undercut western security and interests. Supplies of natural gas also seem less secure than ever.
There is growing evidence that some hydro dams in tropical regions emit large quantities of greenhouse gases, but the results have been intensely controversial. PESD researchers Danny Cullenward and David Victor comment on the controversy and outline a plan, modeled on the IPCC, for getting to the bottom of the matter.
The Brazilian government is declaring victory in its decades-long struggle to become self-sufficient in the supply of oil. The milestone is cause for celebration in a country that has long paid a high price for imported energy.
Victor's opinion piece supports, on environmental grounds, the recent deal to expand India's commercial nuclear program. He argues that country's carbon emissions will be lowered by allowing India to opt for nuclear power instead of coal. However, care is still needed to tame the risks of proliferation and also to fix the chronic financial troubles of India's electricity sector.
In an Aug. 22 op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times and an Aug. 25 commentary on Marketplace on NPR, CESP researchers David G. Victor and Joshua C. House argue that an independent panel should be given control of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The power to buy and sell the stockpiled oil currently rests with the Department of Energy, which passes the decision on to the president, effectively politicizing oil supply decisions.
Since the fall of communism, the U.S. and Russia have been searching for areas for mutually beneficial cooperation. While oil has historically taken center stage, David and Nadejda Victor argue that diplomats should consider nuclear energy as well.
Having backed down from its trade dispute with the EU over GM food, the Bush administration will find it hard to make the threat of going to the trade organization credible again and to continue the momentum toward removing Europe's ban.