Articles on Energy security

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The International Energy Agency was set up to avoid a repeat of the 1973 oil crisis - but four decades later the rules need updating. David Falconer/US Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

The G20 has a crucial role in preventing future energy crises

Next week, Brisbane hosts the final meeting of the G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group before the main G20 summit in November. Government officials and energy experts from 20 of the most powerful countries…
Is the sun setting on West African oil? A platform in Limbe, Cameroon. VirginieVV

US fracking boom puts West African oil economies at risk

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the US made a point of diversifying its sources of oil to reduce dependence on the Middle East. It was a strategic move which promised a huge boost to West African…
Big may be beautiful but it’s also inflexible and expensive. Andrew Parsons/PA

Small nuclear reactors may be the key to a low-carbon future

Take a hard look at the painful process of de-carbonising the UK’s electricity supply, and it’s clear that the options on the table are not great. From the outset, changes to the system generate further…
Installations of the main natural gas pipeline in the Boyarka village near Kiev. Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA

Russia’s game of chicken with Ukraine leaves Europe on the edge

As with the previous Russia-Ukraine gas disputes in 2006 and 2009, how we describe the current stand-off between the two countries is a matter of semantics. Those earlier disputes found solutions based…
While there may be gold beneath the surface, it’s hard to reach. Wu Hong/EPA

US-style fracking success far from guaranteed on British soil

Britain’s energy-hungry population is highly dependent on oil and gas, which powers around two thirds of the UK’s energy needs. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) projects that by 2030…
Assembling the Nord Stream in 2011. Bair175

Russia, Ukraine, and Europe are tied by gas dependency

The German energy giant RWE has begun to “reverse flow” supplies of gas from Europe back to Ukraine via Poland, a process first arranged in 2012, with an agreement to deliver up to 10 billion cubic metres…
The future will be dimly lit without tackling the growing energy gap. Ben Curtis/PA

The energy policy pendulum must cease its endless swinging

The Conservative Party apparently plans to introduce a moratorium on future onshore wind farms from 2020, hanging their hat on the growth of offshore wind instead, and following Germany’s lead by expanding…
Eastern Europe relies on the network of gas pipelines that runs from Russia through Ukraine and Belarus. EPA/Eustream/AAP

Will the Ukraine crisis open up a new gas market for Australia?

The ongoing standoff between Russia and Ukraine has exacerbated Europe’s vulnerability caused by its reliance on Russian gas. The situation has locked the two nations into a dispute over paying for gas…
Putin talks; Gazprom’s CEO listens. EPA

Gazprom may yet be a victim of Putin’s Ukraine policy

Gazprom’s decision to hike the price of the gas it sells to Ukraine came as no surprise as it was flagged more than a month ago. At that time the company’s website showed the Russian prime minister, Dmitry…
Trust between Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schröder helped lubricate the Nord Stream deal. EPA Pool/Yuri Kadobnov

Energy trade between Europe and Russia will depend on trust

Much of the discussion on the current Ukraine crisis concerns European energy security and dependence on Russian gas. The different reactions of EU member states to the Ukraine crisis highlight an underlying…
Australia only keeps an estimated 23 days’ worth of fuel in the country. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

Running on empty: Australia’s risky approach to oil supplies

It might sound unlikely, but Australia’s fuel gauge is worryingly low. We’re one of the world’s top energy exporters, but our stocks of liquid fuels – such as the oil on which almost the whole transport…
Too complex by half. Albert Bridge

UK energy policy gets more complex, but goes nowhere

With floods sweeping the country, energy policy has slipped down the agenda since Labour’s attention-grabbing price freeze policy announcement. And this of course is unfortunate, as energy policy is central…
Brisbane’s annual City of Lights show, which is sponsored by an oil and gas company. Flickr/Wei Lun Koh (some rights reserved)

When will Australians finally stop wasting our energy?

From flicking on a light to travelling around town, our lives are utterly dependent on energy. That’s why it’s so surprising that Australia has been so bad at thinking about our country’s future energy…
Would you buy a used energy market from these people? PA

Three visions for reforming the electricity market

The impending third reading of the Energy Bill in the UK’s House of Lords marks the final stage of a long and intensive review process for legislation designed to overhaul the UK’s energy market. The question…
The future Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (centre), with older reactors. EDF

Hinkley C goes ahead, but future nuclear costs must fall

There has long been talk of the need for a “nuclear renaissance”, and now it seems underway. The deal has been struck that would see the first new British nuclear power station in a generation. But is…
New South Wales needs to consider all the options to avoid a gas crisis. Flickr/mikeyp2000

Is New South Wales really facing a gas crisis?

The NSW Energy Security Summit being held in Sydney this week looks like turning into a debate on the relative economic and environmental credentials of coal seam gas, while at the same time exposing a…

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