Fri Sep 16th, 2022 at 06:45:00 AM EST
Japan marks a decade since Fukushima nuclear disaster | DW News - March 2021 |
Environmental groups have said the effort to decommission the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is hopeless. Some local residents fear it's not safe to return to communities that were beneath the radioactive plume.
High energy costs could hurt German industry | Reuters - Nov. 8, 2012 |
- US companies benefit from cheap shale gas - BDI
- German energy policy could cost $446bn by 2030
- Asian industrials also worried by their high gas costs
German industrials are concerned they will lose a competitive edge against rivals in the United States, where a boom in unconventional shale gas production has led to a sharp drop in industrial energy costs, industry lobby group BDI said.
German energy costs, by contrast, are rising as its government has decided to exit nuclear power generation, invest billions of euros into expanding the renewable generation sector while largely relying on imports to meet its natural gas demand.
Germany's economy, Europe's biggest, relies heavily on energy intensive industries such as chemical production from industry leaders such as BASF or Bayer or the automobile sector.
Quoting industry experts, the BDI said the U.S. shale gas boom could lead to a re-industrialisation of the United States and warned this effect will not be replicated to the same extent in Europe.
U.S. wholesale natural gas prices currently costs around $3.5 per MMBtu, compared with $9 per MMBtu in Europe.
Today's US News: US natural gas futures fell almost 9% to below $8.3/MMBtu, after US railroads and unions reached an agreement to avert a railroad strike that was expected to force generators to burn more gas to produce electricity. Prices surged 10% in the previous session, boosted by higher demand forecast and more coal-to-gas switching in case of the rail strike.
Asian Industrials Also Worried
Similar concerns are also being raised in Asia, where industry makes up a large share of economic output in leading economies such as Japan and South Korea, who are the world's biggest importers of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Rising dependence on natural gas imports risks driving key Asian economies such as Japan down in the global ranking of industrial economies.
In the first half of 2012, Japan bought 18.6 percent more LNG compared to the previous year, but the cost of these purchases rose 49.2 percent which was enough to drive Japan's first trade deficit in 31 years.
The crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in March last year and resulting idling of the country's nuclear power plant fleet spurred soaring imports of substitute fuels like LNG, causing a record 2.5 trillion yen ($31.30 billion) trade deficit in the first half of 2012.
One hope for European and Asian industrials is that U.S. gas prices may not stay low forever.
Handout: German Energy security - after Fukushima and Nord Stream|
Germany's decision to phase out the use of nuclear energy by 2022 was taken by the government of the SPD (Gerhard Schröder) and Alliance '90/The Greens. The year 2000 was an important milestone for the anti-nuclear movement in that country. The movement started at the beginning of the 1970s and has been significantly active since then.
After the Chernobyl incident of 1986, the German public became especially interested in the risks associated with the production of nuclear energy. This concern grew throughout the years, and resulted in the election of a coalition government in 1998 which included the anti-nuclear Green Party, Alliance `90/The Greens. Although the Green Party mustered only 6.7% of the total votes, it was able to have considerable influence and to achieve its long-sought goal of instituting a nuclear exit law.
Germany reached an agreement with energy companies on the gradual shut down of the 19 nuclear power plants → enacted as the Nuclear Exit Law. Based on the calculation of 32 years as the usual time of operation for a nuclear power plant. Two power plants were turned off in 2003 and 2005.
Phase-out plan was delayed in late 2010, when during the chancellorship of Angela Merkel the conservative-liberal government decreed a 12-year delay of the schedule. It provoked protests.
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Russian Gas Made Europe a Global Leader
The Shale gas 'revolution' in the United States: Global implications, options for the EU | Jan. 2013 |
In recent years, the United States' natural gas industry has undergone a significant transformation, dubbed a 'revolution': extraction rates have soared thanks to new technologies. The shale gas boom is having an unprecedented affect on the US energy market, and this, in turn, has important implications for the rest of the world, notably the Middle East and Russia.
While the shale gas 'revolution' has spurred a debate on environmental consequences and sustainability within the US, other countries -- including countries as diverse as Canada - Nova Scotia - and China -- have, in different ways, aimed to replicate the US boom. In the EU, a shale gas 'revolution' appears relatively unlikely, at least for the moment, given Europe's less favourable geological conditions and its wary public. Nevertheless, some EU Member States rich in shale gas, such as Poland and the United Kingdom, are actively promoting shale gas exploration activities to diversify their energy mix, reduce energy dependency and enhance energy security.
Other countries, such as France and Bulgaria, have for the moment chosen to privilege environmental constraints and have implemented bans. The remaining Member States seem to have adopted a 'wait-and-see' attitude. For all these states, however, the EU has an important role to play in ensuring a balanced common approach and encouraging the sustainable development of this industry while ensuring an adequate environmental protection. A recent Commission green paper on shale gas is a good initial step, although this should be followed with concrete action.
Vice President Joe Biden's son joins Ukraine gas company | BBC News - May 14, 2014 |
The Geopolitics of Shale Gas | HCSS - 2014 |
The growth in domestic natural gas production in the United States (US), led by the increased development of shale resources and a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or `fracking' for short, has fundamentally altered the US energy landscape. Simultaneously, the same extraction technology is spurring the production of unconventional oil resources (shale oil and tight oil) and has set the US on course to become the world's premier oil producer by the mid 2020s.
Where successive US Presidents since the 1970s have advocated for a lessened dependence on foreign energy supplies, the `shale revolution' seems to have finally turned this dream into a reality. Globally, this development is likely to have a significant bearing on international relations. A US which is less dependent on foreign energy supplies has more freedom of maneuver in its foreign policy. Moreover, this is likely to affect the global energy mix as well as US and wider relations with traditional oil- and natural gas-exporting countries.
This study employs an innovative new computer modeling technique in an attempt to answer the extent to which, as well as how, the US' shale gas revolution impacts on the world in all its complexity. Specifically, it focuses on how the US' shale gas revolution may affect the stability of traditional oil- and natural gas-exporting countries near the European Union (EU). As the EU is heavily dependent on the import of oil and natural gas from countries in its immediate neighborhood, the extent to which the US shale gas revolution leaves its mark on Europe's backyard is a very relevant question to ask.
In today's world access to energy supplies still is a major factor in geopolitics. It is for this reason that the unprecedented changes in the US energy landscape cannot and should not be viewed in isolation. [Rob de Wijk - HCSS]
Opportunities Ukraine shale gas fracking - maps and contracts
Ukraine region rejects Chevron shale gas deal draft | Reuters - Aug. 20, 2013 |
Officials told Reuters that deputies in Ivano-Frankivsk region, in western Ukraine, had sent the draft back to the government, pressing for guarantees which would address their concerns over the exploration plans.
Chevron wants to tie up a deal to explore the Olesska shale field in western Ukraine. Royal Dutch Shell has already signed a $10 billion deal for shale exploration and extraction at the Yuzivska field in the east of the ex-Soviet republic.