Foreign Policy Blogs

Energy

First move toward completely renewable energy system

First move toward completely renewable energy system

Most people have never heard of El Hierro, westernmost of the Spanish-controlled Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. But this tiny outpost, population 10,000, may well become a model for larger communities and countries seeking energy independence.

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Mexico’s Energy Reforms

Mexico’s Energy Reforms

Eight months after constitutional amendments were introduced to reform Mexico’s oil and gas, and electricity sectors, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto took a historic step and signed energy reform bills passed by the Congress of the Union into law.

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South Africa’s Innovative Energy Policy

South Africa’s Innovative Energy Policy

South Africa is leading the charge of developing renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa in part due to policy that provides a conducive investment environment to entice developers to investigate projects within the nation. As load shedding is a too frequent event, the nation is adding new options to its energy mix. Recently in South Africa’s […]

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Iraq’s Oil Split

Iraq’s Oil Split

  It is not breaking news that Iraq sits atop vast amounts of oil. The country has the fifth largest proven crude oil reserves globally with an estimated 140 billion barrels. (For comparison: Iran, fourth globally, has an estimated 150 billion barrels, and Kuwait, sixth globally, has about 104 billion barrels of proved reserves. Iraq […]

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Energy: The tie that binds Beijing and Moscow

Energy: The tie that binds Beijing and Moscow

Russia and China last month agreed to a landmark natural gas deal nearly a decade in the making that will put the two in partnership for the next 30 years. Russia’s energy giant, Gazprom, and the China National Petroleum Corp. signed the much-anticipated $400 billion natural gas deal on May 21. The exact pricing remains […]

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Cyprus: How to kill two birds with one stone

Cyprus: How to kill two birds with one stone

Is a solution to the ongoing, four-decade long Cypriot crisis finally at hand? Judging by the insinuated words of Joe Biden during his recent visit to the divided island, so it may seem. It is no happenstance that the second time a U.S. vice president visits Cyprus after Lyndon Johnson’s visit of 1962 took place […]

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Israel has something its neighbors might want

Israel has something its neighbors might want

Two large natural gas deposits off Israel’s coast hold the potential to bring warmer relations between the Jewish state and its Muslim neighbors, even Palestinians despite faltering political talks. Thanks to these natural gas fields—the Leviathan and the Tamar—Israel is expected to become a significant natural gas exporter over the next decade. The Tamar field […]

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The Political Economy of Oil Income in Iran

The Political Economy of Oil Income in Iran

Editor’s Note: The following is a contributing guest piece. Saeed Ghasseminejad is the cofounder of the Iranian Liberal students and Graduates (ILSG) and the International Center for Liberalism Studies (ICLS). His work on economy and politics of Iran and the Middle East and has been published in CNBC, The Weekly Standard, National Post, International Business […]

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Beyond Local Content: Catalyzing Job Creation in Ghana’s Oil Sector

Beyond Local Content: Catalyzing Job Creation in Ghana’s Oil Sector

By Sarah Lawson and Marina Tolchinsky The discovery of oil off Ghana’s coast in 2007 sparked both excitement and concern. While the actual finds were modest in comparison with regional oil powerhouses such as Nigeria and Angola, it was estimated that oil exports could bring $1 billion in gross annual revenues.[1] As the country began […]

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Oil is treasure as African piracy shifts west

Oil is treasure as African piracy shifts west

The Kerala cargo vessel loaded with 60,000 tons of diesel on January 18 was an easy target for pirates lurking in the waters off West Africa. After maritime security firms warned of a tugboat stalking the Kerala off the coast of Angola, the tanker’s communication systems were turned off and the ship went missing for […]

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Earth Hour: Celebrating Darkness Sends the Wrong Message

Earth Hour: Celebrating Darkness Sends the Wrong Message

On the evening of Saturday, March 29, people around the world are being asked by campaigners to switch off the lights for an hour to celebrate “Earth Hour”. The question is whether this helps the climate and the challenges it faces around the world. “Global warming is a real problem, but Earth Hour is not […]

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Smog is enemy #1 in China’s ‘war on pollution’

Smog is enemy #1 in China’s ‘war on pollution’

After an overwhelming majority of China’s urban centers failed to meet environmental standards in 2013, Premier Li Keqiang declared a “war on pollution,” promising to improve the country’s blanketing smog endemic. In his report to parliament on Mar. 5, Premier Li Keqiang said he would fight to eliminate the air pollution problem that shrouds 95 […]

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Talking about a revolution. Is shale gas the answer?

Talking about a revolution. Is shale gas the answer?

Ever since Moscow decided to up the ante and invade the Crimean peninsula, shale gas reentered journalist lingo. Many have chipped in the debate, including Speaker of the House John Boehner who has argued that American gas is the sole remedy for Russia’s dominance of the European energy market. His diagnosis was that since natural […]

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Conflict, Investment and the Burden of Energy: Protests in Venezuela and Ukraine

Conflict, Investment and the Burden of Energy: Protests in Venezuela and Ukraine

There is always a danger in economies that are heavily dependent on one commodity to become states where conflict and power vacuums arise due to the concentration of power in one industry, and that industry having control of a large part of a national economy. External pressures for countries that are oil producers are the […]

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In Fukushima’s shadow, Japan sees a nuclear revival

In Fukushima’s shadow, Japan sees a nuclear revival

Following the release of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new energy plan, nuclear reactors are set to restart across the island nation three years after the Fukushima disaster, leaving many fearing another radioactive plume. Citing economic and environmental concerns, Abe unveiled his government’s 20-year Basic Energy Plan on February 25, which aims to restart at […]

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