There has been no shortage of news about Mohamad Bin Salman, more commonly known as MBS, the 35-year crown prince of Saudi Arabia. A controversial figure, he has been hailed as a reformer, but also criticized for corruption and human rights abuses. He came to power at a time when Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical prowess as an energy giant may be threatened by the energy transition. This year, Saudi Arabia has embarked on a massive diplomatic effort to set itself up for success in a world inching towards clean energy, but still grappling with energy security, independence and resilience issues brought on by recent conflicts like the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Among many of the many topics on MBS’s desk are: how will Saudi Arabia fare in a post-oil world? MBS’s diplomatic moves of the past few months may signal the future direction of MBS’s energy diplomacy. Joelle Thomas reports.
Despite the recent historic agreement between OPEC, Russian, American and other global oil producers to slash supply by the 1st of May with the hopes of bolstering prices, the United States will still suffer an “unprecedented” economic blow according to the International Energy Agency. With high production costs and deeply in debt, many U.S. producers, especially those extracting from shale fields, are bleeding cash as they try desperately to cut costs. Output is expected to shrink by more than two million barrels per day. Analysts predict waves of bankruptcies, along with thousands of job losses and steep drops in tax revenues for oil-dependent states as the fallout from a monster oil bust ripples throughout America’s already staggering economy. L. Michael Buchsbaum reviews the worsening situation.
Overshadowed by the pandemic, an oil production and price war waged between the Saudi Arabian-led OPEC, Russia, the U.S. and other nations has landed a body blow upon the already weakened global economy. With billions worldwide now sheltering in place, oil usage has dropped by over 30%. But production hasn’t. The massive oversupply has crashed market prices lower than at any point in almost 20 years. To stop the bleeding, OPEC and other producers as well as the G20 have seemingly come to an historic deal that will slash global production across the boards. But the damage to the underlying fossil-fuel based economy means that Corona’s economic wreckage will ripple out just as we start to emerge into a brave new social-distance demanding world. L. Michael Buchsbaum examines the origins and implications of the Corona oil crash.
Solar’s time has (nearly) come in the Middle East: natural potential is high, and given the right policy environment, clean energy can thrive. But national governments must stop subsidizing fossil fuels and instead invest in solar power. Mike Munsell of Greentech Media takes a look at Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and more.
Over the past year, the Anglo world has become interested in nuclear as a complement for wind and solar towards “deep decarbonization,” or a (nearly) 100% carbon-free supply of energy or possibly just electricity. Today, Craig Morris reviews a few papers by Americans and Australians and advises them to tackle the best European studies for 100% renewables head-on, not ignore them.
Mark Stevenson introduces a progressive movement everyone can sign up to: the energy democracy.
On Thursday and Friday last week, the German Foreign Office invited dignitaries, business people, and the press to the second Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue. The event was roughly 50 percent larger than in the previous year. And once again, it revealed that not all decision-makers are on the same page when it comes to the global energy transition. Craig Morris explains.
In an overall successful year 2014, the German Energiewende saw a lot of changes. 2015 will be characterized by international developments like falling fossil fuel prices. To keep the Energiewende on track, Matthias Ruchser demands to finally tap potentials in the heating and transport sector.
The German PV industry is going through a time of creative destruction. Paul Hockenos talked to different actors in Germany who all agree that only the most ingenious companies will emerge strengthened from the current crisis.