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Utilization of Scenarios in European Electricity Policy: The Ten-Year Network Development Plan

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The transformation of the European Union’s energy sector poses a number of challenges to the European electricity system. Above all, both the anticipated increase of intermittent electricity from renewable sources and the completion of the internal energy market while guaranteeing a secure supply require an extensive development of electricity infrastructure at the European level. Nevertheless, Europe’s future electricity system entails numerous uncertainties. For example, the definite amount and the location of both electricity generation and consumption are unpredictable. In order to address these ambiguities, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) develops the two-yearly Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP). By exploring different plausible future paths using scenarios, the TYNDP aims to identify key infrastructure projects – namely transmission lines and cross-border interconnectors – for the future electricity system. In this capacity, the TYNDP is the central planning tool for European grid infrastructure. This paper explores whether the TYNDP effectively provides a solid planning foundation for future grid investments. For this end, the TYNDPs 2012-2018 are investigated in the light of European energy policies, and their utilization by stakeholders is scrutinized. The paper argues that an existing policy congruence and the strong link to the Projects of Common Interest (PCI) confine the TYNDP solely to the hardware of the electricity system. This in turn profoundly limits the TYNDP’s effectiveness as a strategic planning tool. Hence, a closer connection to the software components of the anticipated European electricity system – namely the future market design and (European) regulations – would further allow for a holistic planning and evaluation of future electricity infrastructure projects.
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37
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The Outlook for Natural Gas and LNG in China in the War against Air Pollution

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The outlook for gas demand in China is one of the most important questions facing the global gas market, as it will have significant consequences for gas producers and consumers across the world. The rapid rise in China’s gas demand has been catalysed by environmental concerns, in particular air quality, in the country’s major cities and the authors of this report, Akira Miyamoto and Chikako Ishiguro, provide a detailed analysis of the progress that has been made in introducing environmental legislation to pursue the goal of cleaning up China’s skies. They consider the impact that this has had on gas consumption in China over the past decade before analysing the major goals of the Blue Sky Action Plan and outlining its potential consequences for gas demand over the next two to three years.
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61
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Challenges to the Future of Gas: unburnable or unaffordable?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Modelling studies suggest that COP21 targets can be met with global gas demand peaking in the 2030s and declining slowly thereafter. This would qualify gas to be considered a `transition fuel’ to a low carbon economy. However, such an outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion. There are limited numbers of countries outside the OECD which can be expected to afford to pay wholesale (or import) prices of $6-8/MMbtu and above, which are needed to remunerate 2017 delivery costs of large volumes of gas from new pipeline gas or LNG projects. Prices towards the top of (and certainly above) this range are likely to make gas increasingly uncompetitive leading to progressive demand destruction even in OECD countries. The current debate in the gas community is when the `glut’ of LNG will dissipate, and the global supply/demand balance will tighten. The unspoken assumption is that when this happens – generally believed to be around the early/mid 2020s – prices will rise somewhere close to 2011-14 levels, allowing a return to profitability for projects which came on stream since the mid-2010s and allowing new projects to move forward. Should this assumption prove be correct, it will create major problems for the future of gas. The key to gas fulfilling its potential role as a transition fuel up to and beyond 2030, is that it must be delivered to high income markets below $8/MMbtu, and to low income markets below $6/MMbtu (and ideally closer to $5/MMbtu). The major challenge to the future of gas will be to ensure that it does not become (and in many low-income countries remain) unaffordable and/or uncompetitive, long before its emissions make it unburnable.
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53
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Let’s not exaggerate – Southern Gas Corridor prospects to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 30, 2018
Abstract in English: 
A new round of political activity to promote the Southern Gas Corridor from the Caspian to Europe has begun. In February, European energy ministers and supplier nation officials met in Baku. In June, first gas entered the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey, and the first substantial source of supply for the Southern Corridor, the Shah Deniz II project in Azerbaijan, started producing. Shah Deniz II will ramp up to peak output of 16 bcm/year by 2021-22. Europe will then receive around 10 bcm, no more than 2 per cent of its overall demand, via the Southern Corridor, compared to the 10-20 per cent that had been envisaged in Brussels. While political leaders continue to paint the corridor’s prospects in very bright colours, the market dynamics – in the Caspian region itself, in the Caucasus and Turkey, and in Europe – are less promising. Commercial conditions for the Southern Corridor’s success have deteriorated as political support for it has grown. This paper argues that, up to 2030, the corridor will most likely remain an insubstantial contributor to Europe’s gas balance. At best, there may be sufficient gas for a second string of TANAP, but only at the end of the 2020s. The paper considers the potential sources of supply for the Southern Corridor (Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and others including Iran, Kurdistan, and the East Mediterranean); demand and transport issues; and the conditions under which Southern Corridor gas will compete with other supply in the European market.
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30
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Future Shocks and Shifts: Challenges for the Global Workforce and Skills Development

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Publication date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This report presents evidence on the expanding scope of automation. After three decades of a secular decline in middle-income jobs, the bulk of low-skilled and low-income workers are now for the first time susceptible to computerization. Meanwhile, skilled jobs remain relatively resilient to recent trends in technology. In particular, workers with extraordinary social and creative skills will still remain in the workforce in 2030.
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34
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Scotland, the UK and Brexit: A guide to the future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 7, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Edited by Gerry Hassan, leading Scottish commentator, and Russell Gunson, Director of IPPR Scotland, Scotland, the UK and Brexit: A guide to the future is a collection of essays aimed to provide readers with a comprehensive guide to Brexit and the consequences that flow from Brexit for Scotland, while also examining UK and international implications. Contributions include a wide range of leading political specialists, journalists and academics. This book analyses the terrain, the major issues and possible developments, the context in which this takes place and how some of the major actors including the Scottish and UK governments, and the EU itself, may act.
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30
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Another lost decade? Building a skills system for the economy of the 2030s

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The UK economy is set to undergo significant change in the coming years. The impact of rapidly advancing technology, an ageing population and exiting the EU will leave our economy looking very different by 2030. Having an effectively functioning adult skills system will be crucial if we are to manage the impact of these trends, to shape them and to turn them to our advantage. However, there is serious cause for concern that our adult skills system is not fit for purpose today, let alone fit to face the challenges ahead. In this report, we set out an approach to adult skills that would better meet the needs of learners, employers and the economy in the future.
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94
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Building Britain's Future? The construction workforce after Brexit

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The construction industry is of vital strategic importance to the UK. A healthy construction industry will be essential if we are to build the homes, commercial property and infrastructure that our economy and our country needs. Yet the construction industry faces a grave threat from Brexit. We have identified three significant challenges facing the construction industry: Productivity growth in construction has been stagnant, Construction faces severe and growing skills shortages, Construction has become increasingly reliant on EU migration.
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53
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Building the workforce of the future: Learning from Grow with Google

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 25, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Digital skills are vital for individuals and national economies to prosper in a rapidly-changing world, benefiting from the opportunities of digital and remaining resilient to potential risks. More than 90 per cent of jobs in some categories now demand digital skills. Yet in 2016, just 56 per cent of Europeans had adequate digital skills for the world they live in, and 37 per cent of the workforce lacked adequate digital skills. In this project we examined the development and approach of Grow with Google, a project which operates through national programmes matched closely to the contexts and needs of individual countries, in six case study countries (Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Nigeria) in order to identify key themes and learning to support ongoing good practice in growing a digital skills ecosystem.
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60
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The Future of the United States and Europe: An Irreplaceable Partnership

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The partnership between the United States and Europe has been an anchor of the world’s economic, political and security order for more than seven decades, but we should not take it for granted. The transatlantic relationship faces many dangers. However, the issues that bring the two sides together ultimately carry much greater weight than those that might divide them.The US and the EU have notably different perceptions and interests, the navigation of which requires nuanced diplomacy. Although each side brings different ideas and experiences to the table, numerous areas of actual and potential collaboration can be identified. The rules-based international order benefits both the US and the EU, and it urgently needs their collaborative support.
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51
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