BEIJING — While China’s much-hyped clean energy drive has become bogged down in problems of impracticality and policy incoherence, the U.S. has quietly effected a genuine energy revolution that creates huge cost advantages for America’s manufacturing base going forward. With major structural shifts already underway, changing international energy market dynamics present Washington with an opportunity to fundamentally reorient its foreign policy approach, toward China and a broader range of actors, in the decades to come. In 2011, China overtook the U.S. in terms of renewable energy investment and under current plans will surpass the European Union in 2014. Beijing plans […]

It seems like Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez increasingly has the world lined up against her, but there’s no reason to feel sorry for her. Fernandez is the librettist of her own drama, and she is carrying out an international populist performance worthy of her famed predecessor, Evita Perón, updated for the anti-globalization, Occupy generation. In the process, the Argentinean leader is taking her country on a sharply different path from the one chosen by other booming South American economies, moving Argentina down a perilous road. She is also driving foreign investors, as well as many domestic ones, away from Argentina. […]

In the run-up to the next round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group on May 23 in Baghdad, reports have suggested that Tehran is prepared to make substantive concessions on its uranium enrichment program. Political paralysis in Tehran, however, will be an obstacle to reaching any definitive decision, meaning the Baghdad talks could prove as inconclusive as previous ones. Not that Iran doesn’t need a deal. Crude oil exports are at a 20-year low due to the threat of U.S. financial sanctions on third-party purchasers. Domestic supplies of gasoline are in short supply, too, as rising sanctions prevent […]

In April, three major Brazilian energy companies announced plans to increase investment in Peruvian natural gas. In an email interview, Thomas Andrew O’Keefe, president of Mercosur Consulting Group, discussed Latin America’s intraregional energy ties. WPR: Historically, how strong has intraregional cooperation been on energy issues in South America, and how is that changing? Thomas Andrew O’Keefe: Intraregional cooperation on energy issues went through a boom period in the 1990s, when there was a widespread regional consensus on letting the market set energy prices and permitting the private sector to take a lead role in developing new pipelines and connecting electricity […]

A fascinating display of diplomatic balancing occurred this past week in New Delhi. At the same time that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in India to urge the Indian government to tighten sanctions on Iran, an Iranian trade delegation was there exploring ways to circumvent those very sanctions. Over the past year, India has found creative ways to “split the middle” in attempting to maintain good relations with both Washington and Tehran. State-owned refineries have reduced the amount of oil they purchase from Iran, in an effort to bring India into compliance with U.S. legislation that calls for […]

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently confirmed that Pakistan’s lackluster economic performance in recent years is essentially a reflection of its ongoing energy crisis. A combination of factors, including an unbalanced power-generating portfolio, the insurgency in Balochistan and natural calamities such as the devastating floods in 2010, have complicated the task of Pakistan’s energy planners. Long dependent on natural gas to meet transport and urban domestic requirements, Pakistan is facing a spike in its oil import bill due to gas shortages. Meanwhile, the electricity sector is finding it difficult to deal with the inherently intermittent nature of hydropower as a […]

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Last month Uzbekistan stopped the shipment of gas to Tajikistan, a move that Tajikistan qualified as part of an ongoing rail transport and energy blockade. In an email interview, Idil Tuncer Kilavuz, lecturer at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey, discussed Uzbekistan-Tajikistan relations. WPR: How have Uzbekistan-Tajikistan relations evolved since the fall of the Soviet Union? Idil Tuncer Kilavuz: Since Uzbekistan and Tajikistan gained independence in 1991, their relations have been poor. Just after the fall of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan experienced a civil war in which Uzbekistan supported the existing Tajikistan leadership, which won the war in 1997. However, relations […]

New developments in a wide range of fields and regions have reshaped the global energy landscape. Whether due to newfound techniques or newfound reserves, regional politics or national policy, global energy seems to have entered an era in which limitless opportunities coexist with long-standing problems. This World Politics Review special report examines the emerging global energy picture. Below are links to each article in this special report, which subscribers can read in full. Not a subscriber? Purchase this document for Kindle or as a PDF from Scribd. Or, learn more about how you can try our subscription service free for […]