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We are excited to announce the launch of our report, “A Critical Assessment of the IEA’s Net Zero Scenario, ESG,

EPRINC studies energy economics and policy issue with special emphasis on oil, natural gas and petroleum product markets. We provide objective and technical analysis on a wide range of energy issues.

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Global Data Center and Crypto Mining – A Comparative View – Part 2

As the Number of Data Centers Continue to Expand, There Are Several Drivers to Their Location: Low-Cost and Stable Supplies of Electricity is One of Them

 

As mentioned in Part 1, the number of U.S. data centers is growing to accommodate expanding connectivity needs coming from entertainment (streaming services), telecom (smartphones and tablets), security (doorbell cameras), SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – remote management of industrial processes as well as data-gathering from related devices), and many other needs for data storage and dissemination.

 

Despite the huge efficiency gains and modest growth in energy demands in the last decade and a half, forecasters are anticipating huge processing requirements from the adoption of AI (artificial intelligence), thereby spiking electricity requirements. 

 

Key states where data centers are located are in California, Washington State, Texas, and Illinois. But the sizeable growth is in Northern Virginia

On Tuesday, December 5 2023, Energy Policy Research hosted a workshop called: “Pathways to Net Zero: Electric Power and EVs”. The workshop consisted of two panels to address the central tasks necessary to proceed with an energy transition that relies upon a rapid electrification of the national economy. We expect our attendees to participate in the discussion. Experts that are undertaking assessments on operational risks to the national grid from EPA energy mandates and the acceleration in power demand for EVs and other electrification proposals participated, as well as representatives from the automotive industry.

Our existing assessments on “Net Zero” have outlined cost risks, technology constraints, and regulatory obstacles for a rapid build out of the electric grid, including power requirements to meet demand from the expansion of EVs. Sound policy will require a careful understanding of the challenges ahead.

An agenda from the workshop is here, and some of the presentations that were given at the workshop can be found below.

EPRINC Trustee Larry Goldstein was quoted in two separate articles, one by CNBC and one by the New York Times, on the topics of the recent acquisitions by oil majors ExxonMobil and Chevron. Links to the articles are below:

CNBC – Why Exxon and Chevron are doubling down on fossil fuel energy with big acquisitions by Cat Clifford

Larry Goldstein (larryg@eprinc.org) is an internationally recognized authority on petroleum markets, and has extensive advisory relationships with energy companies, research institutes, and government agencies. He is a former president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation (PIRINC) now the Energy Policy Research Foundation (EPRINC), its successor organization, and continues to be on EPRINC’s Board of Trustees. He was a founder and president of the PIRA Energy Group, a major energy consulting firm that was acquired by S&P Global in 2016.

On Monday October 23, 2o23, RealClear Energy published an article titled “Streamline the Regulatory Process to Expedite U.S. LNG Exports”, coauthored by EPRINC President Lucian Pugliaresi and President & CEO of The USLNG Association (“LNG Allies”) Fred Hutchison. In the article, they make a strong case against “the current slow pace of the Department of Energy’s U.S. LNG export authorizations to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) that includes natural gas—which, by the way, includes all of Europe, including the United Kingdom and Türkiye.” They argue that “U.S. LNG exports are making substantial contributions to U.S. trade balances and domestic employment and bolstering the energy security of our allies. The disruption of pipeline gas shipments to Europe following the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a severe blow to European economic growth and security.”

 

The full article can be found on the RealClear Energy website, here.

On October 23, EPRINC Director of Energy Transition Research Batt Odgerel presented at the American Energy Transition Forum. His presentation, titled “Understanding the Cost, Risk, and Scale Challenge of the Net Zero Transition”, can be found here.

According to the American Energy Transition Forum’s website:

“The American Energy Transition Forum will explore the tools and technologies which will propel this decarbonization journey. The event will gather like-minded stakeholders from the public, business, scientific and innovation sectors. The event will tackle various decarbonization pathways, such as expansion of renewable energy production, carbon capture and storage technology, hydrogen, ammonia and advanced biofuels. Although one of the ultimate goals seems to be fossil fuel substitution with renewables, such sources of energy as LNG cannot be left out as part of successful energy transition. In addition to energy resources, such important areas as climate-tech investments, digitized solutions for energy transition acceleration, energy efficiency and many more topics crucial to the decarbonization journey will be addressed at the event.”

On Wednesday, October 18 2023, EPRINC President Lucian Pugliaresi participated in the Hudson Institute’s panel discussion entitled: “The Arab Oil Embargo 50 Years Later: Lessons Learned and Missed Opportunities”. Specifically, Lou was a member of the panel that focused on “Lessons Learned” from the embargo.

 

A recording of the event and more information about the discussion are available on the Hudson Institute’s website, here.

On Wednesday, October 11, Eurasia Foundation hosted an opening ceremony for 25 new Young Professionals Network (YPN) fellows. Batt Odgerel, Director of Energy Transition Research at Energy Policy Research, joined “a diverse array of professional backgrounds, including consulting firms, think tanks, universities, governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations. It includes fellows from Accenture Federal Services, American Councils for International Education, American Enterprise Institute, American University, the Atlantic Council, Chemonics International, Dataminr, the Foreign Service, Freedom House, Georgetown University, Hudson Institute, International Business Initiatives, Johns Hopkins University, National Endowment for Democracy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Solidarity Center, TD International, and the World Bank Group’s CGAP. The new cohort also represents six countries: Armenia, China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Singapore, and the United States. All have extensive education, work experience, and language skills relating to the Eurasia region.”

See more here.

EPRINC is excited to announce the new Gaskins Center for Energy Security Studies, named after EPRINC Chairman Dr. Darius W. Gaskins Jr. and established to explore strategies to sustain and enhance American energy security. The Gaskins Center Brochure contains more information about the Center and Dr. Gaskins’s extraordinary accomplishments.

EPRINC Distinguished Fellow Ivan Sandrea has penned an article entitled “Envisioning the Energy Landscape of Distant Futures”. He writes:

“In contemplating the energy system’s distant future, we encounter a range of outcomes that require a paradigm shift, if not a quantum leap, to satisfy future energy needs. In this concise essay, I invite exploration into the potential visage of energy demand and supply – be it a century or even half a millennium from now. As Nils Bohr aptly put it, predicting the future is an intricate endeavor, particularly when it pertains to what lies ahead. So, I am not predicting the future.”

Ivan’s article can be found here.

On September 27-29, 2023, the 8th HAEE Energy Transition Symposium, entitled “Rethinking Energy: A secure and sustainable future” was hosted by the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics at the French Institute of Greece. EPRINC President Lucian Pugliaresi moderated a panel on “Hydrocarbon Energy Transition Pathways”. The discussion covered leveraging national resources and exploration phases, an update on achieving climate neutrality in natural gas networks, and hydrocarbons and renewable energy equilibrium towards 2050. The other panelists were Aristofanis Stefatos, CEO, Hellenic Hydrocarbons & Energy Resources Management Company SA and Ioannis Maris, Country Representative Greece, Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG.

A video recording of the panel can be found here.

The full overview of the event, including an agenda and a full list of speakers from the event, is here.

Other video recordings of other panels from the event can be found on HAEE’s Youtube account, here.

Lahaina Tragedy: Some Preliminary Lessons for Policymakers and Global Resilience” is a short article prepared by Jeffrey M. Kissel, an EPRINC Trustee and former CEO of HawaiiGas. He lived in Hawaii for 50 years and is now the Executive Vice President and CFO of Global Infrastructure Solutions, a diversified Engineering and Construction company. Jeffrey knows Hawaii, power systems, and infrastructure from long experience, and penned this article to provide his insight to the discussion of the fires in Lahaina.

Acknowledging their shared history and aspirations for regional economic prosperity and security, the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) was formally announced in 2015 in a joint declaration by the Polish and Croatian Presidents. It has quickly grown to its current size of twelve-member Central European countries with Greece’s membership (as thirteenth) to be announced at the September 6th-7th 2023 3SI Summit and Business Forum in Bucharest Romania. 3SI seeks to coordinate regional economic policy focusing on the development of digital, energy, and transportation infrastructure in the region.
Energy Policy Research’s next FYI In Brief briefing, “The Three Seas Initiative (3SI):  An Introduction And Energy Security Assessment,” is being published one day ahead of the 3SI’s annual summit. The briefing seeks to provide policymakers with an overview and insights into the 3SI’s economy, history, energy and energy security issues, Priority Projects, as well as a set of policy recommendations.
The FYI In Brief briefing can be found here.

During the last two weeks of August 2023, Energy Policy Research’s president, Lucian Pugliaresi, was invited to Italy and the United Kingdom to discuss our recent research and analysis on the headwinds to “Net Zero.”  The visit began with a visit to Erice, Italy at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture named for a Italian physicist, born in Sicily in 1906. The Centre is situated in the old pre-medieval city of Erice. He then visited London and made a presentation at the Institute for Economic Affairs and also at the two day meeting of the  Parliamentary Security Forum attended by over 250 parliamentarians from around the world. Among topics discussed were strategies to address cyber security, human trafficking, cyber security, money laundering, and the “challenges to Net Zero.”  The parliamentary meetings were hosted by the House of Commons.  The presentations are summarized in the attached power point.

On August 1, 2023, Batt Odgerel, Director of Energy Transition Research at Energy Policy Research Foundation, delivered a presentation at the 2023 Annual Conference jointly hosted by the Hawai‛i Asia Pacific Institute (HAPI) and Northeast Asia Economic Forum (NEAEF) in Honolulu, Hawai‛i. His presentation centered on the energy trilemma, encompassing energy security, sustainability, and affordability, within the context of Northeast Asia. Batt Odgerel explored pragmatic avenues to enhance collaboration in the region, taking into account the geopolitical and historical challenges at play.

The 32nd Annual Forum took place August 1-2, 2023, and brought together established professionals in Hawai‘i, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region across the research, business, and government fields to facilitate functional cooperation and tangible partnerships around this year’s theme through presentations, panel discussions, and informal networking and dialogue.

 See Batt Odgerel’s presentation here.

Photo credit: Siobhan Ng, NEAEF

Why Publish an Article from 2006?

What could we possibly learn from an article on oil supply published almost 20 years ago? Actually, quite a lot. At the time of publication in 2006, the revolution in technology and know-how that led to the rapid run up in oil and gas production from unconventional resources (commonly called the shale revolution) was still a few years away. Conventional wisdom at the time was that the U.S. could not “drill its way out of an energy crisis,” and a well-established model of total resource recovery, the Hubbert Method, documented that we should prepare for and undertake costly initiatives to address a long period of declining oil and gas production.

Few expected the massive increase in U.S. oil and gas production that would emerge by 2010, stabilizing world oil prices and lifting the U.S. to the point where today it is the largest oil and gas producing country in the world. This was not the first-time technological advances had offered a surprise to conventional wisdom. In 1978, Congress passed the Fuel Use Act which prohibited the use of natural gas to generate electricity under assurances the country was running out of natural gas. Years later, the resulting surge in natural gas production from domestic reserves not only provided the world with reliable and growing supply of LNG but also played a major role in driving down U.S. carbon emissions as a substitute for coal combustion in the U.S. electric power system.

Of course, how could we ignore the Synthetic Fuels Corporation (established to build a financial bridge for the development and construction of commercial synthetic fuel manufacturing plants such as coal gasification) that would produce alternatives to imported fossil fuels? Congress authorized funding of $88 billion and a maximum of three hundred full-time professional employees over 12 years. The SFC’s mandated goal was the production of at least 500,000 barrels of crude oil equivalent per day in synthetic fuels from domestic sources by 1987 and at least 2 million barrels per day by 1992. Over its six-year existence, the SFC spent approximately $960 million (barely five percent of its initial 1980 budget) to fund four synthetic fuels projects, none of which survive today. The corporation was abolished in April 1986.

What lessons should policy makers draw from Richard Nehring’s analysis? Government energy policies are now directed at a specific set of technological pathways to reach net zero, i.e., the working assumption is that the future is known and we have a clear understanding of how to get there. Perhaps we would be better off if our policy makers recognize that the future faces a wide range of uncertainties, including the potential for good news.

On July 18, 2023, the Gaskins Center for Energy Security Studies hosted its inaugural workshop at EPRINC’s conference space at 25 Massachusetts Ave, NW in Washington DC. The Center has been established through a generous grant from EPRINC’s Chairman, Dr. Darius W. Gaskins, Jr.

As the countries of the OECD pursue a large-scale transformation of their energy systems to minimize carbon emissions, we are presented with an array of new challenges to sustain the affordability, reliability, and security of our energy complex. The workshop brought together international researchers, policymakers, and industry executives to review the lessons of energy security policies established in the aftermath of the 1973-75 Arab Oil Embargo. The second theme of the workshop explored what changes need to take place throughout the OECD and developing world to bolster energy security in an era of accelerated implementation of a broad range of technologies and related programs to reduce carbon emissions.

The full agenda can be found here. The presentations from the event can be found below.

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