The gas debate

It seems that energetics is back among the most popular news topics. This time it is the shale gas.

The advent of abundant, low-cost gas will throw all that out the window—so long as the recent drilling catastrophe doesn’t curtail offshore oil and gas activity and push up the price of oil and eventually other forms of energy. Not only will the shale discoveries prevent a cartel from forming, but the petro-states will lose lots of the muscle they now have in world affairs, as customers over time cut them loose and turn to cheap fuel produced closer to home. […]

With natural gas cheap and abundant, the prospects for renewable energy will change just as drastically. I have been a big believer that renewable energy was about to see its time. Prior to the shale-gas revolution, I thought rising hydrocarbon prices would propel renewables and nuclear power into the marketplace easily—albeit with a little shove from a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. […]

But that doesn’t mean we should stop investing in renewables. As large as our shale-gas resources are, they’re still exhaustible, and eventually we will still need to transition to energy that is cleaner and more plentiful. […]

In the end, what’s important to understand is that shale gas may be the key to solving some of our most pressing short-term crises, a way to bridge the gap to a more-secure energy and economic future. [Amy Myers Jaffe: Shale Gas Will Rock the World – Wall Street Journal]

While we leave it to the experts to debate the prospects of shale gas and other types of natural, we would like to recommend several research papers on the broader topic of energetics with regard to Macedonia. Analytica, a think tank from Skopje, has produced the following publications:

Diversify, Supply and Secure: Towards energy stability in Macedonia? (2009). “What are the priorities of Macedonia for the development of the energy sector in the next 10 years? Does the new energy strategy secure the Macedonian energy stability in the regional environment? Is there an energy policy that encompasses the energy supply and the energy security, as feature of a foreign policy? these are few questions that should be priorities in the new Energy Strategy.”

Investments in energy – the Macedonian case (2009). In the report, Analytica “analyzes the current state of investment in energy capacities in Macedonia and the reality of the investment climate, at the same time offering effective policy measures for prioritization, attraction and management of new investments in energy, which will secure the future of Macedonia’s energy supply”.

Renewable energy in Macedonia- Focus on ‘green’ electricity production (2008). This paper offers “a set of recommendations for promotion of the RES [renewable energy sources] in the energy market in Macedonia. Outlining the discrepancy of the energy potential of the RES in Macedonia and the level of their exploitation in the country, the accent of the policy analysis is put on the electricity market and the prospects for generation of “green electricity” from renewable energy sources in Macedonia.”

Natural gas – an energy necessity for Macedonia: Overview of the Macedonian energy potential (2008). “Starting from the standpoint that for sustaining the energy balance Macedonia and the region need a stabile energy source, this report analyzes the natural gas market in Macedonia, its infrastructure and legal framework, and gives recommendations for future development.”

Need for renewable energy sources in Macedonia (2008). “Is there an opportunity for more serious use of the RES in the energy sector in Macedonia? Can Macedonia become environmental friendly country, in the same time providing efficient and sustainable energy market?