EU & WBs / Albania Energy Market Updates

EU & WBs / Albania Energy Market Updates

Presentation of Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC

ACERC is a think tank centre with focus in Albania energy market and its integration on 8th Regional Area & EU IEM. The ACERC mission aim to provide a qualified contribution to the promotion of the liberalization and the effective integration as well as the efficient use of energy resources.

ACERC main activities profiles briefly consists in the release reports, articles and periodicals. In cooperation also with collaborates the offering of the activities that support capacity building of market actors, such as national and regional seminars, trainings and conferences. Initiatives completed by advocating in the energy sector promoting a forum called in Albanian School of Regulation.

For more visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn

Promoting Green and Efficient Energy for Europe's Regions 26/05/2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Tue, May 26, 2015 18:56:03
Promoting Green and Efficient Energy for Europe's Regions

26/05/2015



The European Commission is launching the European Smart specialisation platform on energy, which will support regions and Member States in using Cohesion Policy funding more effectively for promoting sustainable energy. The Platform will help regions to share their expertise on sustainable energy investments and especially on the deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies.

By supporting the optimal use of Cohesion Policy funds for sustainable energy projects, the Platform will directly contribute to the European Energy Union Strategy. It will also aim to better align innovation activities in the field of energy at national, regional and local level with a view to setting up a joint strategic agenda on energy priorities. The platform, which has been set up by the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), will contribute to boosting economic growth in the regions by ensuring sustainable, competitive and secure energy supply.

Examples of Energy projects funded by Cohesion Policy

UNITED KINGDOM: the Wave Hub will support the advancement of technology and R&D activities in the field of marine renewable energy. The aim is to create the world's largest test site for devices generating electricity from the waves on the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly (Total investment €40.5 million, ERDF: €22.6 million)

AUSTRIA: Experts in the building industry are working together in Lower Austria to ensure that old and new constructions are as green as possible. The Green Building Cluster draws on new techniques and concepts such as passive housing and renewable energy (Total investment: €3.4 million, ERDF: €937,400)

HUNGARY: Kistelek, a small town in the South of Hungary, is leading the way in geothermal energy use. Kistelek has drilled a well to thermal water 1,700 metres deep that is capable to supply eight public institutions. The project is being held up as an example to other local councils (Total investment €2.96 billion, ERDF: €2.7 billion).

LITHUANIA: Lithuanian government designed a scheme to renovate public buildings to reduce energy consumption and the high running costs related to this (Total investment: €2.96 billion, Cohesion Fund investment: €2.7 billion).

More information:



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Important! ACERC updates with the planned activities of the online platform along the period 14 may 2015 - 14 June 2015, Note Release, 13 May 2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Wed, May 13, 2015 15:39:48

Important! ACERC updates with the planned activities of the online platform along the period 14 may 2015 - 14 June 2015
Note Release, 13 May 2015


Dear Friends,

With the here message ACERC want to inform all its members and followers about the online activity at the ongoing period form 14 may 2015 to 14 June 2015.

In specific, the all-online platforms are running under the direction of Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD, that is also committed as the overall Developer Director and Legal Energy Market Advisor at the ACERC.

In the here ongoing period the agenda of the Director Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD, foresee undertaken of the wide institutional abroad activities. In the here moment it want to bring in the highlights in particular for whom of interests on the directly following the here below public activities:

- Participation at the Conference " UN Seventy Years after Its Foundation”, to be held at Parma (Italy), on Monday, 18 May 2015, that foresee the participation of Alfonso Mattera, Etienne Davignon, Franco Frattini, David O’Sullivan, etc.

- Participation at the International Training program on "Efficient Energy Use and Planning EE2015C" to be held in Sweden, organized by LIFE Academy on behalf of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

To be kept update with more activities we hardly recommend the subscribe or the periodically check the ACERC Agenda.

Then with the here message ACERC want to inform all its members that the online activity of the ACERC on the relate period are going to see a relevant reduction.

In the same time with the here message ACERC is pleasant to update about the Daily Statistics Visits at the Official Website of ACERC along the month of May 2015 shown an average share of 300 visits per day from all around the Europe and World!

Due to the core aim of ACERC work to act as a join participation and a sharing knowledge & network platform run by the interested stakeholder in the EU, Western Balkans and particularly Albania Energy Market it will welcome and highly appreciate the active participation in the Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn.

In regard, feel free to post news and information on energy market developments, events, procurement calls, partnership requests, etc., in the Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn and to share this group to your colleagues and friends.

In last, we want to highlight again that ACERC team is devoted to transform the here above online channels in an excellent platform for you to expand your related energy market skills as well as your contacts and network. Then keep following, the best is yet to come! :-)

Best wishes,

Acerc Team



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Director Kopač urges Ukrainian President to adopt energy regulator law in line with Third Package, 11 May 2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Wed, May 13, 2015 00:31:39
On 8 May, Director Kopač sent a letter to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko urging him to approve and submit to Ukraine's Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, a Law on the Energy Regulatory Authority in line with the Energy Community’s Third Energy Package.
A draft Law, which was developed by the Ukrainian regulatory authority NEURC and the Cabinet of Ministers, was reviewed and endorsed by the Secretariat and the World Bank. Besides being required for compliance with the Energy Community Treaty, the draft is also a precondition for the disbursement of a loan of $ 500 million by the World Bank.


  • Comments(0)//updates.albaniaenergy.org/#post262

Italy Caught in Ukrainian Dilemma Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 88May 11, 2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Tue, May 12, 2015 20:45:01
Italy Caught in Ukrainian Dilemma

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 88

May 11, 2015 04:39 PM Age: 8 hrs

Pressed by economic and geopolitical imperatives, Italy is trying to carve out its own diplomatic space over the crisis in Ukraine, in an apparent attempt at fostering a rapprochement between the European Union and Russia. The Russian annexation of the Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea in March 2014, as well as the Kremlin’s ensuing incitement of and involvement in the war still raging in the heavily Russophone east and south of Ukraine, prompted EU member states, along with the United States, to impose a raft of economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.

On May 6, during a meeting in Kyiv with the Ukrainian leadership, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said clearly that Rome supported Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, at the same time, he called on Ukrainian leaders to fully abide by the Minsk Protocol. The ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk was brokered in February by Germany, France and Russia to halt the conflict pitting the Ukrainian military against the Russia-backed separatist forces in the country’s eastern region of Donbas, which encompasses Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (Agi.it, May 6).

Gentiloni’s statement in the Ukrainian capital city echoed the words that Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had pronounced two days earlier at the Milan Stock Exchange: “On one hand, Russia must respect Ukraine. On the other, it is unthinkable that Europe and Russia return to the Cold War climate” (Ansa, May 4).

In his discussions with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Gentiloni added that part of the Minsk peace process was Kyiv’s obligation to grant some form of autonomy to the Donbas region. According to Rome, the Ukrainian government could look to Italy’s autonomous Alpine region of Trentino-Alto Adige, where German-speaking inhabitants are in a majority, as a model for the rebel-held territories of Donetsk and Luhansk (TASS, February 11).

Italy is eager to end the sanctions regime applied to Russia for two reasons: First, the Italian economy paid a heavy price since Washington and Brussels imposed hard economic and financial restrictions on Moscow and the Kremlin enforced a ban on imports of many foodstuffs from the US and EU in response. Second, a sanctions-free Moscow could help Rome protect its core geopolitical interests in the Mediterranean.

Russia is still the largest oil and gas supplier to Italy, but their bilateral trade turnover is shrinking considerably, while competitors from China, India and Turkey heavily buy into the Russian market. In 2013, Italy was the second-biggest European exporter to Russia, at $12.1 billion, with Germany ranking first, the Italian employers’ federation Confindustria reports. Due to sanctions, this amount dropped to $10.8 in 2014, with an expected loss of $3.4 billion in 2015 if restrictions are prolonged (Agi.it, April 27).

The Italian business community calls for avoiding the imposition of any further sanction on Moscow and for existing restrictions to be eased, if not completely lifted. For Italy’s private sector, the EU and Russia should find means other than financial and economic penalties to project their respective diplomacies.

In the opinion of some Italian leaders, a thaw in relations between the EU and Russia has the potential to serve both Italy’s security policies and Europe’s now tarnished diplomacy. For Rome, Moscow could be a valuable card to play in the current quagmire in Libya, which sees two rival governments—one in Tobruk, in the country’s east, and the other in the capital city Tripoli—claiming power.

Over the past few months, Russia has developed a close relationship with the Egyptian government that, in turn, has strong influence over the internationally recognized Libyan cabinet in Tobruk. Rome is keen to achieve a solution to the civil conflict in Libya so as to stop criminal networks smuggling African and Asian migrants into southern Italy from the Libyan shores and prevent jihadist militias linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) from advancing across the North African country.

So it should have come as no surprise that Italy downplays the importance of the much-trumpeted Sino-Russian joint naval drills in the Mediterranean. Rome believes that Moscow is a key element in stabilizing Europe’s neighbourhood, not least with regard to the civil war in Syria, negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program, or the fight against terrorist organizations (Esteri.it, May 3).

On the other hand, the Russian leadership is well-aware that the Italian government is caught between two fires, as Rome must uphold the EU-sponsored sanctions that it would rather lift. Russia’s ambassador to Italy, Sergei Razov, did not mince words when, in February, he said that restrictive measures imposed on Russia by the EU went against Italy’s national interest, and that many politicians and entrepreneurs in Italy shared his position (Sputnik News, February 9).

On the security front, early in March, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Renzi talked in Moscow of the deteriorating situation in Libya. The Russian leader urged a diplomatic solution to the crisis under the mediation of the United Nations (TASS, March 5).

Putin’s courting of Italy appears to be part of his attempt to break apart the Euro-American siege against Russia and thwart the Euro-Atlantic community’s politics toward Ukraine. Much like for cash-strapped Greece and Cyprus, the Russian president knows well that he can exert leverage on Italy’s need to revive its stagnant economy; export is just about the only component of Rome’s GDP that has been holding out against the economic crisis. And the same goes for Italy’s priority of protecting the country’s porous maritime borders between Sicily and Libya from massive immigration flows and possible infiltrations by militants.

In its effort to strike a balance between doves and hawks within the EU over the Russian intervention in Ukraine, Italy is walking a thin diplomatic line. This situation exposes Rome to inevitable criticism, such as that of Kyiv’s ambassador to Italy, Heorhiy Chernyavskyi. The Ukrainian diplomat lodged a formal note of protest to Foreign Minister Gentiloni on April 28, after an official from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development suggested that sanctions against Russia would be lifted in the near future (Ukrainska Pravda, April 29).

Veiled disapproval came also from Washington after Renzi’s modest overtures to Putin in March. But the US government is confident that ultimately, Italy, as well as the other EU countries, will stick to their commitment to extend the sanctions on Russia when they expire in June. Daniel Fried, the chief co-ordinator on sanctions at the US State Department, expressed this sentiment in early April (America24, April 7).

Paraphrasing the late Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, an honest broker is like a tightrope walker. And in trying to balance between the Kremlin and the Euro-Atlantic bloc over Ukraine, Italy increasingly looks as though it is walking on nothing but air.



  • Comments(0)//updates.albaniaenergy.org/#post261

Italy Caught in Ukrainian Dilemma Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 88May 11, 2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Tue, May 12, 2015 20:44:58
Italy Caught in Ukrainian Dilemma

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 88

May 11, 2015 04:39 PM Age: 8 hrs

Pressed by economic and geopolitical imperatives, Italy is trying to carve out its own diplomatic space over the crisis in Ukraine, in an apparent attempt at fostering a rapprochement between the European Union and Russia. The Russian annexation of the Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea in March 2014, as well as the Kremlin’s ensuing incitement of and involvement in the war still raging in the heavily Russophone east and south of Ukraine, prompted EU member states, along with the United States, to impose a raft of economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.

On May 6, during a meeting in Kyiv with the Ukrainian leadership, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said clearly that Rome supported Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, at the same time, he called on Ukrainian leaders to fully abide by the Minsk Protocol. The ceasefire agreement signed in Minsk was brokered in February by Germany, France and Russia to halt the conflict pitting the Ukrainian military against the Russia-backed separatist forces in the country’s eastern region of Donbas, which encompasses Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (Agi.it, May 6).

Gentiloni’s statement in the Ukrainian capital city echoed the words that Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had pronounced two days earlier at the Milan Stock Exchange: “On one hand, Russia must respect Ukraine. On the other, it is unthinkable that Europe and Russia return to the Cold War climate” (Ansa, May 4).

In his discussions with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Gentiloni added that part of the Minsk peace process was Kyiv’s obligation to grant some form of autonomy to the Donbas region. According to Rome, the Ukrainian government could look to Italy’s autonomous Alpine region of Trentino-Alto Adige, where German-speaking inhabitants are in a majority, as a model for the rebel-held territories of Donetsk and Luhansk (TASS, February 11).

Italy is eager to end the sanctions regime applied to Russia for two reasons: First, the Italian economy paid a heavy price since Washington and Brussels imposed hard economic and financial restrictions on Moscow and the Kremlin enforced a ban on imports of many foodstuffs from the US and EU in response. Second, a sanctions-free Moscow could help Rome protect its core geopolitical interests in the Mediterranean.

Russia is still the largest oil and gas supplier to Italy, but their bilateral trade turnover is shrinking considerably, while competitors from China, India and Turkey heavily buy into the Russian market. In 2013, Italy was the second-biggest European exporter to Russia, at $12.1 billion, with Germany ranking first, the Italian employers’ federation Confindustria reports. Due to sanctions, this amount dropped to $10.8 in 2014, with an expected loss of $3.4 billion in 2015 if restrictions are prolonged (Agi.it, April 27).

The Italian business community calls for avoiding the imposition of any further sanction on Moscow and for existing restrictions to be eased, if not completely lifted. For Italy’s private sector, the EU and Russia should find means other than financial and economic penalties to project their respective diplomacies.

In the opinion of some Italian leaders, a thaw in relations between the EU and Russia has the potential to serve both Italy’s security policies and Europe’s now tarnished diplomacy. For Rome, Moscow could be a valuable card to play in the current quagmire in Libya, which sees two rival governments—one in Tobruk, in the country’s east, and the other in the capital city Tripoli—claiming power.

Over the past few months, Russia has developed a close relationship with the Egyptian government that, in turn, has strong influence over the internationally recognized Libyan cabinet in Tobruk. Rome is keen to achieve a solution to the civil conflict in Libya so as to stop criminal networks smuggling African and Asian migrants into southern Italy from the Libyan shores and prevent jihadist militias linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) from advancing across the North African country.

So it should have come as no surprise that Italy downplays the importance of the much-trumpeted Sino-Russian joint naval drills in the Mediterranean. Rome believes that Moscow is a key element in stabilizing Europe’s neighbourhood, not least with regard to the civil war in Syria, negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program, or the fight against terrorist organizations (Esteri.it, May 3).

On the other hand, the Russian leadership is well-aware that the Italian government is caught between two fires, as Rome must uphold the EU-sponsored sanctions that it would rather lift. Russia’s ambassador to Italy, Sergei Razov, did not mince words when, in February, he said that restrictive measures imposed on Russia by the EU went against Italy’s national interest, and that many politicians and entrepreneurs in Italy shared his position (Sputnik News, February 9).

On the security front, early in March, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Renzi talked in Moscow of the deteriorating situation in Libya. The Russian leader urged a diplomatic solution to the crisis under the mediation of the United Nations (TASS, March 5).

Putin’s courting of Italy appears to be part of his attempt to break apart the Euro-American siege against Russia and thwart the Euro-Atlantic community’s politics toward Ukraine. Much like for cash-strapped Greece and Cyprus, the Russian president knows well that he can exert leverage on Italy’s need to revive its stagnant economy; export is just about the only component of Rome’s GDP that has been holding out against the economic crisis. And the same goes for Italy’s priority of protecting the country’s porous maritime borders between Sicily and Libya from massive immigration flows and possible infiltrations by militants.

In its effort to strike a balance between doves and hawks within the EU over the Russian intervention in Ukraine, Italy is walking a thin diplomatic line. This situation exposes Rome to inevitable criticism, such as that of Kyiv’s ambassador to Italy, Heorhiy Chernyavskyi. The Ukrainian diplomat lodged a formal note of protest to Foreign Minister Gentiloni on April 28, after an official from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development suggested that sanctions against Russia would be lifted in the near future (Ukrainska Pravda, April 29).

Veiled disapproval came also from Washington after Renzi’s modest overtures to Putin in March. But the US government is confident that ultimately, Italy, as well as the other EU countries, will stick to their commitment to extend the sanctions on Russia when they expire in June. Daniel Fried, the chief co-ordinator on sanctions at the US State Department, expressed this sentiment in early April (America24, April 7).

Paraphrasing the late Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, an honest broker is like a tightrope walker. And in trying to balance between the Kremlin and the Euro-Atlantic bloc over Ukraine, Italy increasingly looks as though it is walking on nothing but air.



  • Comments(0)//updates.albaniaenergy.org/#post260

Can Turkmen Gas Disrupt Gazprom’s EU Market? Published by John C. K. Daly May 8, 2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Mon, May 11, 2015 22:02:35

Ever since Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea, both European Union politicians and NATO officials have muttered darkly about the EU’s reliance on Russian energy imports, which could result in being blackmailed by Moscow.

While the EU is currently reliant on Russian energy imports, its policy that’s been decades in the making, and significant shifts currently remain far in the future. Currently About 39% of the EU’s natural gas imports are supplied by Russia’s state monopoly Gazprom, with another 33% supplied from Norway and a further 22% from North Africa. In the wake of last year’s Ukraine crisis, EU energy experts suddenly fretted that the EU’s over-dependence on Russia could expose Europe both to Kremlin threats and higher prices. According to Gazprom, in 2013 Germany, Poland and fellow NATO member Turkey were the biggest importers of Russian gas in Europe, with Russian gas imports accounting for about 44% of Germany’s annual consumption.

The dependency is not evenly shared; EU and NATO former Soviet republics Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, along with EU and NATO members Bulgaria, Slovakia as well as the EU’s Finland depend on Russia for 100 percent of their natural gas imports. EU and NATO members Greece and the Czech Republic import 70 percent of their natural gas from Russia, while EU and NATO member states Germany, and Poland along with EU member Austria depend on Russian gas for just under half of their annual usage. The EU need for natgas imports is hardly surprising, given Europe’s relative paucity of natural gas supplies; in contrast, Russia has the world’s largest natural gas reserves, estimated at 48 trillion cubic meters (tcm).

Accordingly, the European purchases of Russian gas have not only an economic dimension, but a potential military one as well, as NATO posturing since Russia’s annexation of Crimea carries the implicit threat of Russia using its “gas weapon.”

But Russia using its “nuclear option” of halting all gas exports to the EU and NATO member states is unlikely, given the critical importance of energy export revenues to its economy. In the wake of sanctions imposed last year, Russia’s weakening economy remains heavily reliant on exports of oil and natural gas, with energy accounting for roughly 70% of annual exports. The consequences of a total stoppage could be far more devastating to Russia than anyone else, and the Russian government is already forecasting that overall exports will decline by roughly 2% this year, and a gas disruption would make matters worse. Gazprom’s gas exports are worth about $66 billion a year, roughly 13% of total Russian exports of $515 billion. They also account for 5% of tax revenues.

Europe’s dependency on Russian gas is more than four decades old and predates the 1991 collapse of the USSR. Between 1970 and 1980 deliveries of Soviet gas to Western Europe increased from 3.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 26 bcm. The trade developed despite U.S. opposition partly because West European governments believed gas could be a force for peace, partnership and prosperity and the Soviet Union scrupulously adhered to its contracts, even as the country disintegrated. By 1990, the last year of the USSR’s existence, Soviet natural gas exports to Europe had risen to 109 bcm and Western Europe, with 63 bcm of imports, was the largest customer for Soviet gas. The post-Soviet Russian government of President Boris Yeltsin also honored its contracts.

Two months after the Crimean crisis erupted European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, made it clear that this vulnerability was behind EU efforts to diversify its imports, commenting, “The EU has done a lot in the aftermath of the gas crisis 2009 to increase its energy security. Yet, it remains vulnerable. The tensions over Ukraine again drove home this message. In the light of an overall energy import dependency of more than 50% we have to make further steps. Increasing energy security is in all our interest. On energy security, Europe must speak and act as one.”

The EU has now chosen its new natgas supplier – Turkmenistan. On May 1 European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic met in Ashgabat with Turkmenistan’s hydrocarbon resources agency head Yagshygeldy Kakayev, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister Baymurad Hojamukhamedov, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev to discuss potential Turkmen natural gas exports to Europe. Sefcovic said that they “discussed all aspects referring to the trans-Caspian pipeline. “We made a big step in the strategic direction. We have good mutual understanding. For Turkmenistan it is very important to diversify its export options, while for the EU it is very important to diversify its imports.”

As envisaged, Turkmenistan would construct a subsea 187-mile natural gas pipeline under the Caspian to Azerbaijan, where it would connect to the proposed Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP), which will transmit gas from Azerbaijan’s offshore Caspian Shah Deniz II field from the Turkish-Georgian border to Turkey’s frontier with Bulgaria and Greece. TANAP is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 in order to start deliveries of gas from Shah Deniz II the following year. In a burst of optimism Sefcovic said, “Between 2019 and 2020 all these pipelines from Azerbaijan to the borders of Europe – in the direction of Greece, Albania and Italy must be built. It’s everyone’s expectation that Turkmenistan and Turkmen gas will be a very important part of this cooperation.”

How much gas would Turkmenistan send westwards? Two months ago Turkmen officials said that “active” negotiations were underway to supply Europe with 10-30 bcm of gas per year, which would be in addition to the 30-35 bcm which Turkmenistan now annually exports to China.

Which brings up some interesting geopolitical questions. In 2013 Europe’s gas consumption reached 541 bcm, of which 161.5 bcm was supplied by Gazprom. Accordingly, Turkmen deliveries would replace only a small fraction of EU natural gas consumption.

Secondly, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have three Caspian neighbors – Kazakhstan, Iran and Russia. While Kazakhstan has maintained a discrete silence on the proposed Transcaspian natgas pipeline, both Russia and Iran have strongly objected to it on the basis that it could harm the Caspian frail ecology.

Aside from allaying concerns about risks to Caspian flora and fauna, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will also somehow have to resolve questions about sovereignty of Caspian waters and seabed, something that has eluded the “Caspian Five” since 1991. Building pipelines across disputed territory will prove a major impediment to raising investment.

Last but not least, further east, it remains to be seen how Turkmenistan’s largest customer, China, will react to seeing future Turkmen production siphoned westwards instead of to China. Given the volume of cash in hand Chinese purchases of Turkmen gas exports, it remains to be seen how Beijing will react, but the sure scope of its imports will give it considerable clout in Ashgabat.

The EU seems to be betting that its economic concerns will trump any collateral political issues raised by its policies. Russia remains in a strong position to play spoiler of EU energy independence reveries, from simply shutting off the taps to blocking a definitive division of the Caspian. A more prudent policy for Brussels to ensure energy security might be to repair its relations with Russia, but at the moment, the chimera of energy independence is overwhelming political realpolitik.



  • Comments(0)//updates.albaniaenergy.org/#post259

Can Turkmen Gas Disrupt Gazprom’s EU Market? Published by John C. K. Daly May 8, 2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Mon, May 11, 2015 22:02:34

Ever since Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea, both European Union politicians and NATO officials have muttered darkly about the EU’s reliance on Russian energy imports, which could result in being blackmailed by Moscow.

While the EU is currently reliant on Russian energy imports, its policy that’s been decades in the making, and significant shifts currently remain far in the future. Currently About 39% of the EU’s natural gas imports are supplied by Russia’s state monopoly Gazprom, with another 33% supplied from Norway and a further 22% from North Africa. In the wake of last year’s Ukraine crisis, EU energy experts suddenly fretted that the EU’s over-dependence on Russia could expose Europe both to Kremlin threats and higher prices. According to Gazprom, in 2013 Germany, Poland and fellow NATO member Turkey were the biggest importers of Russian gas in Europe, with Russian gas imports accounting for about 44% of Germany’s annual consumption.

The dependency is not evenly shared; EU and NATO former Soviet republics Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, along with EU and NATO members Bulgaria, Slovakia as well as the EU’s Finland depend on Russia for 100 percent of their natural gas imports. EU and NATO members Greece and the Czech Republic import 70 percent of their natural gas from Russia, while EU and NATO member states Germany, and Poland along with EU member Austria depend on Russian gas for just under half of their annual usage. The EU need for natgas imports is hardly surprising, given Europe’s relative paucity of natural gas supplies; in contrast, Russia has the world’s largest natural gas reserves, estimated at 48 trillion cubic meters (tcm).

Accordingly, the European purchases of Russian gas have not only an economic dimension, but a potential military one as well, as NATO posturing since Russia’s annexation of Crimea carries the implicit threat of Russia using its “gas weapon.”

But Russia using its “nuclear option” of halting all gas exports to the EU and NATO member states is unlikely, given the critical importance of energy export revenues to its economy. In the wake of sanctions imposed last year, Russia’s weakening economy remains heavily reliant on exports of oil and natural gas, with energy accounting for roughly 70% of annual exports. The consequences of a total stoppage could be far more devastating to Russia than anyone else, and the Russian government is already forecasting that overall exports will decline by roughly 2% this year, and a gas disruption would make matters worse. Gazprom’s gas exports are worth about $66 billion a year, roughly 13% of total Russian exports of $515 billion. They also account for 5% of tax revenues.

Europe’s dependency on Russian gas is more than four decades old and predates the 1991 collapse of the USSR. Between 1970 and 1980 deliveries of Soviet gas to Western Europe increased from 3.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 26 bcm. The trade developed despite U.S. opposition partly because West European governments believed gas could be a force for peace, partnership and prosperity and the Soviet Union scrupulously adhered to its contracts, even as the country disintegrated. By 1990, the last year of the USSR’s existence, Soviet natural gas exports to Europe had risen to 109 bcm and Western Europe, with 63 bcm of imports, was the largest customer for Soviet gas. The post-Soviet Russian government of President Boris Yeltsin also honored its contracts.

Two months after the Crimean crisis erupted European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, made it clear that this vulnerability was behind EU efforts to diversify its imports, commenting, “The EU has done a lot in the aftermath of the gas crisis 2009 to increase its energy security. Yet, it remains vulnerable. The tensions over Ukraine again drove home this message. In the light of an overall energy import dependency of more than 50% we have to make further steps. Increasing energy security is in all our interest. On energy security, Europe must speak and act as one.”

The EU has now chosen its new natgas supplier – Turkmenistan. On May 1 European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic met in Ashgabat with Turkmenistan’s hydrocarbon resources agency head Yagshygeldy Kakayev, Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister Baymurad Hojamukhamedov, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev to discuss potential Turkmen natural gas exports to Europe. Sefcovic said that they “discussed all aspects referring to the trans-Caspian pipeline. “We made a big step in the strategic direction. We have good mutual understanding. For Turkmenistan it is very important to diversify its export options, while for the EU it is very important to diversify its imports.”

As envisaged, Turkmenistan would construct a subsea 187-mile natural gas pipeline under the Caspian to Azerbaijan, where it would connect to the proposed Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP), which will transmit gas from Azerbaijan’s offshore Caspian Shah Deniz II field from the Turkish-Georgian border to Turkey’s frontier with Bulgaria and Greece. TANAP is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 in order to start deliveries of gas from Shah Deniz II the following year. In a burst of optimism Sefcovic said, “Between 2019 and 2020 all these pipelines from Azerbaijan to the borders of Europe – in the direction of Greece, Albania and Italy must be built. It’s everyone’s expectation that Turkmenistan and Turkmen gas will be a very important part of this cooperation.”

How much gas would Turkmenistan send westwards? Two months ago Turkmen officials said that “active” negotiations were underway to supply Europe with 10-30 bcm of gas per year, which would be in addition to the 30-35 bcm which Turkmenistan now annually exports to China.

Which brings up some interesting geopolitical questions. In 2013 Europe’s gas consumption reached 541 bcm, of which 161.5 bcm was supplied by Gazprom. Accordingly, Turkmen deliveries would replace only a small fraction of EU natural gas consumption.

Secondly, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have three Caspian neighbors – Kazakhstan, Iran and Russia. While Kazakhstan has maintained a discrete silence on the proposed Transcaspian natgas pipeline, both Russia and Iran have strongly objected to it on the basis that it could harm the Caspian frail ecology.

Aside from allaying concerns about risks to Caspian flora and fauna, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will also somehow have to resolve questions about sovereignty of Caspian waters and seabed, something that has eluded the “Caspian Five” since 1991. Building pipelines across disputed territory will prove a major impediment to raising investment.

Last but not least, further east, it remains to be seen how Turkmenistan’s largest customer, China, will react to seeing future Turkmen production siphoned westwards instead of to China. Given the volume of cash in hand Chinese purchases of Turkmen gas exports, it remains to be seen how Beijing will react, but the sure scope of its imports will give it considerable clout in Ashgabat.

The EU seems to be betting that its economic concerns will trump any collateral political issues raised by its policies. Russia remains in a strong position to play spoiler of EU energy independence reveries, from simply shutting off the taps to blocking a definitive division of the Caspian. A more prudent policy for Brussels to ensure energy security might be to repair its relations with Russia, but at the moment, the chimera of energy independence is overwhelming political realpolitik.



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Albania Energy Market (AEM) Group in FB reached 2,000 members ACERC Press Release on 10 May 2015

AEM Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sun, May 10, 2015 12:30:36

Congratulations! We've got 2,000 members in Albania Energy Market (AEM) Group in FB


Dear Members,

Thanking for the attention and all the consideration reserved during all this long period we want to inform that here group Albania Energy Market (AEM) have reached above 2,000 members. However, the result is not enough and we need more so you could invite your colleagues and friends to join our discussions and improve our facility.

AEM Group in FB is part of the Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC. ACERC is a research and advisory institute, focused on the 8th regional area of the IEM and particularly the Western Balkans and Albania. Our think tank practices comprise specialize legal support, strategic business counsel as well as research project development and management.

ACERC services based on in-depth knowledge of EU and Regional Energy Law and Policy and strive toward an effective liberalisation and integration of the energy markets as well as the promotion the efficient uses of energy resources. For more visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn.

The project is going under the direction of the Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD, that is also committed as the overall Developer Director and Legal Energy Market Advisor at the ACERC. For more find at the Official Website of ACERC | Lorenc Gordani in LinkedIn.

Main areas of the expertise of author covers the academic didactics, the applied research and legal strategic expertise in the EU energy law and policy for industry, government, international institution and interest groups with particular focus on the market design and related policy issues, concerning the promotion of a sustainable integration of energy market in the WBs.

More about personal professional developments can be find at the Public Profile in Facebook or the personal profile Lorenc Gordani in Twitter.

Thanking for all the attention it is looking forward for any further communication.

Developer Director

Dr. Lorenc Gordani

Ps. Please note that if you don’t want to receive group announcements, you are free to unsubscribe from group settings.





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