Global Spotlight Report #26: Country Energy Sector Reform Efforts

Introduction

For Global Spotlight Report #26, Climate Scorecard asked our Country Managers to describe the major energy sector reforms/changes that their countries had undertaken since 2015. Special attention was paid to changes in energy sources, the decrease or increase in fossil fuel sources of energy, the increase in renewables, and the use of nuclear power. Country Managers were also asked to analyze the impact that their country’s energy sector reforms/changes have had (or hope to have moving forward) on their country’s overall level of energy production and consumption, overall emissions levels and the cost of energy.

The titles below highlight the most significant energy reform issue affecting each of the countries we follow. Details regarding the status of each country’s effort are provided in the Country Spotlight Reports that follow.

Ron Israel
Director
Climate Scorecard
www.climatescorecard.org


Country Reports

Australia States Waiting for Federal Go-Ahead to Transform Their Energy Grid

Since the Paris Agreement was signed in December 2015 the Australian energy sector has been trending away from fossil fuels. Electricity generation from fossil fuel sources has declined and has been replaced almost exclusively by wind and solar power. Decommissioned coal power stations have not been replaced with new coal or gas: instead, there is…

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Brazil: One of the Least Carbon-Intensive in the World, but Still Expanding Oil and Gas Production

Brazil is the seventh biggest consumer of energy in the world and the biggest in Latin America. The country is also a major producer of oil and natural gas and the second-biggest ethanol producer in the world. Given that, it is very significant to point out that Brazil’s energy policies measure up well against the…

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Canada’s Energy Sector Reform is Making Progress

The National Energy Board (Canada’s Energy Regulator) advises Canadians that we are in an energy transition period driven not only by technological, economic, and political factors but for the first time primarily by environmental factors based on changing social values—the drive to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) or decarbonization.  Although Canada generates only 1.6%…

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Mixed Results from China’s Energy Reform Efforts

Several policy documents laying out plans for an energy sector reform have been issued since 2014. Among them are China’s National Climate Plan, China’s Nationally Determined Contributions and the 13th 5-Year Plan on Energy Reform (13th Energy FYP). They will all have to stand scrutiny as to their target achievement by the end of 2020….

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The EU Has Adopted a New Energy Strategy

To facilitate its transition away from fossil fuels towards clean energy and to deliver on the European Union’s commitments to the Paris Agreement, the EU embarked in 2019 on a comprehensive update of its energy policy framework. This new energy rulebook – known as the Clean Energy for All Europeans package – marks a significant…

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France Aims at Clearing its Electricity Production of Fossil Fuels

The French energy sector has since the 1970s been dominated by nuclear energy, and in the 2010s nuclear has provided at most over 75% of the country’s electricity. Because of this internationally exceptional feature, France is relatively advanced in transitioning away from fossil fuels. Its CO2 emissions per capita are less than 59% of the…

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Germany Puts Forward New Climate and Energy Plans that Support Decarbonization

Unlike other countries, Germany has been trying to phase out nuclear power (by 2022) since the Fukushima incident in Japan and is now intending to phase out coal by 2038, at the latest. As reported in previous Climate Scorecard posts, the phasing out of nuclear power led to a sudden increase in coal consumption; but…

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India Takes Steps to Reform its Power Sector but Still Heavily Relies on Coal

India is the world’s third-largest producer and third-largest consumer of electricity. With more than 400 million people lifted above the poverty line over the last decade, there has been a consistent rise in demand for power consumption across the nation’s rural, urban and semi-urban areas, necessitating far-reaching changes in India’s power sector.  The national electric grid in India over the years has come to…

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Indonesia’s Efforts at Energy Sector Do Not Go Far Enough

The most major change to Indonesia’s energy policy was Government Regulation #49 setting targets for the energy mix by 2030. These energy mix targets are: 30% coal, 22% oil, 23% renewables and 25% natural gas. By 2050, the targets are 25% coal, 20% oil, 31% renewables and 20% natural gas. The current target for 2025…

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Italy Remains Dependent on Fossil Fuel Imports While the Use of Renewables Grows Slowly

Primary energy supply sources The primary energy supply for Italy over the time period 1990-2018 is derived from the following sources: In recent years Italy introduced measures to address some near-term energy transition goals (coal to gas). Development in the gas sector has been slow, as the graph above shows no major change-over-time. Nevertheless, one…

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Japan is Moving Too Slowly in Efforts to Decarbonize the Energy Sector

In 2019, energy-related CO2 accounted for approximately 90% of Japan’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under the Paris Agreement, Japan has committed itself to a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of reduction in GHG emissions compared to 2013 – 26% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. Eventually, it hopes to achieve net-zero emissions “as early as…

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Mexican Administration Plans to Revamp the Oil industry and Prioritize Modernizing Existing Power Plants

In 2013, through a controversial proposal Mexican Congress debated and then approved a Constitutional Reform that allowed private and foreign investment across the energy value chain for the first time in 75 years. The Energy Reform as it was known, aimed at boosting energy production and transforming the oil and gas industry. Later in August…

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Nigeria’s Transitional Electricity Market Needs Implementation

Nigeria’s major energy sources, for now, remain wood, coal, oil, gas, tar sands, and hydropower. In January 2015, the government established a Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) without a detailed plan for implementing it. New regulations were approved to (a) promote investments in renewable energy sources and (b) generate at least 2,000 MW of renewable resource-based…

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Russia Needs a New Strategy for Its Energy Sector

At present, there is not much to report on energy sector reform in the Russian Federation. It would be useful to understand the reasons for this inaction when action is most needed. A recent paper published by Tatiana Mitrova and Yury Melnikov[1] (2019) on energy transition in Russia provides the necessary insight: “Russia, ranking fourth…

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The Saudi Arabian Energy Sector Remains Tied to Fossil Fuel

Saudi Arabia’s current energy production is close to 26.3 GW, 40% of which comes from oil, 52% from natural gas, and 8% powered from the byproduct of steam from desalination plants. Energy from renewable and nuclear sources currently sits at virtually 0% of energy production, although there are signs that this is changing. In 2016,…

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A State Energy Monopoly Utility Blocks Progress to Renewables in South Africa

The South African electricity supply industry remains dominated by the state-owned and vertically integrated utility, Eskom. Coal is the major driver of the energy sector in the country. Although coal is the utility’s primary energy source in South Africa, the use of renewable sources for electricity generation has increased in the last few years. As…

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South Korea’s Most Recent Energy Plan Focuses on Energy Conversion

Since the establishment of South Korea’s new climate system in 2015, the direction of the government’s energy policy has been to achieve the twin goals of “Nuclear Phase-out” and “Fossil Fuel Phase-out.” The country seeks to foster eco-friendly future energy to promote de-fossilization. Also, achieving nuclear phase-out in a way that stops the extension of…

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A Five-Year Span of Energy Sector Reforms Favorable for Spain

In 2018, Spain underwent a major energy reform, focusing in large part on the renewables sector, something Spain is very proud of and also something that Climate Scorecard often mentions in their Spanish country posts (see here and here). In early 2019, further energy reform was paused while Prime Minister Sanchez was having trouble putting…

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Turkey’s Energy Sector Continues to Rely on Conventional Power Sources

Turkey’s demand for energy and natural resources is increasing day by day due to economic growth and population growth. Turkey shows the highest annual growth rate among OECD countries. Reliance on imports accounts for 3 out of 4 units of Turkey’s total primary energy supply. Unquestionably, Turkey’s top policy priority has been to secure its…

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Wind Energy Sector Likely to Benefit from Thailand’s New Power Development Plan (PDP)

During 2019, installations of new wind turbines in Thailand were at 322 MW, bringing the total wind power capacity to 1,532 MW. The 1,532 MW total wind power capacity “is half of the 3 GW target set by the Thailand government for 2036”. Furthermore, the 3 GW target for wind energy was set under Thailand’s…

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Ukraine Passes New Energy Reform Legislation That Needs Implementation

In the past 5 years, Ukraine has adopted a slew of laws in keeping with its commitments to European integration and becoming closer to the EU energy market. At the same time, the country has had some considerable difficulties in the implementation of this new legislation. Energy efficiency Laws “On the Energy Efficiency of Buildings”,…

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2012 Electricity Market Law Still Having A Major Impact in the UK

The Key Energy Market Reform in the UK occurred in 2012 with the Electricity Market Reform, composed of two major parts. First, it ensured a capacity market for electricity. This promotes investment in low-carbon energy supplies to ensure future energy demand can be met when renewable energy supply is low. Second, there was the creation…

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Energy Sector Reform in the US Means Make Coal Great Again

In order to comply with the Paris Agreement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama passed the Clean Power Plan, a standard that used the Clean Air Act to require carbon emissions from the power sector to fall 32% by 2030, relative to 2005 levels. The plan did not regulate individual power plants directly,…

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