Energy Consumers and Suppliers Need to Work Together
The experts expect changes in the world energy market, and Russia and Japan can collaborate to develop a concept for energy security in the Asian region. Nobuo Tanaka, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, recently delivered a lecture at the HSE.
Energy security is one of the key problems reflected in the development strategies of the world’s leading countries. Russia, as a major exporter, and Japan, as a major importer, are on different ‘poles’ of the world energy market, but both countries have many overlapping interests. One of the most important issues is energy security. Almost all the countries tend to diversify energy sources and supply options.
The EU countries are trying to reduce their dependency on Russian gas. At the same time Europe is trying to incorporate the hydrocarbon-rich countries of North Africa into a common energy system. The EU is subsidizing alternative energy, which is still much too expensive, and reducing the number of its nuclear power plants. Japan is currently unable to reject the use of nuclear power energy due to the lack of natural energy resources. But after the ‘Fukushima’ tragedy the situation changed dramatically, and now it is rather difficult for the government to justify investments in nuclear power plant construction. Prices for imported gas turned out to be another problem for Japan.
Nevertheless, the situation on the gas market is going to change, and these changes concern Russia as well. Shale gas development in the USA has made that country the world’s leading gas exporter. China is also planning to develop shale gas, and Russia may lose its influence in the market.
According to Tanaka, Russia and Japan have several territorial contentions, but the countries should put those issues aside and think positively and strategically to try to solve the problem of energy security. That is a sphere in which the major consumers and suppliers need to work together.
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