IAGS logo Energy Security
Prepared by the
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security

May 24, 2004
Contact IAGS: info@iags.org
To subscribe, send a blank email to subscribe@iags.org
To unsubscribe, send a blank email to unsubscribe@iags.org

China and US should set up a strategic dialogue on energy issues
Interview with Dr. Gal Luft of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, originally published by 21st Century Business Herald in Chinese.

A crude threat
The terrorist campaign against Iraq's pipelines demonstrates that pipeline attacks are no longer a tactic but part of a sustained, orchestrated effort that can deliver a significant strategic gain. They can also cause significant damage to the global oil market.
Next in line to emulate the insurgents in Iraq could well be Islamist terrorist groups operating in Central Asia, among them Chechen separatists and the Islamic Party of Liberation, a group that seeks to carry out a holy war against the West and is a suspect in the recent wave of deadly attacks in Uzbekistan.

Chilly response to U.S. plan to deploy forces in the Strait of Malacca
Whether something is profoundly wrong in the dialogue between the U.S. and the two Asian powers is an important question in itself, but the real issue is what is the best mechanism to secure the world's most important shipping corridor, through which one quarter of world trade and half of the world's oil and two thirds of liquefied natural gas move each day.

Highlights from the Department of Energy’s International Energy Outlook 2004-2025

North Sea oil is declining
Since the 1970s North Sea oil has not only been a major source of wealth for both the British and Norwegian economies but also a way for Europe to cut its dependence on Middle East oil. Now many of the major fields in the North Sea are in decline and the North Sea is about to lose its prominent role as one of the world's leading oil domains.

Terror's Big Prize
Since September 11, pipelines, tankers, refineries and oil terminals have been attacked frequently. Except for a sharp increase in maritime insurance premiums in these regions these attacks had marginal strategic consequences. But in at least two cases oil terrorism could have rattled the world.

Libya: changing its spots?
Libyan crude oil is particularly attractive due to its very low sulphur content, which requires much less refining than higher sulphur oil. It is extremely high quality crude, whose characteristics are not easily found elsewhere. Despite its unique treasure, Libya's production capacity is relatively small, standing on 1.5 mbd of crude, or 2% of world supplies.
Since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing Libya had been under U.S. and UN sanctions which hindered its ability to generate enough investment to develop its oil sector. Libya's decision to embark on a rapprochement with the U.S came at unsurprisingly perfect timing, just as concessions for major U.S. oil companies were about to expire.

On the technology front

Biomass-to-Ethanol Progress
The enzyme costs of converting cellulosic biomass into sugars for fuel ethanol production have been reduced approximately twenty-fold with technology developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Denmark based Novozymes, biotech-based leader in enzymes and microorganisms.

EU study: Methanol from biomass - competitive with gasoline
A study of a new patented Swedish technology concluded that the alchohol fuel methanol can be produced from biomass via black liquor gasification at a cost competitive with that of gasoline and diesel.

IAGS is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. IAGS is not beholden to any industry or political group. We depend on you for support. If you think what we are doing is worthwhile, please Support IAGS. All contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Property of The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security © 2003. All rights reserved.

Back Issues

Fuel Cell power plant installed at NJ College

FuelCell Energy, Inc. and its U.S. distribution partner, PPL Energy Plus, which controls about 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, announced the installation of a Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant at Ocean County Community College (OCC), a public, two-year community college in Toms River, New Jersey.

The DFC300A power plant will provide 250 kilowatts of electric power as well as heat, to several buildings on the campus. The fuel cell will supply about 90 percent of the daily power requirements for three buildings. It also will supply 20 percent of the heating for the college's central heating loop of six buildings. The college estimates saving approximately $60,000 in annual energy costs by generating electricity on-site and recovering waste heat from the fuel cell.

"PPL and Ocean County College are at the forefront of recognizing that Direct FuelCell power plants can play and important role in meeting the energy needs of universities and schools," said Herbert T. Nock, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales of FuelCell Energy. "By locating the fuel cell next to the building, OCC is able to maximize the efficiency of the power plant by using both the electric power and the heat energy output. The clean and quiet nature of the fuel cell makes it possible to put the power plant at the customer's site."

Fuel cells generate electricity with no combustion. They are, in effect, like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as a source of hydrogen, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the gas is not burned, there is no pollution commonly associated with combustion. Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and wastewater treatment gas, FuelCell Energy power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure.

Michael E. Kroboth, president- PPL Energy Services Holdings noted, "Today's ceremony marks PPL's fifth customer installation of DFC power plants in the last 12 months."

PPL also has installed a fuel cell at the Coast Guard Station in Cape Cod, Mass.; the Sheraton Parsippany and Sheraton Edison hotels, both in New Jersey; and two fuel cells at Zoot Enterprises in Bozeman, Mont. Later this year, PPL will install a DFC300A power plant at the Sheraton New York Towers in Manhattan.

Also see:
Caterpillar and FuelCell Energy Announce Largest Fuel Cell Power Plant Installation in Illinois
Fuel cell power plant installed at NJ Sheraton Top