Latham & Watkins LLP
Our fifth year of writing and publishing The Energy Regulation and Markets Review has been marked by significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), important infrastructure development needs and continued low oil and gas prices. We have also seen divergent positions on existing and future nuclear power generation, and further liberalisation of the energy sector.
With respect to climate change efforts, 177 countries signed the Paris Agreement and 17 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement, which will enter into force after at least 55 countries representing at least 55 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions ratify the Agreement. Even prior to the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement, we are seeing significant carbon reduction efforts, such as increased development of renewable resources, as well as energy efficiency and demand reduction measures.
For many countries, reliable energy supply is the key concern, regardless of fuel source. Coal still plays a dominant role in meeting energy supply for Poland, India, Turkey and China. Indonesia’s primary challenge remains to reach its goal of 90 per cent electrification by 2020. The primary concern for India’s energy sector remains the challenge of providing reliable, uninterruptible electricity to its population and India has begun to employ a variety of creative measures (including a transitional state financing programme) to allow distribution companies to expend greater resources on investment in procurement and infrastructure over the next five years.
Low oil and gas prices continue to have adverse impacts for the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Angola and Nigeria. Exploration and production activity has slowed in the United States because of current oil and gas prices, and low gas prices have led to increases in coal plant retirements.
I would like to thank all the authors for their thoughtful consideration of the myriad of interesting, yet challenging, issues that they have identified in their chapters in this fifth edition of The Energy Regulation and Markets Review.