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Even a nuclear disaster like Fukushima cannot wipe out nuclear reactors from the world. Accidents, proliferation, social unease and high capital costs, all indicate that nuclear energy cannot grow fast, though in general, this is the case with almost all energy technologies that mature and succeed each other over many decades. Eventually, nuclear will play a larger role in electricity generation, but it will get there slowly.
The recent run-up in oil price and other energy products between 2003 and 2008, and then their subsequent steep collapse within a few months, to many economists appears to be a huge bubble that was meant to burst (Eckaus, 2008).
Risk, be it financial, political or military, is and has been inherent within the oil industries' activities. The oil majors have learnt this the hard way through numerous cases where they experienced these risks materialising, eliminating the value of their investments in the process. Nevertheless, as in most industries, the risks are justified by the benefits and in the case of big oil & gas, experience shows that the benefits are high.
The European Commission recently marked as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) the pipeline that will link the Greek and Cypriot deposits (East Med Pipeline), lifting the hopes of both Athens and Nicosia about the possibilities of seeing this project materialising.
The project seeks the construction a pipeline connecting the Leviathan field offshore Israel, to Cyprus and the eastern part of the Island of Crete in Greece. In order to connect the supply of this pipeline to the EU market alternate routes were discussed, including connections from Crete to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) and the Revythousa LNG terminal close to Athens.
Air pollution is one of the most challenging environmental issues; it is global, long term, and its mitigation will involve major social and technological choices. Air pollution causes damages and imposes risks on human beings and ecosystems. In the European Union (EU) only for the year 2010, annual premature mortalities due to poor air quality amounted to over 400,000.
As discussed in the recent international conference organised in Athens by the Research Centre for Energy Management at ESCP Europe Business School and the Greek Energy Forum, the European Union, through its 2030 Energy Targets, has provided with a blue print of its vision of the energy industry. It does so by defining its development and activities within the EU territories over the next 15 years, and beyond.
Issues such as those of security of supply, energy efficiency, carbon emissions, renewables and many others are covered in different depths and levels of clarity within these Targets. Targets, whose importance has been highlighted by the recent geopolitical developments and the market dynamics of the energy industry.
Amid the hard times Greece is going through, the assertion that it is turning into an important regional player in the natural gas scene is not an exaggeration. Its geostrategic location on the map offers a number of advantages, which can translate to an economic competitive advantage, as well as to an upgrade of its geopolitical role in South-East Europe.
Firstly, Greece's role in the international chessboard of pipelines becomes critical. The selection of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the avenue for EU's Southern Energy Corridor, as well as the pending project for the Greece-Italy Poseidon (IGI) pipeline with the participation of DEPA, is decisive; not only will it support local economies during the construction phase, but also 'locks' this particular route through Greece as the main entrance hub of Azeri gas to Europe.