Hertie School of Governance; Berlin, Germany
Masters of International Affairs Program

Problems of European Energy
Technology, Markets & Policy

Course GRAD-P1042 - Spring 2019 (Feb-May)
Wednesday - 16:00-20:00 - Room 2.32

Instructor: Dr. Thomas W. O'Donnell
E-mail: twod@umich.edu | TomOD.com | GlobalBarrel.com


Students only

Final Presentations

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Page visits: Since June 2016. Previous 826.

Student Research Groups:

  • China's Belt & Road in Central Asia & Caspian - Client: Eclareon, Berlin
    Online Student Research Logbook and Project description

  • Proposed Turkmen-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline (TAPI) - Client: German Federal Foreign Office
    Online Student Research Logbook and Project description

  • Nord Stream 2 Pipeline - Client: Center for Eastern Studies (OSW), Warsaw
    Online Student Research Logbook and Project description

  • Course Descripton:
    We consider problems of national energy policy in selected European and Eurasian states. Ideally, three student-research teams of five-to-six students each will work on a problem of energy policy presented by one of three outside "clients" that "contract" for research/policy deliverables. These three are expected to be (details still being determined):
    Put something more exciting here.
    1. German-E.U. Energy Policy;
      - Client: Center for Eastern Studies [OSW], Warsaw, with a Senior Fellow for Energy Policy.
    2. Proposed Tajikistan-to-India Gas Export Pipeline Project;
      - Client: German Federal Foreign Office;
    3. Caspian Energy Policy & China's Belt and Road;
      - Client: A major Berlin-based renewables consultancy, with the Director of Research
    CHALLENGES: To formulate energy policy, professionals must assess information from many sub-sectors where they are not expert, and find/weigh expert advice. So too, a country's specific social, economic, political, ideological and historical constraints, and its market externalities must be considered, including its geopolitical realities.

    ISSUES: Typically, these include climate-change mitigation, increasing EU dependence on natural gas and on Russian imports; EU transport dependence on oil (ca. 94%); energy populism and excessive .technological optimism./futurism v. data-driven and scientific assessments; high EU energy prices and volatility and their impacts on competitiveness and citizens; institutional incapacities, corruption, resource nationalism; geostrategy and conflicts, etc.

    1. About one-third of class time entails discussing overall readings and professor.s presentations; then group. consultations with the instructor (viz., directed research) and group work. Office-hours consults in off-weeks may be important.
    2. Groups use electronic collaboration, a research .notebook., as is common in natural- and social-science collaborations. Here a group-blog site suffices for ongoing archiving and sharing of sources and data, strategy, division of tasks, analysis, etc. This is accessible to the professor and perhaps client, to comment and contribute.
    3. As work matures, the instructor may recommend experts to call/write to answer questions or interview. Consulting experts/practitioners is important as many questions cannot be decided realistically from written sources alone.