The energyscee.com blog aims to provide a grounded perspective on the energy sector in Central Eastern and Southeast Europe. Michael LaBelle critically analyzes (sometimes with humor) the every day events affecting Hungary, the Southern Gas Corridor, the shale gas ‘revolution’, and the transition to a sustainable energy system, while emphasizing deeper processes involving security of supply, strategy, innovation and governance.
Dr. LaBelle is an assistant professor at the Central European University Business School and in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy in Budapest Hungary. He teaches courses on sustainability and energy policy. His opinions expressed here are solely his own.
Dr. LaBelle has conducted a range of energy research projects in the Central Eastern European region as well as the United States. These include understanding the role of governance and regulations involved in the transition towards liberalized and sustainable energy markets. He has worked on projects for USAID, the European Commission and the Energy Regulators Regional Association. In addition, he has written peer reviewed articles and consulting publications on the strategic movement of energy firms and the regulatory environment in the CEE region. Before joining CEU Dr. LaBelle worked as an independent consultant, for his company Limax Energy, his clients and partners include international organizations, consulting firms and universities. He held the position of Research Associate at the Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research at Corvinus University from 2005 to 2009. He has a PhD and MSc in Geographical Sciences from the University of Bristol.
Any questions or comments please send an email to michael.labelle (at) energyscee.com
Michael Carnegie LaBelle
Extensive experience researching energy security of supply and international political-economic issues. Current research is focused on innovation in energy technologies, state policies and the transition to a low carbon economy, including shale gas in Europe. Dr. LaBelle has experience communicating insight to academics, students, senior managers, government officials and media.
Ph.D. in Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, United Kingdom 2001 – 2006
Dissertation: Powering the Deregulation of Electricity: The (Re)Organization of Space and Scale through Neoliberal Regulations. Examines energy deregulation in the US at different levels of government, impetus for competition and strategic response of energy companies.
M.Sc. in Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, United Kingdom 2000 – 2002 Thesis: The Divorce of the Hungarian Nation from its Territory: globalization and regionalization in East Central Europe. Hungarian state policies towards Hungarian Diaspora.
B.A. in Geography & International Studies honors, University of Minnesota 1996 -1998
Studied International Relations, Michigan State University 1995 – 1996
Certificate in International Relations, Umeå University, Sweden 1/1994 – 5/1994
A.A. in Journalism, Northwestern Michigan College 1992 – 1995
8/2012 – present, Assistant Professor, Central European University Business School and CEU Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Budapest, Hungary
2/2012 – 7/2012, Program Developer and Researcher in Innovation, Sustainability and Energy, Central European University Business School, Budapest, Hungary
4/2011 – 2/2012 Research Project Manager, Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Develop and organize research projects. Oversee budget and coordinate with university administration. Conduct research.
1/2010 – 2012 Independent Consultant, Limax Energy, Budapest, Hungary
Consultant on energy policy, regulation and investment in Europe. Organize consortia for international projects. Cooperate with international organizations and large energy consulting firms.
5/2005 – 12/2009 Research Associate, Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK), Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Analyze energy policy and regulations, proposal writing and project coordination. Working with clients and consortium partners including business development tasks.
11/2010 – 4/2011 Consultant, Energy Regulators Regional Association 10-Year Anniversary Publication, Energy Regulators Regional Association (ERRA). All CEE/SEE, CIS and selected Middle East countries. Authored book examining regulatory knowledge transfer and assessment of association’s activities. Conduct interviews, develop and analyze survey data.
11/2010 – 4/2011 Researcher, European Southern Corridor Survey, Limax Energy Consulting, conducted an online survey of energy professionals to assess the perspectives and motivations of various pipeline projects and security of supply impact.
10/2008 – 10/2011 Researcher, Pathways for Carbon Transitions, European Commission. European Union. Responsible for creating risk governance assessment for implementing low carbon technologies. Conducting stakeholder interviews and providing input to modeling exercise.
5/2008 – 2/2009 Consultant, Electricity Post-Privatization: Initial Lessons Learned in South East Europe, United States Agency for International Development and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania. Arranged 27 in-country interviews to identify problematic issues experienced after privatization. Recommended ways to mitigate problems in future privatizations.
4/2008 – 7/2008 Consultant and project leader, Market Modelling and Market Analysis of Hungary and Romania, private client. Analyzed regulations, legislations and generation markets. Coordinated report development with main contractor and REKK staff.
10/2007 – 12/2007 Consultant, Southeast European Market Monitoring Project, United States Agency for International Development and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia. Identified barriers to electricity cross border trade. Conducted interviews and provided recommendations to reduce barriers. Presented results to meeting of national TSOs, regulators and international institutions.
1/2007 – 10/2007 Co-coordinator and Researcher, Study on the Impact of the 2004 Enlargement on the European Union in the area of Energy, European Commission. Analyzed mergers and acquisitions including examining utility strategies in new member states. Developed methodology to assess regulatory independence and regulatory risk.
6/2005 – 9/2006 Researcher, Central Eastern European Energy Market Project, Hungarian energy companies. Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Identified energy market barriers in CEE region through questionnaire and interviews.
LaBelle, Michael, and Horwitch, Mel (2013), the Breakout of Energy Innovation, in “Handbook of Global Energy Policy” editor Andreas Goldthau, Wiley Blackwell Publishers.
- LaBelle, M. Citizens’ petitions on shale gas extraction in Bulgaria and Poland,Committee on Petitions, European Parliament, Directorate General for Internal Policies Policy Department C: Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs Brussels, October 9, 2012 |Poland and Bulgaria petitions report FINAL_2012-10-11
- LaBelle, M. (2012) “Constructing Post-Carbon Institutions: Assessing EU carbon reduction efforts through an institutional risk governance approach” Energy Policy, no. 40: 390-403.
- Pachauri, Shonali, Diana Urge-Vorsatz, and Michael LaBelle (2012) “Synergies between Energy Efficiency and Energy Access Policies and Strategies.” Global Policy
- LaBelle, M. (2011) Celebrating 10 Years: Assessing a decade of regulatory cooperation, Energy Regulators Regional Association, Budapest
- Jankauskas, V., LaBelle, M. (2009) Comparison of Electricity Distribution Privatization in Bulgaria, Romania and Lithuania, Energetika, 55, 2, p 101-106
- LaBelle, M. (2009) Expanding Opportunities: Strategic Buying of Utilities in new EU Member States, Energy Policy, 37, 11, p 4672-4678
- LaBelle, M., Jankauskas, V. (2009) Electricity Post-Privatization: Initial Lessons Learned in South East Europe, report for United States Agency for International Development and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research, Budapest
- LaBelle, M. and Kaderják, P. (2008) eds., Impact of the 2004 Enlargement on the EU Energy Sector, Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research, Budapest
- Kaderják, P., Kiss, A., Kovács, A., LaBelle, M., and Szolnoki, P. (Sept 2007), ed. M. LaBelle, INOGATE Training Booklet, European Commission, Brussels
- LaBelle, M. April 2007, Interview, ‘Independence of regulators is the most important issue’, UTILITIES Magazine, Uconomics, Sophia, Bulgaria; published in Bulgarian
- LaBelle, M. and Kaderják, P. (2006) eds., Towards More Integration of Central and Eastern European Energy Markets, Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research, Budapest
- Kaderják, P and LaBelle, M. (Sept 11, 2006) Towards a Regional CEE Market, Platts: Power in Europe, issue 483, McGraw Hill
- LaBelle, M. “Shale Gas Offers Diversity Over Game Playing,” Natural Gas for Europe, May 17, 2011. http://naturalgasforeurope.com/shale-gas-offers-diversity-game-playing.htm
- “Nabucco Pipeline Delayed Again,” quoted in the Prague Post, May 18, 2011, by Contiguglia, Cat. Prague
- LaBelle, M. “The Winning Edge in Europe’s Southern Gas Corridor,” April 25, 2011. http://naturalgasforeurope.com/europe-southern-gas-corridor.htm
- “East Europe nuclear plans lose investors,” quoted in Reuters, January 26, 2011, by Ilie, Luiza. Bucharest
- “Energy investors seek power projects in SE Europe,” quoted in Reuters, June 1, 2010, by Ilie, Luiza. Bucharest
- LaBelle, M. “AGRI: Another Gas Acronym and White Elephant for CEE?” Natural Gas for Europe, October 10, 2010. http://naturalgasforeurope.com/agri-another-gas-acronym-and-white-elephant-for-cee.htm
- LaBelle, M. “Hungary’s Dual Monarchy turns into Dual Pipelines.” Central European University, Energy Security Blog, February 3, 2010. http://blog.energy-security.net/2010/02/hungarys-dual-monarchy-turns-into-dual.html
LaBelle, M. Citizens’ petitions on shale gas extraction in Bulgaria and Poland,Workshop on The exploration and exploitation of shale gas in the European Union and its impact on the environment and the energy policy, from the perspective of petitions received, Committee on Petitions, European Parliament, Brussels, October 9, 2012
- LaBelle, M. Keynote speaker, EU-US Summit on Science, Technology and Sustainable Economic Growth, Brussels, Belgium, September 29, 2011
- LaBelle, M. Session Commentator, 21st Economic Forum, Krynica Zdroj, Poland, September 7 -9, 2011
- LaBelle, M. Debate participant, Should Europe’s Energy Future Include Nuclear Power? Common Sense Society, Budapest, Hungary, June 15, 2011
- LaBelle, M. Session moderator, Modernisation of the Energy Sector in Central Europe, 5th Energy Forum, Sopot Poland, Nov. 9 -11, 2010
- LaBelle, M. Breaking the Carbon Lock: Reaching zero carbon by 2050, 5th Energy Forum, Sopot Poland, Nov. 9 -11, 2010
- LaBelle, M. Reaching Zero Carbon by 2050: Institutional and market risks, CEE Energy 2010, Budapest, Hungary Sep. 30-Oct 1, 2010
- LaBelle, M. Risk Governance and Technologies: Associated risks in the transition to an EU post carbon society, PACT Mid-Term Assessment Workshop, European Commission, Research Directorate-General, Brussels, Belgium, May 17-18, 2010
- LaBelle, M. quoted in Baldwin, C. (2010, January 5) Russia’s Oil Spat with Belarus, Reuters News, London
- LaBelle, M. quoted in Kahn, M. and Mudeva, A. (2009, November 9) Central Europe, Balkans better set for gas crisis, Reuters News, Prague/Sofia
- LaBelle, M. quoted in Kahn, M. and Wan, K. (2009, September 30) Czech-Slovak power merger shows region the way, Reuters News, Prague/London
- LaBelle, M. quoted in Sekularac, I. (2009, September 23) Balkans must ease controls to draw energy investors, Reuters News. Belgrade
- Electricity Post-Privatization: Initial Lessons Learned in South East Europe, International Conference on the European Energy Market, Leuven, Belgium, May 27-29, 2009
- Unifying Regional Interests for a Cooperative, Competitive and Sustainable Future, Romania – Hungary: Cooperation towards Common Electricity Projects with Regional Impact Conference, Budapest, November 7, 2008
- Regulatory Benchmarking in the EU, Energy Regulators Regional Association Training, Central European University Summer School, Budapest, July 2008
- Generation Market Modeling and Interviews on Integration in the SEE region Southeast Europe Regional Electricity Market Monitoring Pilot Project Design Workshop, Budapest, Hungary, February 25, 2008,
- Study on the effect of the 2004 enlargement of the European Union in the area of energy, Business Perspectives, Feedback session, European Commission, Brussels, September 2007
- Riding the Currents to Regional Cooperation and Coordination in the CEE region: moving forward, Closing Conference Central and Eastern European Energy Market (C3EM) Project, September 2006