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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Could “sea eggs” solve our energy storage problem?

Sea Eggs

According to Rebecca Harrington in Tech Science European countries have added so much renewable energy generation that they are undermining electricity grids that were designed for large-scale fossil fuel generation: “Since renewable energies like wind and solar can’t provide energy 24/7, battery storage captures it for when the wind’s not …

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Demand for electric cars could crash the Grid


World electric vehicle (EV) sales grew by nearly 60% last year according to a new report from the Frankfurt School. Although EVs only make up a tiny fraction of vehicles on our roads, the fact that sales have grown in the face of low oil prices suggests that they could …

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More bad news in the North Sea

Oil Storm

Despite George Osborne’s budget measure to cut around £1bn of supplementary taxes on North Sea oil companies, investment in future production continues to fall. Until now, most of the losses resulting from low oil prices have been felt by the small oil companies.  However, global players like Shell and ConocoPhillips …

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The next generation of climate change disputes

Hydroelectric dam

As the tide of public opinion tips ever further toward the reality of climate change, a much greater arena of dispute has opened up.  Once we acknowledge that climate change is happening, we move on to the much thornier question of what we should do about it.  Here, the moral …

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The NHS is unprepared for climate change

Cumbria flooding

In an open letter to Jeremy Hunt, The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change warns that the NHS is unprepared for the impact of climate change, and that the government needs to act now rather than follow the usual practice of waiting until disaster strikes. The Alliance says that the …

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Housing affordability divide widens

London Apartments

Home affordability – the ratio between average city house prices and average gross local earnings – across UK cities has hit its worst level since the 2008 crash, according to Lloyds Bank’s Affordable Cities Review. The average UK city house price has risen to its highest ever level of £211,880 …

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The gig economy is pretty much Uber


The new digital economy in which more and more of us would be selling our time and skills to a host of clients via online “gig” platforms appears to be a myth according to Josh Zumbrun in the Wall Street Journal: “The so-called gig economy barely registers in traditional labor-market …

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Oil’s Minsky Moment… or something a lot worse?

Oil Crash

An editorial in the Financial Times notes the similarity between the volatility in traditional financial markets documented by economist Hyman Minsky and the new volatility in the oil market: “A period of stability leads to rising investment, financed by borrowing, which drives up asset prices until cash flows generated by those …

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Rooftop solar could provide 40 percent of US electricity

Rooftop Solar

A new study by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory claims that rooftop solar alone could meet 40 percent of current US electricity demand.  The figure has been: “revised upwards by more than 80 per cent since the last study in 2008, mostly because of improvements of module efficiencies, building …

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