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Monthly Archives: August 2017

When the party comes to an end

Empty bottles at the end of the night

  Nicole Foss famously compared the oil industry to a late night drinking binge.  The early oil found in pressurised deposits just 70 feet beneath the ground was the best booze.  The North Sea was the cheap stuff.  Hydraulically fractured shale oil and tar sands, though, are the last-ditch equivalent …

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Trump’s wall won’t stop the next refugee crisis

America's climate refugees

Trump’s border wall – if it ever gets built – will not stop the next mass migration of people from swamping the USA according to a special report by Matt Zdun for CNBC: “Increasingly, the phenomenon of rising sea levels has amplified fears over climate refugees — individuals forced to …

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Electric cars: more disruptive than we bargained for

Electric car chassis

The UK is the latest in a growing list of countries to announce bans on petroleum vehicles.  This has led to understandable concerns about the ability of national electricity grids to cope with the massive demand for additional electricity that such a ban implies.  The thinking appears to be that …

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The ‘shale revolution’ ends with a bang

Fracking explosion

As British frackers struggle to drill a handful of test wells, the US ‘shale revolution’ on which their efforts are predicated looks to be coming to an end. The reasons for its demise will send shivers through UK investors as they realise that it has nothing to do with the …

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Ten years on and we’re still repeating the big lie

2007 banking crash

As media outlets wheel out the political and economic luminaries who supposedly “saved the world” a decade ago, journalists are still repeating the biggest lie of all: that there was a “credit crunch.” The official story goes something like this: wicked mortgage lenders in the USA had been making loans …

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UK energy review is a danger to us all

Energy Review

The UK government review of energy costs is unlikely to result in pleasant reading for anyone.  This is because the chosen reviewer, Oxford University professor Dieter Helm, has a long track record of telling unpleasant energy truths about the cost of renewable electricity while overlooking the equivalent problems with gas. …

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Energy is a bigger problem than Brexit

Electricity crisis

The temptation is to jump on the bandwagon and attack British Gas owner Centrica for profiteering and for participating in a cartel in the wake of its 12.5% hike in electricity prices.  It is certainly difficult to feel any sympathy for a multinational corporation that raked in profits of £816 …

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Confidence: why it matters and why it shouldn’t

Business confidence

Business confidence is a big deal for the news editors… particularly when it slumps.  This is because – it is widely believed – a fall in business confidence reflects an economic slowdown at best or, worse still, the onset of a new recession.   With this in mind, the latest round …

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Smart meter roll out dropped

Smart Meter

Britain’s hi-tech clean energy future was going to be built around a smart grid of interconnected household and business smart meters.  Connected up to smart equipment like domestic heaters and freezers, the smart grid would enable National Grid operators to balance supply and demand by remotely operating the equipment; for …

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