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Renewables outstripping infrastructure

Disused coal power

Renewable energy is increasingly incompatible with our energy infrastructure and our economy; and the situation is getting critical. It is common knowledge that renewable energy technologies (wind, solar, tidal, etc.) are not “firm.”  But firm is exactly how our economy needs energy.  In a just-in-time economy, it is extremely difficult …

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The neglected side of peak oil

China Russia oil deal

The centre of balance in the global economy has shifted east.  While the USA (for the time being) consumes the most oil, China has emerged as the biggest importer.  It is also the world’s largest coal and renewable electricity consumer.  The reason, in short, is that since the 1980s, western …

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Norwegian oil and gas decline is bad news for Britain

Norway gas

Supposedly hydrocarbon-rich Norway is not about to run out of oil and gas; far from it.  And that is a major headache for UK energy policymakers, because most of Norway’s remaining oil and gas is in small pockets beneath difficult geology and in inhospitable locations (where much of it is …

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Oil heads east – petrodollar goes south

China oil

It was supposed to be the competition of the year.  Who was going to get to oversee the issue of shares in Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Aramco? Early in the year, all eyes were on the City of London, with its centuries of experience.  Next, concerns about Brexit led …

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UK energy vulnerability exposed

Forties outage

UK oil and gas prices spiked yesterday following the closure of the Forties Pipeline System, which delivers 40 percent of North Sea oil and gas to the mainland.  To add insult to injury, an explosion at a gas facility in Baumgarten an der March, east of Vienna has disrupted a …

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The greenwash is beginning to peel

Greenwash

The amount of electricity we will be able to generate from wind power is going to be a lot less than we bargained for; and ironically, climate change is to blame.  That’s the conclusion of new research published in Nature Geoscience. Wind strength in the northern hemisphere depends upon the …

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Arctic oil decline

Arctic oil

The rocks beneath the Arctic may be awash with oil, but it seems that few energy companies are in a hurry to extract it.  In Alaska, attempts by the Trump administration to revitalise the Arctic oil industry seem to have fallen flat.  According to VOA News: “Seven bids were received, …

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The bad smell of UK shale gas

H2S

The embryonic, and probably unprofitable, UK shale gas industry faces yet another obstacle according to Robin Grayson, a geologist and member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Grayson, reported in the Blackpool Gazette, claims that any shale gas recovered from the Bowland shale formation will contain a high …

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Technologies ‘green energy’ won’t be powering

Bitcoin mine

Hidden in the small print of any credible plan to run the global economy on renewable energy will be at least one of three big assumptions: The economy of the future will be far more energy-efficient than it is today. That is, we will be using a lot less energy …

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Riding the oil price rollercoaster

Oil price rollercoaster

Major oil price volatility has occurred on three occasions in the last century – the 1920s, the 1970s and today.  Those periods resulted in severe economic disruption and the collapse of political consensus.  There is a simple reason for this – price volatility makes capital investment difficult.  There is simply …

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