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Germany introduces limits on green energy

German Green Energy

News that on several occasions Germany has produced more energy from renewables than the country actually needs is not necessarily a good thing.  In the absence of viable storage capacity and a lack of demand for exported energy, Germany has been obliged to pay fossil fuel generators to shut down …

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The UK energy Ponzi scheme

House of Cards

Whatever the industry, get the regulations wrong and you have a recipe for disaster.  We all know this to our cost following the banking crash of 2008, which stems from round after round of deregulation since Thatcher and Reagan.  When regulators establish a framework that allows fraud, fraud is precisely …

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The demographic wave that may kill the oil industry

Retirement

With oil prices still struggling to reach $50 per barrel after two years of unsustainably low prices, energy companies are filing for bankruptcy, hundreds of thousands of workers are being laid off, and governments are struggling to make up for the lost tax revenue.  If this were not bad enough …

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Why electric cars won’t save our way of life

Electric car sales

A few years ago, eye-wateringly high oil prices combined with concern about climate change gave impetus to the manufacture of electric vehicles.  Several companies were already producing hybrid cars that switch between electric and petroleum motors.  But rising oil prices paved the way for entirely electric vehicles.  These are now …

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How to mislead gullible fracking investors

Casino

Chris Matthews at Fortune repeats the somewhat incredible claim that: “According to a new analysis from oil and gas consulting firm Rystad Energy, the United States is the country with the largest volume of oil reserves, with Russia and Saudi Arabia coming in second and third, respectively.” Based on estimates …

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Energy chiefs call for action on the death spiral

Broken Grid

Electricity industry insiders are calling for a radical shake up of the way in which energy bills are calculated in an attempt to prevent the UK descending into an energy death spiral.  The latest to speak out are Iain Conn, CEO of British Gas owner Centrica, and Vincent de Rivaz, …

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More oil price volatility

Arrow

The steady rise in world oil prices in the first half of the year has given a flicker of hope to an energy industry whose profits have taken a serious hit.  There have even been a few new fracking operations in the US shale patch, while the banks have agreed …

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How much electricity does the internet use?

Facebook data centre

The internet sits at the heart of what is believed to be the greenest type of economy – the so-called knowledge economy.  Green, because the tools of the new economy – laptops, tablets, smartphones, 3d-printers, etc – are very low energy devices.  Green too, because the digital products – mp3 …

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Dutch experience rings alarm bells for UK energy policy

Dutch power

Like Britain, Holland has adopted a policy of shutting down ageing and dirty coal-fired power stations and replacing them with a combination of renewable energy and new gas-fired power stations.  However, like Britain, Holland has to balance these environmental plans against the political imperative of keeping energy bills as low …

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Britain’s energy infrastructure at risk from Brexit

Power cut

One of the more mendacious claims put out by the Vote Leave campaign in the run up to the Referendum on 23 June was that Britain’s energy bills would come down.  This was always a flaky claim given that the world is still heavily dependent upon fossil fuels, and that the cost of extracting …

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