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Energy

UK oil: selling worthless paper to chumps

North Sea oil crash

Remember that shiny new multi-billion barrel oil discovery someone found off the coast of Scotland?  It turned out to be a damp squib. This, more or less, has been the story of UK oil and gas for the last decade.  The myth is that there is still a vast quantity of …

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How secure is your smart meter?

Smart meters vulnerable to hacking

We can add hacking to a growing list of threats from the smart meters being rolled out by energy companies around the world. For the time being, the threat is minimal because the smart meters will only send information one-way – providing energy supply companies with our usage information.  But …

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National Grid not fit for electric vehicles

EV parking

For individual motorists, the lure of electric vehicles (EVs) is growing by the month.  A 56 percent increase in global EV sales last year is helping to push the price down below that of equivalent petroleum vehicles.  Government grants and tax breaks are also pushing prices down in the short-term.  …

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Tories poised to destroy Britain’s energy industry

Disused transformers

In a move straight out of the failed Ed Miliband play-book, Theresa May has announced plans to introduce a price cap on energy bills.  May’s proposals are intended to cut £100 off the average annual bill.  However, the proposal has been met with disapproval by investors and energy insiders. The …

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Britain needs an energy Czar… or an energy miracle

Wind farm

One of the ways that you know the UK’s energy system is in jeopardy is when its most grounded and considered newspaper – the Financial Times – begins to sound the alarm: “The UK is in theory an attractive market, since few developed countries are expanding nuclear generation, and approval …

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Is it time to use the N-word again?

Electricity grid

Here’s some “great news:” California now generates so much solar energy that electricity prices have gone negative.  According to Ian Johnston at the Independent: “In March, during the hours of 8am to 2pm, system average hourly prices were frequently at or below $0 per megawatt-hour.” Similar stories regularly hit the …

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Electric cars derailed

EV charger

Legacy infrastructure remains the key advantage for fossil fuel technologies.  This is true in electricity generation, where pre-existing coal and gas power stations can supply electricity at a cheaper price than can be achieved when renewables and especially nuclear are built from scratch.  The same is true for vehicles.  One …

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Low demand and renewables accelerate Britain’s energy death spiral

Energy death spiral

For several years, Britain’s National Grid has issued warnings about potential energy shortages as demand outstrips supply in winter.  However, the company, which operates the UK’s energy infrastructure, is now raising concerns about a new problem – low demand coupled to an excess supply of renewable electricity in summertime. According …

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Pro-coal policy is central to Paris Agreement

US Coal Mine

Environmental groups were quick to attack US President Trump’s decision to overturn his predecessor’s climate change policy in favour of a pro-fossil fuel approach aimed at securing new jobs in America’s rust belt states.  However, this is to misunderstand the many weaknesses of the Paris Agreement itself, which is a …

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French nuclear firm bails out of UK projects

Nuclear Power

In a further blow to the UK government’s energy strategy, troubled Toshiba has been forced to buy French company Engie’s 40 percent stake in NuGen – the company that was supposed to be building three new reactors in Cumbria. The buy-out comes on the back of Toshiba’s decision last week …

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