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Energy

Yet more cuts to clean energy subsidies

Anaerobic digester

Having already engaged in a bonfire of green energy subsidies, the UK government is to turn its fire on anaerobic digesters. There are about 300 anaerobic digesters in the UK; 200 of them on farms, where they use animal and plant waste to produce methane and fertiliser.  The methane is …

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The downside of renewable ‘energy too cheap to meter’

Solar Power

Chile has been generating so much solar electricity that it has to give it away free.  And while this looks good for both consumers and the environment, it spells trouble ahead for Chile’s infrastructure. As Vanessa Dezem and  Javiera Quiroga at Bloomberg report: “Spot prices reached zero in parts of …

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Another big flaw in the economics of fracking

Fracking services

One reason why Third Energy may have suddenly wanted to begin fracking in rural North Yorkshire is that the breakeven price – the point at which shale oil and gas becomes profitable – has been falling in recent months.  Pro-fracking publicists like to pretend that the reason for the fall …

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National Grid faces funding crisis

Broken Grid

From the moment Britain’s energy supplies went into irreversible decline in 1999, the National Grid was doomed.  The only questions were about how long the process would take to unfold, and what we might do to replace it. The reason for this is quite simple – National Grid is funded …

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Trump’s energy policy is nonsensical

US Coal

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s energy policies have already been dismissed by environmentalists as devastating to the biosphere .  But Trump is unlikely to care, not least because a large part of his support comes from climate change deniers.  Far more damaging is the criticism from energy insiders that Trump’s policies are …

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Is Big Oil becoming financialised?

Finance

Financialisation of an industry or sector of the economy occurs when there is more money to be made out of the debts it carries than the goods and services it produces.  The housing sector, for example, has been financialised since deregulation began in the mid-1980s.  More recently, the hydraulic fracturing …

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Don’t bet on fracking just yet

Cash

Supporters of Fracking can take cold comfort from North Yorkshire’s approval of Third Energy’s plans to frack their KM8 well near Kirby Misperton, according to David Powell at New Economics Foundation: “The beleaguered fracking industry has spent five years watching lengthy slumps in both international gas prices and public support …

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Fracking is a dangerous fantasy

Gas drilling

The myth of “Saudi America” is little more than a sick joke for people in the ghost towns at the heart of the US shale plays.  The fracking bubble has long since burst.  Most of the shale oil and gas firms have gone bust.  And now local communities have to …

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