Monday , June 18 2018
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Energy

Britain’s retirement party begins

North Sea Decommissioning

The North Sea oil industry that underwrote Britain’s 1980-2008 neoliberal debt-binge is coming to an end.  Oil and gas production has fallen by more than 60 percent since the 1999 peak.  And since 2004/5 Britain has become increasingly dependent upon imports to meet its energy needs (ultimately a much greater …

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How greenwashing works

Greenwashing

In the days before the internet killed advertising, media outlets used to employ real scientists and engineers to research and report their science and technology stories.  Today, with advertising revenues collapsing, few outlets can afford to pay people who are qualified and experienced to the point where they can separate …

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Redwash

Redwash

It is a rare day indeed when I find myself in agreement with a Tory minister.  Today is one of those days.  Having spent years raising awareness of Britain’s growing energy crisis, I am fully in agreement with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson when he warns that the disruption of the …

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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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