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Energy

Is this peak gas?

The recent, spectacular increase in the price of gas has created a sense of crisis not seen outside the financial sector since the early 1980s.  In Europe in general and the UK in particular, it has begun to expose the folly of having an economy entirely dependent upon imports; including …

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Feynman’s Law writ large

Elizabeth Holmes, Chairman and CEO of Theranos, is a living archetype for the modern age.  Lauded by upmarket glossy magazines and heralded as a symbol of modern feminism, Holmes was the world’s first female tech billionaire.  In the tradition of Apple’s Steve Jobs and Tesla’s Elon Musk, Holmes was a …

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The march of folly

It is of some interest that people have been contrasting images of British petrol queues this weekend with the petrol queues which formed back in 1973 as a result of the OPEC oil embargo.  Not least because a more accurate comparison is with the fuel protests in September 2000.  That …

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Crisis by design

Believe it or not, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has every right to stand before the nations of the world and lecture them on climate change.  Not that Johnson himself has done much to address the crisis (indeed, given that having children is the single biggest cause of climate change …

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A far from perfect storm

Global warming may yet prove to be the one thing which saves us from our largely misguided attempts to respond to global warming.  This is because, while the crisis is real enough, the solution that we have bought into is an absolute stinker.  While a great deal of corporate profit …

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A problem shared is a problem doubled

At seven minutes to five on the afternoon of 9 August 2019, a lightening strike caused the loss of 150MW of distributed power (i.e., a large number of small wind, diesel and solar generators) from the National Grid.  This sudden loss triggered the safety system on the giant Hornsea wind …

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This isn’t going to work

If an energy policy sounds too good to be true, that is usually because it is.  Take, for example, just one of the jigsaw pieces in current policy for reaching net zero by 2050: electric car batteries.  Jillian Ambrose – who should know better – at the Guardian reports this …

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The only thing worse than an energy collapse

We learned recently that one of the last coal power stations in the UK is bidding to become the first commercial nuclear fusion plant on Earth.  The news should be taken with a large pinch of salt… nuclear fusion has been 25 years in the future since before I was …

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When green gets real

The great thing about life in the decades after the signing of the Kyoto protocol was that nothing really changed.  Sure, politicians talked up targets for getting to “net zero” at some point in the future.  But besides that, we all kept consuming; and as our demand for goods and …

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Seeing the harness but not the horse

You can count on one hand the number of economists who have even the slightest inkling of the role of energy in the economy.  So whenever I come across an economist who appears to give energy an important role, I am always interested to read what they have to say.  …

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