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UK energy death spiral accelerates

Energy death spiral

The “energy death spiral” is the process in which increasing numbers of business and domestic consumers disconnect themselves from the centralised electricity grid system.  The result is that the cost of maintaining the existing infrastructure and investing in new projects (like offshore wind and new nuclear) fall onto a shrinking …

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What value energy polls?

Yes to Renewables

Public support for fracking is at an all-time low according to the UK Government’s Wave 23 Energy and Climate Change Public Attitude Tracker: “Support for fracking is at its lowest point since the tracker began asking respondents about their opinions on the subject…  The most common reason for opposing fracking …

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Helm review pours cold water on fracking

Fracking cold water

The big surprise in the Government’s Cost of Energy review by energy economist Dieter Helm is that fracking gets just one mention; and only then in a global rather than UK context: “Technological change within the energy sector is profound. Fracking and shale oil and shale gas have already changed …

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Peaceful protest hits fracking where it hurts most

Fracking police costs

According to figures released by  Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner the policing costs at just a single fracking well in Kirby Misperton added an additional £80,238 up to 31 August 2017.  However, once Third Energy’s operations began, the policing costs increased dramatically, adding a further £101,476 during …

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A Neoliberal approach to energy

Power cut

There is a school of thought (Neoliberalism) that holds that it does not matter if domestic jobs are exported to, say, China.  Other jobs will be created elsewhere in the economy, and we will all benefit from cheaper imported goods.  There is another school of thought that holds that if you …

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UK government backtracks on fracking

End of gas

UK government enthusiasm for hydraulically fractured shale gas looks to be waning fast.  The latest signs of this were picked up last week by Steve Topple in The Canary: “Campaigners are claiming that the arguments for fracking are ‘toppling like dominoes’ after the government appeared to backtrack not once, but twice …

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Energy cap – wrong answer, wrong problem

The last candle

Imagine you have just completed your weekly supermarket shop.  You get to the checkout, pack your bags and get ready to pay.  Then the person on the till informs you that as a standard rate customer, they will have to add a ten percent surcharge to your bill.  No doubt …

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The cure for wind

Windfarm construction

Once again we have a country whose electricity generation from wind was greater than its demand.  This time it was the UK’s green energy champion; Scotland: “WWF Scotland analysed wind power data provided by Weather Energy and found that wind turbines provided 86,467MWh to the national grid on 2 October, …

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Headline oil finds getting smaller

New oil discovery

When an oil deposit of just a billion barrels becomes headline news, you know there’s trouble ahead.  Why?  Because it tells you that all of the large reserves have gone.  We are now drilling into the small, hard to recover deposits that require a large investment for very little return.  …

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Fracking fears confirmed

Fracking subsidies

While most anti-fracking concerns centre on the potential environmental damage it can cause, and a few raise doubts around unsuitable geology and geography, the industry’s Achilles ’ heel is in the way that it is financed. In the UK, proponents of fracking reference the apparent economic miracle in the USA …

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