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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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Scotland to ban fracking

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Government is expected to announce an outright ban on fracking later this week according to Rob Edwards at Herald Scotland: “Ministers are putting the finishing touches to a permanent ban, replacing the moratorium they started in January 2015. This will spell the end of plans by the energy …

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The early end of British coal

Wind and coal

In its heyday, the British coal industry produced more than 280 million tons a year.  Today, what remains produces less than 9 million tons – less than was produced at the height of the 1984-85 miners’ strike.  Since then, demand has fallen steadily as industrial users either closed or used …

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Cool wind or hot air?

Nuclear wind power

The revolution is here at last!  That was the message from John Sauven, Director of Greenpeace, in the Guardian last week.  Following a meeting with the CEO of Dong (Danish oil and natural gas) Energy, Sauven gushed: “This isn’t just a hymn to the glory of an oil and gas …

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Fracking “technological breakthrough” is theft

Fracking pads

Nobody doubts that the cost of US fracking has fallen since oil prices collapsed in June 2014.  However, there is considerable disagreement over the causes.  While critics point out that since 2014 wages and service costs have fallen dramatically, the fracking companies have been keen to claim that technological improvements …

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Tory power grab for Celtic shale

Fracking Scotland

Hidden in amongst the Tory ‘power grab’ that is the EU Withdrawal Bill is a clause that allows English ministers to take full control over fracking licenses and decisions in Scotland and Wales.  The change is just one of a raft of clauses that seek to neuter the devolved Scottish …

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