Monday , November 30 2020
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The end of coal?

Open Cast

The collapse of Peabody – the world’s largest private coal corporation – may speed the transition to renewable electricity generation according to Claudia Assis at Market Watch: “Since 2010, more than a third of coal-fueled power plants have been retired or are scheduled to be retired, and the market for …

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When fracking isn’t fracking


The UK government’s claim that fracked gas is a ‘clean, low carbon transition fuel’ rests solely on the tight regulations designed to avoid the mistakes made in the USA. It appears, however, that potential drillers are deterred by such heavy-handed regulation.  Even operating under the Wild West conditions seen in …

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Could blockchain technology boost renewables?

Micro renewables

New York start-up TransActive Grid enabled the first ever peer-to-peer paid transaction of energy in the USA yesterday.  In doing so, the company aims to usher in a revolution in the way energy markets operate. Traditional energy markets are based around big and expensive national and international infrastructure that favours …

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Saudi Arabia is about to test western free market economics


In Britain, the EU and USA, we tend to leave our future energy supplies to the “free market”.  It is true that governments provide exploration grants and subsidies to oil and gas producers.  Nevertheless, decisions about where and when to drill are left to the directors of the energy companies. …

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Another exercise in energy magic thinking

Fly Away

If we are to have any chance of keeping global warming below two degrees, we have to wean ourselves of gas.  So at face value the plan to convert Leeds to a hydrogen city looks like a great idea.  However, since hydrogen does not naturally exist anywhere on Earth, whenever …

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Is it time for progressive VAT on energy?

Power Station

Ofgem economist David Osmon – writing in a personal capacity – argues that one of the solutions to the UK energy crunch is to introduce a system of progressive VAT rates to replace the current five percent flat rate. Osmon suggests  removing VAT altogether for standing charges, keeping the current …

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Rain panels could close the baseload gap

Rain Panel

In the battle to cut carbon emissions, we have one hand tied behind our backs because renewables are intermittent.  Wind turbines cannot provide power on a still day, and solar panels don’t work when the sun isn’t shining.  For this reason, a continuous baseload of power from coal, gas or …

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Ditching Hinkley C could save £40bn


The troubled EDF nuclear power station development at Hinkley Point in North Somerset is already set to be the most expensive building on earth; even before the builders inevitably fail to live up to the promise to provide it “on time and within budget”.  But even if, by some miracle, …

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