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California highlights imported electricity cost problem

California Turbines

While the rest of the USA argues about whether climate change is happening, California has led the way in switching to renewable electricity generation.  The state’s Senate Bill 350 requires that half of its electricity will be generated by renewables by 2030.  It provides a model that many countries around …

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Meanwhile in a quiet corner of the Brexit debate

Scrabble Brexit

The whole point of The Consciousness of Sheep is that we face an existential crisis resulting from a confluence of economic, energy and environmental crises.  There is no “solution” because the action we must take to mitigate any one of the crises worsens the crisis in another. The only way …

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UK does the right thing… at the wrong time!

Oil Tanks

Data from the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change shows that North Sea oil and gas production rose last year – the first increase since 1999.  Oil production was 13.4 per cent higher and natural gas production was 7.8 per cent higher than in 2014. The additional production came …

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Could “sea eggs” solve our energy storage problem?

Sea Eggs

According to Rebecca Harrington in Tech Science European countries have added so much renewable energy generation that they are undermining electricity grids that were designed for large-scale fossil fuel generation: “Since renewable energies like wind and solar can’t provide energy 24/7, battery storage captures it for when the wind’s not …

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Demand for electric cars could crash the Grid


World electric vehicle (EV) sales grew by nearly 60% last year according to a new report from the Frankfurt School. Although EVs only make up a tiny fraction of vehicles on our roads, the fact that sales have grown in the face of low oil prices suggests that they could …

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More bad news in the North Sea

Oil Storm

Despite George Osborne’s budget measure to cut around £1bn of supplementary taxes on North Sea oil companies, investment in future production continues to fall. Until now, most of the losses resulting from low oil prices have been felt by the small oil companies.  However, global players like Shell and ConocoPhillips …

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The next generation of climate change disputes

Hydroelectric dam

As the tide of public opinion tips ever further toward the reality of climate change, a much greater arena of dispute has opened up.  Once we acknowledge that climate change is happening, we move on to the much thornier question of what we should do about it.  Here, the moral …

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Oil’s Minsky Moment… or something a lot worse?

Oil Crash

An editorial in the Financial Times notes the similarity between the volatility in traditional financial markets documented by economist Hyman Minsky and the new volatility in the oil market: “A period of stability leads to rising investment, financed by borrowing, which drives up asset prices until cash flows generated by those …

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Rooftop solar could provide 40 percent of US electricity

Rooftop Solar

A new study by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory claims that rooftop solar alone could meet 40 percent of current US electricity demand.  The figure has been: “revised upwards by more than 80 per cent since the last study in 2008, mostly because of improvements of module efficiencies, building …

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