Monthly Archives: April 2014

Clive Best: Live UK grid monitor

Clive Best has developed a Live UK Grid Monitor that is a simplified version of Gridwatch providing an instantaneous picture of wind, coal, gas, nuclear, imports and hydro supply to the UK grid. There are three outputs: 1) an up to … Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The Arguments For and Against Wind Power

The main arguments in favour of wind power are reduction in balance of trade deficits in countries that import energy and, longer term, mitigating for energy scarcity and the reduction in supplies of affordable fossil fuels.

The main arguments against are higher primary cost plus ancillary costs of mitigating intermittency that are paid by the consumer, landscape and amenity degradation and possibly grid destabilisation. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 55 Comments

Blowout week 17

With European Parliament, Scottish Independence and UK general elections looming, the energy football is in play. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Portugal – renewables to the rescue?

With no nuclear power either, the only indigenous primary energy production is from hydro and wind power which now accounts for 20-25% of all primary energy consumed and between 40-50% of electricity production which is a fair achievement. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Coal and the IPCC

The IPCC’s coal burn is enormous, twice the world reserves by 2100, and seven times reserves by 2500. Coal so dominates that it is not an exaggeration to say that the IPCC and climate-change research programs depend on this massive coal burn for their existence. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Blowout week 16 – Easter Weekend

Tension between Russia and Ukraine builds, blackouts in Scotland, coal in Germany, shale in Australia, even more oil in Russia, pipelines blown up in Iraq. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Belarus grows while Ukraine withers

Since the mid 1990s the Belarusian economy recovered, showing strong annual growth and is now on a par with Turkey. This is a very different story to Ukraine where the economy, that was showing feeble growth, collapsed again in 2009 and has not yet recovered. Economic malaise will no doubt underpin the civil unrest in Ukraine. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Wind and Solar Reach 7.5% of EU+ generation in 2012

BP data suggest that wind and solar accounted for 7.5% of EU+ electricity generation in 2012. So, is this a triumph or not? Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 40 Comments

Blowout week 15

Europe contemplates suicide as a way of punishing Russia for following democratic practices that are alien to the EU Commission. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Does the UK Economy Run on Energy or Hot Air?

Much of the growth in the UK economy since 1980 is indeed hot air while energy consumption still underpins the real economy providing heat, light, food, shelter, security, mobility and enormous leverage in manufacturing. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , | 44 Comments

From Financial Subprime To Global Energy Subprime

The really supreme irony, perhaps, is that throughout the 1948-1991 Cold War it almost never produced anything like the current menace to global energy security. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Getting the Economics Numbers Right

All numbers are wrong, the only question is by how much. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blowout week 14

Russia goes her own way: Sanctions busting deal with Iran; Lukoil brings on 120,0 bpd in Iraq; raises gas price for Ukraine; attacks petro $ system?

UK: Gas prices plunge; vast submarine coal resources in focus; coal mines to close; Big Brother tightens grip on BBC; offshore wind gets £460 million; onshore wind under pressure. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Turkey – on its way to a mature economy

Turkey is energy poor, has essentially no oil and gas production and imports significant amounts of oil, gas and coal. It has broken free of developing nation status and is on its way to becoming a mature economy. The country has seen an enormous uplift in per capita GDP since 1970 that now stands at $8,500 per annum. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Ukrainian Death Spiral

Russia has raised natural gas prices to Ukraine twice this week. There is a risk of mounting chaos. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

Cameron Warns Norway over Shetland Land Grab

David Cameron today summoned Norwegian Ambassador Hårek Hardbalne to Downing Street to demand that Norway makes clear  it has no territorial interest in the Shetland Islands. This follows yesterday’s extraordinary announcement by the leader of Shetland Islands’ Council, Leif Erikson, … Continue reading

Posted in Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments