Monthly Archives: December 2015

Will the ice in the Arctic Ocean disappear?

The IPCC and climate science community are telling the world that the Arctic ocean may some time soon be free of sea ice in summer. Countries bordering the Arctic basin, and some beyond, are clamouring to lay claim to oil and gas reserves rumoured to lie below the seabed.

The sea ice record of the Arctic is in two parts. The satellite era record begins in 1979. Prior to that it is based on human, surface observations. Splicing the two methods together may clearly present problems…… Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

Oil Production Vital Statistics December 2015

The oil just keeps on gushing. All of the main producing regions posted gains in November. As expected, the oil price tested lows on the right shoulder of the head and shoulders pattern and carried on down this month heading for lows last seen in December 2008. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Blowout week 104

In a departure from the normal format I’m kicking off today with a few stories from Germany. Else where there is news of renewables subsidies being cut everywhere, nuclear power expansion everywhere bar Europe, oil price woes, concentrating solar power in Chile, the marijuana harvest straining the US grid and France opts for cheese power over nuclear power. Continue reading

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A Christmas Conundrum

Q2 Let us imagine that consumers could buy and store renewable electricity very cheaply when it is windy using a programable smart meter. But the way the market is rigged the producers get paid their guaranteed high price (FIT or ROC) regardless. If consumers are paying below the FIT or ROC price someone must make a loss. Who is that someone? How is this market supposed to work? Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments

A State of Confusion

In the wake of Paris and COP21 both sides are claiming victory. The Greens believe they finally have a treaty that will deliver the dismantling of the fossil fuel industries and capitalism propelling the human race into a renewable idyl. The Sceptics see Paris as toothless mush that will likely deliver nothing apart from hardship on already struggling economies. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Blowout Week 103

This week we kick off with Saudi politics. Below the fold different perspectives on the oil price, peak coal, thorium in Indonesia, Belgian reactor restart upsets Germany, Cameron & the EU, Kellingley closure marks end of an era, UK steelmakers get green tax compensation, Donald Trump loses Aberdeen wind farm appeal, Energiewende slows down, renewables face extinction in the Czech Republic…. Continue reading

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The State of the Blog and Sponsorship Appeal

On Wednesday 16th December, after 27 months on line, Energy Matters passed the landmark 1 million views. Below the fold some of the key site statistics are summarised. I am using this opportunity to launch a fund raiser which I have not done before. The target is to raise £100,000 for 2016. Continue reading

Posted in Site news | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments

Oil Price Scenarios for 2016

Let’s cut to the quick. My forecast for Brent at around this time next year in my BAU scenario is $37. This is grim reading for all those involved in and around the oil industry. Worse still, I think there is high probability that we see sub-$20 oil before the first quarter is out. Continue reading

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

COP-out 21

OECD GDP on a PPP basis was $47.5 trillion in 2013. $100 billion represents 0.2% of GDP. I have reached the conclusion, and I may be wrong, that the OCED has pulled off a diplomacy and propaganda coup wrong footing the UN, Greens and developing nations. Let’s face it, if OECD governments really believed there was a grave threat to the planet they would be throwing a Hell of a lot more than 0.2% of GDP at developing economies – at least I sincerely hope they would. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 66 Comments

Blowout Week 102

I kick off Blowout 102 with Justine Greening allocating £billions to save Britain from climate refugees. While she does not link the Syrian conflict directly to climate change it is held up as an example of what may happen. Confused? I think she is. Also a look at Storm Desmond and the floods – was Desmond caused by, caused partly by or not caused at all by climate change? Also the usual diet of diesels, blackouts and oil price crash below the fold. Continue reading

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Wood Pellets, Drax and Deforestation

Last week The Telegraph reported that Lynemouth coal power station was to convert to burning wood pellets following in the tracks of Drax. This post strives to quantify the impact this policy will have on deforestation and CO2 emissions. Continue reading

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Stykkisholmur (Iceland) temperatures: From reality to GHCN v1

The winter of 1929 was an unusual one in northern Europe. In February 1929, for example, England was gripped by frost while Iceland was uncommonly mild. It was in fact 17˚ warmer in Reykjavik than in London. GHCN overcame this inconvenient historic warmth by simply changing +5.4˚C to -5.4˚C creating an 11˚C swing between reality and the version of history preferred by climate science. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Oil Production Vital Statistics November 2015

The day of reckoning has arrived for the oil price with the head and shoulders pattern I have been tracking for two months finally completing in recent weeks. It became a rather drawn out affair with markets awaiting the outcome of the OPEC meeting of 4 December. In the event, OPEC elected to stay the course and did nothing. With WTI closing at $40 and Brent on $43 on Friday both are testing support levels. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Blowout Week 101

The focus this week is on OPEC and the lack of action there until at least June and on COP21 talks in Paris. Astronauts on the Space Station have warned of dire consequences of climate change and deforestation visible from space while the EU approves a £1 billion subsidy to convert Lynemouth coal power station to burn wood pellets imported from North America. Continue reading

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Food, Population, Energy and Climate Change in MENA

According to the UN IPCC AR5 report, climate disasters have not increased in frequency. Food production has kept pace with population growth averting famine thanks mainly to fossil fuels not despite them. And evidence for climate change related drought and food shortages in MENA (Middle East North Africa), the subject of this post, is sparse to absent. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A review of concentrated solar power (CSP) in Spain

In this post I use the Red Eléctrica de España data to review the performance of Spain’s CSP plants and to check among other things whether the claim that they are capable of providing baseload generation, as this 2011 Forbes article claimed, holds up in the light of operating experience. Spain is a good case study because the lion’s share of world’s CSP capacity (2.3 of 3.4GW in 2013) is installed there. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments