Monthly Archives: January 2016

Blowout week 109

Back to the harsh realities this week. The UK is going to freeze in the dark after all. Then we continue with OPEC’s call for production cuts, Petrobras slashes reserves, help for the North Sea, Japan restarts another reactor, Elon Musk on clean energy in China, solar and wind victorious in Germany, rooftop solar wars in the US, more delays at Hinkley, the EC delves deeper into Drax, a 50MW wind turbine, the Zika virus, how global warming has brought seedless table grapes to UK, conspiracy theory and the Atomic Clock stays at three minutes to midnight. Continue reading

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2015: record hot or not?

In this post I update summary charts of lower troposphere temperatures with the recently released 2015 data. Surface thermometers are compared with satellite data and claims that 2015 set a new record for surface temperatures are examined. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

Low oil prices, budget deficits and OPEC

OPEC is known to have suffered economic damage as a result of low oil prices, but exactly how much?

GDP, 11 OPEC countries combined: Down from $3,392 billion in 2014 to $2,849 billion in 2015, a decrease of $543 billion.

Budget deficit, 11 OPEC countries combined: Up from $17 billion (0.5% of GDP) in 2014 to $278 billion (9.8% of GDP) in 2015, an increase of $261 billion.
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Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Blowout Week 108

This week’s lead story speculates that climate change killed off all the aliens. It is an award-winner even by climate change standards, but I’m not sure what the award should be. Suggestions are solicited. Below the fold more on OPEC and the Middle East, oil industry job losses, Obama concerned about methane emissions, wind overwhelms Merkel, Hinkley doubts and the Greens want to shut down the North Sea. Continue reading

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The myth of US self-sufficiency in crude oil

Contrary to general belief, and mis-information by the media the US is far away from being “energy independent” in terms of crude oil imports. Maybe some may find the above analysis statistical hair-splitting but the narrative of US energy independence has shaped public opinion to such an extent that prudence has given way to complacency. There is a danger that wrong geo-strategic views are formed, especially in the context of evolving and worsening conflicts in the Middle East. Continue reading

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Oil Price Crash: How low will the oil price go?

I have been following the oil price crash since it began in late 2014, providing annual forecast scenarios and monthly vital statistics updates. There has recently been an acceleration in activity and news, and as the oil price has continued its fall to below $30, investors and speculators wrestle with the main question: “how low will the oil price go?” Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Is UK precipitation really becoming more extreme?

What is extreme weather and how is it defined? Is weather in the UK becoming more extreme as is increasingly claimed by prominent climate scientists? Roger Andrews takes a look. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Blowout Week 107

This week’s Blowout features one of the few projected benefits of anthropogenic global warming – it will postpone the onset of the next ice age “by at least 100,000 years”. One assumes our descendants will be duly grateful. Thirty-four more informative stories below the fold in a bumper blowout. Continue reading

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Unprecedented Weather: is Climate Change Happening Now?

Scotland, and in particular NE Scotland where I live, has been battered by winter storms during December 2015 and January 2016 leading to widespread flooding, destruction of property and misery for thousands of people. The Met Office warns that wide-spread frosts are now on the way.

Are these conditions unusual? If they are, what is the cause? Are snow clad mountains and freezing flood waters the stuff of global warming? Or could it all be linked to The Sun’s activity declining to levels not seen since the 18th and 19th centuries when conditions experienced today seemed to be the norm. Continue reading

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How unprecedented was the UK’s recent wet weather?

December 2015 was the wettest month on record in Scotland since records began in 1931, but only by a small margin. The margin is not large enough to pass as an extreme event.

In England and Wales, records begin in 1766. December 2015 was the 129th wettest month on record. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hinkley Point C or solar; which is cheaper?

The Solar Trade Association has claimed that solar PV would be cheaper than Hinkley Point nuclear. Roger Andrews has a look to see if this claim is true. If it is not true, what consequences might there be for The Solar Trade Association? Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 116 Comments

Blowout week 106

We kick off with “Climate Change” and the recent UK floods? Below the fold: Saudi Arabia considers privatizing Aramco, earthquakes in Oklahoma, a natural gas leak in California, TransCanada sues Obama over Keystone, North Sea oil & gas production up, EU investigates Drax subsidy payments, Ed Davey knighted, military intervention to forestall ISIS in Libya, uranium outlook brightens, Greenland wants out of the Paris Agreement, more battery storage in UK, more renewables in Scotland, the 2015 El Niño ties for strongest on record and the new geologic epoch – the Anthropocene. Continue reading

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Technical and Economic Analysis of the European Electricity System with 60% RES – A Review

The EU has a strategy to increase the amount of electricity that will be generated from renewable energy sources (RES) to 55% by 2050. About 57% of the RES in Europe is currently hydro and there is little opportunity to expand hydro. Thus most of the projected increase in RES, which constitutes about 10% of electricity generation in 2014, will be from wind and solar PV, reaching 20% in 2020 and 30% in 2030. The EDF paper examined the future impacts, challenges and changes to the power system of increased wind and solar PV renewable energy sources (variable RES) on the European electricity grid….. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 78 Comments

The Destruction of Scottish Power

The Scottish Government has set a target for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020. The intended consequence of this policy has been the closure of Cockenzie coal fired power station with Longannet to follow this year with a total loss of 3.6 GW dispatchable capacity. Can Scotland keep the lights on? Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 139 Comments

El Hierro Renewable Energy Project – End 2015 Performance Review and Summary

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity and to demonstrate that hybrid wind/pumped hydro systems can be used to generate 100% renewable electricity in other parts of the world.

The data accumulated since full operations began on June 27, 2015 are sufficient to show that the GdV plant as presently structured is not capable of supplying 100% of El Hierro’s electricity demand for 100% of the time.
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Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 110 Comments

Blowout week 105

This week’s Blowout features the plight of two of Europe’s major electric power suppliers – RWE and EON – who because of market pricing mechanisms that favor renewable energy over fossil fuel generation are rapidly losing value. What happens if they are driven out of business? Plus Saudi Arabia budgeting for $29 oil in 2016…… Continue reading

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UK Winter Storms 2015

On Sun 4th as the main body of rain cleared away to the East, anyone caught on the Southern flank of this low pressure was going to witness some strong winds during the day. The wind gusts were typically reaching 90 mph on exposed Southern and Western coasts but even inland away from coastal areas, gusts of wind were reaching 70 mph. It was not quite on the scale of the Great Storm of October 1987 but was the worst one to hit the UK since the Burns Day Storm in January 1990. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , | 22 Comments