Blog rules


I make every effort to produce accurate charts and to draw sound interpretations from them. I also make every effort to properly attribute my sources.  Anyone wishing to use the information from Energy Matters to make financial, political or environmental decisions does so at their own risk.


If you want to reproduce excerpts of my posts and charts that is OK so long as there is always a link back to the original source. If you have found an error in my content please raise this in comments and I will endeavour to correct it. If you disagree with what I have written I would also prefer to deal with that in the comments section of this blog.

If you want to reproduce the whole article then please contact me first.


I am going to be publishing lots of charts over the years and you are free to use those in your own articles and blogs so long as they are always attributed to at Energy Matters. My focus will be on energy security and energy policy. I am always trying to tease out the truth from our complex energy system. I will be publishing lots of data on North Sea production decline and reserves in the lead up to the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum.

I am not shy of making media appearances and have appeared on Newsnight Scotland a couple of times.


If you are inspired to write papers based on the content of these pages then please do not be shy about asking me to be a co-author. I have an academic affiliation as Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen. If you want to reproduce charts in peer reviewed literature or books then ideally you should ask my consent beforehand and the following attribution given.

“Chart first published by Dr Euan Mearns at”

Energy and Finance Industries

If you want to use the information contained on these pages to the benefit of your company then you should make generous donations to this blog. A Tip Jar will appear some time soon. I am also available for consulting on a day rate basis. 

Comments and commenting

Primary comments should be:

a) On topic
b) Scientifically and technically accurate, backed up by links to sources
c) Informative
d) Polite and courteous

For many months Energy Matters has been plagued by Green Trolls. Symptoms of being a Green Troll are;

e) Posting an unduly large number of comments on a thread.
f) Asking rhetorical questions
g) Focussing on a detail of a post that may be incorrect or debatable and largely irrelevant whilst ignoring the larger body that may be accurate and important to the debate
h) Continually trying to undermine the credibility of the post author
i) Repetition
j) Use of offensive language including the liberal use of the term “denier”

Green Trolls may be given the following warning, or can simply be put on comment moderation without warning.

We do not find the general standard of your comments to be contributing in a positive way to the discussion and your comments from now on will be subject to moderation. You can still post, but only your polite, on topic and informative comments will be published.

34 Responses to Blog rules

  1. Pingback: Gridwatch | Energy Matters

  2. Oldfarmermac says:

    Hi Euan,
    I used to comment at The Oil Drum and you probably remember me from there as old farmer mac.
    I just found your blog via Darwinian’s new blog andI want to follow you here and wish you great success and long life! Now as it happens i’m a relic from a bygone age and a computer klutz first class.

    I wanted to leave a comment on your blog but I couldn’t find the button or box or icon or whatever which you use to post a comment.

    This feature is usually easy to spot, , being in the form of text to highlight that treads “post a comment” or ‘reply” or something similar.

    If comments are closed, there is usually prominent text to that effect.

    This is perfectly obvious in your blog rules section, I’m using it and found it in a flash.

    Any giudance will be greatly appreciated.

    • Roger Boyd says:


      I would like to contact you about using your Net Energy Cliff diagram in a book I am completing on Energy & Finance, but could not locate your email address on the site.


  3. zaphod42 says:

    Hi Euan:

    I echo what OFM said above. Cannot find a way to comment.


  4. zaphod42 says:

    Strange results when I tried to comment: I got a statement that what I posted was duplicated. I only posted once.

    Anyway, will try again. I agree with OFM, above, and cannot locate a response field anywhere. How exactly does one comment or respond?


  5. Euan Mearns says:

    Lawrence, I don’t fully understand your question. Which post and oil production chart are you referring to? If you can elaborate and be more specific I’ll try to answer. Why don’t you use the recent Blowout 8 thread where comments are still live.

    • Jim says:

      Hi Euan,

      Was just reading your piece on oil/coal substitution but the logic of your penultimate paragraph eludes me, to wit: “There are, however, reasons to believe that these conditions may no longer apply, because large-scale coal/oil substitution requires large amounts of oil-fired generating capacity and there is now very little left (oil now generates less than 5% of the world’s electricity compared to 25% in 1973). So as Euan Mearns observed in an editorial comment, “the next oil shock may be a biggie.”” That being the case, what difference would it make what the price of oil went to, given that it contributes only 5% of the world’s electricity consumption? Unless your implying that because there is so little demand for oil in the electricity generating sector, a supply/demand shock like the one we are experiencing effects the decline in oil prices a fortiori.

      • Euan Mearns says:

        Jim, the logic here was that during past oil shocks there have been two main uses for oil – liquid transport fuel and electricity generation. The market reacted by substituting the electricity part with something else – gas, coal or nuclear. This substitution is relatively simple – all the technology exists. And this frees up oil for transport, lessening the magnitude of the shock. I think most of oil fired electricity generation is now gone,so that substitution can’t happen in the future suggesting that thirst for liquid transportation fuel may drive prices higher.

        But someone pointed out that coal can substitute for oil in transport with electrification of railways.

        My view of the current decline in oil price is that it is a “routine” fall in demand that has not been countered by OPEC. In a post I hope to publish next week I will say that oil hits $60 before quite swiftly returning to $100+ with 2 Mbpd wiped off global production capacity.

  6. Joe Clarkson says:

    Aloha Euan,

    When a “Green Troll” is barred from commenting, do you send them a private email to that effect or, as in my case, do you just stop allowing comments to display?

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Joe, if you write scientifically sound, technically accurate and informative comments then they will get published. And if it looks like you are on track to maintain that standard you will be taken off comment moderation. Unfortunately for you it is me that decides what is scientifically sound.

  7. peter2108 says:

    Euan, Can one submit “guesr posts” to your blog (n guarantee you’d publish them of course)?

    — Peter

  8. Max Wolfe says:

    Hi Euan, Have you got any comment on the claim that oil is not a fossil fuel.
    Carbon 13 is the carbon isotope scientists associate with abiotic origin, compared to Carbon 12 that scientists typically associate with biological origin.

  9. Roy Ramage says:

    G’day Euan. I have followed your blog for some time now, thank you. Living in Tasmania almost all our power is hydro generated. Sadly that has meant we also have the highest energy cost in the country. Solar panels, widely deployed, can offer Tasmania the ability for pumped hydro which would lessen the worry of drought and might slow the increasing cost of energy. Have you entertained the thought of a trip down under and especially Tasmania? If not could you tell me what you might need to do so. Again many thanks for making your knowledge available.

  10. Euan, I don’t know any other way to get into contact with you.
    I was looking at your post “What’s up with the bomb test” and tried to follow the comments. At the back of my mind I kept on having difficulty with the whole concept of just rubbing out the bomb test results, until I came to the comment of “Martin A”. He presumed the system is linear and that in that case you can study the impulse response of any system (here the atmosphere CO2 balance) by simply looking at the result of any impulse input. He is right, any electronic engineer can tell you that.
    Talking of different kinds of CO2 molecules is about the same as talking about the difference between electrons and positrons describing electrical current. It really does not matter.
    So, the impulse response of atmospheric CO2 content is perfectly described by the bomb test results. Please note: the impulse response!
    That means that if human emissions would suddenly stop, it would take about 10 years for the atmospheric CO2 concentration to be reduced to half of the human contribution (5% of the total natural + human balance?) and about 50 years to get the purely natural CO2 concentration of the atmosphere.
    If the CO2 system is not linear, we really cannot say anything at all about it, until we exactly know how the climate system works. And that is not remotely like a current computer model.

  11. GeoffM says:

    My links never appear on my comments. What am I doing wrong?

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Geoff, I’m sorry I don’t know why. Normally simply pasting the link works. Why don’t you use this space in blog rules to experiment. I’ll delete your comments knowing that they are simple tests.

      WordPress has just done a major system upgrade being under continuous cyber attack. My host has thus far provided a superb service.

  12. GeoffM says:

    Worked this time! Thanks Euan.

  13. Nick Perrin says:

    I can not find a simple way to send in an item that may be of interest to you.
    Where should I send this link as an example?
    Happy new year and thanks for you excellent work- a financial contribution will follow.


  14. James Boffey says:

    A question for you
    With regard to the higher efficiency of using coal in a power station New ones over 40% does this mitigate the carbon pollution relative to Fuel in a car engine Max 25% to 30% but this may be lower at part throttle? Overall pollution for work done is important here not pollution per ton of fuel burned.
    Just trying to look from a different perspective.

  15. Thinkstoomuch says:

    More than likely an incredibly ignorant question. How do I subscribe to get email notifications of comments without posting?

    I don’t normally have what I feel are intelligent things to say but want to follow the discussions and find it difficult to sort old and new. Which is granted a personal problem. Also like the recent comments on EL Heirro wouldn’t have even noticed the comments were there to read if I had been off line for several days. Which happens frequently.

    Is there a way?

    Thank you in advance,

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Bottom left, check the box that says notify me of new comments by email.

      • Thinkstoomuch says:

        Appreciate the fast response and I regret taking your time to help me.

        I have tried that. Both on my smart phone with Firefox, chrome, and computer with Firefox. Without successfully being able to post comment as an update. I click on post comment and nothing happens.

        I do not an email unless there is text in the box. Which I am trying to avoid as that clutters up things for other users.

        No worries I’ll deal with it.

        Thank you again for your valuable time,

        • louploup2 says:

          Have you gone to your wordpress account settings page? I wasn’t getting any notice of posts/new comments until I found that the setting to get them was “off” for ALL the WP blogs I was following.

          Second point that I don’t think Euan addressed–I don’t know how you can turn on to receive notice of new posts on a thread if you have not posted yourself. I know you can in Disqus comment threads (very bottom has “subscribe” button).

  16. chaamjamal says:

    Hi Euan
    would you be interested in being my co-author for a paper on emissions from shale gas production?
    with regards
    jamal munshi

  17. Phil Jones says:

    Euan / Roger

    I don’t seem to be able to reply to your post “A trip round Swansea Bay” – perhaps because it’s old and closed for comment. I just wanted to thank you for the invaluable analysis. I hope you won’t mind that I’ve drawn it to the attention of the Hendry Review Team, which is considering the viability of tidal lagoons –

    Phil Jones

  18. Alex Terrell says:

    Euan, is it possible to communicate by e-mail with regards to an upcoming post?


  19. Rangarajan S. says:

    Dear Dr. Euan Mearns,


    My name is Rangarajan, Rights and Permissions Executive at Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd, writing on behalf of my publisher Hodder Education.

    Our permission request to use your material in forthcoming publication by Hodder Education, for which I believe you hold copyright. Below is the detail of publication and attached the content for your reference.

    Publication details:
    Author: Paul Morris and Patti Deo
    Book: Sciences for the IB MYP 3
    ISBN: 9781471880490
    Rights needed: Print rights, and digital rights (epub (ISBN 9781471880513), updf (ISBN 9781471880506), Student etextbook (ISBN 9781471880537), Whiteboard etextbook (ISBN 9781471880520))
    Price: £14.99 GBP
    Publication Date: 31/3/2017
    Print run: 15000 (over 3 years)
    Material to be used: Figure 9 Primary energy consumption in France From Energiewende: Germany, UK, France and Spain URL:

  20. Jack Alpert says:

    Dear Euan Mearns

    Gail Tverberg reflected on your work in
    How Misleading Are Solar Yields?

    I hope she is planning to come to the June meeting of BPE in June .
    it would be great if you could come.

    I am bringing Sustainable Civilization Analysis Project

    The two anchors are different.

    Gail’s is that eroei, as currently defined, is broken for all but decisions
    at the margins of a larger system.
    And while LCA and Net energy are patches on a limited analysis
    the collective says nothing about: “Is the system viable?”

    My anchor starts at the other end of humankind’s predicament
    asking NOT what can be improved at the margins
    but “what is viable at the core”

    Please take a look at Sustainable Civilization Analysis Project
    and I hope we can discuss it at your convenience
    by email or skype or go to meeting which I can set up.


    Jack Alpert PhD Director:
    Stanford Knowledge Integration Laboratory
    (C) 913 708 2554 skype: SKILdog
    13617 W. 48th Street Shawnee, KS 66216

  21. Dear Mr Mearns,

    with much interest I read the discussion on the recent paper by Ferroni and Hopkirk about PV EROEI in temperate regions.

    Recently I received comment that their paper was “convincingly” rebutted by this paper:
    Reading it find that it does not deal correctly with backup and storage. Nor does it take into account that PV is an “extra” on the grid, meaning that in order to correctly calculate energy savings or EROEI it is necessary to take all PV energy costs into account.

    I am very interested to find out the reactions from Ferroni and Hopkirk and/or from you and your commenters on the Northumbria paper.

    Best regards,
    Albert Stienstra

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