Blowout week 2

UK: The wrecking of UK electricity generating infrastructure by Green UK and European legislation continues to dominate.

Europe: Germany continues to fret about Energiewende and in Greenspeak 21% is now a majority.

World: Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time continues to focus on spreading unrest in Syria and Iraq and the resurgence of Al Qaeda. Elsewhere, Manmade global warming froze the USA; Brazil’s oil dream turns sour; Kashagan oil is sour and pipes are leaking already.

World: Al Qaeda controls more territory than ever in Middle East

From around Aleppo in western Syria to small areas of Falluja in central Iraq, al Qaeda now controls territory that stretches more than 400 miles across the heart of the Middle East, according to English and Arab language news accounts as well as accounts on jihadist websites.

Indeed, al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history.

20 more stories below the fold.

World: N America weather: Arctic blast brings record temperatures

A winter storm has already blanketed areas of Canada and the north-eastern US with up to 2ft (60cm) of snow.

Some 3,700 flights were cancelled on Monday, on top of thousands grounded over the weekend.

Schools have been closed in several US states and residents urged to stay indoors for their own safety.

World: ‘Slowdown’ forecast in E&P spend

Global spending on exploration and production is forecast to grow at a slower rate this year but is still set to increase by an estimated 4% to $687 billion, according to an industry survey.

UK: Factories could be paid to operate at night to cut wind farm compensation

Factories could be paid to operate at night-time to use up spare electricity from wind farms and cut down on the millions of pounds in compensation paid for wind turbines to switch off.

World: Big freeze shatters North America temperature records

Weather records have tumbled across North America, with freezing temperatures even in the southern US.

The most extreme arctic blasts, blamed on a weather pattern known as the polar vortex, were said to have affected nearly 190 million people.

Europe: Big industry will quit Germany if green energy costs rise -minister

Germany will risk losing its big industries unless they are sheltered from the cost burden of renewable energy, its economy minister said while restating his commitment to a shift to low carbon fuel.

World: As Winter Takes Hold, Plunging Temperatures Test Utilities

The spike in prices on Tuesday was significant. On the wholesale market, a megawatt-hour of electricity, an amount of energy that would run a big suburban house for a month and which on normal days sells for $40 or $50 in many locations, was going for $500 to $1,000 in New Jersey, Delaware and big areas of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

UK: RWE npower plans to shut seven UK power plants by end 2023

Energy supplier RWE npower said on Thursday it would shun costly retrofits required by European Union pollution laws on seven of its power plants in Britain, meaning they will close by the end of 2023 at the latest.

Europe: Czech, German grids reach accord on renewable wind power flows

Czech and German grid operators have agreed on a plan to build transformers to guard against excess flows of wind-produced electricity that can knock out transmission systems, the Czech grid operator said on Thursday.

The decision to build two so-called phase-shifting transformers in the towns of Hradec and Rohrsdorf by the end of 2016 is a bid to control cross-border electricity flows from renewables generated in northern Germany.

World: No Relief Forecast After One Of California’s Driest Years Ever

The Nolans are seeing the effects of California’s lingering drought. While the East Coast is digging out from a major winter storm, the West Coast is praying for rain. The state just finished one of the driest years on record, and that has water managers, farmers and others worried.

World: Oil Money Supports Middle East Uprising

Saudi Arabia has long played a major role in the region’s politics, supporting or opposing factions and politicians from Beirut to Yemen, projecting the conservative beliefs of the Saudi royal family, using the leverage of their oil and their clout within the Arab world and OPEC when needed.

Europe: In Norway, everyone is now a millionaire, thanks to oil

Everyone in Norway became a theoretical millionaire on Wednesday in a milestone for the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund that has ballooned thanks to high oil and gas prices.

A preliminary counter on the website of the central bank, which manages the fund, rose to 5.11 trillion crowns ($828.66 billion), fractionally more than a million times Norway’s most recent official population estimate of 5,096,300.

World: Kashagan consortium looks at ways to restart oil output safely

A consortium developing the giant Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan said it was considering “technological scenarios” to resume production safely after a gas leak from a pipeline led to a halt in October.

UK: UK homeowners caught in EU’s tangle of green targets

European Union legislation influences or determines almost all aspects of energy production and use. Increasingly over the past five years, it has been widely criticised for setting clashing targets and competing objectives that have undermined living standards and the environment.

The 2009 directive set the objective of ensuring that 20pc of the energy used by 2020 should come from renewable sources. After sharing out the obligations across the EU, Britain was set the binding target of ensuring that 15pc of energy demand must be met from renewable sources before the end of the decade.

World: Fracking Spreads Worldwide

The hydraulic fracturing of shale in search of oil and gas has hardly started outside the U.S., but that’s changing. A record 400 shale wells may be drilled beyond U.S. borders in 2014, with most of the activity in China and Russia, according to energy consultants Wood Mackenzie.

My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time

World: Militant attacks in Iraq spread beyond Anbar

Authorities say gunmen have attacked an Iraqi army barracks north of Baghdad, killing 12 soldiers, the Associated Press reports.

The attack happened Wednesday in the town of Udaim in Diyala province, just north of the capital.

World: Iraq’s Oil-Fueled Comeback Story Threatened by Anbar Violence

The violent uprising that has erupted in Iraq’s Anbar province in recent weeks is a scary reminder of the high risk of investing in a volatile country that is banking on improved security to drive economic growth.

As the U.S. steps up much-needed support for the Maliki government in Baghdad, the latest instability could scuttle Iraq’s attempt to build out oil exports, the centerpiece of any economic expansion.

World: Brazil’s oil euphoria hits reality hard

When fields said to hold billions of barrels of oil were discovered off the coast here, exuberant government officials said the deep-sea prize would turn Brazil into a major energy player.

More than six years later, the outlook for Brazil’s oil industry, much like the Brazilian economy itself, is more sobering. Oil production is stagnant, the state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, is hobbled by debt, and foreign oil companies are wary of investing here.

World: Iran’s return to oil markets will not lower prices: minister

The return of Iran to oil markets will not lead to a decrease in prices, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Monday.

In a message to members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Zanganeh also said that unconventional oil production from shale reserves by non-OPEC countries will not be a threat to OPEC.

He supported OPEC’s policy for stabilizing its ceiling output at 30 million barrels per day.

Europe: Spain was powered primarily by wind last year

For the first time last year, Spain got a majority of its electricity from wind power.

The country’s wind farms produced 21.1 percent of Spain’s power in 2013, narrowly edging out nuclear power for the first time, according to a new report from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana.

World:  Is ‘Polar Vortex’ Attributable to Climate Change? Yes.

Weather isn’t climate and the climate isn’t weather, but if someone asks whether the ‘polar vortex’ now being experience by tens of millions of people across the country is driven by climate change, you don’t have to wait for the next wave of scientific research to come out. The answer is ‘Yes.’

Sadly and predictably, however—as much of the nation faces the coldest temperatures seen in nearly two decades on Monday and into Tuesday— the push of bone-chilling arctic air into southern Canada and much of the United States has the climate change denialists pushing their familiar falsehoods about how near-record lows nationwide somehow disproves global warming.

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3 Responses to Blowout week 2

  1. Roger Andrews says:


    First let me say that I learn a lot from these Blowout posts of yours, so keep them coming. 🙂

    On the triumph of wind power in Spain, the numbers in the report actually show slightly more nuclear than wind (56,378 Mwh vs. 54,301). But i guess if 21% is a majority then a minor problem like this can be overlooked.

    Your Al Queda link takes me to the fracking article, but no big deal.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Thanks Roger, I fixed the link 😉 Preparing these posts forces me to read many of the news articles that arrive in my mail box and take stock of global energy and climate issues.

  2. G. Watkins says:

    Thanks for interesting reads. Much appreciated.

Comments are closed.