I have just taken a long weekend unpaid leave from Energy Matters, hence this week’s blowout is late and abridged. My finger has not been on the pulse nor my eye on the ball. It will take a few days to recover. A dozen stories this week below the fold.
Monbiot discovers exponential: It’s simple. If we can’t change our economic system, our number’s up
Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This is the calculation performed by the investment banker Jeremy Grantham.
Go on, take a guess. Ten times the size of the pyramids? All the sand in the Sahara? The Atlantic ocean? The volume of the planet? A little more? It’s 2.5 billion billion solar systems. It does not take you long, pondering this outcome, to reach the paradoxical position that salvation lies in collapse.
Defiant BP: BP signs shale deal with Rosneft
BP confirmed its commitment to Russia after signing a shale oil deal with state-owned oil company Rosneft, despite US government-led sanctions against Moscow and the company’s chief executive.
Chu, energy is like post: Steven Chu Solves Utility Companies’ Death Spiral
Utility companies have been looking for new regulations and higher connection charges to save them from a “death spiral” spurred by a surge in rooftop solar installations. Instead, says former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, they should get into the rooftop solar business.
Utilities are in danger of being FedExed, Chu said, “like the Post Office got FedExed,” as rooftop solar modules drop in price.
Frackers go for broke: Shakeout Threatens Shale Patch as Frackers Go for Broke
The U.S. shale patch is facing a shakeout as drillers struggle to keep pace with the relentless spending needed to get oil and gas out of the ground.
Shale debt has almost doubled over the last four years while revenue has gained just 5.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of 61 shale drillers. A dozen of those wildcatters are spending at least 10 percent of their sales on interest compared with Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 0.1 percent.
Merkel comes off hallucinogens: Merkel Snubs New York “Ban Ki-Moon” Climate Conference! … “Burying The Global Climate Agreement”!
Berlin-based leftist daily TAZ here reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t going to bother attending the Ban Ki-Moon initiated climate conference in New York this coming September. The TAZ adds this has been “confirmed by a government spokesman“.
Moon personally invited all world leaders, asking them to attend with “ambition and responsibility” in order to lay the groundwork for the Paris 2015 climate conference where world leaders are to sign onto a binding agreement requiring industrialized countries to drastically cut back CO2 emissions by 2050, and thus serving as the successor agreement to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Arctic Ice cracking up: Soviet Union” to be restored
Last November, Russia laid down a new multipurpose icebreaker of a brand new class LK-60. It is expected to be commissioned in 2018. Contracts for the construction of another two are planned to be signed later this year. But the economic activity in the Arctic is rapidly increasing every year, with the booming shipping traffic and projects like Yamal-LNG. The current fleet of icebreakers is not enough to service all of the requests. Restoration of “Soviet Union” is a stopgap measure until the new icebreakers will come online.
[In Russian, try Google translate]
Denmark – anything can happen in the next half century: Danish Energy Agency: 100% Renewable Denmark By 2050 Is Possible
A new report by the Danish Energy Agency has found it would be technically possible to construct a secure and reliable national energy system based on 100 per cent renewables by 2050.
The end of the banana 🙁 : Has The End Of The Banana Arrived?
Two weeks ago, at a conference in South Africa, scientists met to discuss how to contain a deadly banana disease outbreak in nearby Mozambique, Africa. At fault was a fungus that continues its march around the planet. In recent years, it has spread across Asia and Australia, devastating plants there that bear the signature yellow supermarket fruit.
Better check it’s methane first: Iberdrola signs £3.4bn deal to bring US gas to UK shores
Utility giant Iberdrola has signed a €4.1bn (£3.4bn), 20-year deal to ship liquefied natural gas from the US to supply its customers in the UK and Spain.
The company owns ‘Big Six’ energy supplier ScottishPower, which has 2.2m customers, and has gas-fired power stations in southern England with a combined capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW).
Iberdrola said the deal, with a subsidiary of Cheniere, would supply 35 billion cubic feet of gas each year from 2019 – enough to supply about 750,000 households. Smaller volumes of gas could be shipped earlier, in 2018.
Ukraine flexes muscle: Kiev hopes for EU reverse gas supplies and LNG from USA — Poroshenko
Ukraine will not buy Russian gas at its high price, said Ukrainian business tycoon Petro Poroshenko, who is winning at snap presidential elections in the country. He has added that instead of this, Kiev hopes for reverse supplies from Europe and LNG supplies from the United States.
Watts up with Centrica?: British Gas boss Chris Weston to take top job at Aggreko
British Gas boss Chris Weston is on Thursday expected to be appointed as chief executive of temporary power provider Aggreko, in a surprise move that will leave energy giant Centrica searching to replace all of its top three executives.
Safety fears: Staff flown from oil platform following safety fears
Non-essential staff are being flown off a North Sea oil platform after problems were identified with one of its wells.
An issue was discovered during integrity testing on the outer casing of the well on CNR International’s Ninian Central on Saturday.