18 stories this week below the fold.
The UK had some weather this week as the remnants of hurricane Bertha passed over. This caused flooding, and perhaps coincidentally, another major power cut took place during strong gusting winds. Image BBC.
Parts of Scotland have been badly hit by high winds and heavy rain in the wake of what was Hurricane Bertha.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has almost 40 flood warnings in place, covering Aberdeenshire, Speyside, Moray, Caithness and Sutherland, and Tayside.
Electricity supplies have been restored to about 27,000 properties following a power cut that affected the Western Isles, Skye and the west Highlands.
The power loss lasted for several hours before engineers managed to restore supplies.
Energy giant SSE said a transmission fault had been the cause of the power cut.
In April, a power outage affected more than 200,000 properties across the north of Scotland.
The world’s leading oil and gas companies are taking on debt and selling assets on an unprecedented scale to cover a shortfall in cash, calling into question the long-term viability of large parts of the industry.
Handelsblatt: The West on the wrong path
Did it all start with the Russian invasion of the Crimean or did the West first promote the destabilization of the Ukraine? Does Russia want to expand into the West or NATO into the East? Or did maybe two world-powers meet at the same door in the middle of the night, driven by very similar intentions towards a defenseless third that now pays for the resulting quagmire with the first phases of a civil war?
For salvation, airport officials are looking down — about 6,000 feet. The quiet runways, it turns out, are sitting on enough natural gas to run the whole state of Pennsylvania for a year and a half, and this month, Consol Energy will drill its first well here to tap the gas, which county officials say will bring them nearly half a billion dollars over the next 20 years.
IEEE Spectrum: Germany Takes the Lead in HVDC
To fill the gap, Germany is considering an aggressive plan that would push high-voltage direct current, or HVDC, from its conventional position on the periphery of AC grids to a central role. The primary reason is simple: For the first time, HVDC seems cheaper than patching up the AC grid.
Wind farms were paid a record sum of almost £3 million in a single day this week not to produce electricity.
Strong winds amid the remnants of Hurricane Bertha left the electricity network unable to cope with the amount of energy being produced by turbines on Monday.
European Union laws that reduce pollution and ensure energy security may have cost the U.K. as much as 93.2 billion pounds ($156.5 billion), a group campaigning to renegotiate membership in the bloc said.
Mexico’s energy ministry announced on Wednesday that the country expects to attract $50.5 billion in new private and foreign investment by 2018 as part of a historic oil sector opening next year that will begin with a first round of contracts.
A wind farm requires 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site, according to analysis by the energy department’s recently-departed chief scientific advisor.
Prof David MacKay, who stood down from the Government role at the end of July, published analysis putting shale gas extraction “in perspective”, showing it was far less intrusive on the landscape than wind or solar energy.
Telegraph: Ofgem ‘to blame’ for high energy prices
Ofgem may be to blame for high profits and prices, five former regulators have warned competition authorities investigating the sector.
The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an 18-month probe into the energy market at the request of Ofgem, after the energy regulator concluded that millions of households were paying too much for their gas and electricity because of a lack of competition across the sector.
The Scottish government has published a report which, it said, highlights the environmental benefits of independence.
The paper stresses the SNP’s commitment to ensure environmental protection is at the heart of a written constitution.
The move has been welcomed by environmental campaigners.
EDF Energy, the British subsidiary of the French state-controlled utility, said on Monday that it was shutting down three nuclear reactors and that a reactor with a fault that has been shut down since June would remain so. The facilities, which are being investigated as a precaution, generate nearly a quarter of nuclear capacity in Britain.
The Scottish government has commissioned a report into the health effects of wind farms at 10 sites across the country, following concerns that many people may be suffering from the effects of infrasound emitted from the turbines.
Westmorland Gazette: Ship leaking oil after colliding with Morecambe Bay wind turbine
A SHIP is leaking diesel after crashing into a wind turbine off the coast of Morecambe Bay.
Liverpool Coastguard has been in attendance since just after 9am this morning co-ordinating the recovery of the stricken vessel which collided with part of a turbine at Walney Wind Farm.
Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog: The Failure of the UK Climate Change Act
The Belgian think tank Bruegel points to data showing that the United Kingdom’s GDP has returned to pre-economic crisis levels, as shown above. This allows us to do a quick and intuitive examination of how much the UK economy has decarbonized over that time period, and how that rate of decarbonization compares to that implied by the UK Climate Change Act.
Natural Gas Intl: Mexico Energy Reform Opportunities Begin to Take Shape
In ongoing energy reform, Mexico state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will hold on to the majority of its currently producing oil fields, but in the months ahead, bids will be taken from parties that want to participate in the development of reserves in four packages outlined by Pemex.
Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time has his usual roundup of stories from Russia-Ukraine and MENA.