Blowout week 4

Iraq: Disintegrating? Semi-autonomous Kurdistan begins oil exports via Turkey; Baghdad threatens legal action against Turkey and economic sanctions on the Kurds; fighting spreads among well armed groups to Baghdad.

Oil: Libya production up to 650,000 bpd but fighting continues; megaprojects megabills cause IOCs headache

Renewables: EU abandons renewables targets post 2020 but keeps CO2 reduction targets; Germany continues to fret, cuts subsidies and introduces taxes; UK power prices to rise more

Weather: Winter storms continue to batter Canada and NE USA.

25 stories from last week below the fold.

UK: Island channel could power about half of Scotland, studies show

Researchers have completed the most detailed study yet of how much tidal power could be generated by turbines placed in the Pentland Firth, between mainland Scotland and Orkney, and estimate 1.9 gigawatts (GW) could be available. [EM says Scotland consumes ~5.5 GW peak demand]

World: Coming ‘oil glut’ may push global economy into deflation

One piece of the jigsaw puzzle is missing to complete the deflation landscape across the West: a slide in oil prices. This is becoming more likely each month.
Turmoil across the Middle East and parts of Africa has choked supply over the past two years, keeping Brent crude near $110 a barrel despite a broader commodity slump.

Europe: Europe must set a new renewable energy target

Ministers and their EU colleagues are on the cusp of a decision which could undermine our energy security, push up the cost of power and weaken efforts to tackle climate change.

World:  US east coast hit with heavy snow and bitter cold

The US east coast has been hit by the second major winter storm of the year, with up to 12in (30cm) of snow, strong winds and bitter cold forecast.

Even before the first flakes had fallen, US government offices in Washington DC and schools in several states were closed pre-emptively.

Europe: German industrial base at risk if green energy shift fails

Germany risks undermining its industrial base if it fails to undertake radical reform of existing incentives for the country’s renewable energy sector, its new economy minister said on Tuesday.

UK: Clerk Maxwell Lecture: Climate, Energy Arithmetic and 200 Pathways by David MacKay

The UK is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. For this to happen, we need to transform the UK economy while ensuring secure, low carbon energy supplies to 2050.

World: Eastern Canada hit with two-wave snowstorm

A two-wave winter storm is expected to bring as much as 40cm (16in) of snow to Canada’s Atlantic provinces.

All of Nova Scotia and parts of Newfoundland were under blizzard warnings on Wednesday, as the second part of the storm struck.

World: Electric Drive Vehicles Have Little Impact on U.S. Pollutant Emissions

A new study from North Carolina State University indicates that even a sharp increase in the use of electric drive passenger vehicles (EDVs) by 2050 would not significantly reduce emissions of high-profile air pollutants carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides.

UK: Green policies to drive £200 rise in energy bills this decade, supplier claims

Energy bills will rise by more than £200 over the rest of this decade, driven by costs of government green policies, unless consumers use less gas and electricity, supplier npower has warned.

Europe: Germany eyes swift cuts in renewable energy subsidies

Germany’s new energy minister has outlined cuts in subsidies to producers of renewable energy as the country wrestles with soaring costs from its nuclear power exit, according to a document obtained by AFP Sunday.

Europe: Germany Tax on Own Use of Renewables Is First in Europe

Merkel’s Cabinet backed proposals to charge operators of new clean-energy plants 70 percent of the so-called EEG-Umlage, a fee paid by power consumers that they’re currently exempt from, according to an economy ministry document. That would translate into 4.4 euro cents (6 cents) a kilowatt-hour.

World: China Bank Regulator Said to Issue Alert on Coal Loans

China’s banking regulator ordered its regional offices to increase scrutiny of credit risks in the coal-mining industry, said two people with knowledge of the matter, signaling government concern about possible defaults.

UK: Scottish Government approves wind farm and biomass plant projects

The Scottish Government has given the green light for a new 20-turbine wind farm and the construction of a biomass plant.

World: Energy Storage Roundup: Xtreme Power, Rhubarb, Compressed Air, DOE’s Grid-Scale Push

Harvard scientists say they have developed a flow-battery that stores energy using a naturally occurring organic molecule — specifically a type of quinone nearly identical to one found in rhubarb — instead of metal materials.

UK: Fracking ‘too late’ to help businesses facing rising green energy costs, manufacturers tell Prime Minister

David Cameron should axe green taxes rather than “overstating” the potential of fracking if he wants cheaper energy to attract businesses to the UK, leading manufacturers have warned.

Europe: EU 2030 climate deal meets UK’s core demands of ambitious cuts and choice

On climate change, Britain is leading in Europe. Wednesday’s proposal by the European commission for a binding 40% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 is a significant step forward. The commission has accepted our core argument that the EU’s domestic emissions reduction target must be ambitious so we can influence countries like the US and China, ahead of 2015’s critical global climate talks.

UK: Green energy taking giant leaps forward to 2020

UK GOVERNMENT figures show confident strides taken by the Scottish renewable energy sector mean green power could provide more of the country’s electricity than any other source within the next few years.

Europe: An admission of an expensive EU failure

It all sounded so good back then, in 2007. The EU, with the economy steaming ahead and in a search of a new raison d’etre following the “success” of the euro, agreed a series of very ambitious measures to fight climate change – a 20 per cent overall emissions cut and detailed targets for renewable energy and biofuels. What could possibly go wrong?

My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis leads with the headline “Iraq disintegrating”

World: Iraq ‘taking action’ against Turkey

Iraq is reported to be preparing legal action against the Ankara government over Kurdish exports of allegedly “smuggled” oil via a new pipeline to Turkey and has also vowed to punish foreign companies.

World: Iraq 2014 Budget will Collapse without Kurdish Oil Income

Haider al-Abadi, the head of the Iraqi parliament’s treasury committee, told Reuters that unless the northern Kurdistan region pays oil export revenue to the national treasury in Baghdad this year, the projected 2014 budget will collapse.

If the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) once again refuses to pay the oil revenue owed then the only available option left to Baghdad would be to halt all state spending, which amounts to about 17% of the whole country, in the region.

World: Iraq warns militants possess enough firepower to occupy Baghdad

Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, a top Iraqi official warned Monday, a frank and bleak assessment of the challenge posed in routing the insurgents as a new wave of bombings killed at least 31 people.

World: UN report: more than 140,000 Iraqis have fled Anbar province

Fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province has caused the “largest” displacement of people within the country since clashes in 2006-2008. Over 140,000 people have fled the region as a result, according to a new UN report.

World: Libyan planes attack unruly militias in south, army on alert

Libyan war planes attacked targets in the restive south on Saturday after gunmen stormed an air force base and the government ordered in ground troops following days of skirmishes between rival tribesmen and militias.

World: Not so Fast on Libyan Oil Optimism

We may be seeing the first boost in Libyan oil production in 10 months, which the markets are eyeing hungrily, but don’t jump the gun on this one—Libya’s oil is still being held hostage to a chaotic power struggle.

Libya tripled its light crude oil supplies to around 650,000 barrels a day over the past three weeks, but while the government remains publicly optimistic that its closed eastern ports held by rebels will be reopened this month, there is little evidence to sustain that.

World: Megaprojects A Megaheadache For Oil Bosses

Giant oil and gas extraction projects will be giving oil industry executives headaches to match for the years ahead as delays, cost overruns and increasing risks call for new strategies to manage them.

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6 Responses to Blowout week 4

  1. Roger Andrews says:

    Ed Davey says: “On climate change, Britain is leading in Europe.”

    Can anyone explain to me exactly why Britain, which emits barely more than 1% of the world’s CO2, should want to be a climate change leader? Is there a prize?

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Roger, that caught my eye when I was compiling this. Its pretty like the Charge of the Light Brigade. I don’t understand the mentality of Davey and his Green associates. I think they have a dream that UK will become a powerhouse of renewable technologies – I’m not sure we have invented or built anything that is useful yet – happy to be corrected here.

  2. Joules Burn says:

    In other weathenergy news, “warm temps blamed for massive avalanche that cut off Alaskan town”…

    …that town being Valdez, where oil gets loaded onto ships.

    “Valdez was forecasted to have a high of 41 degrees and low of 40 degrees on Monday (today).”

    [isn’t “forecasted” a fly-fishing term?]

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Hi Brian, Thanks for posting this. It is unprecedented for an avalanche in “Snowslide Gulch”;-) Big meanders in the jet stream taking mild weather north and cold weather south depending upon where you are. We have had it pretty mild so far this year, although it seems to have been raining for weeks on end, +3˚C in Aberdeen, hence a lot of snow piling into the Grampian Mountains to the W. I’m sure the residents of Valdez will survive – someone will stick a box of sandwiches on one of those tankers.

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