UK: UK energy news this week is dominated by The Government move to adjust subsidies for wind from expensive onshore to even more expensive offshore developments. There is a blistering attack of Government Energy policy by Simon Jenkins writing in The Guardian below.
Europe: EU Commission may hinder nuclear at Hinkley and South Stream gas pipeline. Storms bring energy bounty to Germany.
World: The main story to catch my eye on the World stage this week comes from North Dakota where extreme cold winter weather is reported to be interfering with drilling and fracking operations that may impact oil production from The Bakken shale oil play (top story below the fold).
Is it fair for the chancellor to cut pensions for the poor while offering a million pounds a year to the Duke of Roxburghe for letting the wind blow? Is it fair to offer half a million to the Earl of Moray, a third of a million to the Earl of Glasgow, and a quarter of a million to the Duke of Beaufort, Sir Alastair Gordon Cumming and Sir Reginald Sheffield, the prime minister’s father-in-law? Is it fair to promise a reported £1bn to Charles Connell over the next 25 years?
Never in the history of public subsidy can so much have been paid by so many to so few…Simon Jenkins writing in The Guardian
Even booming Bakken oil production can’t stand up to North Dakota’s crippling winters.
By hindering transportation to wells and slowing the hydraulic fracturing process, severe winter weather slows production.
The No. 1 cause of the slowdown in winter months is difficulties for fracking, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said. Ice and snow make it harder to get water to a site, it takes longer to heat fluids and keep them warm, and flowback water can freeze and delay the process, he said.
In a report published by the Environmental Audit Committee, the Government has been warned not to weaken its commitment to ‘eliminate’ fuel poverty, as it prepares to make changes to ‘green levies’ that fund energy efficiency improvements for the poorest bill payers
Well if you take the average 9% increase in dual fuel bills announced by the biggest supplier British Gas, owned by Centrica, that increase will be cut to circa 6%, and there will be a £12 rebate on top – so the 9% increase in effect becomes 5%.
The European Commission is close to concluding that Britain’s nuclear programme at Hinkley Point breaches EU state aid rules and may have to be revised, a move that could lead to long delays and even cause the complex deal to unravel.
A power boss sparked uproar yesterday by saying the amount of electricity families in Britain use is a ‘luxury’.
Deutsche Bank is pulling out of the bulk of its commodities business in a cost-cutting drive that will shrink the lender’s balance sheet further.
The World Bank and United Nations on Wednesday appealed for billions of dollars to provide electricity for the poorest nations but said there would be no investment in nuclear power.
“We don’t do nuclear energy,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as he and UN leader Ban Ki-moon outlined efforts to make sure all people have access to electricity by 2030.
Britain is to see its first deliveries of US shale-derived gas in 2016 when Ineos completes a £300m investment programme at its Grangemouth plant in Scotland.
Additional investments of around £40 billion are expected in renewable electricity generation projects up to 2020, following updated contract terms and strike prices published today and wider reforms to the electricity market.
The energy we produce underpins pretty much everything we do.
Without it, there would be no artificial light, no long-distance communication, no mass transport or large-scale manufacturing. Facebook and Twitter would not even exist.
But how much of it do we use, and where does it come from?
Environmentalists that are worried by Arctic oil exploration and the apparent eagerness that most countries and oil companies show in tapping into the regions 90 billion barrels of oil reserves, according to the US Geological Survey, may breathe a little easier in the knowledge that such activity in the Arctic is not likely to be realised for decades to come.
The bilateral agreements for the construction of the Gazprom-favoured South Stream gas pipeline – concluded between Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria – are all in breach of EU law and need to be renegotiated from scratch, the European Commission said today (4 December).
Scotland could be better off going it alone when it comes to electricity, a new report has found.
The study was written by a group of five academics from universities across the UK as part of the Delivering Renewable Energy Under Devolution (DREUD) project.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Today’s announcement falls short in several vital respects.
“Firstly Scotland’s islands are rich in renewable energy resources and I am deeply concerned about the island proposals.
The government has announced that the final prices paid to generators of solar, onshore and offshore wind would change to favour offshore wind at the expense of the others. While the difference is fairly slight – a fiver off here, a fiver added there – it reveals a favour that ignores the industry’s struggles to make offshore wind development economically viable.
Drax, the power station owner, surged 59p or nearly 9% to 743p after the UK government set its subsidy prices for renewable energy projects. The company is aiming to convert three of its six generating plants to produce energy from biomass rather than coal, and the government confirmed a strike price of £105 per megawatt hour from 2015 for biomass generation. This is in line with a provisional announcement, but there had been some suggestions it could be scaled back.
Record output from wind farms lifted Germany’s share of renewable electricity production above its 2020 target of 35 per cent on Thursday as a storm from Scandinavia battered the nation’s northern coast.
Europe: STROMERZEUGUNG UND -VERBRAUCH
Hier können Sie Grafiken über Stromerzeugung und -verbrauch für einen selbstgewählten Zeitraum erstellen. Bitte beachten Sie, dass das erste mögliche Anfangsdatum der 01.12.2012 ist (weiter zurückliegende Daten werden in Zukunft noch eingepflegt) und dass die Erstellung des Graphen einige Sekunden dauern kann. But there are some nice charts:-)
It has long been obvious that by far the most delusional element in the Government’s shambles of an energy policy is how it subordinates all else to an obsession with building thousands of hopelessly inefficient and absurdly oversubsidised windmills.
Sir Roger Carr, the chairman of Centrica, has turned on the critics of the “Big Six” energy companies, saying that ill-judged attacks will put off investors and that it was time to end the “Punch and Judy” debate.
As new figures revealed that up to £11bn had been wiped off the value of energy stocks in the past two months
My selection from The Edge of Time
At least 51 people were killed in Iraq on Friday as the country continues to slip into sectarian violence while the year’s death toll, already in the thousands, continues to spiral upwards.
Iraq’s oil minister said Tuesday the country is close to agreeing to sharp cuts with major Western oil companies in production targets set out for them at some of its largest oil fields, casting doubts over Iraq’s ambitious oil output targets.
Very odd news in the international crude markets this week.
Reports confirm a first-of-a-kind event in this space. Oil consumers in India buying crude from a far-away place: Eastern Canada.
Indian Oil Corp. reportedly purchased a cargo of White Rose crude. Coming all the way from offshore Newfoundland.
The buy seems to suggest structural changes afoot in the global oil markets. Never before have Indian users gone so far afield to secure supply.
The question is: why?
Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it has canceled a proposed gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Louisiana less than two years after the plan surfaced as costs rose and the company reins in spending.
The project, which would have converted natural gas to diesel, jet fuel and other refined products, was expected to cost more than $20 billion, a Shell spokeswoman said, up from the minimum $12.5 billion price tag estimated in September.