Blowout Week 79

After interminable delays:

Reuters: Solar Impulse 2 finally makes it to Hawaii:

A Swiss man attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an aircraft powered only by the sun’s energy landed in Hawaii on Friday, after a record-breaking five-day nonstop solo flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. The Solar Impulse 2 is the first aircraft to fly day and night without any fuel. Pilot Andre Borschberg’s 120-hour voyage shattered the 76-hour record for nonstop flight by late American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006 on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer. Borschberg, who took off from Nagoya, Japan, on Monday on the seventh leg of the journey, landed at 5:55 a.m.(1155 EDT) on Friday in Kalaeloa after five days and nights. The aircraft, piloted alternatively by Swiss explorers Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, set off on its 22,000-mile (35,000-km) journey around the world from Abu Dhabi on March 9. The plane was created in order to encourage governments to replace pollutants with clean technology. “Our airplane has not been built to carry passengers but to convey a message,” says Piccard.

The usual eclectic assortment below the fold, including record OPEC production, Russia cuts off gas to Ukraine again, electricity bills to rise in California, Greenpeace sues Hinkley, Mexico auctions oilfields, EPA asked to regulate CO2 as a toxic substance, Japan checks out Hebrides renewables, Rosatom dominating world nuclear market, climate talks moving at a snail’s pace, robots at Fukushima, Scots fed up with wind farms, and dwarf cows, a new weapon in the fight against global warming:

Reuters:  OPEC oil output hits three-year high in June

OPEC oil supply in June has climbed to a three-year high due to record or near-record output from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, a Reuters survey found, underlining the focus of the group’s top exporters on market share. The boost from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries puts output further above its target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) and comes despite outages in Libya and Nigeria that curbed supplies. OPEC supply has risen in June to 31.60 million bpd from a revised 31.30 million bpd in May, according to the survey, based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants. The group has raised output by more than 1.3 million bpd since it decided in November 2014 to defend market share rather than prices. A final deal between world powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear work could add to supplies. “If sanctions were to be eased, additional oil from Iran would flood onto the already oversupplied oil market,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Oil and Gas Insight:  OPEC winners and losers

We have compared OPEC production from the month of July 2014 – prior to the beginning of the fall in oil prices – with May 2015, in order to assess which countries are benefiting most from OPEC policy. In July 2014, OPEC produced 30.14mn b/d. Over the 10 months to May 2015, this increased by nearly 1.5mn b/d to 31.58mn b/d. In terms of crude oil volume, five of the 12 OPEC members increased production over this time: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, Angola and Algeria. However, it is Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Angola that have made the largest volume increases, adding 870,000b/d, 430,000b/d and 170,000b/d respectively. Most other members saw flat production or a marginal decline from July 2014 to May 2015.

Bloomberg:  Oil heads for the biggest weekly decline since March

Oil headed for the biggest weekly decline since March as a rebound in U.S. drilling added to signs that producers will pump into an oversupplied market. Futures in New York fell for a third day and were down 5.2 percent for the week. The number of active rigs seeking oil climbed by 12 to 640, the first gain since December, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. U.S. crude stockpiles increased 2.39 million barrels through June 26, a government report showed Wednesday, boosting supplies further above seasonal average levels. Oil’s recovery from a six-year low in March has faltered amid speculation that rising prices will spur production and prolong a surplus. OPEC’s output expanded last month to the highest level since August 2012 as Iraq joined Saudi Arabia in pumping at a record pace, a Bloomberg survey showed this week.

Bloomberg:  Mexico to auction 244 oilfields

Mexico plans to auction 914 onshore and offshore oil areas in the next five years as the historic opening of the country’s energy industry aims to add 1 million barrels of produc-tion by 2025. The areas are estimated to have prospective resources of 107 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Deputy Energy Minister Lourdes Melgar said Thursday in a presentation. Of the 914 fields, 670 will be auctioned for exploration projects with 244 for production, with 68.2 billion barrels of crude equivalent available in areas designated for extraction, Melgar said. Mexico finalized legislation last year to end Petroleos Mexicanos state-run monopoly and to open the oil industry to private investment in an attempt to increase output and generate as much as $62.5 billion in investment by 2018. The bulk of the estimated oil and gas production is forecast to come from the Chicontepec basin, which holds an estimated 42.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 12 fields, according to the Energy Ministry.

BBC:  Russia halts gas supplies to Ukraine

Russian gas firm Gazprom has confirmed it has halted gas supplies to Ukraine after a breakdown on pricing talks. It comes a day after Ukraine’s state energy firm Naftogaz announced it was suspending gas purchases from Russia. That announcement came after EU-brokered talks aimed at keeping supplies running for three to six months broke down without agreement. Gazprom said it halted the supply because Ukraine did not make an “advance payment” for July’s delivery. CEO Alexei Miller said Russia stopped delivering gas to Ukraine at 10:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Wednesday. “Gazprom won’t deliver gas to Ukraine at any price without prepayment,” he was quoted by Russian media as saying. Naftogaz said on Tuesday: “Since the additional agreement between Naftogaz and Gazprom is expiring on 30 June, and the terms of further Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine were not agreed at today’s trilateral talks in Vienna, Naftogaz is suspending purchases from the Russian company.” The Ukrainian firm said it would continue transporting Russian gas supplies to other European customers.

Sputnik News:  Rosatom World Leader in Nuclear Reactor Design

Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation is the world leader in nuclear power plant reactor projects with 30 being designed in 2014, according to a report from the company’s reactor design subsidiary Atomproekt. The total number of projects Rosatom worked on in 2014 amounts to 41 percent of the world’s planned reactors. US energy company Westinghouse was the second-biggest with 17 reactors being designed and South Korea’s Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power was third with 12 reactors. Rosatom’s successes continued in 2015, with new memorandums for nuclear power plant construction signed with Argentina, China, Indonesia and other countries on reactor construction and nuclear power cooperation. Rosatom also signed a contract to build a new plant in Bangladesh and expects to sign a contract with Egypt for its new power plant. Rosatom also began the construction of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant after a breakthrough in Iranian nuclear talks. During the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum, Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia also approached Russia for the construction of 16 reactors valued at $100 billion.

Wall Street Journal:  Toshiba Robot to Enter Fukushima Nuclear Reactor

Toshiba Corp. and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning unveiled a new scorpion-shaped robot that will be sent inside a containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in August. The robot, which is approximately 54 centimeters long and nine centimeters wide, weighs about five kilograms. It will be powered via a wire and carry two cameras, LED lights, a radiation counter and a thermometer. The robot will be dispatched to confirm the level of damage inside the nuclear containment vessel at Fukushima Daiichi’s No. 2 reactor and locate fallen objects. The work is required to be finished before a complete study of the nuclear containment vessel, which will begin sometime after April 2016, Toshiba said. Two crawler robots have been sent inside the crippled nuclear power plant’s No. 1 reactor so far. They succeeded in taking the first images from a reactor’s inside since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis. Both haven’t been retrieved due to radiation damage and technical issues.

Guardian:  Greenpeace launches suit against Hinkley

Greenpeace and nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewable energy said on Thursday they are launching legal action against state aid for a new British nuclear power plant, which was approved by the European commission. Greenpeace and the others in the group said at a news briefing that the lawsuit would be filed with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in the coming days, over the Hinkley Point C project in south-west England. It would be based on the argument that billions of euros of subsidies for nuclear energy would distort prices in mainland European power markets, which are linked to those in Britain via a small French interconnector. “We are complaining against these boundless nuclear subsidies, because from an ecological and macro-economic viewpoint, they appear senseless and bring substantial financial disadvantages for other energy suppliers, renewable energies and for consumers,” said Soenke Tangermann, managing director of the Greenpeace Energy co-operative.

Politico:  Supreme Court’s ruling comes too late for coal

President Barack Obama’s opponents won a Supreme Court skirmish in the “war on coal” Monday, but the ruling blocking his mercury pollution rule won’t do anything to reverse coal’s waning role in the nation’s power supply. And on top of that, legal experts don’t expect the decision to hamper the administration’s plans for landmark climate regulations that are set to further cement the decline of the fuel that only a few years ago dominated the industry. For utility giant American Electric Power and others in the power sector, the judgment on the mercury rule that started to take effect in April comes too late to save the dozens of plants that already closed, or are slated to in the next several months. “We’re not bringing them back,” Nick Akins, AEP’s CEO, president and chairman told POLITICO. “Once that ball gets rolling, it’s not going to change.” The ruling that clipped an administration regulation on mercury pollution stuck to a narrow path — whether EPA should have considered the costs of the rule in an early analysis rather than later in the rulemaking process — but didn’t reach into the issues expected in the courtroom battles to come over one of Obama’s priorities: battling climate change.

PV Magazine:  US conversion to 100% wind, water and solar power by 2050 feasible

In a new study by Stanford University, a solid financial, technical and economical case for the U.S to convert its all-purpose energy systems to ones powered by wind, water and sunlight (WWS) has been made. Based on their calculations, the authors say solar PV could account for 38% of power generation in 2050, and create up to 2.3 million jobs. Furthermore, the researchers say that the conversion to WWS – onshore wind, offshore wind, utility-scale PV, rooftop PV, CSP with storage, geothermal, wave, tidal and hydro – should stabilize energy prices, since fuel costs will be eliminated. They calculate that each person in the U.S. could save an average of US$260 annually, with individual U.S. health and global climate costs decreasing by an average of $1,500 and $8,300 per year, respectively. Minimal land is also required for the conversion. Solar PV and concentrated solar power (CSP), combined, could account for over 45% of power generation in the U.S. in 2050. PV alone could account for 38%, comprising 4% residential rooftop, 3.2% commercial/government rooftop and 30.8% utility-scale. To meet these goals, the study says 75 million new residential rooftop PV systems would need to be installed, and 46,480 utility-scale plants.

Wall Street Journal:  Hawaii Wrestles With Vagaries of Solar Power

With 21% of its power now coming from renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels, Hawaii has become a laboratory for those intent on reinventing the grid. A new law mandates that renewables supply all of the state’s electricity by 2045. But Hawaii’s grid is already running into problems with its heavy helping of rooftop solar and other carbon-free renewables. Among them: sudden swings in the output of solar and wind, which force the state’s main utility to scramble to try to keep the overall supply of power steady. State officials concede that there are problems. “But we’re highly optimistic we’re going to work through these issues and become energy self-reliant,” says Mark Glick, head of the Hawaii State Energy Office. “We don’t lack confidence at all.”

Daily Caller:  Study: New Wind Energy Is 3 Times More Expensive Than Coal

EPA regulations are forcing hundreds of coal-fired generators to prematurely retire, but replacing the existing coal fleet with new wind farms and natural gas-fired plants will burden Americans with higher cost electricity, according to a new study. The free-market Institute for Energy Research has released a new report showing that electricity from new wind farms is three times more expensive than power generated from existing coal plants and four times costlier than electricity from today’s nuclear fleet. IER’s study also shows that electricity from new natural gas plants is nearly twice as expensive as power from existing coal plants. IER’s study is meant to serve as a policy guide for policymakers in the face of EPA regulations. The idea is to show government officials the true cost of retiring coal and nuclear plants and replacing them with new wind farms and natural gas plants — something government data doesn’t show.

Politico:  Merkel accused of backstabbing in failed German coal levy

Faced with tough opposition from trade unions, coal-reliant regions, the industry and a mix of political parties, the German government scrapped a planned coal levy aimed at closing the most polluting coal-fired power plants, instead replacing it with a more expensive but less ambitious alternative. The idea was to eliminate 22 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector (specifically, fossil fuel-fired plants) to keep the country on track to meet its 2020 climate targets. But the government’s plan to slap a penalty fee on coal generators that exceed a certain level of emissions sparked widespread concern about job losses, and drew thousands onto the streets in protest in recent months. The backlash forced a change, agreed to late Wednesday night, which is gentler in easing the coal industry towards plant closures. Those who supported the coal levy blame Chancellor Angela Merkel for failing to back Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel when the levy became more contentious.

Center for Biological Diversity:  Petitions EPA to regulate CO2 as a toxic substance

With the world’s oceans and sea life facing an unprecedented crisis from ocean acidification, the Center for Biological Diversity and former Environmental Protection Agency scientist Dr. Donn Viviani today formally petitioned the Obama administration to regulate carbon dioxide under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. The first-of-its-kind petition under the toxics act seeks widespread reduction of CO2 because it contributes to ocean acidification, driving the destruction of coral reefs and threatening nearly every form of sea life, from tiny plankton to fish, whales and sea otters. The petition seeks to regulate CO2 as a chemical substance under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which has been used in the past to regulate harmful chemicals such as PCBs and asbestos. The law requires the EPA to regulate chemicals that present an unreasonable risk to the environment and conduct testing for harmful effects of chemicals that are produced in large quantities. The novel approach of using the Act to regulate CO2 could complement other efforts to reduce the CO2 emissions that are contributing to ocean acidification.

Los Angeles Times:  California electricity bills to rise

Most residential customers in California will see their electricity bills increase under a new rate structure passed Friday by state regulators. The Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a plan that raises rates on more efficient users while giving a break to big energy users. It is the first overhaul of the rate system since brownouts roiled California 15 years ago. Legislators at the time expanded rate-paying tiers from two to four and froze lowest-tier rates to protect households from huge swings in energy bills. The new proposal calls for a return to two tiers, plus a surcharge for the highest electricity users. The rate structure would affect 75% of California’s residential customers, or more than 10 million electricity accounts held through Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. Utilities have long complained that the steeply tiered system means higher-use households have unfairly subsidized low-use households for years. They say that the gap has only increased, with low-use households not even paying for the cost of supplying electricity. “We’re trying to make things more affordable for those upper-use customers because they are paying far more than their share,” said Russ Garwacki, director of pricing design and research at Southern California Edison, which serves 14 million people through 5 million accounts. “It’s a matter of fairness.”

Scotsman:  Japan turns to Scotland for renewable energy help

JAPAN is looking to the Outer Hebrides to help it harness wind and wave power in the wake of the destruction wrought by the country’s devastating tsunami in 2011. The Consul General of Japan will be visiting the Western Isles this week researching smaller-scale renewable energy projects – in what he says could be “one of the most significant” visits he has undertaken. Mr. Hajime Kitaoka will particularly look at wind and wave energy schemes during his two day visit, beginning on Tuesday. Mr Kitaoka, said: “I am very much looking forward to visiting sites relating to renewable energy, which is now of the utmost importance for the future of Japan since the nuclear disaster caused by the tsunami in 2011.”

Energy Voice:  Scots “fed up” with wind farm developments

The Scottish Conservatives have claimed the SNP must acknowledge that people are “fed-up” with wind farm developments. The party’s energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said turbines “springing up all over the place” damaged the landscape for thousands of residents and tourists. “In pressing on with their wind farm obsession the Scottish Government are failing to recognise that the planning process for these developments is a complete mess,” he added. “With guidelines not being followed and local residents not prepared for the visual and noise impacts it is ludicrous for the SNP to put such emphasis on intermittent and unreliable energy sources.” Mr Fraser said it was now time for the SNP to rethink its energy policy and look at different options. “Our policy is to have a balanced energy provision, including renewables, nuclear, oil and gas,” he added. “This would create more opportunities, safeguard valuable jobs, and keep down costs to the consumer.”

Spectator:  England’s hottest July day ever tells us nothing about global warming

If you were deliberately trying to obtain a record high temperature reading an international airport would be a good place to take your thermometer. With huge concrete aprons and planes spewing out large quantities of hot air, airports have a microclimate of their own. That is one reason not to get excited by today’s record July temperature of 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 Celsius) measured at Heathrow. But there is another very good reason why the familiar clattering of broken weather records does little to reinforce the narrative of climate change. There are four countries in the UK, 12 months of the year and 4 main records to beat: hottest, coldest, wettest and driest. Given that reliable records go back little more 100 years, there is only a 20 per cent chance of getting through an entire year without one of those records being broken. Take into account that there are 200 other countries in the world and thousands of cities and other locations around the world with recording stations (a remarkable number of which are at airports, by the way), it is inevitable that we are constantly bombarded with new weather records. They are no guide to climate change.

Guardian: Climate talks moving at a snail’s pace

Negotiations for a deal to fight climate change were moving at a “snail’s pace”, the United Nations chief, Ban Ki-Moon, told a high-level meeting on Monday. A promise from China – the world’s biggest carbon polluter – for ambitious cuts to greenhouse gas emissions “very soon” could inject some much-needed optimism into the talks. But the UN and other leaders warned that time was running out to reach a strong climate change deal in Paris at the end of the year. The gloomy assessment from Ban contrasts with sense of building momentum following the G7 commitment to phase out fossil fuels, the Pope’s call for radical climate action, and a flurry of recent climate announcements from Barack Obama. Five months before the critical gathering, Ban said talks were bogged down, and that negotiators faced many challenges and controversies. “The negotiation pace is too slow, far too slow,” Ban told reporters. “It is moving at a snail’s pace.”

Daily Mail:  Could dwarf cows beat climate change?

Rising temperatures, animal feed shortages and the threat of drought are forcing struggling dairy farmers in India to sell off their cows cheaply. But experts say the solution to the problem is simple and small: heat-tolerant dwarf cows. Scientists have found that two varieties of the small cows are particularly good at tolerating high temperatures because they carry a ‘thermometer gene’ and one farmer has described them as a ‘great weapon against climate change’. ‘High-yielding crossbreed varieties of cattle can faint or even die during hot and humid summer days,’ said E M Muhammed, an expert on animal breeding and genetics at the university. ‘Our natural breeds can better withstand the effects of climate change’.

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20 Responses to Blowout Week 79

  1. Javier says:

    Regarding dwarf cows, as a general rule animal and plant high-yield breeds are a lot more sensitive to any change in conditions and have high requirements. For example for organic farming high-yielding varieties are to be avoided because they have a very high fertilization requirement that when it is not met results in poorer crop yields when compared to rustic varieties.

    Nature does adapt all the time to climate changes. We know that from pallinology (pollen studies). Deciduous trees take shelter during glacial periods in more temperate areas (like the Iberian peninsula) during glacial periods only to expand again and even cross the Alps when the interglacial returns. On a smaller scale that same phenomenon takes place at the fringe of the distribution areas all the time for less drastic changes, like those in the present Holocene that we are experiencing now.

  2. A C Osborn says:

    Re “Guardian: Greenpeace launches suit against Hinkley”
    This is the most Ironic Hypocricy imaginable “We are complaining against these boundless nuclear subsidies, because from an ecological and macro-economic viewpoint, they appear senseless and bring substantial financial disadvantages for other energy suppliers, renewable energies and for consumers,”
    This from the very people who have Distorted the Market place and brought substantial financial disadvantages to Customers.

    Also this morning in the Mail
    “Cornwall County Council ‘acted unlawfully’ approving wind turbines near a beautiful stretch of coastline
    Ruling followed damning claims of cosy relationship between energy company and a planning officer”
    This kind of dodgy dealing has been going on all the time with Wind Farm Planning.

  3. Willem Post says:


    This website regarding the Russian nuclear sector is continuously updated. The latest update was in June 2015.–Nuclear-Power/

    Past shutdowns of gas to Ukraine (transit gas flow to Europe continued) have been related to Ukraine not paying its gas bills. It still owes Russia several billion dollars for gas delivered, but not paid. Per recent agreement (EU/Ukraine/Russia), Ukraine will pre-pay for gas deliveries.

    After such shutdowns, Ukraine began stealing TRANSIT gas destined for Europe. After multiple warnings to stop it, Russia responded by shutting down ALL gas flow, including transit flow, to Ukraine, much to the “consternation” of Europe, which accused Russia of being an unreliable gas partner, whereas, in fact, it was Ukraine being the culprit.

    This was all part of the EU/US/NATO long-term planning of adding Ukraine, etc., to the EU/US/NATO orbit, although this was not clear to most people at the time, until it came to a head in early 2014 with the illegal ousting of a legally elected president.

    Earlier, Germany responded by building Northstream, from Russia to Germany, under the Baltic Sea, ultimate capacity 110 bcm/yr; 2 lines are built, the other 2 will soon be built.

    Earlier, Russia responded by planning Southstream, from Russia to Bulgaria, under the Black Sea, ultimate capacity 63 bcm, but, after Brussel’s onerous Third Energy Package requirements, cancelled it in favor of Turkish Stream, from Russia to Turkey, under the Black Sea, ultimate capacity 63 bcm.

    Both lines bypass Ukraine.

    All Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine will stop sometime in 2019, because Russia will not renew the expiring Ukraine/Russia contract. Ukraine will have to buy gas from European countries, and these countries will have to rearrange their piping.

    • All those in favor of letting Russia have Ukraine, raise your right hands …..

      • Willem Post says:


        I cannot believe the EU idiots in Brussels were so stupid as to play along with the US and end up with nothing but decades of heartaches and headaches from their complicity to control corrupt, bankrupt, dysfunctional, extreme-rightist Ukraine. Serves them right.

        I hope the same will happen when they try to grab Moldova, Georgia, Arminia, Azerbaijan, etc.

        Azerbaijan’s separatist region, called Nagorno-Karabakh, is being coddled by London.

        It looks like, if a a separatist region declares itself for the West, it is being recognized as legal, such as Kosovo, but if it declares itself for Russia, then it is not, and sanctions are applied on Russia and a blockade is applied on the separatist areas.

        Double standard anyone?

      • Marcus says:

        30 million Ukrainians say no. What business is it of anyone here to seek to determine Ukraine’s fate?

        • Euan Mearns says:

          Seeking opinion is not seeking to determine.

          • Marcus says:

            Maybe. It is just such an odd notion to surface on a continent that should know better. What is next, who’s for letting Putin “have” Greece, or Estonia, Lithuania, Poland? We tried letting Hitler “have” the Sudetenland and that didn’t turn out so well, did it?

          • Euan Mearns says:

            We tried letting Hitler “have” the Sudetenland and that didn’t turn out so well, did it?

            From my perspective, the last conflict we had with Russia was The Crimean War. Since then European conflict and aggression was dominated by Germany – as you point out.

            I’m not sure much has changed. The € has brought Germany immense prosperity while much of the € zone has perished.

          • The difference is that Britain and France were not trying to annex the Sudetenland. Hitler’s action was proactive, not reactive.

          • JerryC says:

            Well, Britain and France did take Sudetenland from Germany after WWI, so from the German perspective what Hitler did was reactive, a righting of past wrongs.

            And perhaps rationalized on those terms as well. Let him have it. What do we care about Sudetenland?

          • Marcus says:

            Euan, much has indeed changed in Germany, which is now a peaceful and indeed pacifist democratic nation. Russia is an undemocratic kleptocracy – maybe that hasn’t changed since Crimean war times, if that is what you meant.

            Roger, the only annexation going on is that of the Crimea and eastern Ukraine by little green men.

            JerryC the “righting of past wrongs” implies that you can judge what is right and wrong for a far away land. That is at best uncertain.

            Willem, people’s votes are constrained by the political system in place. 300 million Americans elected the idiot Bush, after all. Just because Ukrainians voted one way or another doesn’t mean they approve of their system or its actions or that they should expect to be given up to Putin.

          • Roberto says:


            The difference is that Britain and France were not trying to annex the Sudetenland. Hitler’s action was proactive, not reactive.’

            You are right, France and Britain were too busy keeping the occupation of half of Africa and India/Pakistan/more… no time to spend with the sudetenland…

        • Willem Post says:


          The 30 million elected incompetent clowns approved by the US/EU. They were incompetent before February 2014 and have proved it ever since.

          Here is an excerpt from a Die Welle article:

          “These developments are all having a negative impact on the parties’ polling numbers. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front is being most affected. The party, which garnered the most votes in last October’s elections, with 22 percent, now has approval ratings below five percent. If elections were held today they would likely not even make it into parliament. In contrast, the Poroshenko alliance, which came in second in October, would receive about 16 percent of the vote, giving it the most votes overall. Local elections are scheduled for this fall. The governing coalition in Kyiv should hold till then.”

  4. Euan Mearns says:

    Solar Impulse 2 reaching Hawaii is a fine achievement. In the same way that Thor Heyerdahl crossing the Pacific was a fine achievement. This is not analogous to the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk where “infinite” increase in power and resource lay ahead.

    • I agree, a fine achievement. But technologically all it proves is that solar powered flight is not a viable option at the moment and probably won’t be for a long time to come.

      • Willem Post says:


        I highly recommend you read “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, which details the at least 10-year struggle to not only achieve flight, but to make take off and landings AT WILL.

        The French recognized the brothers being way ahead of them, well before Washington finally recognized the brothers being way ahead of Langley, who Washington had been backing and who produced failure after failure; an early indication of incompetent government meddling.

  5. Roger White says:

    This may be a local one for you, Euan – a claim by the Scottish National Party, based on WWF figures. The SNP headline is ”Outstanding’ new figures show renewables strength,’ their footnote explains ‘Figures from WWF Scotland show that in June 2015 Wind turbines in Scotland provided 620,144MWh of electricity to the National Grid which is enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 70% of Scottish households (1.7 million homes) – an increase of 120% compared to that of June 2014, when wind energy provided 281,735MWh.’

    I’m sceptical of what the claim and the figures mean but don’t have the expertise to evaluate them. I’m sure you do if you were so minded. Anyhow, here’s the link to the SNP’s claim – Thanks for making Energy Matters always worthwhile for this layman to dip into.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Thanks Roger, I’ve done a few posts on this kind of propaganda before. What they will forget to mention is that the wind turbines probably provided 200% of needs for some of the time and 0% for some of the time and that we are now dependent on England for FF based balancing services.

  6. A C Osborn says:

    Euan, after this very memorable weekend Greece wise I am surprised that I have not heard one single person on TV discussions mention the fact that “Potentially” Greece is a very wealthy country with a great deal of Gas & Oil just off it’s shores.
    A forward thinking country (I hope not Russia) could be forgiven for taking on or paying off Greeces $34Billion debt in exchange to sole rights to develop and own said Gas & Oil deposits, just paying Greece a royalty per TCF or BBL.
    This is especially relevant with the whole of the EU needing Gas and looking to reduce their reliance on Russia.

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