Category Archives: Blowout

Blowout Week 144

This week’s Blowout features a blackout, specifically the long-anticipated outage that plunged South Australia into darkness last week. But it was caused by strong winds that took down transmission lines, not by too much wind power on the grid. Or was it? Continue reading

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Blowout Week 143

In this week’s blowout we revisit the issue of £billion dumb meters, weak oil prices, Libya ramping oil production a lot, Donald Trump wooing the oil industry, Australia’s stranded coal reserves, wind frenzy in China, US wave power takes off, blackouts in Puerto Rico, the Nordlink inter-connector, Holland to close coal fired power generation, Tesla to power Europe. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 142

In this week’s bumper blowout: Hinkley Point C finally gets green light; KEPCO close to investing in new nuclear at Moorside; the oil at Gatwick Airport keeps on gushing; oil price tumbles as OPEC and IEA see oil glut continuing; Dutch gas (crucial to Europe) is in decline; Gazprom to increase gas exports to Europe; environmentalists oppose new gas pipeline to Europe; venture capital funds abandon clean energy; renewables losing ground in Japan; decarbonising transport in Europe is fanciful; solar panel glut in China; 40% of Ireland’s wind power curtailed; UK must add CCS to save consumers billions; UK electricity prices surge; first large scale tidal power deployed in Scotland; Stuart Paton on fracking, nuclear power and Scottish energy policy. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 141

In this week’s Blowout: Bumper wheat harvest in hottest year; OPEC output falls sharply in August; Apache Corporation makes billion barrel find; Caspian Sea set to add 200,000 bpd; Hurricane Energy finds more oil West of Shetland; US rigs up 7; Rosatom to build 16 nukes in Saudi; Iran begins work on second nuke; UK government may take a stake in Hinkley and renegotiate deal; Corbyn to ban fracking; coal prices surge; global coal consumption rising; 100% renewables in Costa Rica; one new turbine a day in Scotland; US may outlaw biomass in power sector; renewable heat strategy failing in UK; Spain replaces old solar modules; global warming causes profanity. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 140

This week’s Blowout focuses on the “formal commitment” of Presidents Xi of China and Obama of the U.S. to the Paris Climate Accord. Xi may be in a position to commit China but it’s questionable whether Obama has the ability to commit the U.S. without congressional approval. The last time the U.S. signed a major climate accord (Kyoto in 1997) it was promptly and unanimously repudiated by the U.S. Senate: Continue reading

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Blowout Week 139

Elsewhere in this week’s Blowout: Iran / OPEC deal on the cards; China accused of nuclear espionage; UK government looks for ways to torpedo Hinkley Point; Fessenheim nuclear power plant in France to close; coking coal price on the rise; £200 million pumped storage hydro scheme on Lewis; National grid clutching at straw batteries; Telegraph living in the real world; Tesla cramming in more electrons; Human caused climate change started in 1830; Air Africa to run on Woodbines; France opts for tree wind power over nuclear power. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 138

This week’s Blowout features the arrival within the next few weeks of the first of many shiploads of US fracked shale gas scheduled to be delivered to Scotland, which fracking supporters hope will “undermine arguments against fracking for shale gas in Scotland’s central belt”. The SHALE GAS FOR PROGRESS painted on the ships’ sides alone (inset) will be like a red rag to a bull to the anti-frackers, so prepare for protests: Continue reading

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Blowout Week 137

This week we return to Hinkley Point, where yet another potentially deal-breaking complication has arisen as a result of the US filing suit against the China General Nuclear Power Company – a 33.5% stakeholder in Hinkley – for nuclear espionage. China has warned that retaliatory measures may be taken if the UK now dumps Hinkley. So what happens next? Continue reading

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Blowout Week 136

This week’s blowout kicks off with a look at the destiny of waste from the US Camp Century base on Greenland and follows up with the proposed OPEC freeze, more on Hinkley Point, molten salt reactors, Rosatom in Belarus, Westinghouse in Ukraine, peak coal in China, renewable subsidies, Brexit, Ofgem should be scrapped, compressed air energy storage and shale gas in China. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 135

This weeks’s blowout looks into global oil storage capacity, Middle East nuclear power, offshore wind cheaper than nuclear, US heat wave, Poland, coal and Germany, human rights, Brexit and climate change. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 134

This week we feature the forthcoming US elections, in particular the Republican and Democratic Platforms on energy and climate change. It’s difficult to conceive of such diametrically opposed positions. If Clinton wins the US will continue with Obama’s pro-renewable policies, but a Trump victory could well put paid to the world’s vision of a renewable energy future. Or could it?

The Democrats: “Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time.”

The Republicans: “would end limits to CO2 emissions, pull the US out of the United Nations climate process, open protected forests to logging and end all subsidies to renewable energy.” Continue reading

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Blowout Week 133

This week’s Blowout features the demise of the DECC and its amalgamation into the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Does this signal a sea change in UK government energy policy, or is it business-as-usual under a new banner?

Following up are stories on the reactions of the greens to the disappearance of the DECC and on what Theresa May thinks about climate change. (It seems that she has never established a position; her few recorded utterances are heavy into energy security but say nothing about climate change per se.)
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Blowout Week 132

In 2007, Alex Salmond rejected any new nuclear Scottish power stations. Policies based on fear, rather than facts, may feel good, but they increase the overall risk by not educating the public. Successful democracy requires people understand the decisions they make; otherwise it becomes a loose cannon, with decisions based on slogans. Accidents, when amplified by the media, induce fear far beyond realistic risk. At Fukushima none died from radiation exposure. At Chernobyl only 46 died as a result of radiation damage, an accident caused by faulty safety design and irresponsible neglect of safety procedures. In Hamburg in 2011, 54 died from eating organic beansprouts and 3,500 experienced kidney damage. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 131

Roger Andrews, a UK national by birth now living in Mexico provides the Energy Matters’ view on Brexit, energy matters, climate change and global politics. 75 years experience analysing complex data impartially does count! Continue reading

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Blowout Week 130 – Brexit Special

The news this week is totally dominated by the Brexit vote and so is this edition of Blowout. How will Brexit affect the UK, the EU and the world economies? Will there be a sea change in UK energy and climate policy? How long might it take to complete negotiations for an orderly exit? Will the EU now start to unravel? Will the UK itself start to unravel with a Scottish independence vote? Continue reading

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Blowout Week 129

This week’s Blowout focuses on the distressed UK North Sea oil & gas industry followed by speculators foresee $100 oil, Norway’s oil & gas fields lose $50 billion in value, oil industry to cut $1 trillion in spending, squabbles over US Arctic oil leasing, another blow to Japan’s nuclear renaissance, the first US reactor startup in 20 years, bleak outlook for Australia’s brown coal plants, India cancels 16GW of coal, Brexit’s impact on energy investment, smart meters not needed for an EU grid after all, solar potential in Ireland, the National Grid should be broken up, a new submarine cable to France and Obama’s energy storage initiative. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 128

This week we focus on Germany’s Energiewende followed by turning the C in CCS into rock, further job losses expected in UK oil and gas, forecast decline in non-OPEC oil supplies, England not windy enough, unscheduled global oil supply disruptions, more US oil patch bankruptcies, Westinghouse to build nuclear plants in India, Sweden goes nuclear again, Finland to build another nuclear plant, “incident” shuts down Tihange plant, signs of recovery in coal, Brexit to cause loss of UK energy sovereignty, ENSO events influence global temperatures for hundreds of years. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 127

Global temperatures falling, two Illinois nuclear plants to close, UK solar house-holds to pay insurance for grid access, more threats from Niger Delta Avengers, gas guzzler sales rise, first oil shipment from Yamal, Merkel puts brakes on the Energiewende, fule shortages in France, UK to reconsider coal shutdown, more islands seek 100% renewables, a brighter future for North Sea oil, microbe energy storage, Brexit, US-Russia nuclear cooperation, the Fukushima “ice wall” and why the world isn’t going to meet the 2˚C warming goal. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 126

This weeks’ stories include Brexit and investment in renewables, oil discoveries at their lowest level since 1952, Saudi strategy paying off, nuclear in Egypt and South Africa, coal in Japan, Nigeria on the brink of collapse, nuclear workers strike in France, oil breaks $50/bbl, yet another setback for Hinkley Point, the EC to lend Spain 2.13 billion to shut down coal plants, the EIB forks out 525 million for the Beatrice wind farm, energy independence for Israel, G7 nations to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, Australia opts out of latest UN climate change report, goodbye El Niño and hello La Niña, the CERN cloud experiment casts doubt on global warming predictions, the “internet of things” and how climate change is poisoning our food. Continue reading

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Blowout week 125

Fire at Ivanpah Concentrated Solar Plant in California, Trump to renegotiate Paris climate deal if elected, Portugal runs on renewables for 4 days, the Saudi bond issue, Anglesey nuclear plant moves ahead, EU plan causes nuclear uproar in Germany, Japan lagging in divesting coal, South Australia running on renewables, Tory MPs favor Swansea Bay tidal, Nigerian militants control the global oil market, a cabinet shuffle in Scotland, Portland, Oregon bans “climate change denial” books in schools, possible blackouts in Southern California, Google’s human flypaper and Pakistan digs mass graves for anticipated future climate change victims. Continue reading

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