Tag Archives: blackouts

Blowout Week 157 – New Year’s Edition

We kick of this week with a look at EU gas imports from Russia. And then follow with Russians hack into a Vermont utility; Toshiba’s nuclear business in trouble; nuclear power in Iran, Switzerland and South Africa; uranium in the US and Spain; Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage; coal in China and India; the Energiewende and the “Trump Effect”; Hawaii accelerates drive for 100% renewables; renewables records fall in Europe; Drax secures its future; post-Brexit investment surge in UK; Scotland’s renewable targets; electric vehicle costs; Swansea Bay tidal project adrift; climate change and Arctic warmth; more blackouts in South Australia and climate skeptics hoping to come in from the cold. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 156 – Christmas Eve

This week it’s back to OPEC, which recently agreed to cut its output by 1.2 million bpd in an attempt to increase oil prices supplemented by an additional 0.5 million bpd from Russia + other non-OPEC producers. What does this portend for the oil market? Industry opinion is unanimous. No one knows: Continue reading

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Blowout week 153

There are two major stories this week. First, the agreement within OPEC to cut production in concert with some non-OPEC countries, notably Russia sent the oil price soaring, but it has so far failed to break resistance at $54. Second, 50% of the 2 GW England-France inter-connector was severed by a dragged anchor during storm Angus. Continue reading

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Blackout

Last week I gave a talk at The Scottish Oil Club in Edinburgh that was well received. The slide deck can be down loaded here. Since then we have been on high blackout alert since the UK weather has turned cold, wet and snowy with little wind at times. And there are 20 nuclear power stations closed in France creating an import shortage. This post summarises my talk using 14 out of 36 slides. 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 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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Blackout California

The shutdown of the leaking Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility has caused a loss of about 70bcf of stored gas that Southern California utilities have historically counted on to see them through the hot, high-demand summer months. The California Independent Service Operator (CAISO), which manages the California grid, estimates that as a result all customers should expect to be without power for a total of 14 days this summer. Some 21 million Southern Californians stand to be directly affected. 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 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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Blowout Week 124

This week’s Blowout features one of the storage options for intermittent renewable energy – the electric vehicle that discharges back into the grid. Nissan and Enel are about to launch a 100-vehicle pilot project that will charge from and discharge … Continue reading

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The Tasmanian “energy crisis”

In August 2012 Australia imposed a carbon tax on fossil fuel generation, and almost immediately Hydro Tasmania took advantage by shipping large quantities of cheap hydropower to the mainland via the 500MW “Basslink” interconnector (image). But the shipments combined with a lack of rainfall in 2015 depleted the volume of water stored behind Tasmania’s dams – and then the Basslink interconnector failed. As a result Tasmania has now had to purchase diesel generators and reactivate its only gas-fired plant to avoid potential power shortages. Tasmania’s case is a classic example of how misguided government attempts to decarbonize electricity generation can seriously distort an electricity market. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 122

In Blowout this week: oil companies getting back in the black, China to fund Yamal, France to issue “green bonds”, Colombian imports cut Australian coal prices, Venezuela’s energy crisis gets worse, biodiesel increases EU emissions, storage batteries in Germany, solar in Ireland, the US solar scandal, UK solar firms face insolvency, Sturgeon says “yes” to fossil fuels, tide power off the Isle of Wight, red meat in Denmark, insects in Sweden, a weasel shuts down the Hadron Collider and a green energy expert who consorts with extraterrestrials. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 121

This week more on OPEC and oil, Russia and Norway struggle to preserve gas market share, China’s floating nuclear plants, Poland’s new wind law, Germany tells Begium to shut down nuclear plants, electronics from coal, there is no Obama “war on coal”, 100% renewables for Australia and for Europe too via the MENA supergrid, SNP wants 50% renewables by 2020, UK shale oil ready to boom, Hinkley delayed yet again, objections to Drax subsidies, the Times says the wrong things about climate change and Subsidy Sam – the answer to Tommy Turbine. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 120

To provide a little light relief from weightier issues this week’s Blowout features the extraordinary capacity of the human mind to invent new ways of generating low-carbon energy. We already generate biogas from rotting garbage, waste food, vegetable oils and animal manure, and now we generate it from – cheese: Continue reading

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Drought, El Niño, Blackouts and Venezuela

It’s fashionable these days to blame everything that goes wrong with anything on human interference with the climate, and we had yet another example last week when President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela fingered drought, El Niño and global warming as the reasons Venezuela’s lights keep going out. In this post I show that his Excellency has not a leg to stand on when he makes these claims, but that because no one ever looks at the data everyone believes him. Continue reading

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One Step Closer to Blackouts

On Thursday 24th March, Longannet Power Station in Scotland closed down. This post examines the policy and politics that led to this event and goes on to consider the social and economic consequences of a nation-wide blackout that power engineers now believe is far more likely than before. Continue reading

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El Hierro, January/February 2016 update:

The Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant on the Canary Island of El Hierro is a flagship project designed ultimately to provide the island with 100% renewable electricity. The low-wind conditions that dominated during the last four months of 2015 continued into January 2016, leading to only 22% renewables generation in that month. Much of February, however, was characterized by strong winds, and combined with the 100% renewables tests that were performed this resulted in renewable energy supplying 54% of El Hierro’s grid demand in that month, exceeding the 52% achieved in June/July 2015. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 113

This week Nicholas Stern is in the spotlight followed by US shale producers are finally buckling – or are they? Plus the budding US/Russia natural gas war, China now number one in wind, nuclear power plant costs, EDF calls for EU market reform, German solar “too much of a good thing”, Drax threatens a shutdown, the Didcot accident, Swansea tidal has a competitor, Solar Scotland, the ITER nuclear fusion machine, another battery storage breakthrough, the global warming pause is real and sea levels are rising faster than ever. Continue reading

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Blowout week 109

Back to the harsh realities this week. The UK is going to freeze in the dark after all. Then we continue with OPEC’s call for production cuts, Petrobras slashes reserves, help for the North Sea, Japan restarts another reactor, Elon Musk on clean energy in China, solar and wind victorious in Germany, rooftop solar wars in the US, more delays at Hinkley, the EC delves deeper into Drax, a 50MW wind turbine, the Zika virus, how global warming has brought seedless table grapes to UK, conspiracy theory and the Atomic Clock stays at three minutes to midnight. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 102

I kick off Blowout 102 with Justine Greening allocating £billions to save Britain from climate refugees. While she does not link the Syrian conflict directly to climate change it is held up as an example of what may happen. Confused? I think she is. Also a look at Storm Desmond and the floods – was Desmond caused by, caused partly by or not caused at all by climate change? Also the usual diet of diesels, blackouts and oil price crash below the fold. Continue reading

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