Tag Archives: energy policy

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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Primary Energy in The European Union and USA Compared

The EU has a larger population and smaller land area than the USA resulting in a population density 3.6 times that of the USA. European citizens therefore have less land available to service the energy needs of its citizens. This combined with different approaches to energy policy has led to the EU now importing 55% of it energy needs while the USA imports only 10%. The USA is well on its way to energy independence. This could have foreign policy and defence implications where the UK and USA has divergent priorities to 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 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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Climate science and the UK Climate Change Act

The Climate Change Act of 2008 is, supposedly, underpinned by the findings of climate science, and riding herd on these findings is the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which reviews the state of climate science whenever a new carbon budget is published to see whether any significant changes have occurred. Here we briefly review the CCC’s latest assessment, which accompanies the fifth carbon budget. We find that few if any of the CCC’s conclusions are backed up by hard evidence and that some of them are the opposite of the truth. Yet they still underpin the Climate Change Act, which continues to govern the UK’s long-term energy policy. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

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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The looming Nordic energy crisis

Nuclear power in Sweden has become uneconomical. Wholesale prices of electricity in Sweden have been much lower than the breakeven price for nuclear generation. Electricity has been sold at a record low price of €20 per megawatt hour (MWh), while the cost of generating nuclear power has been in the same ballpark, or even slightly higher. Continue reading

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The Destruction of Scottish Power

The Scottish Government has set a target for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020. The intended consequence of this policy has been the closure of Cockenzie coal fired power station with Longannet to follow this year with a total loss of 3.6 GW dispatchable capacity. Can Scotland keep the lights on? Continue reading

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Blowout Week 99

Read on to learn about backfiring OPEC strategy, the plight of Canada’s oil producers, the US rig count (down again), hope for the North Sea, Luxembourg joining Austria in the Hinkley suit, the EU-Hungary nuclear dispute, OECD to cut coal plant financing, coal output in India to double, high winds shut down German turbines……. Continue reading

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Time for the Tories to Repeal The 2008 Climate Change Act

Doug Brodie says to Tory MPs in an email:
Why the Climate Change Act should be Repealed

I am a retired engineer who is horrified at how climate change political correctness is leading our country into electricity blackouts and economic decline, all for marginal climate and sustainability benefit. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 152 Comments

Blowout Week 71

This week we give OPEC a rest and focus – inevitably – on the UK election and its potential impacts on UK energy policy:

More post-election predictions and perspectives below the fold, plus German coal causing air pollution in France, US coal is either dead or it isn’t, rationing UK internet use to keep the lights on, Scotland’s green energy vision, a record trade deficit in Canada, Australia squabbles over renewables targets, Iran determined to sell more oil, jet fuel from fungus, CO2 exceeds 400ppm, how Americans can fight global warming by eating insects and the US Army promises not to invade Texas.
Continue reading

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UK Electricity Supply, Christmas 2014

On Christmas Day, children began opening their presents at around 05:00 am in the UK. As the excitement gathered pace, the country’s coal power stations were fired up providing 38% of all the electricity consumed. Nuclear hummed along all day providing a steady 8 GW and 26% of the total. Clean burning natural gas was demoted to third place providing just 14% of the total whilst providing a significant share of the load balancing service. Coal, nuclear and natural gas combined provided 78% of UK electricity on Christmas Day. Continue reading

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The Failure of Green Energy Policies

It is important to recall that well over $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) has been spent on installing wind and solar devices in recent years with the sole objective of reducing global CO2 emissions. It transpires that since 1995 low carbon energy sources (nuclear, hydro and other renewables) share of global energy consumption has not changed at all (Figure 1). Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , | 132 Comments

Blowout week 27

UK energy news this week was dominated by the publication by DECC of the last strand of their energy policy. The document and its attachments struck me as preposterous (see first link below). Does anyone believe that £2 per household will buy 53 GW of back up generating capacity? Does anyone believe that the UK has superior energy security to Canada? Continue reading

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Global Energy Trends – BP Statistical Review 2014

In 2003, FF accounted for 87% of global primary energy consumption. In 2013, FF accounted for 87% of global primary energy consumption. This is testimony to the absolute failure of energy policies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. Continue reading

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The Arguments For and Against Wind Power

The main arguments in favour of wind power are reduction in balance of trade deficits in countries that import energy and, longer term, mitigating for energy scarcity and the reduction in supplies of affordable fossil fuels.

The main arguments against are higher primary cost plus ancillary costs of mitigating intermittency that are paid by the consumer, landscape and amenity degradation and possibly grid destabilisation. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 55 Comments

The Fantasy of European Gas Independence

Indigenous and North African supplies of gas to Europe declined by 50 million tonnes per annum over the last decade and are likely to decline by a similar amount in the next.

Imports of LNG from the USA and development of indigenous shale gas may compensate for some of the decline in legacy supply, but it is difficult to imagine that these new sources can begin to substitute for Russian imports of 140 million tonnes per annum. Continue reading

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Blowout week 13

UK energy policy in disarray: UK has among cheapest gas and electric in Europe; Government to investigate big 6 utilities for malpractice; Scottish and Southern Energy freeze prices until 2015 but axes renewables investment; politicians from all sides line up to take the credit. Continue reading

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Fuel poverty in the UK

Fuel poverty has got worse in the UK since 2003, in part due to higher international energy prices and in part due to misguided energy policies. A series of cold winters since 2009 has made matters worse offset in part by improved energy efficiency of the housing stock. Continue reading

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Correlated wind and incoherent energy policy

When the wind blows it is common for it to blow everywhere at once in Europe. When the wind doesn’t blow, it is common for it to be calm everywhere at once in Europe. No amount of electricity grid interconnection can solve this problem. Continue reading

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