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ODAC Newsletter - Aug 28

Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, the UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.

The oil price reached its highest level in 2009 this week at over $74/barrel before falling back on news of rising US stocks and possible curbs on overcapacity in Chinese heavy industry. Economic optimism is higher than at any point this year, but as yet oil demand remains suppressed.

ODAC has long criticised the International Energy Agency's position on peak oil, so imagine our surprise when the IEA's chief economist, Fatih Birol appeared to have shifted position and declared peak oil would come in ten years time - at least, according to an interview in the Independent three weeks ago. Dr Birol's apparent conversion provoked a predictable outburst from Michael Lynch in the New York Times and a splenetic attack on the Huffington Post website. But ODAC was always sceptical about the story, and as trustee David Strahan reports in guest commentary, the IEA says the article was confusing and its position remains unchanged.

As countries increasingly recognise the need to move away from fossil fuel energy, there were a number of interesting developments this week in the renewables sector. A Chinese firm has produced the world's most efficient commercial photo voltaic panels, at a time when China’s solar industry is beginning to eclipse that of Germany, the previous frontrunner. In the UK the government is aiming to hasten the adoption of wind power by speeding up grid connections for new installations, and considering the idea of a ‘conservation bank’ to reduce local resistance to new onshore windfarms. Hans Werner Sin of Germany’s Ifo Institute for Economic Research argues however that all of these efforts will be in vain unless governments rig the economics of energy supply by making it economically advantageous to leave fossil fuels in the ground.

Oil

Oil Falls a Third Day After Unexpected Increase in U.S. Supply

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Don't Be Crude

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‘Peak Oil’ Is a Waste of Energy

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Iran announces largest oil find for five years

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A Solar-Powered Oil Field?

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Nigeria Rebels Suspend Peace Talks, May Resume Attacks in Delta

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Saudi raises oil output to benefit from prices

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Iraq’s Second Oil Bidding Round Needs Higher Fees to Succeed

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US regulator have right to check London oil market

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Timid oil giants hand back their cash

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Gas

Foreign energy groups buy into US natural gas

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China secures gas from Burmese waters in $5.6bn deal

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Gorgon go-ahead rallies energy groups

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Coal

Coal price surges on Chinese demand

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Renewables

China powers ahead as it seizes the green energy crown from Europe

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The Big Question: Should Africa be generating much of Europe's power?

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Vow to speed up wind farm grid connection

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Objectors to wind farms to be bought off

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UK

Fake trees, algae tubes and white roofs among UK engineers' climate solutions

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Home owners failing green targets to pay more Council Tax

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Climate

Climate policy picks the wrong target

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Climate protesters target the 'dirty dozen'

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Asia hits back on climate change

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BP and Shell warned to halt campaign against US climate change bill

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Editorial Notes: Updated per revisions to David Strahan's commentary following further clarification from the IEA. - SO

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