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ODAC Newsletter - Sep 24

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.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has given the strongest indication yet that the coalition government is actually considering the possible impacts of peak oil. "We will have a world where there may be lots of shocks, we may well have oil price rises which are similar to the ones that we had in the 1970s, a doubling", he told a fringe meeting of the Lib Dem conference. He also told the meeting he had asked DECC to do "some work" on potential impacts — probably a reference to the consultation to which ODAC has submitted a paper. He also referred to "oil shocks to come" during his speech to the main conference. While at no point referring specifically to 'peak oil' his language does suggest that government may be waking up to the issue.

Huhne's speech to the main conference was high on rhetoric, promising the long awaited low carbon revolution. He made it clear to the party that he would approve new nuclear builds despite traditional Lib Dem opposition, and outlined the impending 'Green Deal' — a programme to insulate UK housing stock by using energy savings from insulation measures to compensate companies which meet the upfront cost of making upgrades. But there was no hint on whether the government plans to slash 'feed in tariffs' for renewable electricity and the proposed renewable heat tariff, as reported recently.

On the subject of the oil price, Canadian economist Jeff Rubin claimed that even the current price is high enough to prevent the US economy from recovering. "The age of cheap oil is over", he wrote in the Globe & Mail, "and that means recalibrating the speed limit for the world's largest oil-consuming economy. In a world of $75–per-barrel to triple-digit oil prices, the U.S. economy is not likely to grow more than by 1 to 2 per cent per year until it can curb its oil appetite significantly".

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Oil

Liberal Democrat Conference: 'Oil price could double in return to 1970s style shocks'

Gas

Russia, China agree gas supply terms: Gazprom

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Europe agrees plan to avoid gas shortages

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Gas is the future

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Electricity

Ofgem launches wide-ranging energy review

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Study says heat pumps are not environmentally friendly

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Smart grids need smart attitudes

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Nuclear

President Barack Obama's Yucca Mountain decision is a blow to US nuclear power

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Renewables

US renewable energy bill faces battle in 2010

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Largest offshore wind farm opens off Thanet in Kent

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Scots renewable energy target surpassed

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Biofuels

Where there's bugs, there's brass: UK firm lands $500m biofuel contract

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Airlines chief urges more investment in biofuels

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UK

Solar power subsidy under review

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Chris Huhne announces 250,000 green jobs to boost the economy

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Government prepares fund to help small business become more energy efficient

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Geopolitics

Arctic summit in Moscow hears rival claims

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China Suspends Ministerial-Level Talks With Japan Over Boat Clash

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Transport

How to Get People Out of Their Cars

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Editorial Notes: The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC) is an independent, UK-registered educational charity working to raise international public awareness and promote better understanding of the world's oil-depletion problem.

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