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ODAC Newsletter - Oct 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.

Markets jumped on Thursday as the Eurozone patched together yet another deal to relieve its debt crisis. The high spirits saw 3% added to the FTSE amid hope that the deal will buy time to develop a permanent solution — if that is possible. Meanwhile the turbulence in the markets is being increasingly reflected in the streets through the growing Occupy movement, and continuing demonstrations in Spain and Greece.

The role of peak oil in the economic crisis continues to be largely ignored in the mainstream press, however the stubbornly high price of oil even in the face of the economic gloom is catching some attention. The Daily Telegraph asked this week 'Why is the oil price still so high?' and came up with the answer that "the most plausible explanation for such high prices is tight supply, counteracting the economic gloom."

The impact of high oil prices on the US consumer was the subject of a new report from the New America Foundation think tank. The report 'The Price-Induced Energy Trap' concludes that once easy substitutions have been made, higher spending on gasoline simply replaces other kinds of outlay. Essentially, people rely so heavily on driving for their daily lives that other spending must be sacrificed.

In the UK the high cost of energy is increasingly becoming a rallying cause amongst a faction of the Conservative party who hold 'green taxes' to be a key culprit, egged on by the Daily Mail. It's nonsense of course: fossil fuels receive much larger subsidies worldwide; and rising domestic energy bills are driven largely by the wholesale gas price — forward prices are 40% higher this winter than last.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne hit back in a major speech in support of renewables, telling industry delegates "We will not heed the naysayers or the green economy deniers. With over £200 billion worth of energy infrastructure needed by the end of the decade, this is our golden chance to deliver a greener future." Such fighting talk is encouraging, but is only needed because there is clearly a major battle raging over energy policy, with chancellor George Osborne in the opposite corner. If the last two decades are anything to go by, the odds are that sensible energy policy will lose out to short term political and economic imperatives.

The Parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee report 'UK Energy Supply: Security or Independence?' released this week was a reminder that making the energy transition will take more than gung-ho talk. The report raised a number of concerns including insufficient gas storage, the risk to emissions targets of replacing decommissioned coal and nuclear power stations with unabated gas fired power plants, and insufficient understanding of the behavioural aspects of energy demand reduction.

View our Reports and Resources page

Oil

Why is the oil price still so high?

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Oil Drops on Japan Output, Pares Biggest Weekly Gain Since March

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China's oil thirst will squeeze market -funds

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We Pay More to Drive Than We Spend on Taxes

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Shell's Profit Soars

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BP third-quarter profits mark 'turning point'

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BP faces challenge to Shetland drilling

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EU crackdown on oil firms will not extend to overseas operations

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Big Oil Poised to Scale Lower Height

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Nuclear

China environment minister says nuclear safety risks climbing

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Czechs Plan Nuclear Push

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Renewables

Economic Slowdown Challenges Renewable Energy

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Siemens reveals plan to mass produce offshore wind farms

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Greece in talks to repay debts with solar power

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Biofuels

Trouble in the algae lab for Craig Venter and Exxon

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UK

Huhne slams 'climate sceptics and armchair engineers' for undermining green economy

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How to solve 'green growth denial' in one stroke

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Renewables could be UK's major power source by 2030: WWF

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Government must define 'energy security', warn MPs

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UK offshore wind to struggle with surge in projects

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Hydropower turbine brings renewable energy to river Thames

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UK And Norway Sign Energy Pact To Develop Resources

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Energy inefficiency costing UK small businesses £7.7bn a year

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