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ODAC Newsletter Dec 7

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

If last week's energy bill announcement was about building the low carbon power system of the future, this week's gas strategy and autumn statement felt like a blast from the past. With Energy and Climate and Change Secretary Ed Davey away at the COP 18 UN climate change talks in Doha, it was left to the Chancellor (increasingly the unofficial minister for gas) George Osborne to deliver the strategy which opens the way to 26 GW of new gas powered plants by 2030, with a second scenario which could generate as much as 37GW "should the 4th Carbon Budget be revised upwards".

So here is the rub — there are two gas policies — the DECC one and the Treasury one. Just a week after a major energy strategy release to provide a clear framework for investment, here we are with huge question mark hanging over everything. The growth in gas would be dramatic even under the lower scenario with 26GW at the high end of previously proposed figures — just in September the leaked figure was 20GW. Greenpeace warns that even the 26 GW build will put severe pressure on emissions targets.

The increased role for gas shows the government backing the highly questionable scenario of a domestic shale gas boom in which "we make the best use of lower cost gas power". Given that even the government's own documents point out the very different circumstances around drilling in the UK to the US experience, this is a huge assumption. The renewed backing for gas is however likely to confuse the investment picture for low carbon power making the UK more reliant on volatile gas prices. The announcement also shows strong signs that any Conservative government after the next election would back away from UK climate commitments.

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Oil Snaps Three Days of Losses on China Output Growth Outlook

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EIA: AEO 2013 reference case projects faster US production growth

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North Sea oil production 'could rise in short-term'

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U.S. Feels Less Gasoline Pain as Pakistan Tops Ranking

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Gas strategy unveiled by George Osborne

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Gas strategy should be 'plan Z', government's climate adviser warns

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Autumn Statement: More gas plants 'needed' - but doubts over incentives to secure investment

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Cuadrilla's Francis Egan on why fracking is the future

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Osborne's dash for gas won't happen — yet

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Chancellor's cheap gas strategy 'undermines investment and jobs'

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Fossil fuel subsidies 'a disaster' for economy and environment

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Why we need a green gas strategy

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Paris Faces Darkness as City Set for Illumination Ban

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EDF to extend life of nuclear power plants

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EDF France Reactor Cost Rise May Pressure U.K. Power Price Talks

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Report: Decentralised energy needs a central role

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UK's failure to win CCS funding 'a slap in the face' for developers

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Lord Deben: Thatcherite turned green warrior defends Climate Act

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