Thursday saw the long awaited UK energy bill finally presented to parliament. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey described the bill as "good for the British economy, good for consumers, and good for the planet". So what is it good for?…
An oil executive once observed that burning oil for energy is like burning Picassos for heat. Oil is extraordinarily valuable as the basis for so many products we use every day that the thought of simply burning it ought to be unthinkable. And yet, because oil remains the most cost-effective and widely available source of liquid fuels, we are hooked on it for transportation with little prospect of substitutes on the scale we would require–unless we consider electricity.
Oil prices remained steady this week as the closure of the Keystone pipeline in the US to address possible safety issues balanced bearish news on the Chinese economy. Beijing reported that Q3 saw growth slow to 7.4%, compared to the same period last year.
With gasoline scaling $4 a gallon recently, plans announced last week by international oil giant BP to export U.S.-produced crude oil ought to have Americans howling. For such a plan to be good energy policy–rather than merely profitable for the oil industry–the United States would have to be producing more than enough oil to meet its own needs. But the country produces nowhere near that amount. Nevertheless, the industry’s deceptive campaign to make the public and policymakers believe that the United States is on the verge of energy independence seems to be succeeding–a push that is really just a smokescreen for selling the country’s oil and natural gas to the highest bidder.
The International Energy Agency released a new report this week in which it took a detailed look at the prospects for the Iraqi oil and gas industry out to 2035. The conclusion is that oil production in Iraq could increase significantly by 2020 – doubling or even trebling IF, and it is a big if, there is huge investment…
News of Turkish military retaliation to a mortar round fired from inside Syria spooked oil markets this week. Former Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has warned that there is a danger that the Syrian conflict could spread and destabilise the region, although the Turkish Prime Minister said on Thursday that his country had no intention of starting a war…
Whether you buy into Revolution’s watered-down examination of social contract theory, the show’s premise reinforces Post Carbon Institute’s position that it is absolutely necessary that we plan our energy future. We must work hard to transition as smoothly as possible to largely fossil fuel free communities. If we’re caught off guard (too late?), chaos is quite likely.
-Designing the grid for renewables
-Liquid Air: The Birth of the Nitrogen Economy
-Danes set the pace on green energy vision
-California Governor Jerry Brown green lights renewable energy push
-Polls: Voters back clean energy, climate policies
-‘Hundreds of problems’ at EU nuclear plants
-Nuclear fusion – your time has come
-So Far Unfruitful, Fusion Project Faces a Frugal Congress
-Japan Minister Says Nationalization Needed to Phase Out Nuclear
-Triple blow hits UK nuclear revival
A year ago I would’ve loved the optimistic and can-do tone of Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects. While all too many solar panel and wind turbine buffs are Polyannas who promise that America can enjoy decades of economic growth in the future if only we’d dump dirty energy for solar and wind, author Greg Pahl offers a more realistic assessment of the limited potential of clean energy. Pahl is a peak oiler who understands the concentrated power of fossil fuels and knows that no amount of renewables can replace the energy we now get from coal, oil and natural gas.
Smart grids, electric cars and Power From The People.
No doubt you’ve heard people speak of an energy transition from a fossil fuel-based society to one based on renewable energy–energy which by its very nature cannot run out. Here’s the short answer to why we need do it fast: climate change and fossil fuel depletion. And, here’s the short answer to why we’re way behind: History suggests that it can take up to 50 years to replace an existing energy infrastructure, and we don’t have that long.