“The global economy sinks under its debts as the real cost of energy rises.”

October 24, 2013 Finance, Oil 

Tim Morgan on cityam.com:   “Although the economy is improving, this is turning out to be “a recovery, but not as we know it”. Britain may be getting better off, but people keep getting poorer, as the costs of essentials continue to grow much more rapidly than incomes. Yet far from being a uniquely British problem, this is a worldwide phenomenon. Read more

$3trn investor coalition heaps stranded-asset pressure on fossil fuel firms.

October 24, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Finance, Gas, Oil 

CERES: “A group of 70 global investors managing more than $3 trillion of collective assets today launched the first-ever coordinated effort to spur the world’s 40 top oil and gas, coal and electric power companies to assess the financial risks that changes in demand and price pose to their business plans.” Read more

UK PM threatens to “roll back” UK green taxes. Deputy PM opposes.

October 24, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Nuclear, Oil 

Telegraph: “The Deputy Prime Minister said he does not “fully agree” with Mr Cameron, who on Wednesday said he will next year “roll back” the environmental levies. Mr Clegg hinted that he could be prepared to take some green levies off energy bills and on to taxes. However, he made it clear that he will prevent any attempts to “scrap a whole system of levies”. Read more

Is RWE considering a complete turnaround of their business plan?

October 23, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Greentechgrid.com: “We may be about to witness one of the most profound transitions ever to occur in the utility industry. Challenged by the surge in distributed renewables and a strong decline in revenues, one of Europe’s largest largest utilities, RWE, is reportedly planning to completely transform itself from a traditional electricity provider into a renewable energy service provider.” Read more

3 reasons why Germans are going renewable “at all costs”.

REW.com: Germany is racing past 20 percent renewable energy on its electricity grid, but news stories stridently warn that this new wind and solar power is costing “billions.” But often left out (or buried far from the lede) is the overwhelming popularity of the country’s relentless focus on energy change (energiewende).” Read more

Big corporations embracing microgrids: another threat to utilities.

October 22, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

REW.com: “Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison plans to build one to power the Hawaiian island he bought last year. EBay Inc. has one to run a data center. The University of California at San Diego and the federal government have invested tens of millions of dollars in the technology.” Read more

GDF Suez to fund fracking in UK.

October 22, 2013 Gas, Oil 

FT: “GDF Suez of France has struck a deal with Dart Energy that will see the world’s biggest power producer by output fund drilling for shale gas in the UK over the next three years.” Read more

Stock markets no longer fit for purpose: John Fullerton.

October 21, 2013 Change for Good, Finance 

Guardian: “Stock markets are not the nerve center of capitalism, as portrayed on TV. They are nothing more than tools to facilitate the buying and selling of shares.” Read more

Nuclear plant deal agreed by DECC and EDF amid derision over cost.

October 21, 2013 Change for Good 

Guardian: “The British energy secretary, Ed Davey, has signed the first new nuclear contract with French state-backed utility firm EDF, admitting only a clairvoyant could know the true cost to the taxpayer of the 35-year contract because of the uncertainty of future energy prices.” Read more

Carbon Tracker has “caused a sensation”: digest of the last quarter.

October 18, 2013 Climate, Coal, Finance, Gas, Oil 

Quarterly report by James Leaton (no url): Carbon Tracker’s lexicon adopted by sell-side: The wasted capital and stranded assets analysis from April this year has continued to permeate the financial system, being recognised by a number of asset owners, investment managers and analysts as a quality piece of work. As Citywire put it in early October – we have caused a sensation.” Read more

BG hikes UK gas prices 10% and suffers major PR disaster.

October 17, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “British Gas has turned a consumer and political backlash over a 10% increase in energy bills into a public relations disaster after trying to head off criticism of the price hike by using social media.” Read more

China to take stakes in UK nuclear plants.

October 17, 2013 Nuclear 

Guardian: “The announcement that Chinese companies can take a stake in British nuclear plants was hardly a surprise: George Osborne had already told reporters that the UK welcomed Chinese investment in all its infrastructure – citing the sovereign wealth fund CIC’s existing investment in Thames Water and Heathrow.Read more

US peak oil vulnerability map shows grave threat to US economy.

October 16, 2013 Climate, Gas, Oil 

University of Maryland: “Researchers from the University of Maryland and a leading university in Spain demonstrate in a new study which sectors could put the entire U.S. economy at risk when global oil production peaks (“Peak Oil”).” Read more

“Europe’s electricity providers face an existential threat”: the Economist.

October 16, 2013 Change for Good 

“How to lose half a trillion euros”, the headline in the Economist reads. “On June 16th something very peculiar happened in Germany’s electricity market. The wholesale price of electricity fell to minus €100 per megawatt hour (MWh). That is, generating companies were having to pay the managers of the grid to take their electricity.” Read more

Conflict in Germany between utilities and Greens on bills.

October 15, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

REW.com: “Germany’s power grid operators boosted the surcharge consumers pay for renewable energy by 18 percent to a record, adding to pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to act against rising electricity bills.” Read more

“Energy system collapse is inevitable. But”. Interview with Solarplaza.

www.solarplaza.com: “In light of his newest book ‘The Energy of Nations’, Solarplaza catches up with Jeremy Leggett, the leading British solar entrepreneur and environmental well-doer who’s been a regular guest speaker at our PV events.”
Read more

Low C policies to add 41% to UK energy bills by 2030: DECC.

October 14, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

FT: “Green policies will add 41 per cent to electricity prices by 2030 – according to the energy department’s own forecasts. Policies to promote low-carbon energy include a guaranteed “strike price”, expected to be announced within days, to support EDF’s proposed new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset – at double the market price.” Read more

Dan Yergin on the crucial importance of US tight oil in global supply.

October 14, 2013 Gas, Oil 

WSJ: “Forty years ago, on Oct. 17, 1973, the world experienced its first “oil shock” as Arab exporters declared an embargo on shipments to Western countries. …A lasting lesson of the crisis years is the power of markets and their ability to adjust to disruptions, if government allows them to.” Read more

“World shivers with fear as US heads for new debt crisis.”

October 13, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “Without a budget in place, the US government has run out of the cash needed to pay thousands of government workers in Washington and keep national parks open. But this week an even more critical issue comes to the fore. On Thursday, the country could be forced to default on its borrowings if it does not secure a rise in the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.”

Read more

Conventional energy industry heading for global crash: JL at WEC.

Commodities Now: “Much of Big Energy is guilty of an enculturated risk blindness that, unless action is taken, will lead to an inevitable global crash according to Jeremy Leggett.  As the World Energy Congress opens in South Korea, the man described as “Britain’s most respected green energy boss” writes of wider risk-taking in energy – and financial markets, as he has seen it play out – often behind closed doors – since the oil price began its inexorable rise in 2004.”  Read more