Mrs May’s attempt to stablise fuel bills with energy price caps has failed to deliver so far

This is the first of two articles on the chaos in the UK’s energy policy On 7 February the government announced that the energy bills of 15 million households could increase by more than £100 a year after the regulator Ofgem said it was raising the level of a price cap. Consumers on default tariffs, [...]

By | 2019-02-20T11:36:01+00:00 February 20th, 2019|General|Comments Off on Mrs May’s attempt to stablise fuel bills with energy price caps has failed to deliver so far

Should we believe scientists on rising global temperatures?

Scientists tell us that the earth is warming at the rate of 0.20C per decade because we emit too much CO2. Some people are sceptical while others wonder how one can be so precise about an object whose temperature varies from -500C to +500C in place and time. How far can we trust the scientists? [...]

By | 2019-01-24T09:18:28+00:00 January 24th, 2019|General|Comments Off on Should we believe scientists on rising global temperatures?

The Hydrogen economy and de-carbonisation

On Wednesday 12 December, the Financial Times carried an article from Seoul, South Korea, stating that over the next ten years Hyundai, the world’s fifth largest car manufacturer, will commit US$6.7 Billion to the hydrogen economy. The article stated that this will raise their production capacity for fuel-cell systems and cars to 700,000 units a [...]

By | 2018-12-20T10:27:50+00:00 December 19th, 2018|General|Comments Off on The Hydrogen economy and de-carbonisation

ECJ decision on UK Energy Market

On Thursday 15 November 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) surprised some observers by its ruling in favour of a case brought by a British clean energy technology company, Tempus Energy, against the European Commission and the British Government over the UK system of  managing back-up power. Tempus did not call the capacity market [...]

By | 2018-11-21T09:07:23+00:00 November 20th, 2018|General|Comments Off on ECJ decision on UK Energy Market

Do Iberdrola and Drax dream rather different dreams?

The market seems to have welcomed last week’s announcement that Scottish Power Ltd (wholly owned by Iberdrola, the Spanish electric utility company) was to sell all its non-wind generating capacity to Drax for a consideration of £702 million. This in pursuance of Iberdrola’s expressed intention of lowering its carbon emissions.  Iberdrola shares showed a modest, [...]

By | 2018-10-26T18:39:40+00:00 October 25th, 2018|General|Comments Off on Do Iberdrola and Drax dream rather different dreams?

100 per cent renewable energy: is it possible?

There have been many studies examining whether energy can be produced entirely by renewable sources. For example, two papers, one by Heard et al1arguing that it has not been proved, and another by Brown et al2arguing that it has, both give more than 150 references. It is worth considering some of the factors that frame [...]

By | 2018-08-23T16:47:09+00:00 August 23rd, 2018|General|Comments Off on 100 per cent renewable energy: is it possible?

Renewables Materials in the BP 2018 Review

The overall picture given by the Survey is somewhat mixed. Renewable power grew by 17 per cent, the largest increase on record and accounted for almost half the growth in power generation. Yet, as Bob Dudley points out in his introduction, “There has been no improvement in the mix of fuels feeding the global power [...]

By | 2018-07-18T08:19:52+00:00 July 18th, 2018|General|Comments Off on Renewables Materials in the BP 2018 Review

Uruguay: a beacon of hope for renewables?

When the going gets tough in the sometimes heated debate in the UK, Germany and elsewhere about the optimum place of renewables in electricity generation, it may be refreshing to point out that there are places in the world where renewables are the whole answer to the question. Most of them are small, with only [...]

By | 2018-04-11T09:13:28+00:00 April 6th, 2018|General|Comments Off on Uruguay: a beacon of hope for renewables?

Cambodians and Laos are losing the last of their woodlands and forests

I first knew Dan Southerland from our reporting days in Southeast Asia in the 1970s. He worked for the Christian Science Monitor and then The Washington Post and did long stints in Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and China. He covered energy issues for The Washington Post for a few years when he was working [...]

By | 2018-04-02T11:04:55+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|General|Comments Off on Cambodians and Laos are losing the last of their woodlands and forests

Renewables in Germany: some thoughts

Germany was perhaps the first major industrial power to embrace renewables, so it may be instructive to look at the lessons to be derived from their experience so far. Maybe the first point to make is that “the market rules” does not mean that commercial companies necessarily prioritise the future of the planet. When the [...]

By | 2018-01-27T18:08:38+00:00 January 27th, 2018|General|Comments Off on Renewables in Germany: some thoughts