Energy Outlooks

Green power revolution grinds forward, an unstoppable glacier

wind farm north of Corpus Christi Texas photo Drew Kolb

Webster’s defines revolution as “a sudden, radical or complete change.” The ongoing revolution in the United States electric utility industry fits that definition to a T, writes Washington-based energy reporter Dennis Wamsted. The changes have been unbelievably quick (at least by company standards, if not by activists’ desires), and the long-term impacts are going to be both radical and complete. Importantly, in today’s political climate, the … [Read more...]

Carbon Tracker: no growth for oil and coal from 2020, gas can flip-flop

carbon bubble protest (photo Susan Melkisethlan)

Falling costs of electric vehicle and solar technology could halt growth in global demand for oil and coal from 2020, finds a new report co-authored by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative launched on Thursday. The future of natural gas is highly uncertain in this new scenario analysis. … [Read more...]

BP’s Energy Outlook: between forecasting and advocacy

BP views the future (photo BP)

BP’s new Energy Outlook predicts ever-growing demand for oil and gas, and rising emissions that would take the world well beyond 2°C of warming. According to Greg Muttitt, Senior Advisor at NGO Oil Change International, previous Outlooks do not provide much confidence in BP’s projections, but it clearly helps BP if decision-makers believe that’s what the future holds. It looks like the forecasting value of BP’s Outlook is undermined by its use as … [Read more...]

The End of the Energiewende?

Energiewende demonstration in 2014 (photo Bundjugend)

The prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende at his blog site makroskop.eu. According to Flassbeck, the former Director of Macroeconomics and Development at the UNCTAD in Geneva and a former State Secretary of Finance, a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of  how much new capacity … [Read more...]

The future of OPEC: it won’t die, but it will become a different animal

OPEC meeting in Algiers with Algeria's minister of energy Noureddine Boutarfa

Regardless of the outcome of the meeting on 30 November, the future of OPEC looks uncertain. The organisation is facing a perfect storm, squeezed as it is between the revolution in shale oil, which has increased global supply and brought down prices, and the prospect of a global peak demand stemming from climate policies and falling costs of alternatives. Some have even declared the death of OPEC, but according to Thijs Van de Graaf, professor at … [Read more...]