energy trade

The new outlook for oil: prepare for a bumpy ride in 2017

oil-glut-slider

After two and a half years of opening up the taps (or rather: not closing them) OPEC has changed course in what is looking to be a gamechanger for the oil market. Market sentiment has shifted and the oil price has gone up. But that doesn’t mean we can go back to the status quo ante, writes geophysicist (ex-Shell) Jilles van den Beukel. Some things have changed permanently. Saudi Arabia’s position within OPEC has weakened, Iran’s has strengthened. … [Read more...]

How utilities can deal with the threat of community energy

Solar settlement in Freiburg, Germany

Community energy is the next big threat to utility companies – unless they manage to become part of this emerging energy economy. They still have a window of opportunity, says Craig Cavanaugh of software services company Omnetric Group, who spent six months researching the energy community market in Europe and the US. He sees three main opportunities for utilities: they can become “collaborative partner”, “community energy service provider” or … [Read more...]

Energy may be ripe for the sharing economy, thanks to Bitcoin’s blockchain technology

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The marriage of blockchain technology with microgrid applications could transform the way communities and organisations use renewable energy, writes Lexie Briggs of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), an association of businesses in the US that includes companies such as Vestas, Siemens, Microsoft, GE and Schneider Electric. Siemens has just launched a project in Brooklyn, New York, that allows neighbours to purchase solar power from each other’s … [Read more...]

The OPEC deal: a recipe for volatility

OPEC deal is announced

Last week’s OPEC deal takes place in a very different context than earlier deals from the 1990s, writes Geoffrey Styles, Managing Director of independent US-based consultancy GSW Strategy Group. US shale producers are looking to fill supply gaps, inventories are higher than ever, and alternatives to oil in transport are emerging. If that’s not a recipe for volatility, Styles wonders, then what is? Original post. … [Read more...]

Victory: Ukraine doesn’t need Russian gas anymore – and puts transit at risk

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Ukraine has completely “eliminated” its dependence on Russian gas, Ukrainian national gas company Naftogaz has declared in an open letter. Last year it stopped importing Russian gas for its own consumption altogether. At the same time, according to a paper written by Thierry Bros, Senior Research Fellow from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), Naftogaz is putting the future of the transit of Russian gas at risk by demanding higher … [Read more...]

Why sharing solar is the next big thing in energy

Brooklyn microgrid with person-slider

The disruption and the opportunities being offered by solar PV and battery storage are likely to be accelerated massively by the introduction of new software such as the “blockchain” system that has already taken root in financial systems, writes Giles Parkinson of the leading Australian energy website Reneweconomy. Courtesy: Reneweconomy.com. … [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...]