Energy, cost of living and recession

Michael Roberts Blog | September 04, 2022

The G7 governments have a problem.  The war in Ukraine against Russia is not won.  It looks set to be a long grinding conflict, possibly with no end.  And yet the world and particularly Europe depends on Russian energy supplies.  The G7 has agreed to stop buying Russian oil, as part of its programme of using economics sanctions as a war weapon.  But up to now, energy imports from Russia have not been stopped because it would mean a catastrophe for the EU countries, particularly Germany.  And Russia is still selling huge volumes—globally – albeit at a discount from the world price—to India, China and other energy-thirsty economies.

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Stockholm+50: We need decentralisation of ‘power’

Power generation and transmission models that are local and self-sustaining can increase access to energy in the future

Koshy Mathew Cherail

Down To Earth | June 03, 2022

Availability and access to uninterrupted and reliable energy sources is a prerequisite to enable an equitable and just development of communities, nations, and regions at large.

Countries that have clear goals of raising the socio-economic conditions of their population have prioritised access to energy above other development goals.

Construction and operation of power plants, as well as ensuring a steady supply of fuel of consistent quality, is a time-consuming and capital-intensive process.

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LNG, but not for rich world

Industrial countries need deep decarbonisation; they can’t re-invest in fossil fuels and call it clean & green

Sunita Narain

Down To Earth | March 28, 2022

I am at the annual meeting of energy business magnates and experts — perhaps the most important of all such events — held in Houston, Texas. CERAWeek, as it is called, has been held this year, after a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19.

It is the worst of times — the Russia-Ukraine war has just broken out; sanctions have been imposed; and energy prices are spiraling out of control. As I sit and listen to the oil and gas producers, I realise that I am seeing a tectonic shift in the global energy chessboard.

The fact is, the energy price hike before and during the war has brought back focus on the role of conventional oil and gas companies. They are buoyant about their role in the post-war energy scenario — from drilling and pumping for more oil and gas, to their role in the lucrative new markets in Europe.

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New type of dark energy could solve Universe expansion mystery

Davide Castelvecchi

Nature | September 17, 2021

Atacama Cosmology Telescope in the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile.
Data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope suggest the existence of two types of dark energy at the very start of the Universe.Credit: Giulio Ercolani/Alamy

Cosmologists have found signs that a second type of dark energy — the ubiquitous but enigmatic substance that is pushing the current Universe’s expansion to accelerate — might have existed in the first 300,000 years after the Big Bang.

Two separate studies — both posted on the arXiv preprint server in the past week1,2 — have detected a tentative first trace of this ‘early dark energy’ in data collected between 2013 and 2016 by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) in Chile. If the findings are confirmed, they could help to solve a long-standing conundrum surrounding data about the early Universe, which seem to be incompatible with the rate of cosmic expansion measured today. But the data are preliminary and don’t show definitively whether this form of dark energy really existed.

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COVID-19 widened the gap in universal access to energy, clean cooking fuel: UN report

Down To Earth | June 10, 2021

COVID-19 widened the gap in universal access to electricity, clean cooking fuel: UN report

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has made basic electricity services unaffordable for up to 30 million people, who could previously afford access, according to a new United Nations (UN) report.

The number of people without access to electricity had reduced to 759 million in 2019 from 1.2 billion globally in 2010, the paper mentioned. “But the financial impact of COVID-19 has undone the gains in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.”

In 2030, an estimated 660 million people will still not have access to electricity, the report said.

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Nuclear technology’s role in the world’s energy supply is shrinking

Anniversaries of the Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters highlight the challenges of relying on nuclear power to cut net carbon emissions to zero.

Nature Editorial | March 09, 2021

A visitor takes a photo through a window of the defunct Chernobyl nuclear facilities

A view of the Chernobyl reactor complex in Ukraine. The 1986 disaster, along with that at Fukushima in 2011, has cooled global enthusiasm for nuclear technology.Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty

“It is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of the soldiers. It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.”

These stirring words, spoken in 1953 by then US president Dwight Eisenhower, are worth recalling as the world marks the anniversaries of two devastating tragedies involving nuclear technology: the Fukushima disaster in Japan on 11 March 2011, and the catastrophic accident at Chernobyl in what is now Ukraine on 26 April 1986.Read More »


The Most Influential People in New Energy

A Journal of People report

Leaders in New Energy

A major shift is going on in the global energy sector. The transition away from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy is in full swing as the fight against climate change continues to gain serious momentum. 

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2020 Outlook points to the highest-ever share of newly built generation capacity for renewables. 

According to the energy watchdog, 200 gigawatts of renewable power have been added in the current year, with renewables expected to account for 95% of the net increase in global power capacity through 2025. 

The agency has projected that installed wind and solar capacity will surpass natural gas and coal in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Following are, as an report said, some of the most powerful and influential people driving the new energy sector. Read More »

Potential economic benefits is 4-5 times the size of investments in energy system to address climate crisis

A Journal of People report

New research suggests that over the next few decades, acting to reduce climate crisis is expected to cost much less than the damage otherwise inflicted by climate change on people, infrastructure and ecosystems, and “potential economic benefits arising from limiting warming to 1.5°C may be at least four or five times the size of the investments needed in the energy system until 2050.”

According to the study by O. Hoegh-Guldberg, D. Jacob, M. Taylor, T. Guillén Bolaños, M. Bindi, S. Brown, I. A. Camilloni, A. Diedhiou, R. Djalante, K. Ebi, F. Engelbrecht, J. Guiot, Y. Hijioka, S. Mehrotra, C. W. Hope, A. J. Payne, H.-O. Pörtner, S. I. Seneviratne, A. Thomas, R. Warren and G. Zhou – The human imperative of stabilizing global climate change at 1.5°C – published in Science on September 19, 2019, reducing the magnitude of climate crisis is also a good investment.

The scientists conducting the research have urgently called on world leaders to accelerate efforts to tackle climate crisis.Read More »

World’s energy needs ‘must not destroy civilisation,’ Pope warns oil executives

Morning Star | June 10, 2018

POPE FRANCIS warned global oil executives at the weekend that human-caused climate change “is a challenge of epochal proportions,” pointing out that satisfying the world’s energy needs “must not destroy civilisation.”

The Pope held a two-day conference with oil chiefs as a follow-up to his encyclical three years ago that called on people to save the planet from climate change, which the world’s oil companies have played a major role in causing.Read More »