Some notes about Energy

There are three profound challenges facing the energy sector around the world. First, the great commodity super cycle has come to an abrupt end, leading to crashes in the oil, coal and gas prices - undermining the finances of the main producer countries and the companies. 

Secondly, the climate challenge is upon us, and if it is to be addressed, the fossil industries will have to close down over the rest of this century, with or without CCS.

Third, and partly spurred by the drive for low carbon forms of energy, technical change is bringing a transformation not seen since the nineteenth century. New forms of electricity generation, storage, smart infrastructures and radical changes to energy demand are already undermining the conventional technologies. Electric cars and the challenge of new materials to the petrochemical industries are playing their parts too in this great period of change.

These three great changes all fit together.




Climate Change

Latest Publication

Net Zero F

The climate and ecological emergency: beyond declarations, what is the plan?

March 16, 2021

Climate Change Video

Panel discussion on what the ‘no regrets plan’ set out in my book Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change could mean in practice.


  • Video Climate Change Net zero - presentation to Irish Forum on Natural Capital/Trinity College Dublin
    November 19, 2020

    Presentation to Irish Forum on Natural Capital/Trinity College Dublin
  • Video Climate Change A Roadmap to Achieving Net Zero
    October 16, 2020

    Presentation to Flame 2020 October 2020
  • Video Climate Change Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change
    September 3, 2020

    Introduction to my new book: Net Zero
  • Publication Energy EU climate and energy policy: how to achieve net zero much more efficiently
    July 29, 2020

    The EU has been developing its energy and climate policies since 1990, and over time the climate perspective has become – with the single market – one of the key defining elements of what the EU stands for...
  • Publication Climate Change Climate change has not gone away - COP26, net zero and the coronavirus
    April 3, 2020

    The coronavirus virus has now taken centre stage, and climate change policy developments are being postponed. There will be inevitable delays for the EU’s package and for the 6th carbon budget in the UK, and COP26 too. In the circumstances...
  • Publication Energy What are the implications of falling oil and gas prices? The Burn Out scenario.
    March 10, 2020

    The most interesting question to ask about oil prices is: why have they taken so long to fall? Now that they have, and with a bang, it is time for the oil and gas companies, the wider energy market participants and the politicians to think through...
  • Publication Energy Power cuts and how to avoid them
    August 19, 2019

    Whatever the approximate causes of the particular power cuts in mid-August this year, the very idea that the electricity system could be brought to its knees just because a couple of power stations dropped off at short notice should send alarm bells...
  • Publication Energy Why aren’t electricity prices falling?
    February 1, 2019

    The costs of renewables are falling, oil and gas prices have fallen back, and demand is soft. Why then are electricity prices being pushed up, rather than falling back?
  • Publication Energy Nuclear lessons for energy policy
    January 23, 2019

    The Hitachi decision has been a long time coming and is not at all surprising. It comes at a crossroads for the energy sector. Government has decided (rightly) to exit coal. It has tried and so far failed to back gas as an interim replacement...
  • Publication Energy The Nuclear RAB Model
    June 12, 2018

    If the government decides to invest in further nuclear power station projects, it should obviously try to do so at minimum cost. The Secretary of State, Greg Clark, has suggested...
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