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.

Energy

Energy
Energy

Energy
Europe

Energy
Climate Change

Latest Publication

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Power cuts and how to avoid them

August 19, 2019

Energy Publication

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...

Publications

  • 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...
  • Publication Energy BREXIT and its implications for the British energy market
    April 24, 2018

    Of all the contributions Britain has made over the four decades of membership, the creation of the Internal Energy Market (IEM) stands out....
  • Video Energy The Cost of Energy Review and Technical Change
    April 18, 2018

    Presentation for BEIS "Towards Successful Commercialisation" event
  • Video Energy Burn Out - The endgame for fossil fuels
    March 6, 2018

    A summary of my new book now available in paper back. March 2018 by Yale University Press.
  • Video Energy Peak oil demand and long run oil prices by Dale and Fattouh: a critique
    February 12, 2018

    The challenge of climate change has left the oil companies on the back foot. What do they do? They are beholden to their shareholders, who look to their dividends and in many cases treat them as proxies for utilities. Those dividends are built on oil...
  • Publication Energy Peak oil demand and long run oil prices by Dale and Fattouh: a critique
    January 24, 2018

    The challenge of climate change has left the oil companies on the back foot. What do they do? They are beholden to their shareholders, who look to their dividends and in many cases treat them as proxies for utilities. Those dividends are built on oil...
  • Video Energy The cost of energy review
    November 22, 2017

    Cost of energy review: Presentation for Oxford Martin School
  • Publication Energy Cost of energy review: independent report
    October 25, 2017

    Independent review undertaken by Professor Dieter Helm CBE puts forward his proposals on how to reduce costs in the power system in the long-term whilst ensuring the UK meets its climate change targets.
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