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

Untitled design

Burn Out - The endgame for fossil fuels

August 1, 2017

Energy Publication

A summary of my new book published in March 2017 by Yale University Press.

Publications

  • Publication Energy What future for vertically integrated energy companies?
    September 4, 2014

    The Big 6 British energy companies are under sustained attack from politicians and the media, and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) inquiry is being urged to consider whether they should be broken up. Unsurprisingly the companies have been putti
  • Publication Energy The Return of the CEGB? - Britain's central buyer model
    June 26, 2014

    Though no part of any grand plan, and certainly not by intention, the British energy market has morphed from a liberalized quasi-competitive market into one that is driven by the state. It has happened largely by accident rather than design, but it also h
  • Publication Europe Ukraine, Europe and Energy
    June 1, 2014

    After a short pause, the borders of east and southeast Europe are again in flux, as they have been on and off since the early Russian people established Kiev as their capital. Crimea was annexed by Catherine the Great. The British and others fought the Cr
  • Presentation Europe Europe’s Energy Future: Rejuvenation or decline?
    May 22, 2014

    Slidepack for the FLAME 2014 conference May 22nd 2014.
  • Publication Europe A Credible European Security Plan
    May 22, 2014

    The European Commission was instructed by the Council of Ministers in March 2014 to draw up an energy security plan in time for the next Council of Ministers meeting in June 2014.
  • Presentation Europe European energy and climate policy in the face of the Russian interventions in Crimea and Ukraine
    March 16, 2014

    The Russian intervention in Crimea - and its effective annexation - comes in a context in which Russian intervention in Ukraine has been a continuing feature of southeast European politics fro generation. This is Russia's back yard, and from the mid-ninet
  • Publication Energy Electricity and Energy Prices
    February 11, 2014

    Why are electricity prices so politically toxic?
  • Presentation Europe The current situation and mid-term prospects for European electricity markets
    January 28, 2014

    It is fashionable to state that there are three objectives of European energy policy: security of supply, low carbon and affordability. Yet this “trilemma”—how to achieve all of these three simultaneously—is far from straightforward. None of the three obj
  • Publication Energy All change: the Unfolding Geopolitics of Oil and Gas in the US and the Middle East
    December 12, 2013

    The geopolitics of oil has remained remarkably static for the last 40 years since the Iranian Revolution at the end of the 1970s. The sytlized facts have been that the US would have to import ever more oil to meet its ever growing demand, and that the Mid
  • Presentation Europe European energy policy in the new geopolitical context
    October 23, 2013

    The European energy and climate narrative - what the leaders believed back in 2005-07
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