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

Net zero, COP26 and green growth

June 17, 2021

Climate Change Video

Keynote speech at the Future Energy Forum 2021, ChosunBiz, South Korea


  • 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
  • Publication Energy Labour's Energy Policies
    October 22, 2013

    The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, announced in his autumn party conference speech a series of proposals for electricity prices and electricity market reform. These include: A price freeze for 20 months from the date of the General Election
  • Publication Energy The End of the Commodity Super-Cycle? Terra Firma - an alternative perspective
    May 30, 2013

    Commodities have had a good run. Despite the biggest economic crisis for half a century or more, commodities have marched ever upwards. The reasons might be many and various – from a flight to safety (gold) to Chinese demand (oil, copper and iron ore) – b
  • Presentation Climate Change Global Perspective - Energy and climate Energy and climate roadmap 2050.
    May 29, 2013

    Opening seminar for Global perspective evnt on the 29th May 2013
  • Publication Energy Mr Davey's "Myths"
    September 20, 2012

    Following the publication of the Draft Energy Bill, there has been considerable debate about the merits of the proposed legislation. In response to some of the criticisms raised, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, has written
  • Presentation Europe Can Europe have it all? What should Europe want from it's energy mix?
    August 29, 2012

    Presentation at the ONS international oil, gas and energy conference, Stavanger, Norway.
  • Publication Energy The Carbon Crunch: How We're Getting Climate Change Wrong - and How to Fix it
    August 23, 2012

    In this hard-hitting book, Dieter Helm looks at how and why we have failed to tackle the issue of global warming and argues for a new, pragmatic rethinking of energy policy – from transitioning from coal to gas and eventually to electrification of transpo
  • Publication Energy EMR and The Energy Bill: A Critique
    June 28, 2012

    This short paper provides a critique of the mass of policy initiatives and interventions that have emerged and sets out first the serious problems embedded in EMR and the Gas Review and then how progress might be made towards a more robust and efficient p
  • Publication Climate Change Trade Climate change and the political game theory of border carbon adjustments
    May 10, 2012

    Dieter Helm, Cameron Hepburn and Giovanni Ruta May 2012 Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy Working Paper No. 92 Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Paper No. 80
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