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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Shale and non-Russian gas imports at heart of new EU energy strategy

Shale and non-Russian gas imports at heart of new EU energy strategy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Ukraine crisis forces bloc to seek diverse sources of gas, but green groups complain ignoring renewables is a mistake
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The EU's latest energy security strategy bets big on 'sustainable' production of fossil fuels ignoring the climate impacts of more gas.

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By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined

By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The umpteenth study confirms that natural gas simply has no net climate benefit whatsoever in any timescale that matters to humanity. In the real world, natural gas is not a "bridge" fuel to a carbon-free economy.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Very informative reading for all those (including Shell, of course) who claim gas is better than coal for climate policy.

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Natural Gas Must Peak Between 2020 and 2030 To Meet Climate Goals

A new report on climate change and natural gas usage finds natural gas must peak sooner than many policymakers currently realize is necessary—if the United States is to meet its climate goals and avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Luckily there are some rational voices on natural gas in the US; not all believe in the fairy tales of the shale gas lobbyists.

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The Making of a Natural Gas Glut

The Making of a Natural Gas Glut | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A former investment banker says the explosion in shale gas development, such as frenzied activity in northern B.C., was a financial mania largely driven by Wall Street bankers intent on capitalizing upon a record $46-billion worth of mergers and acqui...
Willy De Backer's insight:

Good article on how the Golden Age of Gas myth is driven by Wall Street speculators.

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In a Natural Gas Glut, Big Winners and Losers

In a Natural Gas Glut, Big Winners and Losers | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Low prices for consumers. Big profits for bankers. But the gas glut in the United States has meant much pain for gas exploration companies and their investors.

 

Brilliant article on America's natural gas glut and the influence of financial capitalism on its boom and future bust. Must-read article for European policy-makers who dream of a Golden Age of Gas for Europe.

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EU Commission study on shale gas raises serious doubts about European "golden age of gas"

EU Commission study on shale gas raises serious doubts about European "golden age of gas" | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

A new research report written by the Joint Research Centre of the EU Commission suggests that under a best case scenario, taking into account environmental considerations, future shale gas production in Europe could help the EU maintain its dependency on energy imports at around 50 % of its total energy needs. But the report also reveals the sometimes considerable uncertainty about recoverable volumes, technological developments, public acceptance and access to land and markets. 

 

This courageous JRC study will without doubt lead to furious reactions from the shale gas lobby.

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L'Arctique, terre promise pour les compagnies pétrolières ?

"... la part des hydrocarbures en provenance du Grand Nord dans la production énergétique mondiale devrait sensiblement baisser d'ici à 2050, estiment le Bureau central de statistique et le Centre de recherches sur le climat norvégiens, dans une nouvelle étude publiée dans la revue Energy Economics."

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King Natural Gas

King Natural Gas | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Will cheap natural gas give us an opportunity to reduce ­emissions while inventing new technologies? Or will we simply become addicted to another fossil fuel?

 

This MIT Technology Review article on the American natural gas revolution might be a bit too optimistic about the future of gas and a bit too negative on the future of renewables, but it has some very valid arguments.

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Get It Right on Gas

Get It Right on Gas | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We can have a natural gas revolution that transforms our whole country or one that just transforms the electric grid. What’s it going to be?

 

IN the NY Times, Thomas Friedman gets it wrong on gas.His wishful thinking overlooks that gas is not replacing coal but just being added to the fossil-fuel load on climate, that the gas revolution has already killed the renewables revolution and that there will be no "golden" rules for fracking as political elites in the US and Europe are full in the pocket of the fossil-fuel industry.

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Shale gas strategy 'not the optimum path': Fatih Birol

Shale gas strategy 'not the optimum path': Fatih Birol | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
An energy strategy without fossil fuels would be preferable to the regulated gas pathway outlined in the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s new report, the paper’s own author told EurActiv in an exclusive interview yesterday (30 May).

 

Excellent interview on EurActiv showing the tightrope Fatih Birol has to walk when communicating the IEA's views on the golden age of gas. When you read the report well, you understand the IEA clearly sees shale gas as the wrong path leading to unacceptable climate impacts.

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Launch of IEA report: Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas

Launch of IEA report: Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The International Energy Agency will next week (29 May) launch an important report on the "golden rules" for governments and industry if they are to overcome serious risks and concerns (social and environmental) about the Golden Age of Gas.

 

There will be a special presentation of this report by Fatih Birol, IEA's chief economist, in the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, May 30, at 09h30.

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Total gas leak: Was Elgin platform leak an accident waiting to happen?

Total gas leak: Was Elgin platform leak an accident waiting to happen? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Industry sources say the North Sea incident reflects wider lapses across Britain's offshore industry, where safety checks and maintenance are regularly behind schedule.

 

Great article from UK's Daily Mail on the risks of "extreme energy".

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Bombshell: You Can’t Slow Projected Warming With Gas, You Need ‘Rapid and Massive Deployment’ of Zero-Carbon Power

Bombshell: You Can’t Slow Projected Warming With Gas, You Need ‘Rapid and Massive Deployment’ of Zero-Carbon Power | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Another major study finds confirms natural gas is a bridge fuel to nowhere
A must-read new study by climatologist Ken Caldeira and tech guru Nathan Myhrvold (!) makes clear the world’s only plausible hope to avert catastrophic temperature rise this century is aggressive deployment of zero-carbon technologies and conservation.

 

Brilliant summary on Joe Romm's blog of new major study on natural gas. Conclusion of this study: there is no climate value in switching to gas.

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Export Stupidity

Export Stupidity | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
If the US could supply Europe with large amounts of fuel, that would reduce the Continent’s dependency on Russia while depriving Putin of needed revenues.
 
Willy De Backer's insight:

Richard Heinberg's checks the facts to counter all those who want to export American surplus gas to punish Putin: "... the United States remains a net importer of both oil and natural gas. Let me repeat and emphasize that: the United States remains a net importer of both oil and natural gas."

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Greenhouse Emissions from Natural-Gas Production and Agriculture Higher than Expected

A study suggests the EPA is greatly underestimating greenhouse-gas emissions from natural-gas production.
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Government commitment to support investment in low-carbon technologies would secure significant savings for UK consumers

Government commitment to support investment in low-carbon technologies would secure significant savings for UK consumers | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"In a report on the Electricity Market Reform published today, the Committee on Climate Change presents new analysis showing that there are significant economic benefits from investing in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies through the 2020s rather than investing in gas-fired generation."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Good new evidence-based report from the UK's Committee on Climate Change

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, May 25, 2013 7:31 AM

"A failure to commit to this would be to bet on a low gas price world, which could lock out the much higher benefits from portfolio investment in low-carbon technologies in more likely scenarios. It would be a wager on an outcome that is the opposite of most expectations. Even if the proposition were true, and a low gas price world were to ensue, cost savings due to investment in gas-fired generation through the 2020s would be very limited."

Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC said:“This Report shows that there are significant benefits and very limited risks from investing in low-carbon technologies. It factors in the potential benefits of shale gas, which could play a useful role in meeting heat demand. It shows that the cost-effective route to the 2050 target involves investment in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies in the 2020s. However, in order to secure maximum economic benefit for the UK, it is crucial that the Government gives certainty to investors by legislating to chart a clear course well beyond 2020. Only then will we be able to insure against the risk of much higher future energy prices; enhance Britain’s energy sovereignty; and protect ourselves against dangerous climate change.”


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What Next for the Oil and Gas Industry?

What Next for the Oil and Gas Industry? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The oil and gas industry is under pressures that will transform it. The effect of other industries on oil demand, the increasing opportunities for non-conventional oil and gas that offset perceptions of limits to conventional resources, and the shift of growth to Asia will all compel the industry to look for growth in value rather than volume, to distinguish between the expanding markets of developing countries and the declining markets of the private sector in developed countries, and to target technologies to a diversity of resource opportunities outside the state sector and to specialized partnerships within it."

 

New very interesting report from Chatham House.

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The global financial crisis and the prospects for ‘Green Growth’

The global financial crisis offers a big opportunity for progressive politicians to reenergise the green agenda.

 

British energy expert Dieter Helm provides a good analysis of why EU climate policy has failed to make a difference but his plea for "green growth" suffers from technology optimism and belief in the overhyped gas eldorado.

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Minister calls for German debate on fracking

Minister calls for German debate on fracking | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Germany's environment minister has called for wider public debate on gas extraction through the practice of fracking. Opponents fear it could have environmental consequences.

 

Deutsche Welle reports on a new report by the German Federal Environment Agency. The report recommends to introduce manadatory environmental impact assessments for all fracking.

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Czech Government Proposes Temporary Ban on Shale-Gas Exploration

The Czech Republic proposed to ban shale-gas exploration until at least mid-2014 as it prepares laws to regulate the technology’s effect on the environment.

 

After France and Bulgaria, the Czech Republic is the third EU country to impose a temporary moratorium on fracking.

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Natural Gas and Its Role In the U.S.’s Energy Endgame

Natural Gas and Its Role In the U.S.’s Energy Endgame | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The boom in natural gas production has undeniable benefits for the United States. But two policy analysts argue that embracing a monolithic energy future dominated by gas will mean the loss of a golden opportunity: Leveraging cheap, abundant gas to create a sustainable future based on renewable power.

 

Realistic assessment in Yale Environment 360 on the future of natural gas in the US, with lessons for Europe.

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The Real Story Behind the Fracking Debate

The Real Story Behind the Fracking Debate | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Fracking is not good or bad: it is a process to increase the production of fossil fuels, primarily natural gas, from certain geological formations. But good or bad things can happen as a result of fracking, depending on how it is implemented, where it is pursued, the technologies used, and the actions taken to increase its benefits and reduce its impacts. And whether or not you support or oppose fracking depends on how those benefits and impacts are perceived, distributed, addressed, and valued -- and whether it is in your backyard.."

 

Good article in the Huffington Post on the US fracking debate.

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How green is shale gas?

The rise of 'fracking' means the IEA is hailing a 'golden age for gas'. But what impact does shale gas have on the environment? Leo Hickman, with your help, investigates.

 

Good overview of immediate reactions to today's IEA report on "golden rules" for the golden age of gas.

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Natural gas is a bridge to nowhere

Natural gas is a bridge to nowhere | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

A new journal article finds that methane leakage greatly undercuts or eliminates entirely the climate benefit of a switch to natural gas. The authors of “Greater Focus Needed on Methane Leakage from Natural Gas Infrastructure“ conclude that “it appears that current leakage rates are higher than previously thought” and “Reductions in CH4 Leakage Are Needed to Maximize the Climate Benefits of Natural Gas.”

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It's finally coming: the great European gas market transformation

It's finally coming: the great European gas market transformation | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The European gas market is awaiting radical changes in the years ahead. The old market structure, based on bilateral long-term contracts between a limited number of big suppliers and buyers, will be replaced by (presumably) thriving wholesale markets where sellers and buyers meet on trading hubs to make short-term deals. Some analysts are sceptical."

 

Informative article in European Energy Review on the radical reform of the European gas market.

 

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