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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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The Energiewende did not lead to more coal or CO2 emissions

The Energiewende did not lead to more coal or CO2 emissions | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Critics of renewable energy have mocked the Energiewende, claiming that it has led to an increase in coal power and related CO2 emissions in Germany. But Conrad Kunze and Paul Lehmann of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ show that this is a myth. German coal generation and CO2 emissions rose not because of but in spite of the Energiewende. They would have been even higher if Germany had not phased out its nuclear power and embarked on its remarkable renewable energy path. “There is no dark side to the Energiewende”
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Excellent article on the German Energiewende and its impact on coal use.

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With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system

With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A new financial crisis is threatening to dwarf the 'subprime' mortgage debacle, writes Paul Mobbs. Cheap money from central banks has fuelled some $1.3 trillion of risky investments in high-cost 'unconventional' oil and gas. Now, with oil sinking below $60, all that paper is turning to junk - and that's putting the entire economic system at risk
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Brilliant must-read analysis in The Ecologist on the fracking Ponzi scheme and its future downfall.

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Price fall hastens decline of 'big oil' as Western majors retreat

LONDON (Reuters) - This year's fall in energy prices is hastening the decline of big oil, as the seven Western majors sell-off assets, cut investment, return money to shareholders and shrink in size,
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Unions back Hinckley C State Aid decision

Unions back Hinckley C State Aid decision | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Energy and construction unions have welcomed the final go-ahead given by the European Commission to build Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation at
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See how smart the nuclear sector is in getting the trade unions on board for defending its short-term interests: 'Unions have signed a ground-breaking industrial relations agreement to build the new station. The ‘Common Framework Agreement’ establishes how industrial relations will be managed on the project and guarantees that the signatory unions will be provided with the necessary facilities to ensure workers are treated fairly.'. Similar aliiances between the old energy complex (fossils and nuclear) and unions can be observed in the coal sector (e.g. in Poland).

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Germany tops energy efficiency score card

Germany tops energy efficiency score card | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
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Energy efficiency is good for competitiveness and jobs. Why is so little done then at EU level?

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World's energy systems vulnerable to climate impacts, report warns

World's energy systems vulnerable to climate impacts, report warns | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Generators from nuclear reactors to coal-fired power plants will feel the brunt of the weather changes
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Guardian article on the vulnerability of the energy sector to climate chaos.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, June 21, 2014 12:39 PM

The vulnerability of energy systems to natural shocks was shown starkly when the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan had to be closed down following the 2011 tsunami, which prompted governments around the world to review their nuclear policies.


The World Energy Council (WEC), which compiled the study along with Cambridge University and the European Climate Foundation, urged generators to examine their vulnerability to climate change, saying that with suitable adaptations – such as protecting power plants from water shortages and building resilience into power networks – the worst of the problems could be avoided.


Christoph Frei, secretary general of WEC, said governments must play a key role in ensuring the world's vital infrastructure is protected: "Climate change is certain to impact the energy sector. We need robust and transparent policy frameworks to unlock the long-term investments that are urgently needed to deliver the future we want. Leadership will be required at all levels."

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IEA Says the Party’s Over

IEA Says the Party’s Over | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The International Energy Agency has just released a new special report called “World Energy Investment Outlook” that should send policy makers screaming and running for the exits.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great analysis by Richard Heinberg of the international Energy Agencies recent 'World Energy Investment Outlook'. World needs at least 48 trillion dollars investments through 2035.

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Write-down of two-thirds of US shale oil explodes fracking myth

Write-down of two-thirds of US shale oil explodes fracking myth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Industry's over-inflated reserve estimates are unravelling, and with it the 'American dream' of oil independence
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Is the American shale bubble going to bust? Nafeez Ahmed provides the facts. But do facts matter for policymakers?

"Despite the mounting evidence that the shale gas boom is heading for a bust, both economically and environmentally, both governments and industry are together pouring their eggs into a rather flimsy basket." Or: the power of lobbying...

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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 24, 2014 6:02 PM

The big problem with using a finite energy source: you're eventually going to run out of it.

 

Nature is telling us that it is way past due for us to be getting off of the fossil fuels through the effects we are experiencing from climate change.  The universe itself seems to be telling us that it is time to get off fossil fuels through this development.  Conservatives can't realize and accept that there does come a point when you HAVE to make ACTUAL changes to your regimen in order to survive.  Corporatist Libertarians don't seem to be able to accept or realize that you NEED government to take a proactive role in bringing this about; that the market will not make the changes fast enough or thorough enough to bring about the changes that we need in order to make a significant enough difference in order to survive.

 

Both of these sides are driven by ideology primarily, not by science or fact.  Most of the Liberals and self-described "Progressives" also live only on the plane of ideology and not in the empirical reality that is around them.  This is how they have been so ineffectual at getting anything done to counter the Right and the Corporatist Libertarians when they have the basic outlines of the solutions that people both want and need in order to be well and survive in reality.

 

This is how the species is going to be made to go through a resetting phase, where hopefully, those with the poor brain types will be driven out or killed off by nature in the process of trying to survive and failing to do so.  Quite honestly I don't want to go through this phase myself.  That is why and how I am so vocal with my opposition to both the stupidity and senselessness of all sides in the political arena save for true Progressives and people who put facts and science ahead of personal belief, ideology or identity.

 

Think about it.

 

Because will you likely be among the survivors who are left to pick up the pieces and all of the nonsense that comes with that?  Or will your clueless, ignorant and nonsensing brain lead you and yours into a natural death?

 

Think carefully, because you don't have a choice in the matter.  That is just an illusion and nothing more.

 

Think about it.

Michael Stuart's curator insight, May 31, 2014 11:10 PM

Perhaps some plays, but each is different, Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas continues to exceed expectations.

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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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Exxon Mobil's commitment to carbon asset risk is just the beginning

Exxon Mobil's commitment to carbon asset risk is just the beginning | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As the company bows to pressure to report on its preparations for climate regulation, campaigners want investors to recognise that extractors may be forced to leave oil and gas in the ground, write Natasha Lamb and Danielle Fugere
Willy De Backer's insight:

Are we on the verge of a real revolution in the oil and gas industry as the  global divestment campaign is gaining traction? Or will the fossils use their big cash piles to fight back?

 

See also http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/03/24/exxon-stranded-assets-and-new-math

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IEA chief: Only a decade left in US shale boom

IEA chief: Only a decade left in US shale boom | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A surge in US oil and natural gas production has lifted hopes about North American energy security, but that growth will plateau and will be difficult to replicate elsewhere, says Maria van der Hoeven, chief executive of the International Energy Agency, in an interview with the Monitor.
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Have the Obits for Peak Oil Come Too Soon?

Have the Obits for Peak Oil Come Too Soon? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Among the big energy stories of 2013, “peak oil” -- the once-popular notion that worldwide oil production would soon reach a maximum level and begin an irreversible decline -- was thoroughly discredited.
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Michael Klare explains why the media reports about the death of peak oil have been 'greatly exxagerated'.

 

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Artur Alves's curator insight, January 15, 2014 6:28 AM

The usual technotriumphalism (technology, more technology, better technology will solve any given problem, given enough time) allays fears about the end of oil. Worryingly, it distracts from the main issue: thinking about a radically different society, less dependent on fossil fuels.

 

"In place of peak oil, then, we have a new theory that as yet has no name but might be called techno-dynamism.  There is, this theory holds, no physical limit to the global supply of oil so long as the energy industry is prepared to, and allowed to, apply its technological wizardry to the task of finding and producing more of it.  Daniel Yergin, author of the industry classics, The Prize and The Quest, is a key proponent of this theory.  He recently summed up the situation this way: “Advances in technology take resources that were not physically accessible and turn them into recoverable reserves.”  As a result, he added, “estimates of the total global stock of oil keep growing.”

From this perspective, the world supply of petroleum is essentially boundless.  In addition to “conventional” oil -- the sort that comes gushing out of the ground -- the IEA identifies six other potential streams of petroleum liquids: natural gas liquids; tar sands and extra-heavy oil; kerogen oil (petroleum solids derived from shale that must be melted to become usable); shale oil; coal-to-liquids (CTL); and gas-to-liquids (GTL).  Together, these “unconventional” streams could theoretically add several trillion barrels of potentially recoverable petroleum to the global supply, conceivably extending the Oil Age hundreds of years into the future (and in the process, via climate change, turning the planet into an uninhabitable desert).

But just as peak oil had serious limitations, so, too, does techno-dynamism.  At its core is a belief that rising world oil demand will continue to drive the increasingly costly investments in new technologies required to exploit the remaining hard-to-get petroleum resources.  As suggested in the 2013 edition of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook, however, this belief should be treated with considerable skepticism."

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Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will 'break economies'

Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will 'break economies' | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Nafeez Ahmed: Industry expert warns of grim future of 'recession' driven 'resource wars' at University College London lecture
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Excellent must-read article by Nafeez Ahmed in the Guardian. "The fundamental dependence of global economic growth on cheap oil supplies suggests that as we continue into the age of expensive oil and gas, without appropriate efforts to mitigate the impacts and transition to a new energy system, the world faces a future of economic and geopolitical turbulence".

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A new theory of energy and the economy - Part 1 - Generating economic growth

A new theory of energy and the economy - Part 1 - Generating economic growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
How does the economy really work? In my view, there are many erroneous theories in published literature. I have been investigating this topic and have come to the conclusion that both energy and de...
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Brillliant must-read analysis by Gail Tverberg of the link between economic growth, energy and debt.

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Nuno Gaspar de Oliveira's curator insight, January 24, 2015 1:48 PM

"In order for economic growth to occur, the wages of workers need to go farther and farther in buying goods and services. Low-priced energy products are far more effective in producing this situation than high-priced energy products. Substituting high-priced energy products for low-priced energy products can be expected to lead to lower economic growth."

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The Coming Blackout Epidemic

The Coming Blackout Epidemic | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
“We need a fundamental re-think about how electricity is generated and distributed and who controls this,” said lead author Prof Hugh Byrd of Lincoln University, a specialist in international energy policy and urban sustainability. “It is not in the interests of the privatized power industry to encourage less electricity consumption.”
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Great must-read article by Nafeez Ahmed on the looming power crisis in 'developed' countries

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European Commission study shines light on the true cost of conventional and solar energy 

European Commission study shines light on the true cost of conventional and solar energy  | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The European Commission study on "Energy subsidies and costs in the EU", released on October 13th, 2014, demonstrates that the direct total cost of conventional energy technologies, such as coal and nuclear, is much higher than the direct cost for solar energy, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) announces."

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Interesting press release

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How new EU climate chiefs can make a green energy union

COMMENT: An open letter to Alenka Bratušek, vice president for Energy Union, and Miguel Arias Cañete, European commissioner for climate action and energy
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Good recommendations for one of the new big priorities of the @Juncker team: the Energy Union. I strongly support the idea of a European Energy and Climate Security Observatory.

Energy and Climate Security Observatory
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Germany, UK and Poland top ‘dirty 30’ list of EU coal-fired power stations

Germany, UK and Poland top ‘dirty 30’ list of EU coal-fired power stations | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Environmental study highlights health effects from pollution, with Germany coming top, and the UK third in total coal consumption
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Three coal leaders are also the ones doing well on the economy. So being ecologically irresponsible pays off. The economic and political power of these countries in the EU also means we can forget about a smart social-ecological transition. 

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IEA Investment Report - What is Right; What is Wrong

IEA Investment Report - What is Right; What is Wrong | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Recently, the IEA published  a "Special Report" called World Energy Investment Outlook. Lets's start with things I agree with: 1. World needs $48 trillion in investment to meet its energy needs to ...
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Interesting reading by Gail Tverberg of the latest IEA investment report highlighting in particular the difficulty to finance the energy investments needed in the next 20 years.

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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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Corn biofuels worse than gasoline on global warming in short term – study

Corn biofuels worse than gasoline on global warming in short term – study | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
$500,000 study paid for by federal government says biofuels made from corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in short term
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Another biofuels myth debunked.

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UN Climate Chief Urges Radical Clean-Up Of Oil, Gas Industry

UN Climate Chief Urges Radical Clean-Up Of Oil, Gas Industry | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
(Corrects paragraph 11 to "trillion tonnes" from "billion tonnes") * Figueres says three quarters of reserves may have to stay in ground * UN wants "urgent transformation" towards greener ...
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Finally a bit more courage from the climate chief, but this message alone will not break the fossils' resolve to keep drilling until there is no tomorrow.

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How Money Changes Climate Debate

How Money Changes Climate Debate | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Why have conservative groups been so successful in casting doubt on global warming?
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You have an organisation and want to get rich? Become a climate denier!

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, March 7, 2014 7:01 AM

A recent study published in the journal Climatic Change finds that much of the millions of dollars that funds these groups comes from secret sources, and a good portion of the rest is from publicity-shy conservative foundations and wealthy donors.

 
Eli Levine's curator insight, March 11, 2014 9:39 AM

Fools.

 

What good is money if you're not going to be alive to spend it?

 

Why not pay for the new technology, upgrade our infrastructure and be done with fossil fuels for good?

No more national security issues over energy.  No more conflicts that we shouldn't otherwise be involved in.  No more major pollution for the sake of monetary gain that we shouldn't be caring about or wanting.

 

The biggest concern for me would be getting jobs for all the workers who'd be laid off.  They'd need to be transferred, somehow, into the new economy and be taken care of.

 

Apart from that, the fossil fuel owners could just find new companies to run, for all I care.  They've got the money to survive, after all.

 

Time to innovate and adapt. 

 

Or die.

 

Think about it.

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Shock over Ukraine

Shock over Ukraine | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Ukraine is shaping up to be a lot like Yugoslavia, except with more than twice as many people, lots of crazed street fighters who think they now own the place, and a role critical to European energy security. If you aren't in shock about this, then you haven't been paying attention.
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One of the better analyses I have read about the explosive situation in failed Ukraine. Yugoslavia yes, but also close to the 37 days that started world war one. Still waiting for the analysis of the energy angle of this developing story.

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EU study predicts clean energy, climate failure by 2050

EU study predicts clean energy, climate failure by 2050 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The EU's decarbonisation of its energy sector will only cut emissions by half the amount needed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius in 2050, according to a business-as-usual scenario quietly released by the European Commission over...
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No surprise in this 'surprising' report which the Commission tries to hush up. Only bringing political and economic leaders to court over failure to protect its citizens will put something in motion. But then it will already be too late anyway.

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