The UK may be facing an electricity crisis. smartplanet told us about a new report from energy regulator Ofgem predicting the UK will face an energy shortage by 2015 or 2016. Ofgem sees the UK’s spare electricity generation capacity falling from 14% in 2012 to 4% over the next three to four years resulting from tough environmental targets, financial instability and aging coal-fired power stations. This led The Independent to warn Electricity price-rise pain may be worse than expected and Forbes to write The Joy Of Green Energy: The Lights Go Out In 2015.

Germany’s renewable energy future was also questioned. Der Spiegel discussed German Energy Plan Plagued by Lack of Progress or Merkel’s Blackout. “Germany plans to abandon nuclear power by 2022, but its government hasn’t been doing enough to ensure that the project succeeds. Needed infrastructure and technology is lacking, and coordination is a mess. Meanwhile, weary consumers are paying more for electricity, and the supply is in jeopardy.” This week the country’s grid operators announced a significant increase in electricity prices in Germany, prices that are already the second-highest in Europe. As a result of the increased cost of green energy, consumers will now pay €20 billion ($25.7 billion) next year to promote renewable energy. This is more than €175 for the average household, a 50% increase over current charges. These rate increases fly in the face of the statement in June 2011 by Chancellor Angela Merkel in which she promised that the switch away from nuclear to renewable sources would not impact electricity rates. The author notes that the price of electricity has become a social issue, not unlike the price of bread in ancient Rome. As a result, the phrase “electrical poverty” is heard more and more as people have their power cut off from an inability to pay their bills. Meanwhile, despite the higher cost to the consumer, the necessary green energy infrastructure is not in place and does not appear it will by the time 2022 rolls around.  “The central question in all of this is whether the money coming from electricity consumers is being spent wisely. If the federal government wants to have all of Germany’s nuclear power plants phased out by 2022, why is it doing so little to ensure that the project will succeed?”  See also The Local Germany Eco-power ‘will raise energy bills in 2013, Deutsche Welle German green electricity levy almost doubles, and ‘The Telegraph Germany’s wind power chaos should be a warning to the UK. “Germany has gone further down the ‘renewables’ path than any country in the world, and now it’s paying the price.”

Seeking Alpha wrote about how the natural gas revolution in North America is transforming motor vehicle fuel while AOL Energy gave us an infographic on the potential benefits of North Dakota’s Bakken shale deposits.

The Oil Drum tells us all about LNG (liquid natural gas) in The Cold Facts About a Hot Commodity.

Gas Today Australia reported that Australia is set to become the world’s leading LNG exporter. Australian supply is being driven bya sharp increases in Asian natural gas demand the switch from nuclear and coal to natural gas to generate electricity. Over the next 5 years, Australia will account for 63% of global LNG export terminal spending.

Is Europe entering the ‘golden age of coal’? The International Energy Agency (IEA) thinks so says interactive investor. Unlike North America and other areas of the world, the continent will not be a natural gas revolution.  Instead Europe will get most of its electricity from coal. The IEA says gas is losing the battle in Europe’s power plants against cheap coal coming from the U.S., where the discovery of shale gas has left a huge oversupply in unwanted coal. See also OILPRICE, High Natural Gas Prices Lead to Increased Demand for Coal in Europe.

China and India Eye Western Hemisphere Energy Assets reports OILPRICE. “The two BRIC nations, China and India, their treasuries stuffed with cash and seeking foreign energy assets to keep their economies humming, are increasingly eying energy assets in both North and South America.”

New Jersey wonders if an Iraqi energy boom will postpone peak oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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