Energy Insecurity

Energy security is a mantra often repeated by politicians but those who mindless call for energy security fail to understand just how complex the process of providing energy to a nation has become and just how many different hands are on the valves, switches or taps that can turn off or on the supplies, according to their policy of self-betterment and greed. Continue reading

Can we keep the lights on?

Can we, as a nation, keep the lights on, with these intermittent wind turbines? Can we keep the lights on, without nuclear power stations or coal burning power stations? Can we keep the lights on, with all these climate change targets? You often hear journalists and politicians ask these questions when discussing energy. The question indicates the importance of energy security, being able to flick a switch and know that the lights will come on, every time. However, they are asking the wrong question. Energy security is not about keeping the lights on. Continue reading

How the United Kingdom could suffer in another freezing winter

I write this when it is very hot in London. We are sweltering and I am enjoying the heat wave, which I personally hope will continue. However, it was not that long ago when we were suffering such cold weather that my blog entry about how your condensing boiler can stop working in very cold weather got thousand of hits.  Weather changes and we adjust to the changes with heating and cooling. And this made me think about natural gas. 86% of UK homes are connected to the gas grid. Continue reading

Energy efficiency of homes marginally improves over a decade

There are twenty two million dwellings in the United Kingdom; the vast majority of these are houses, as opposed to flats. More than eighteen million families live in houses, according to a recently published survey by the Department of Communities and Local Government. Continue reading

Who controls Europe’s natural gas?

I have always been concerned about the way in which the United Kingdom’s energy supplies are not owned by the United Kingdom. Last year the remaining energy company that had a significant state interest, British Energy, which was the United Kingdom’s largest electricity generator was sold by the United Kingdom Government to EDF, a company controlled by the French Government. British Energy generates electricity mainly from nuclear energy.

It seems to me obvious, and presumably to the French and the Russians, that energy is critical to our safety, well being and prosperity, that one way or another, the State should be able to control energy within its borders. Otherwise, the inhabitants of the state are at the mercy of the businesses that do control it. Continue reading

The energy and environmental policies of the Conservative Party

Every political party wants to appear to have “green” policies these days. Green is the new black. The policies of the Government in the United Kingdom are well defined but inchoate, and more observed in their talk than in their action. They talk the talk but do not, when push comes to shove walk the walk. Continue reading

Three pipelines and energy security

Six years ago work started on three pipelines that would carry oil from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The route was designed to bypass Russia and Iran, which were thought to be potentially unfriendly to western oil and national energy interests. BP led the consortium of pipe line builders and the three pipelines were designed to carry more than a million barrels of oil every day of the year. Continue reading