For SmartPlanet this week, I updated my outlook for oil and gas prices this year. So far my model is working beautifully, and has proved to be far more accurate than the calls made by the big-name analysts at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.
Read it here: 2013 oil and gas price forecast update
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For Greentech Media this week, I considered the evolution of microgrids as both a threat and an opportunity for utilities. The question is: How will they approach it?
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For SmartPlanet this week, I turned my attention to the UK, which is deep in the throes of shale gas fever.
Read it here: Fracking envy
Postscript: The day after I wrote this article, UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in New York City and said: “We are not going to be able to compete on our mineral resources, although frankly I am pretty jealous of your fracking success here in the US.”
Can’t beat that with a stick.
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For those who care about mainstream press treatment of energy and peak oil, Charles Mann has published a long response to my rebuttal of his Atlantic article.
Amory Lovins followed up with his own critique of Mann’s piece, to which Mann responded. Lovins followed up with a rebuttal to Mann’s response [PDF].
I will not take this debate further at the moment, but I will note that Mann’s objections to my piece mainly focused on picayune details. If I had the inclination and the time, I could demonstrate that several of his objections are incorrect, but sadly, I do not have either. I think the thrust of my rebuttal–that it is far from assured, or even likely, that methane hydrates can or will be produced at an acceptable price or production level–still stands.
For Greentech Media this week, I reviewed some exhaustive recent research on energy trends and forecasts, which showed that the conventional wisdom about renewables and their future is way out of date, and the renewably-powered grid will be here sooner than most people expect. “It’s not 1990 anymore,” the report’s lead author observed at the Pathways to 100% Renewables Conference held April 16 in San Francisco.
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Charles Mann’s long cover story in this month’s issue of The Atlantic (“What If We Never Run Out of Oil?“) got a lot of play in energy circles, presumably because it was an optimistic take on the future of unconventional fuels. Editor Alexis Madrigal invited me to write a short response to it, which was published today.
Read it here: Are Methane Hydrates Really Going to Change Geopolitics?
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For SmartPlanet this week, I profiled the mayors of two small, mostly Republican, American towns who spoke at the recent Pathways to 100% Renewables conference about their efforts to make their communities sustainable and friendly to renewable power. Both gentlemen noted that their local politics were very supportive of sustainability and very interested in combating climate change, in sharp contrast to right-wing politics at the national level.
Read it here: Small-town mayors: the cutting edge of climate action
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