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Jeremy Wakeford

Oil price volatility masks deeper trends

30th January 2015 The falling price of oil continues to dominate global energy news. By mid-January, the price of crude had fallen below $50/bl for the first time since the depths of the global recession in 2009. Why has the price plunged so dramatically? The short answer is that a combination of slackening demand... 

What’s driving the oil price plunge?

24th October 2014 In early October, Brent crude oil was trading as low as $92/bl – a marked drop from the $115/bl it reached in mid-June and the $105/lb to $112/bl range it has held for most of the past three years. In the midst of some serious geopolitical threats to oil supplies in the Middle East, this price... 

Solar PV takeoff firmly under way

12th September 2014 The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), an international grouping of governmental, industry and research and nongovernmental organisations with an interest in renewable energy, publishes a yearly report entitled 'Renewables Global Status Report'. As in previous years,... 

Global energy consumption trends in 2013

15th August 2014 Each year in June, British Petroleum (BP) publishes its ‘Statistical review of world energy’, which draws on various public and official sources of data on production and consumption of fossil fuels, nuclear power, renewable electricity and liquid biofuels. While some of the figures need to be... 

World needs prodigious energy investments to keep the lights on

11th July 2014 In June, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a special report titled ‘World Energy Investment Outlook’ (WEIO). This document charts the financial investments needed to meet expected energy demand over the coming two decades. The numbers indicate starkly the magnitude of the task that... 

Oil’s not well in the medium term

13th June 2014 International oil prices have been remarkably stable over the last three years, trading in a fairly narrow range between $100/bl and $120/lb, with the exception of a few brief dips into double-digit territory. This price stability has reflected a fine balance between world oil demand and supply.... 

Is gas entering a ‘golden age’?

16th May 2014 Natural gas has been widely touted as a bridging fuel between dirtier fossil fuels – coal and oil – and renewable-energy sources. In a 2011 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) declared that gas was poised to enter a 'golden age'. But is gas as good as it is cracked up to be? Natural gas... 

Simmering geopolitical hot spots pose risk to energy stability

28th March 2014 The tensions between the West and Russia, sparked by the political turmoil in Ukraine, carry echoes of Cold War geopolitics. But, in today’s world, energy often lies at the heart of geopolitical manoeuvrings. Conflicts over energy resources – particularly oil and gas – often given rise to... 

Low-energy reactors poised for commercialisation?

28th February 2014 One of the threads this column has been following over the past couple of years is the apparent renaissance of what used to be known as 'cold fusion' but is now usually referred to as low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) or controlled electron capture reactions (CECR). In short, the process... 

Mind the gaps in the IRP debate

31st January 2014 The publication in November last year by the Department of Energy of a draft revision to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity was very welcome, if overdue. The electricity crisis has, to some extent, woken the country up to the reality that economies cannot function without adequate... 

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