ODAC Newsletter - 1 October 2010


Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, the UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.

This week saw the release of another influential report on peak oil. Fueling the Future Force, by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a think tank which allegedly has strong links with the Obama administration, recommends that the Department of Defence transitions entirely away from petroleum by 2040. The publication demonstrates once again that there is a freedom to engage with the issue in military circles which as yet does not exist in mainstream politics.

Germany’s government ratified its controversial energy bill this week, which promises to meet 60% of the country’s energy needs (80% of electricity) with renewables by 2050. The bill is contentious because it also grants operating-life extensions to Germany’s nuclear power plants - a move that critics say will hamper renewables growth, but the government claims will act as a bridge and provide funding via a new nuclear fuel rod tax.

In Britain, just as the world’s largest off-shore wind farm opened near Thanet in Kent, came confirmation that the industry’s costs have soared over the past decade. A report from UKERC called Great Expectations said the reasons include including currency and commodity price fluctuations, shortages, bottlenecks and planning delays. Electricity from off-shore wind now costs 90% more than from gas. But the authors hold out some optimism prices could come down, given the right incentives and the development of a British supply chain.

A policy that could change the economics in favour of off-shore wind was suggested by Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics Group at the University Oxford, speaking at the Sustainable Planet forum in Lyon this week. Dr Allen suggested that rather than tackling emissions via taxes and incentives, that fossil fuel companies should take responsibility for burying all the carbon dioxide emitted by their products as a condition of staying in business. Another novel approach was raised in Ecuador, where the government has asked for international funds to leave oil in the ground. The argument goes that not extracting the oil will protect the Amazon rain forest, while also avoiding emissions from burning it. Interesting ideas both, but don’t hold your breath.

Note: The ODAC newsletter will be taking a one week break next week due to staff vacation. We will be back on Friday October 15th. Thanks for your patience.

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Disclaimers

Oil

US Military Needs to Get Off Oil by 2040: Report

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Crude Oil Rises to Seven-Week High on U.S., China Economic Data

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Questions about what's next as offshore drilling ban expires

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BP ousts exploration chief, vows to boost safety

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Oil firms reap benefit of Iran's build-up of crude stocks

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Oil: Can Ecuador see past the black stuff?

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OPEC crude oil production fell to 8 month low

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Iraq to announce big rise in oil reserves Monday

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Shell plans rapid North American growth

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Obama says energy policy a top priority next year

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Greenpeace banned from intercepting oil-drilling ship

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Gas

Eni, Mitsubishi Among Companies Bidding to Develop Iraq Natural-Gas Fields

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House passes shale gas production tax

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Coal

EU to allow Spain coal plan to 2014

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Renewables

Germany to wean itself off fossil fuels

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Denmark eyes up fossil fuel-free future

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Britain's offshore windpower costs twice as much as coal and gas generated electricity

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Mining and Minerals

UN environment chief urges recycling of rare metals

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Japan May Spend on Rare Earths After China’s Cut, Ohata Says

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‘Rare earths’ fears spur US review

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Climate

We can't use it – so why the heck are we prospecting for new oil?

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Climate change crisis 'can be solved by oil companies'

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China seeks binding climate treaty late 2011-report

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Disclaimers

The items contained in this newsletter are distributed as submitted and are provided for general information purposes only. ODAC does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in these submissions, nor does it guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information presented.

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