In little more than three months, Hunterston nuclear power station in Ayrshire will stop feeding the national grid. Britain’s nuclear “fleet” is being decommissioned with one big station a long way from being ready to replace it. There is indecision on whether others will join Hinkley Point. Neither the SNP nor their Green allies would allow any in Scotland. At one point in 2018, Britain had 62 companies competing, and many more brands within that. Until this month, the Scottish government planned to add its own. But without adequate hedging, scale, data, market experience or access to capital in a crisis, they have been falling away, to 47 by last April.
BBC 29th Sept 2021 read more »
Today’s energy crisis and the bumpy path to decarbonisation. Some implications seem simple as the world begins its path to Net Zero. Coal is oversupplied, natural gas is abundant, and the marginal cost of electricity should approach zero as renewables take over. Over time, these predictions may turn out to be correct, but there seem to be some unexpected twists and turns on the road between here and Net Zero. Its impact is felt far beyond the energy and commodities markets and affects everything from growth to inflation to politics. Consider the current situation. Global coal consumption peaked in 2013, but steam coal prices have nearly doubled in the past few months to nearly $ 200 per ton. The same thing happened with liquefied natural gas. Over the past few months, it has risen from $7 to over $20 per million British thermal units, a record high. European natural gas prices have risen at the same time, resulting in a sharp rise in electricity prices. The previous day’s price across the European continent went from 50 euros to 150 euros per megawatt hour. high. This was unexpected, especially as the global economy has not yet fully recovered from the Covid-19 crisis. So what’s going on? As is often the case, the story begins in China.
FT 1st Oct 2021 read more »