"... when you owe the bank a thousand dollars it’s your problem. When you owe the bank a few billion, it’s the bank’s problem."
Nordstream 2 is "a logical development stemming from the facts that Russia wants to provide gas and Germany wants to buy it, which led to a mutually acceptable agreement and commitment of many billions of dollars, largely by the firms Uniper and Wintershall of Germany, Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and Engie of France in association with Russia’s Gazprom — an impressive example of European pragmatism."
"Given that oil prices are a reflection of global economic demand, falling oil prices have a negative feedback loop in the economy as a whole. The longer oil prices remain suppressed, the negative impacts of loss of employment, reductions in capital expenditures, and declines in corporate profitability will begin to outstrip any small economic benefit gained through consumption."
"Under this transformational and ambitious scenario, fossil fuel use would plummet. Coal consumption would drop by roughly 60%, oil consumption by 30%, and the role of natural gas in the energy mix would remain stagnant."
For all of 2019, December has been a magnet.
Between 2009 and 2015, solar PV module prices fell by 80%, ushering in a new era of affordability. Solar powered mini-grids don’t just have the potential to bring electricity to new markets, it can also replace the diesel-powered generators commonly used in Africa.
In a world working towards reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, what will happen to countries that depend on oil wealth when demand begins to dwindle? Countries can no longer assume their oil and gas resources will translate into reliable wealth — instead, it is how you manage what you have now that counts.
According to most accounts, even if questionable, the US checked with Russian partners about Russian forces being present there before engaging in the firefight at the Conoco oil plant. If true, the most probable solution to this mystery is that the Russian military did not know that Russian contractors were present near the plant that day.
Once there’s a warning that a storm is inbound and likely to take out the power in your area, it’ll be too late. Stock up throughout the year, when things go on sale. Not only will you save money, but you will also already be prepared for the power outage and won’t have to rush to the store.
Utility companies are pretty jazzed about this, too. Knowing exactly when their customers use their gas and electric 24/7 and what for gives them the opportunity to try to sell their customers additional products and services. Utility companies can also sell this private data to third parties and then they can also try to sell these utility customers other products.
For those in Japan and Germany celebrating that the exit from nuclear is providing an opportunity to embrace solar and wind energy, a sad slap of reality has also occurred. Not only have energy costs skyrocketed wherever green energies been built, but the toxic waste caused by those photovoltaic cells far outpaces anything produced by the dirtiest nuclear reactor.
European tensions are growing. There is Brexit, a directionless and over-extended Germany, an ambitious but weak France, and a growing regional divide. But the main danger to the European project is democracy. What is the European Union? The closest concept I can come up with is that of a liberal empire. An empire is a hierarchically structured block of states held together by a gradient of power from a centre to a periphery. At the centre of the EU is Germany, trying more or less successfully to hide inside a “Core Europe” (Kerneuropa) formed together with France. Germany doesn’t want to…