Breakingviews

UK faces risk of cold-weather blackouts

December 30, 2014

Britain’s electricity system is ageing and the mix of generating technology is changing. Both factors increase the danger of power cuts at peak times. Contingency plans include paying companies to accept temporary grid outages. New capacity can’t come soon enough.

How Big Oil could grease invisible hand

September 22, 2014

“Pump” contends that democracy at the gas station would help U.S. democracy more broadly. Offering drivers fuel choices like ethanol, as Brazil did, might ease the grip of Exxon Mobil and its peers. The film makes a convincing case, even as it evades some inconvenient truths.

Goldman renewable energy dash more than greenwash

May 24, 2012

The Wall Street firm says it will deploy $40 bln over a decade. It isn’t above self-serving spin, but it’s also never far from the money. With solar and wind power nearing competitive cost levels, clean energy could burnish Goldman’s bottom line as well as its green credentials.

Oil’s new age of plenty challenges old assumptions

December 27, 2013

Cheap shale, cheaper renewables, and increasing efficiency are creating a glut of non-OPEC crude, and bringing forward the peak of fossil fuel demand. Even if energy prices don’t fall sharply, there will be more volatility in oil prices, energy investments and geopolitics.