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ODAC Newsletter - 15 May 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 May 2009

It has been a week of contradictions. On the one hand the oil price went
through the $60/barrel barrier for the first time in 2009 spurred on by lower
than anticipated US gasoline stocks. On the other the latest IEA forecast was
released estimating that 2009 will see the biggest fall in oil demand for 28
years [3]. This announcement, along with news from OPEC that the cartel’s
compliance [4] to production quotas was down in April from 82% to 77%, drove
prices back down on Wednesday.

 Despite the current oversupply and forecasts of continuing weak demand, the
oil price has not suffered the kind of collapse predicted by some. One
explanation could be that, whether or not they call it peak oil, investors
anticipate that any economic upturn will again run some kind of supply
constraint. Some like Fredrik Nerbrand, head of global strategy at HSBC
acknowledge peak oil [5] explicitly.

 In the UK this week there was a boost for the wind industry as the flagship
London Array project [6] was finally approved after significant financial
uncertainty. In a rare piece of good news for the government this week, Paul
Golby of EoN commented that recent changes to the Renewable Obligation
Certificates (ROCs) mechanism in the budget assisted in making the approval
possible.  

 A key government announcement this week was a commitment that ‘smart’
meters [7] will be installed in all UK homes by 2020 - the fine detail of how
the scheme will work is yet to be confirmed. The plan is a positive move
towards giving individual energy users more control over demand and towards
enabling more micro generation. The next key announcement on this front will be
the price which the government sets for feed in tariffs. For those who don’t
want to wait for that though, how about following the example of the Fintry
community energy scheme [8] who are ‘greening’ their village by loaning a
wind turbine and selling the power?

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