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A model for exploring oil boom & bust cycles

Economics 101 starts with a stylised depiction of a supply and demand curve. The price is determined by the intersection of the curves. This implies that there is no such thing as an ‘oil supply gap’ since a shift of the supply curve leftwards will simply result in a...

The NRDC baseload twitter storm

The release of a Brattle report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) resulted in a Twitter storm and much commentary over the meaning of ‘baseload’. Mark Diesendorf had pushed back against the term more than 10 years ago. But some anti-coal proponents...

The rigour of the Jacobson et al. RE plan

UPDATE: 26 August 2017 – A response to Jacobson et al.’s response has been published with further detail here. Completely decarbonising energy systems is a difficult and complex problem. Wind and solar have the benefit of modularity, falling costs, and...

Synchronous grids and inertia

The Australian NEM spans five states and 4,500 km and has around 260 registered generators, all of which, when online, are synchronous machines spinning in near-exact synchronization at close to 50 Hz across the network (the island state of Tasmania is connected via...

Australia’s strategic oil reserve

With the current political debates in Australia around energy and climate policy, it’s easy to neglect the sleeper of Australia’s energy policy – the lack of an oil strategic reserve. The IEA was established in November 1974 in response to the first Middle...