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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

Facebook comes under unprecedented pressure from its users to switch to renewable energy. Guardian: “In one of the web's fastest-growing environmental campaigns, Greenpeace International says at least 500,000 people have now protested at the organisation's intention to run its giant new data centre mainly on electricity produced by burning coal power.755

Greenpeace direct action shuts down Cairn’s Arctic oil rig. Campaigners slip through a small flotilla of armed Danish navy and police boats to scale the rig and deploy hanging tents in a dawn raid. Guardian: “Greenpeace says the risks posed by this operation go "far beyond" the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; in the Arctic an oil spill would destroy the region's vulnerable and untouched habitats, while the cold water would prevent any oil from quickly breaking up. Any emergency operation to tackle a disaster would encounter huge technical and logistical problems in such a remote area. Cairn Energy was targeted by climate protesters who occupied the grounds of the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters near Edinburgh last week.756

1.9.10. US oil industry busses employees to protest against Gulf drilling moratorium. FT: “Thousands of oil industry workers rallied on Wednesday to lift the moratorium on new deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and head off new taxes and punitive measures in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill. Companies ranging from Chevron to Apache bussed in up to 5,000 employees to the Houston convention centre to underline to Washington the industry’s contribution to the country. “I have been in the oil and gas industry for 40 years, and this administration is trying to break us,’’ says Barbara Dianne Hagood, senior landman for Mariner Energy, a small company. “The moratorium they imposed is going to be a financial disaster for the gulf coast, gulf coast employees and gulf coast residents.’’757

BP advertising spend has tripled since the spill: to $93m in the three months following, more than three times the amount it spent in the same period the previous year, according to a report BP submitted to the US House of Representatives. The response in Washington is as would be expected.758

BP ready to publish internal findings on Macondo spill. The report, led by Mark Bly, group head of safety and operations, will be published in the next fortnight.759

Rosatom launches global charm offensive as it tries to double in size. FT: “In a rare meeting with foreign media last week, Sergei Kiriyenko, a former Russian prime minister and now president of Rosatom, outlined plans for the company to become a leading international player as nuclear power enjoys a surge in demand. “We want to double in size,” he told reporters in Toronto. Like the Gazprom and Russian Railways monopolies, Rosatom is a former ministry, converted into a state corporation in 2007. If the Kremlin achieves its ambitions, Rosatom could become to global nuclear power what Gazprom is to the natural gas industry. Rosatom accounts for one-fifth of the new reactors under construction worldwide and 17 per cent of global nuclear fuel fabrication, and aims to build a larger share in both segments.760

The 1,200 foreign workers at the Olkiluoto nuclear construction site live isolated lives. Hailing from many countries around Europe they live in barracks about 20 kilometres away from any services or local people, and the workers’ contacts with the rest of Finnish society is minimal. 761

Supertax on bankers failed, says Darling. FT: “Alistair Darling admitted on Wednesday that Britain’s controversial supertax on bankers’ bonuses had failed to change the industry’s behaviour over pay as “imaginative” financiers devised ways to avoid it.”762

Former Lehman CEO criticises Fed for letting his bank fail. Dick Fuld accuses regulators in testimony to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission of pushing the bank into bankruptcy and failing to get a grip on the crisis early in 2008.763

Solar desalination has great potential, but is advancing only slowly. Every day, 4,000 children die from dirty water. Almost 900 million people have no access to clean water. Only four MENA countries have enough natural and accessible water to supply their inhabitants with more than 1,000 m3 per capita per year, the limit for the definition of water poverty. Desalination generally, mostly fossil-fuel driven, produces and estimated 52 million m3 of water a day. This is expected to double by 2016. Renewables hold major potential to power desalination, but most existing facilities are pilots. Reverse osmosis via PV is the most common current renewable method. A minimum of 5 kWh of electricity is needed to desalinate 1,000 litres. Once facility in Tunisia produces 2,100 litres of drinking water a day from 10 kW of PV.764  (L)

A simple gravity-driven solar-thermal water disinfection system can kill all bugs in water at 70 C, and costs $1,000. It has been developed by the Swiss Institute for Solar Technologies.765 (L)

2.9.10. Ofgem investigates mis-selling by energy companies’ doorstep gas and electricity sales agents as the sales tactics of Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy, EDF Energy and npower, come under scrutiny over claims that they are misleading customers persuaded to switch supplier on their doorstep or over the phone. Ofgem could fine them up to 10% of their annual turnover if customers' complaints are upheld. FT: “The latest probe comes despite new regulations being introduced in January which were supposed to clamp down on mis-selling by sales agents. Householders are reporting that sales agents working for the energy suppliers are giving them misleading information and quotes which leave them worse off when they switch supplier. … while the number of complaints has fallen since last year, about 200 cases of mis-selling are being reported each month.766

Coalition of 22 green, countryside and housing groups warns Chris Huhne not to cut subsidies for green electricity.767

Five of the UK's 19 nuclear reactors remain offline, for planned and unplanned reasons. Platts: “The 550 MW Dungeness B-21 unit in Kent generated power for the first time in a year in August, following an extended outage to repair a pipe adjacent to a boiler reheater …. The 1,260 MW Sizewell B nuclear reactor in Suffolk has been offline since March 17 due to higher than normal moisture levels within the containment building. Plant operator British Energy said on July 30 that the reactor "should” return to the grid during the third quarter of 2010. The 660 MW Heysham-28 nuclear reactor in Lancashire has been offline since March 26 due to a distortion of the standpipe liner inner tube. In June plant operator British Energy said the reactor would "likely" return to service during Q3.768

Bottom-up products and projects for delivery of energy to the poor proliferate. Economist: “Around 1.5 billion people, or more than a fifth of the world’s population, have no access to electricity, and a billion more have only an unreliable and intermittent supply. Of the people without electricity, 85% live in rural areas or on the fringes of cities. Extending energy grids into these areas is expensive: the United Nations estimates

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