Styles 2010 energy round-up

Geoff Styles, as preeminent an energy blogger as there is, has a little round-up of 2010 in energy, which is worth reading in full (including links), so I won't paraphrase it exhaustively here. He comments that the two truly unforeseen and shaping events of the year were Deepwater Horizon and "the less spectacular but no less profound awakening to the possibilities of the shale gas revolution." His comment on shale gas is particularly insightful:
That might help explain why the developers of renewable electricity sources such as wind have struggled so much this year, despite receiving $3.9 billion in direct cash grants from the US Treasury. They're not competing with $90 oil; the US generated less than 1% of its electricity from petroleum this year, through September. Instead, they're competing with gas at an effective price of $25/bbl or less.
Here's the killer graph:
Shale gas really is a game-changer, but its continued rapid growth is not a foregone conclusion. The two massive unknowns that I will be watching closely in 2011 are the environmental impact (already much debated and increasingly feared), and how it evolves outside of North America - in previously gas-vulnerable Europe, and even more so in China, where the reserves are likely enormous and the government has the power to develop them rapidly, if desired.

With that, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, and I will get back to mine.

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