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09 February 2013

Press review 09-02-2013

This post starts what I hope to be a weekly review of press articles. The idea is to have a collection of news pieces to read on a snowy Saturday morning or a hot Sunday afternoon. These are articles that usually don't make it to the front pages but that are relevant to our society in transition. Otherwise it may just things that are interesting.
Guardian
Windfarms break energy record in Spain
Monday 4 February 2013 09.56 GMT

Over the last three months wind farms produced more electricity than any other power source in Spain for the first time ever, an industry group has said.

The country delivered over six terawatt hours of electricity from wind farms during January, according to data from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana, the Spanish Wind Energy Association said in a statement.

"Since November 1, wind has been the top technology in the electrical system," the group said in a blog posting. "The last time any technology exceeded six terawatt-hours of monthly generation was in 2010, when it was combined-cycle gas turbines."
In spite of the efforts by the Rajoy government to detract renewable energies, their contribution continues to Spain's energy mix continues to grow. Elsewhere drilling shales is the way to go; it seems only a matter of time before gas from this sort of plays starts flowing in Europe.
EurActiv
Romania reverses course on shale gas
01 February 2013

In a widely expected U-turn, Romanian authorities yesterday (31 January) gave the American energy giant Chevron the certificates it needed to start exploring for shale gas in the eastern part of the country.

The Romanian authorities reversed their decision from last April to suspend Chevron from gas exploration activities.

The decision takes place nine months after protests in southeast Romania, in particular in the town of Vama Veche, where shale gas exploration is due to take place.
In an interview to the Deutsche Wella Israeli deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon made it very clear that Syria post Assad will be chaotic and contagious to neighbouring countries. Getting oil and gas from and through the Near East is looking ever less guaranteed.
Deutsche Wella
'Syria could be a second Somalia'
07.02.2013

On the one hand, it seems as if there is no consensus in the Security Council. On the other, it has become a zero-sum game inside Syria between the opposition and Assad. There is no in-between; both sides are going to fight to the bitter end. This is very bad. Once Assad is gone, and nobody can say when, I'm afraid Syria will fall further into a chaotic situation of sectarian warfare. The danger is that the Islamists - the jihadists who have the weapons on the ground and the financial backing of certain Arab countries - will turn Syria into an extremist Islamist state, or a failed state like Somalia or Mali. In the absence of any international consensus, things could get very bad, especially for the Syrian people, and the situation will also destabilize the region, because what happens in Syria won't stay in Syria. It will spill over into Lebanon and Iraq.
On the technological front there is another encouraging announcement regarding the Ubuntu Phone OS. I won't be buying any piece of electrical equipment before it becomes clear the impact this may come to have.
Wall Street Journal
Ubuntu Smartphone Shipping in October
Michael Hickins, February 6, 2013, 3:51 PM ET

Smartphones running the open source Ubuntu operating system will be available to customers beginning in October 2013, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical Ltd. Canonical provides services for corporate customers using Ubuntu open source software. Application developers will have access to the smaartphone operating system, which is optimized for the Galaxy Nexus handset manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co. , in late February.
And that's it, have a nice weekend.