Year End Reviews – This one is from Forbes

I’ll put a few more up. Why not start out with the Capitalist’s point of view.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/12/23/the-top-10-energy-stories-of-2018/#5f91c2c4799a

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2018

Energy

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the top energy stories of the year. This year there wasn’t an overwhelming choice for the top story as we have had in some previous years (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon spill), but many of the year’s biggest developments impacted oil prices.

Here are my picks for the stories that shaped the year in energy.

Oil price roller coaster

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened the year at $60/bbl. Brent crude was just under $67/bbl. By early October, on the back of several developments that are covered in other stories below, WTI was closing in on $80/bbl and Brent was above $86/bbl. But then prices collapsed in part because the ongoing trade war with China caused them to stop importing U.S. oil, and in part because sanctions on Iranian exports were waived at the last moment — after Saudi Arabia had already increased production to compensate for Iran’s lost exports. The overall impact was a collapse in the price of oil. As we head into the last week of the year, WTI has fallen to $45/bbl and Brent crude is at $54/bbl.

U.S. shatters oil production record

Early in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the previous monthly record for U.S. crude oil production – 10.044 million BPD set in November 1970 — had been broken. U.S. oil production would continue to rise steadily throughout 2018, reaching 11.475 million BPD by September 2018 (the last month for which monthly numbers are available).

China slows solar program

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I hate that last one. Go there and read. More next week.

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FirstEnergy Cries For Help – Oh Daddy big government please help little me

This is what happens in a transitional economy. All the big brave tough bullies, Captains of Industry, turn into silly whiny little sissies begging for handouts. Isn’t life interesting. And no, this is not an April Fools Joke.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/coal-nuclear-plant-operator-files-for-bankruptcy-asks-trump-for-a-bailout/

business cycles —

Coal, nuclear plant operator files for bankruptcy, asks Trump for a bailout

FirstEnergy’s request comes after regulator struck down an industry-wide bailout plan.

On Saturday, power corporation FirstEnergy placed its coal and nuclear generation units under chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although coal and nuclear plants across the country have struggled to compete with the low prices of natural gas, FirstEnergy’s filing is unique because it stands to take on a political dimension. Just two days before FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing, the company petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) for an emergency bailout, citing concerns about reliability.

The petition could reinvigorate a debate started by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who proposed a rule last year to change how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their power. The rule was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which said that there was not enough evidence to justify changing how coal and nuclear are compensated.

FirstEnergy disparaged FERC’s decision in its Thursday petition (PDF), claiming that “as a result of FERC’s and the RTO’s [Regional Transmission Organization’s] failure to address this crisis, swift and decisive action is needed now to address this imminent loss of nuclear and coal-fired baseload generation and the threat to the electric grid that this loss poses” (emphasis FirstEnergy’s).

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Go there and laugh your asses off. More next week.

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A Major Energy Transition Has Begun – Just the first sentence makes this article important

This is a really really long good article. So I am going to shut up and let you read. I have not felt this good in a long time.

https://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/london/feature-china-and-the-new-energy-economy-26831057

Feature: China and the New Energy Economy

London (Platts)–31 Oct 2017 1239 pm EDT/1639 GMT

There is an increasingly inescapable sense that an energy transition of enormous proportions is taking place. The number of ‘bans’ announced on Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles is growing, even if governments are placing them relatively far out on the political horizon.

More and more car manufacturers are taking note and shifting R&D spending into Electric Vehicles (EVs), a move which has profound implications for the development curves, and thus future cost, of EVs versus ICE vehicles.

In October, US automaker General Motors said that it would launch two new pure electric models in 2018 and a further 18 by 2023.

Its competitor Ford announced the creation of a new internal team to “think big and move fast” in order to accelerate the electrification of its auto production. Both are some way behind their European counterparts.

It is not hard to see why such decisions are being made now. While the number of EVs on the road remains just a fraction of the total parc, global sales are growing by about 40% year-on-year, making EVs the biggest growth story in the auto market in decades.

And, if governments are going to regulate against ICE vehicles and subsidize EVs, thereby changing the consumer choices which otherwise might be made, then what other path is there to tread?

CHINESE WHISPERS

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Go there and read. Rejoice. More next week.

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Renewables Win – This report makes it clear there is no going back

I think this report says it all. There is 15 pages here, but it is a good read.

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/energy-environment-report-2017.pdf

 

OCTOBER 2017
R-17-09-A
NRDC’s Fifth Annual Energy Report
AMERICA’S CLEAN
ENERGY REVOLUTION
NRDC Senior Editor, Policy Publications: Mary Annaïse Heglar
NRDC Policy Publications Editor: Tim Lau
Design and Production: www.suerossi.com
Pipeline cover image: © Rick Wilking/Reuters/Newscom
© Natural Resources Defense Council 2017
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The NRDC Annual Energy Reports were conceived by Pat Remick, and like its predecessors, this fifth edition reflects her extensive editorial supervision. The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions of a number of people: Michelle Bright, Lara Ettenson, Mary Heglar, Roland Hwang, Katherine Kennedy, Lissa Lynch, Matthew McKinzie, John Moore, Briana Mordick, and John Walke.
Fifth Annual Energy Report
Dozens of clean energy records have been shattered across the
United States in the last year and a half. Solar energy is growing at an
unprecedented rate and the first U.S. offshore wind farm now provides
clean electricity off the coast of Rhode Island. Grid operators and utilities
are implementing new techniques and grid improvements that allow us
to integrate more clean energy into America’s electricity system without
compromising reliability. At the same time, states and utilities have
increased their energy efficiency investments, reducing energy waste and
energy costs across the U.S. economy. Taken together, the United States is
slashing climate-changing and other harmful pollutant seven as national
energy spending hits record lows. Cities, states, and businesses recognize
the economic advantages of clean energy and have taken the lead on U.S.
climate action and must continue to do so. It is clear that a low-carbon
future is more affordable and achievable than ever. The last year and a half
has proved that, despite some new political headwinds, ever-improving
economics can propel the clean energy transition in the years to come.
The good news is we don’t have to choose between the
environment and a booming economy. Clean energy
not only reduces pollution harmful to public health
and our environment, it is also one of the fast-growing
areas for U.S. jobs and contributes billions to the U.S.
economy annually.
1   Energy efficiency and renewable energy are already
the cheapest sources of new energy
in the United States over the life of the investment.
2   Building new wind and solar farms is even expected to be
cheaper than running existing coal and gas plants within
the next decade.
3   Clean energy (from energy efficiency
improvements and renewable resource additions) already
employs almost 3 million Americans.
4,5   That is more than
twice the number of jobs in the U.S. fossil extraction and
production industries.
6   Energy efficiency supports the bulk of clean energy
employment in America today, providing permanent, well-
paying jobs in the design, manufacturing, construction, and
installation of energy-efficient buildings and appliances. In
addition, energy efficiency plays a crucial role in keeping
U.S. manufacturing and other industries competitive in a
global market—reducing energy waste, lowering the costs
of domestic production, and making our facilities some
of the most efficient in the world. The U.S. Department of
Energy (DOE) estimated in 2016 that with more aggressive,
but feasible, investments in energy efficiency, industry
could save up to an additional 7.5 quads of energy annually
by 2030—about 35 percent of all power used by industry
in 2016, or about the total amount of energy used by 50
million Americans in a year.
7, 8   These electricity savings
would be worth almost $30 billion annually (using 2016
average electric prices for industry).
9   The energy intensity of the U.S. economy (energ

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Go there and read. More next week.

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India Is Starting To Get On Board – This is encouraging

I was going to post on many things. There was the list of the most affordable cars or the robot that got inside of Fukushima nuclear power plant or even dissecting the new report from Rick Perry’s Department of Energy’s on renewables effect on the power grid. Still I have never heard of solar power on a train before, so this is what they say.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/indias-ageing-trains-green-makeover-solar-panels-130432410.html

AFP

India’s ageing trains get green makeover with solar panels

AFP 4 hours ago

India has added solar panels to the roof of a train in a national first as it tries to reduce its massive carbon footprint and modernise its vast colonial-era rail network.

The lighting, fans and information displays inside the train — once powered by diesel — will run off the sun’s energy after the panels were fitted to the carriage.

The train has begun journeys around the capital New Delhi, helping move just some of the 23 million passengers who use India’s rail network every day.

“We will be inducting at least four other solar-powered trains in the next six months,” Anil Kumar Saxena, Indian railways spokesperson, told AFP on Wednesday.

Batteries charged by the solar panels during the day take over if there is no sunlight, Saxena added. Only as a last resort, if the batteries perish, would diesel be used.

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I wonder what happens when they go through a tunel. Anyway, go there an read. More next week.

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Beyond Extreme Energy – I rarely endorse organizations

But today I do. This a great organization and a great idea as well. Join today.

info@beyondextremeenergy.org

Beyond Extreme Energy

Get involved in BXE’s work

Take Action!

Stay Connected!

Support our work!

  • Make a financial contribution.
  • Write to Actions@BeyondExtremeEnergy.org if you’re interested in being on one of our organizing working groups.

Questions? Need to contact us? Email info@beyondextremeenergy.org


picsart_02-19-12-34-54

 

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Go there and join, read and protest. More next week.

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250 Coal Fired Power Plants Close By 2018 – This is very good news

Let me be clear here, the transition to clean energy sources will be painful because it is unplanned. Consider this: What if the Federal Government had a plan to move away from fossil fuels with clear benchmarks for the shift and training programs to move workers into that market. Well, plants would be closed on a schedule that everyone knows in advance, and there would be no pain. Only growth and prosperity. The way we are going about it now, Nuclear Power gets classified as “green”, plants are shuttered and workers are thrown out of their jobs. Brilliant.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-coal-closures-idUSKBN16R2D4

Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline

By Emily Flitter | NEW YORK

Electricity company Dayton Power & Light said on Monday it would shut down two coal-fired power plants in southern Ohio next year for economic reasons, a setback for the ailing coal industry but a victory for environmental activists.

Republican President Donald Trump promised in his election campaign to restore U.S. coal jobs that he said had been destroyed by environmental regulations put into effect by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Dayton Power & Light, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, said in an emailed statement that it planned to close the J.M. Stuart and Killen plants by June 2018 because they would not be “economically viable beyond mid-2018.”

Coal demand has flagged in recent years due to competition from cheap and plentiful natural gas.

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Go there and jump for joy (I mean read). More next week.

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Coal Is Dead – Solar is the future

Coal is now the most expensive energy source in the United States. That means that it will be to expensive to mine. It also means that the worth of the mining companies will fall and their stocks will collapse. It  can’t happen soon enough for me.

http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/2015/12/28/a-sunny-future-for-utility-scale-solar/

A Sunny Future for Utility-Scale Solar
By John Finnigan | Bio | Published: December 28, 2015
Utility-scale solar and distributed solar both have an important role to play in reducing greenhouse emissions, and both have made great strides in the past year.
Utility-scale solar, the focus of this article, is reaching “grid parity” (i.e., cost equivalency) with traditional generation in more areas across the country.  And solar received a major boost when the federal tax incentive was recently extended through 2021. The amount of the incentive decreases over time, but the solar industry may be able to offset the lower tax incentive if costs continue to decline.  New changes in policy and technology may further boost its prospects.
Record year for utility-scale solar
Some of the world’s largest solar plants came on-line in the U.S. during the past year, such as the 550-megawatt (MW) Topaz Solar plant in San Luis Obispo County, California and the 550MW Desert Sunlight plant in Desert Center, California. Last year saw a record increase in the amount of new utility-scale solar photovoltaic generation installed – about four gigawatts (GW), a whopping 38 percent increase over 2013, and enough solar power to supply electricity to 1.2 million homes.  This number is expected to increase in 2015 when the final numbers are in.
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Go there and read. More next week.
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Plant A Tree Or Grow A Garden – Save energy by getting your hands dirty

I found myself doing 2 big things today: saucing tomatoes and contemplating what to do with Paw Paws. On the same theme I was considering what to post today when the two lines ran together. Of course when you plant a trees (Paw Paws) you are fighting global warming. Harvesting your own food (Paw Paws and tomatoes) is both buying local and cutting transportation costs at the same time.

So this is the Arbor Day Foundations take.

https://www.arborday.org/globalwarming/treeshelp.cfm

How Trees Fight Climate Change

Whether you plant trees around your home and property, in your community, or in our national forests, they help fight climate change. Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 and other pollutant particulates, then store the carbon and emit pure oxygen.

See how planting trees helps fight climate change.

Shaded Home At Your Home Planting the right trees around your home saves energy.

Shaded Community In Your Community Greener communities are cooler communities.

Rural Windbreak On your Rural Property See several examples from Arbor Day Farm.

National Forest In Our National Forests Trees absorb carbon dioxide and store carbon.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Pope Makes It Official – Global warming is here and it has to be dealt with

But how is the Catholic Church going to pitch in? His statement was aimed at policy makers, so politicians everywhere scrambled to comment. But what measures are the church(es) going to take. Solar panels on catholic churches? What?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

The first pope from the developing world, Francis, an Argentine, used the encyclical — titled “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” — to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He placed most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity while warning of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us” if swift action is not taken. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he said, and were obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis.

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Go there and pray. More next week.

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