Cal on July 5th, 2015

Russia’s state-controlled energy firm Gazprom announced last week that it suspended the delivery of natural gas to Ukraine, having not received payment for gas deliveries in the coming months. “Gazprom will not deliver gas to Ukraine at any price without prepayment,” company CEO Alexey Miller said. Negotiations between the two countries broke down when Ukraine rejected the Russia price that was offered, the short-term of the contract (three months), and a clause in the contract which required it to purchase a fixed amount of natural gas from Gazprom regardless of demand. In the absence of gas supplies from Russia, the Ukrainian government will reportedly rely on sources from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Last week the US state of New York officially banned the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale, citing its potential impact on health and the environment.

According to Green Car Reports, BMW expects to convert its cars to electric by 2025. “Virtually every BMW model would be powered by electric motors, with all-wheel drive and range-extending engines throughout the range.” The reasons for the move is the introduction of more stringent CO2 emissions in Europe in the upcoming years. With an electric motor on the rear axle and another that powers the front wheels, future BMWs will run much of the time on electric power alone.

Solar Power Europe’s Global Market Outlook reported solar energy now accounts for 1% of all global electricity demand. This is the equivalent of 33 large, coal-fired power plants each producing 1 gigawatt. Global solar electric generation capacity is now 178 GW, which is 100 times more than it was 14 years ago. IHS Technology expects solar to account for 2% of global electricity demand sometime by 2021. Getting to 2% will likely see a much broader spread of countries adopting solar, in particular across the Middle-East, Africa and Latin America.

22.3% of UK electricity was generated by renewables such as wind, biomass and solar in the first three months of this year according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. When we add nuclear, low carbon emission energy generated 41% of the UK’s electricity during this period.

In 2014 half of Scotland’s electricity demand was supplied from renewable sources – hydropower and wind.

UK officials admitted that “green” energy programs will require £9 billion ($US 14.4 billion) a year in government subsidies by 2020. This is £1.5 billion more than the maximum limit the government had originally planned.  This means every household in the country will be forced to pay about £170 a year to support these renewable electricity programs.

The United States and Brazil announced an agreement last week for each country to get 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

A major pilot project by Europe’s largest power network operator to integrate power from rooftop solar panels into the national grid has shown that battery storage of renewable energy is not yet economically viable in Europe. The “Nice Grid” project by France’ electric utility company connected compact batteries to solar panels on rooftops and utility-size batteries to its local power distribution network. The technology worked perfectly but the pilot project concluded battery storage is still too expensive for wider rollout.  “The economic model of the storage batteries for solar power is not mature yet,” Philippe Monloubou, chief executive of the utility said.

Work has begun on the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya, 550km north of the African country’s capital Nairobi. The project will consist of 365 turbines and expected to achieve 68% load capacity factor, which will make it the most efficient wind power farm in the world. Once the wind farm is complete, it is expected to generate about 20% of the country’s power. It is part of Kenya’s ambitious project to add 5 GW of electric power on the national grid in the next three years.

 

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Cal on July 5th, 2015

Something Different

Cal on July 4th, 2015

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Cal on July 2nd, 2015

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Cal on July 1st, 2015

Earth's Energy

Cal on July 1st, 2015

                                  O Canada

 

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Cal on June 30th, 2015

Two-thirds of known fossil-fuel reserves must be left in the ground if global warming is to be kept at less that 2 degrees C. above pre-industrial levels according to United Nations special envoy for climate change Mary Robinson.

“The latest science makes it clear that the world needs to reach zero carbon emissions globally by 2050 to maximise chances of staying below 2 degrees and to make 1.5 degrees feasible,” she said. “To do this, two-thirds of the known fossil-fuel reserves must be left in the ground and alternative sources of clean energy found.”

Earlier this month the G7 countries agreed to phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2100.  The G7 includes Canada, the United States, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Japan.

Scotland’s government said that even though the oil industry is in a downturn, it expects production from the North Sea to increase by as much as 17% by 2019.

Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the largest supplier of crude to China.

Nigeria is expected to face fuel shortages in three weeks, as the government does not have enough money to continue to pay for gasoline subsidies.

As of year-end 2014, only four countries in the world were producing commercial volumes of either natural gas from shale formations (shale gas) or crude oil from tight formations (tight oil): the US, Canada, Argentina and China.

Irish explorer Circle Oil  said natural gas was flowing from its first shale gas well drilled into a basin in Morocco. The company said the gas was flowing at a rate of 1.9 million cubic feet per day in the Lalla Mimouna area onshore Morocco. The north African country holds an estimated 20 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale oil and natural gas reserves.  Gulfsands Petroleum reported earlier this year that natural gas was flowing at a rate of 10 million cubic feet per day at a test well in Northern Morocco.

In the UK, the Lancashire County Council voted against allowing Caudrilla Resources Ltd. to use horizontal drilling and fracking to capture the large shale gas reserves underneath the company’s Roseacre Wood site in northwest England. Todate the company has spent well over £100 million in its effort to recover this resource. The UK government, which supports fracking, now faces the dilemma of forcing through its shale gas policy or accepting the wishes of affected communities, as expressed by their elected representatives.

Indonesia announced plans to expand its electric generating capacity by 46% in four years with new electric power plants, half of them burning coal.

A new report from Bloomsberg sees the world spending $12 trillion dollars on new electricity generation sources over the next 25 years. $8 trillion will be spent on renewable sources with the remaining $4 trillion devoted to fossil fuels. Currently, the world gets about two-thirds of its electric power from fossil fuels, but by 2040 coal, crude oil, and natural gas will account for only 44% of global power generation, the report says. Renewable energy, including tidal, wind, and solar power, will likely account for 46%, and the remaining 10% will come from nuclear generation. While renewables will gather greater market share in the developed economies (particularly rooftop solar), in the developing world cheap coal will compete with cheap solar to power the increasing use of microgrids.

The Bloomberg report says financial investment in renewable energy hit nearly $340 billion in 2014. Another $5 trillion is expected by 2030.

The same report also highlights that costs for a new wind power in the US and Europe have now fallen below $100 a megawatt-hour, about on par with coal. The report projects solar- and wind-power costs will continue to decline around the world, largely falling below coal and natural gas in the decades to come. The costs of solar plants are expected to fall by nearly half over the next two-and-a-half decades, eventually becoming the cheapest source of electricity in a growing number of countries.

The US state of New York has called for 50% renewable electricity generation by 2030.

 

 

 

 

 

with h/t Tom Whipple

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Cal on June 30th, 2015

“I am now more convinced than ever that 2015 will see the peak in world crude oil production. I have very closely studied the charts of every producing nation and my prognosis is based on that study. I see many nations in steep decline and most every other nation peaking now, or in the last couple of years, or very near their peak today. These include the world’s three largest producers, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the USA.”

 
Ron Patterson, peakoilbarrel.com

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