The US Energy Information Administration projects renewable energy will surpass nuclear power by 2020 and coal by 2028 to become the second largest source of US electricity generation after natural gas. Renewable energy growth will increase from 13% in 2015 to 24% in 2030, and 27% by 2040, with almost all of this growth from wind and solar PV. Geothermal will increase a significant amount in the state of California and the Southwest part of the country.

Rystad Energy estimates recoverable crude oil in the US from existing fields, discoveries and yet undiscovered areas amounts to 264 billion barrels. The figure surpasses Saudi Arabia’s 212 billion and Russia’s 256 billion in reserves.

A new sensor developed by Lockheed Martin and Neos will be able to find the location of precious metals and fossil fuels buried under the Earth’s surface by detecting the substance’s effect on the local gravity field. World Oil’s report on the new technology, called Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG) Plus, says the new device is 20 times more sensitive than gradiometers currently in use.

European ultracapacitor manufacturer Skeleton Technologies will join French firm Flying Whales’ program to build a 60-ton Large Capacity Airship (LCA60T) for the global transport market. Skeleton Technologies will help design and build hybrid propulsion for the LCA60T’s electric power systems. The main advantage of the LCA60T will be its ability to transport heavy and oversized cargo of up to 60 tons either in its 75m-long hold or underslung, at speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph), with a range of several thousand kilometers per day. A key advantage of the LCA60T is that it will not require an airport or any kind of runway to operate so can easily pick up and drop off in remote areas of the world.

Some independent analysts say the recently discovered helium gas in Lake Rukwa in southwestern Tanzania could be worth $3.5 billion. Analysts from Global Risk Insights, however, say the discovery of 54.2 billion standard cubic feet of helium could escalate land disputes and conflicts between villages and investors.

Coal continues to supply around two-thirds of Australia’s electricity generation despite an increase in renewable energy supply, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Fossil fuels (largely coal and natural gas) accounted for 88% of Australian electricity generation in 2015, down from 90% in 2012. Renewable power generation increased from 9.6% to 12% over the past three years. Coal’s market share held fairly steady as it dropped from 65.3% to 64.9% over this time period.

The amount of rooftop solar installed across Australia is expected to break through the 5 gigawatt mark this month.  In 2009 there was no rooftop solar in that country. The Australian rooftop solar market is growing at around 800 megawatts a year, and is expected to accelerate as more houses consider the use of battery storage.

Last year, Australia’s Capital Territory stated it wanted 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2025. Last week it announced it has received 17 proposals for its Next Generation electricity storage auction to install PV solar storage solutions in the city of Canberra. Solar battery storage is considered a key element to develop the growth of renewable energy. The applicants plan to install more than 8 megawatts of storage capacity in the nation’s capital city. The winning bids will be announced in the next few months.

The US state of Wisconsin provides an example of how renewable energy becomes dependent on government subsides and when the funding drys up, the renewable energy stops. Both the installation and operation of wind turbines and anaerobic digesters on farms were built when the state guaranteed subsidies of 8 to 10 cents for each megawatt of renewable energy produced. Now those payments have been reduced to less than 4 cents with the result that the renewable energy sources are no longer profitable and some have shut down. In 2006 the state legislature passed a law requiring 10% of electric power generation would come from renewable sources. That goal was met by 2013 and has remained just above 10% since then. As a result, there was no longer a need for electric utilities to pay high rates to renewable energy companies.




with h/t Tom Whipple


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