China is in the middle of an ambitious nuclear program that could bring its total nuclear electric generating capacity to as much as 200 gigawatts by 2030.

Oil and gas giant, Royal Dutch Shell, is going to sell electricity directly to industrial customers in the UK starting next year. This is the first oil company to enter into the generation and marketing of electricity and could lead to other oil companies entering this market.

The Ukrainian government said it plans to increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix to 25% by 2035 from the current 4%. To achieve the target, it will focus on the promotion of solar power stations and wind farms construction. In addition, the government will encourage domestic consumers to increase the use of biomass in electricity and heat generation.

Bloomberg tells us the switch to renewables won’t end the geopolitics of energy

…a shift to renewables in the power grid…will only go so far until our transportation sector is radically changed by electric cars becoming more of the norm. As long as most of the energy used in transportation is petroleum-based, more renewables will have little impact on the geopolitics of oil (or its consumption).

In addition, many of the minerals required for electric cars and batteries and solar panels (cobalt, indium, lithium and Tellurium) are located in a few developing countries which could use them as a bargaining chip in international negotiations and cut off supply to countries and manufacturers that rely on these minerals (similar to the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s). See also The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy and It’s Hard to Keep Up With All That Lithium Demand

Saudi Arabia is permitting households to produce solar energy and sell any surplus electricity back to the power grid. Consumers can install a photovoltaic (PV) solar system with capacity limited to between 1 kilowatt and 2 megawatts and the systems must be connected to the nation’s power grid. The new policy takes effect July 1st. At the end of every year households will receive cash payments for their excess electricity at a tariff approved by the authority. The world’s largest crude oil exporter has some 60 renewable projects underway or planned that it hopes will generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity. Households account for about half of power consumption in the desert kingdom, much of it for air conditioning.

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co announced it was moving away from hydrogen and placing electric vehicles at the center of its product strategy going forward.  The company is planning to launch an electric sedan under its high-end Genesis brand in 2021 with a range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) per charge. It will also introduce an electric version of its Kona small sport utility vehicle with a range of 390 kilometers early next year. Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp said they are adding three plug-in vehicles to their plans for eco-friendly cars, bringing the total to 31 models by 2020 (including eight battery-powered and two fuel-cell vehicles). Hyundai also confirmed that it is developing its first dedicated electric vehicle platform, which will allow the company to produce multiple EV models with longer driving range.

Investment banker JP Morgan thinks the electric vehicle revolution will create a lot of losers. The company estimates electric cars could take 35% of the global automobile market by 2025 and 48% by 2030. JP Morgan says as the price difference between EVs and internal combustion engines (ICE) narrows, there will be a tipping point where owners of (ICE) will be concerned about the resale value of their vehicles and will switch to electric cars. Other losers will be auto suppliers and auto service shops as EVs are easier to maintain since they have only 20 moving parts and operating costs are only 10% that of and ICE vehicle. The auto finance industry could also take a hit as scrap values for traditional cars are set to fall. Crude oil demand could fall by around 15% by 2035 if there is a broad switch toward electric cars after 2025.

According to Next 10, 5% of new-car sales in the US state of California are now electric vehicles (based on new cars sold during the first quarter of 2017.) California represents about half of all EVs on US roads.


with h/t Tom Whipple

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