Hurricane Harvey appears to be the most destructive event for cars in the history of the US. Based on early estimates floodwaters destroyed hundreds of thousands of vehicles causing US auto companies to bump up production beyond their original plans for this year.

Ethylene is one of the most important petrochemicals on the planet and much of it comes from the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast of the US. Ethylene is used to make cars, milk jugs, paint, and mattresses. More than half of US ethylene production has been shut down by Hurricane Harvey.

In the US state of Texas, Net Power is preparing for the first tests of its natural gas-fired, 50 megawatt electric power plant that runs on natural gas that uses carbon capture. The plant captures all the carbon dioxide the generation cycle produces to use it in that very cycle. Net Power replaces the water that ordinary natural gas plants use to heat up to steam and power the turbines with carbon dioxide.

Despite sanctions from the US and the EU, and Europe’s determination to reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas, Russia has been setting all-time highs in its exports to Europe in the past eight months. Gazprom has been setting all-time summer season export records, with current gas exports around 580-590 million cubic meters per day.

In Argentina, indigenous Mapuche communities demanding cash payments and blocking oil wells in the Vaca Muerta area are threatening the long-delayed development of the world’s second-largest shale fields, oil companies say. Since the beginning of the year, the Mapuche have cut off access to 14 wells in the Loma de la Lata field, one of only two shale fields currently producing in the Belgium-sized Vaca Muerta area

Low world crude oil prices have been hard on Canada. The country’s crude oil-producing regions saw the highest increase in bankruptcies over the past year, according to the latest report by the federal government.

Wind is now cheaper than nuclear in the UK. Two windfarms (the Hornsea 2 project off the Yorkshire coast and the Moray offshore windfarm in Scotland) secured a guaranteed price for their electricity  of £57.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) from the UK government in the latest wind auction. This is well below the £92.50 awarded to the Hinkley nuclear facility last year. Most industry watchers expect future nuclear projects to cost £80-£90 per MWh and the latest development may put a halt to future nuclear facilities in the UK. Unlike wind, where the winning bids are determined by public auctions, nuclear plant prices  are negotiated with governments.

All of Germany’s major sports car companies — Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and BMW — announced they will join Formula E, the electric-car equivalent of Formula One. Many see Formula E as a proving ground for advanced electric vehicle technology.

Techspective tells us How Technology Has Made It Easier Than Ever to Access a Car as You Need One. What your need to know about car sharing and how it might assist you.





with h/t Tom Whipple

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