Brazilian state-controlled Petrobras announced has started to produce crude oil and natural gas from the giant deepwater Libra field in the Atlantic Ocean. The field is estimated to hold between 8 billion and 12 billion barrels of crude oil. The Petrobras rig expects to reach 30,000 barrels per day in early 2018 with the potential to reach 50,000 by the end of that year. Located in the Santos basin, Libra is in the pre-salt zone, which is estimated to hold vast reserves of light crude oil and natural gas at depths of up to 7,000 meters (22,950 feet). The pre-salt layer is found beneath the sea floor and contains a gel-like deposit of salt that could be up to two kilometers (1.24 miles) thick.

The Central American country of Costa Rica has been getting all of its electricity from renewable sources since January. In 2015 the nation went 299 days using only renewables. The country of 5 million uses five different renewable sources; hydropower (78%), wind (10%), geothermal energy (10%), biomass and solar (1%). Electricity accounts for 30% of Costa Rica’s total energy requirements.

In India, solar accounted for 39% of the country’s new energy capacity it created this year. The south Asian country added 7.1 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity in 2017 and as of September had a total a solar generating capacity of approximately 14.7 GW. The government has set a renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022. Coal, the country’s main source of electricity, is expected to peak in by 2027, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Last week the World Bank announced that it will provide the Indian government with $100 million in loans and grants to help build utility-scale solar installations throughout the country.

Germany’s third auction for onshore wind energy sold 1 GW of electrical generation capacity. Prices quoted in the successful bids ranged from 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh) to 3.82 ct/kWh and averaged at 3.4 ct/kWh.

Wind energy is expected to become the leading source of electricity generation in the European Union soon after 2030 according to the International Energy Agency. Onshore and offshore wind as a whole could account for 80% of new power generation capacity in Europe between now and 2040.

Australia’s Northern Territory announced a target of 50% renewable energy by 2030. Currently natural gas and diesel generate 96% of the state’s electricity.

Business consultants McKinsey & Company look at the prospects for hydrogen as a transportation fuel.

choosewheels gives us 6 reasons why electric wheels are taking over. The post tells us how a rapidly changing technology is becoming more popular because of China, its falling cost, availability of public subsidies, and the growing number of charging stations.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts explosive growth in energy storage over the next 12 years and says storage will grow in much the same way that solar power grew between 2010 and 2015. BNEF sees a six fold increase in energy storage to 305 gigawatt-hours between now and the year 2030. For this to happen will require an investment in excess of $100 billion. The US is expected to be responsible for a quarter of the new storage capacity, with the remainder spread among nations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  50% of that increase in energy storage will take place “behind the meter.” In other words, storage by large commercial firms such as Walmart, Google, Amazon, and other large businesses, combined with residential solutions. These systems can also provide services for electric utilities such as frequency regulation and peaking capacity, in addition to the savings they generate for customers.

China is using battery power to fuel cargo shipping. For the first time a Chinese company has built a 2,000 metric-ton (2,204 tons) all-electric cargo ship. The 70-meter long (229 feet) and 14-meter wide (45 feet) ship is equipped with over 1,000 lithium batteries, with a total capacity of 2,400 kilowatt-hours. The vessel is designed for inland waterway transport and will be put into commercial use early next year. Ironically the ship will be transporting coal to a power plant on the Pearl River.


with h/t John Hawthorne

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