ITER, an international project to build a prototype nuclear fusion reactor in southern France, said it is facing delays if the US does not reconsider budget cuts. ITER’s director said the US contribution had been cut from a planned $105 million to $50 million this year and its 2018 budget cut from a planned $120 million to $63 million. Construction of the reactor, being built at Cadarache, is now 50% complete. The reactor is hoping to achieve first plasma in 2025.

Russia’s Gazprom says there are enough contracts in place to start construction on expansions to the twin Nord Stream natural gas pipeline. The company plans to double the capacity for the pipeline system, which runs under the Baltic Sea, and crosses into European territory before it makes landfall in Germany.

2017 will most likely witness a continuation in the decline of conventional crude oil discoveries. This year has seen no major onshore discovery; significant finds  have been confined to offshore areas of the Americas, where Mexico’s continental shelf unearthed two highly promising formations.

Natural gas production in the northeastern US grew from 7.8 billion cubic feet per day in 2012 to 23.8 Bcf/d this year. This 200% increase has had significant implications including the displacement of coal-fired electric power generation.

Five new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects are currently under construction in the US and they are expected to increase total LNG export capacity to 9.6 billion cubic feet per day by 2019. Only two years ago export capacity was 2.8 Bcf/d.

French container shipping company CMA CGM said liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the maritime fuel of the future, replacing diesel.

Chinese state-owned company CNOOC, the country’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has leased two tankers to store emergency LNG supplies offshore, as the massive coal-to-natural gas switch leads to an unprecedented soaring gas demand and concerns of fuel shortages this winter.

China’s Three Gorges Group started producing power from a 150-megawatt floating solar plant in east China, the largest of its kind in the world. The plant is expected to be in full operation in May next year. Floating on a manmade lake in China’s Anhui province near the city of Huainan, the facility has the capacity to provide electric power to 15,000 homes. (See photo above.)

China just launched its first all-electric cargo ship, which will travel 50 miles at a top speed of 8 miles per hour on a single charge. It will take two hours to recharge, which is about as much time the vessel needs to unload at a destination. So far, two ports have been fitted with charging stations specifically for the ship.

Ford Motor Company said it plans to introduce 15 battery-powered electric or plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid car models in China by 2025.




with h/t Tom Whipple

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