Weekly Energy News Update-October 1st

Ok back in Oslo so hopefully can make this a more regular report again. I found it very difficult to find a few hours to put these together while on the road. But I did collect a number of older articles just in case you may have missed them over the past month. They will be sprinkled in with other news from this week.

As someone who has studied China for many years, one particular news item caught my eye this week:

Brazil sells dam operating licenses for $3.8 billion to foreign bidders (Reuters)

The lead photo I think explains perfectly why this is a concerning issue for the energy sector in Brazil

China’s State Power Investment Corp representatives react during Brazilian government auction of operating licenses for four hydroelectric plants in Sao Paulo, Brazil September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Investors do not get that excited about an auction unless they know their bid just made them a lot of money. In particular, China’s State Power Investment Corp. aims to profit considerably from their bid for control over the 40 year old São Simão dam, which produces 1,700 MW for the Brazilian grid. It is always risky for a white American to point out the neo-colonial ambitions of China’s state owned enterprises, but recent research critical of China’s various projects in Africa tend to show that is exactly what is happening.  This is true globally, particularly from the perspective of energy resources. Being aware of China’s influence over the energy market is important, but we should consider how Chinese state owned enterprises are also changing energy politics around the globe. It is important to recognize the colonial atrocities that were perpetrated against China, but there is no reason this classic cartoon should not be redrawn. China now holds their own knife over the “energy pie” if you will.

 


Finance

Chevron Names New Chief, Signaling Steady Path (NY Times)

How Iraq’s Kurdish Independence Referendum Could Impact Oil Markets (Bloomberg)

Sharing this as an example of how corporations and the oil market expressed concerned about Kurdish independence. See petroleum section for related news.

Renewables will be cheaper than coal in the future. Here are the numbers (The Conversation)

China’s CEFC wins preliminary government approval for Rosneft deal (Reuters)

Russia’s Rosneft elects former German chancellor Schroeder as chairman (Reuters)


Grid

Renewable energy investors see opportunity in Puerto Rico’s demolished grid (Reuters)

Logistics Complicate Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid Recovery (IEEE)

Maria power outage puts old, vulnerable at risk in Puerto Rico (Reuters)

Still a great deal of disconcerting news coming out of Puerto Rico. Amazing what the Mayor of San Juan has been doing to help her citizens!

‘No one is steering the ship’: five lessons learned (or not) since the SA blackout (The Conversation)

Why Getting the Power Back On in Florida Could Take Weeks (NY Times)

Maharashtra village gets power, bus after 70 years of Independence (India Times)

Elon Musk’s big battery for South Australia already half complete (Guardian)

Will this be the first time in the company’s history that they will actually make a deadline!??? ;-p

 


Labor

What’s Up in Coal Country: Alternative-Energy Jobs (NY Times)

These are definitely projects that could seriously use a long-term follow up study by a social scientist!


Politics

Thanks To Lobbying, It’s Illegal To Power Your Home With Solar Panels In Florida (IFLScience)

Unfortunately, it required a hurricane to bring this story to light.

Ryan Zinke’s Troubling Remarks Undercut Dept. of Interior’s Core Mission (LegalPlanet)

A very good analysis of the discourse used by the Trump administration to support the further extraction of natural resources

U.S. eases rules on diesel for generators in Puerto Rico (Reuters)

U.S. energy head seeks help for coal, nuclear power plants (Reuters)

France’s Macron backs up European vision with action on industry (Reuters)

Already some big moves taking place in European energy sector

Vietnam court sentences to death PetroVietnam ex-chairman in mass trial (Reuters)

U.S. lawmakers ask Facebook, Twitter for information on anti-fracking ads (Reuters)


Pipelines

Still Fighting at Standing Rock (Esquire)

Police Used Private Security Aircraft for Surveillance in Standing Rock No-Fly Zone (Intercept)

Very glad that some in the media have not allowed this story to fall through the cracks.

Kinder Morgan says fish-mat ban may delay Canada pipe expansion (Reuters)

Gas pipeline through central Europe to go ahead as planned (Reuters)


Technology

Tech Mahindra, Power Ledger to test MaaS-based electricity solution (IANS)

Could be a very interesting use of Blockchain technology to audit energy consumption and production. Just as we’ve seen recently with Bitcoin though, there could be all sorts of problems with this.

Blockchains Will Allow Rooftop Solar Energy Trading for Fun and Profit (IEEE)

And it seems this is becoming a pretty solid trend within the energy sector.

The Ridiculous Amount of Energy It Takes to Run Bitcoin (IEEE)

And this article just makes all this talk of Blockchain technology used for energy audits confusingly circular….we use blockchain technology to audit energy so that we can efficiently create a currency that uses blockchain technology…aaaahhhh!

Tesla Unveils New Patented Battery Swap Technology (EnergyTrends)

Evaporative Power Has the Potential to Create Electricity for Large Parts of the U.S. (IEEE)

This sounds like a fascinating technology but one that would desperately need a lot of study to make sure nothing goes wrong. For those who can access articles behind a paywall see this report from Nature Communications


Transportation

Jaguar Land Rover to make only electric or hybrid cars from 2020 (Guardian)

It is getting to the point that gasoline is quickly going to become the equivalent of leaded gasoline…obsolete!

End to women’s driving ban to save Saudis billions, support reforms (Reuters)

European sales of gasoline-powered cars overtake diesel (Reuters)

Azure Roof Power to Expand Electrification of Indian Railways (EnergyTrend)

Two wheels good: Bike boom nibbles on Asia gasoline demand growth (Reuters)

While gasoline demand might be shrinking, it will be interesting to see if car sales decrease. There is a great deal of social capital wrapped up in cars in Asia, but even before the “bike sharing boom” it was not unusual for the car to simply be parked at one’s home and used only when necessary (to exhibit one’s social capital, naturally).

Shell explores electric vehicle charging, energy management businesses (Reuters)

How Crazy Is Elon Musk’s Hypersonic Space Rocket Airline? (Bloomberg)

Argentina opens bidding to buy $2 bln of railcars for Buenos Aires (Retuers)

China sets target for electric car quota but delays rollout until 2019 (AP)

China may soon set date for ban on new petrol, diesel cars (Reuters)


Biofuels

U.S. biofuel credit prices fall as EPA considers change (Reuters)

Biofuel breakthroughs bring ‘negative emissions’ a step closer (The Conversation)


Coal

In Pakistan’s coal rush, some women drivers break cultural barriers (Reuters)

Coal shortage hits power supply in Rajasthan (India Times)

Russia Props Up Ukraine Rebels With Coal Sales From War Zone (Bloomberg)

AGL rejects Turnbull call to keep operating Liddell coal-fired power station (The Conversation)

Washington state denies key permit for U.S.-Asia coal export terminal (Reuters)

The environmental impact of a coal plant on Kenya’s coast is being underplayed (The Conversation)


Gas

Large Dutch gas find could be even bigger after positive drilling results (Reuters)

To avoid crisis, the gas market needs a steady steer, not an emergency swerve (The Conversation)


Nuclear

Michael Flynn ‘promoted US-Russian nuclear project from White House’ (Guardian)

This is now two weeks old and there has been little follow up in the press. However, see this analysis from the ED of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

EDF to close temporarily Tricastin nuclear plant over flooding risk (Reuters)

A Bittersweet Milestone for the World’s Safest Nuclear Reactors (IEEE)

India plays major role in nuclear plant in Bangladesh (India Times)

China National Nuclear, Shenhua team up to develop gen-4 reactor (Reuters)

This could be a big step for China if they decide to seriously ramp up their nuclear program, which currently occupies a small share of their total energy production.


Petroleum

Turkey raises oil threat after Iraqi Kurds’ referendum (Al-Jazeera)

Iran bans oil product transport to, from Iraq’s Kurdistan region (Reuters)

Iraqi PM presses case for Baghdad to receive Kurdistan oil revenue (Reuters)

So now Iraq, Iran and Turkey are attempting to constrain Kurdistan independence by attempting to control their oil revenues. Very crucial to see how other state governments and corporations react to this.

Texas Energy Industry Recovering From Hurricane’s Disruption (NY Times)

Puma Energy doubles fuel distribution in Puerto Rico after hurricane (Reuters)

Trump Administration Moves to Open Arctic Refuge to Drilling Studies (NY Times)

Philippines to explore for oil and gas with China near disputed waters (Reuters)

Greek oil spill forces closure of Athens beaches (Guardian)

JXTG to shut Muroran petrochem plant as Japan gasoline demand fades (Reuters)

Brazil Offshore Oil Drilling Rights Draw Interest at Auction (NY Times)


Solar

Huge Tunisian solar park hopes to provide Saharan power to Europe (Guardian)

It seems solar mega-projects are becoming the norm now. For those interested in such topics, the journal Environment and Society recently sent out a CfP regarding mega-projects.

Panjab University solar panels lying defunct within two years of installation (India Times)

Creating Test for Trump, Panel Says Imported Solar Gear Hurts U.S. Firms (NY Times)

In windy Denmark, clouds clearing for solar power (Reuters)


Wind

CIAS Will Start the Construction of Plants at Taipei Harbor to Fight for Wind Power Market (EnergyTrends)

 


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