Weekly Energy News Update-December 3rd

I need to start this post off with a bit of xkcd and anthropological humor. The above picture made me imagine how great it would be if all anthropologists could agree to the validity of formstantivism: the average of the formalists and substantivists raised to the power of Marxism [or (F+S/2)^M for short] ;-p

I begin with a jest because I have some sad news. On Thursday, I start a few months of fieldwork including a bit of time behind the Great Firewall. Supposedly, VPNs are of little use anymore. It will be difficult to post let alone read any Energy news. If you see an important piece that you think should be given attention while I am on the road, please do send to schmitte@link.cuhk.edu.hk. Ultimately, news updates will be sporadic over the holiday season with some more regular updates in January and then sporadic again until mid-March. More soon! Here is this week’s update:



DOE mulls changes to appliance efficiency program (UtilityDive)


Sale of the century? $300-billion Saudi state sell-off moves slowly (Reuters)

Apparently this week Hong Kong made a final plug for hosting Aramaco’s IPO

Vietnam’s PV Oil plans Jan IPO that aims to raise at least $122 mln (Reuters)

Kenya plans $1 bln dual listing of National Oil Corp by early 2019 (Reuters)

What is with this rash of privatization going on in the global petroleum sector!

Norway’s wealth fund gives reasons for energy shares decision (Reuters)

On the other hand, despite the coming de-investment from oil and gas industry, Norway still owns 67% of Statoil and has no intention of selling that or preventing further exploration.

How Blockchains Will Help Connect Billions to Electricity and Financial Services (IEEE)

This connection between Blockchains and utilities has been popping up a lot lately in the media. I hope there is an anthropologist looking at this intersection of economy, energy and technology!

China in ‘final sprint’ to introduce crude oil futures (Reuters)

Shell, to Cut Carbon Output, Will Be Less of an Oil Company (NYTimes)


Battery Storage Will Offer Grid Support as Puerto Rico Recovers (IEEE)

Sweden needs to further add power capacity or face shortages (Reuters)

New York energy storage target official after Gov. Cuomo signs bill (UtilityDive)

Tanzania restores power in parts of country after nationwide outage (Reuters)

Blackout risk eases for Australian summer, market operator says (Reuters)

Maharashtra power utility detects 269 cases of power theft in special drive (India Times)


Women’s average pay at Shell in UK a fifth less than men’s (Reuters)

Inpex halts construction at Australian LNG site after worker dies (Reuters)


Denmark passes law that could ban Russian pipeline from going through its waters (Reuters)

Climate activists delay U.S. gas pipeline approvals (Reuters)

TransCanada engages Nebraska landowners on new Keystone XL route (Reuters)

Just FYI the original Keystone pipeline began operation again on Tuesday

Canada backs Kinder Morgan pipeline appeal as related hearings start (Reuters)

Calif. energy agencies express concern over natgas pipeline outages (Reuters)


The GOP Tax Bill Could Forever Alter Alaska’s Indigenous Tribes (Atlantic)

German court paves way for Peruvian farmer’s suit against RWE (Reuters)

There is currently a similar suit here in Norway that is leveraging an article in the Constitution because drilling in the Arctic violates the right to a healthy environment.

Trump’s First Major Trade Fight With China Could Be Over Solar Panels (NYTimes)

What we talk about when we talk about resilience (UtilityDive)

After years of following how this concept has been defined in ecology and environmental management, it is fascinating to see how it is now being debated within energy policy circles.

Pleas to flee, a desperate video: Inside Venezuela’s oil industry purge (Reuters)

OPEC, Russia have done their bit, now it’s the turn of U.S., China (Reuters)


Energy Idea for Mars Yields a Clue for Powering Data Centers (NYTimes)

Modular Power Blocks Snap Together to Scale Up Energy Needs in Remote Areas (IEEE)


S.Korea’s SK Innovation to build EV battery plant in Hungary (Reuters)

Cobalt, the heart of darkness in the shiny electric vehicle story (Reuters)

Automakers pledge ethical minerals sourcing for electric cars (Reuters)

That was quick work after the release of the above story. PR departments must have had some of this material prepared far in advance.


U.S. ethanol makers call on Mexico, India to reduce biofuel glut (Reuters)

Score One for Corn: In Battle Over Biofuel, a Rare Setback for Big Oil (NYTimes)

In growing algae for biofuels, it matters who used the water last (The Conversation)


S.Africa’s Hendrina power station may not have adequate coal, no load shedding seen (Reuters)

West’s largest coal plant to stay open through 2019 with new approval (UtilityDive)

Greece finalises deal with lenders over coal-fired plants (Reuters)

Georgia to build natural gas storage, coal-fired power plant (Reuters)

We could use old coal mines to decarbonise heat – here’s how (The Conversation)

China underscores push toward longer term coal contracts (Reuters)

China state-backed explosives maker to buy affiliated coal miner for $3.1 billion (Reuters)

Adani hopes for govt coal mine loan fade after Australian election (Reuters)

We Energies’ coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie to be shut down in 2018 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

EPA Hosts the Beginning of the End of the Clean Power Plan in Coal Country  (Intercept)

U.S. repeal of carbon rule criticized in coal country (Reuters)

India to start building ultra supercritical thermal plant in 2019 (India Times)


As gas heating demand soars, China’s Hebei warns of shortages (Reuters)

I have actually been hearing of shortages for over a week now in Chinese media. I have also heard of complaints that the gas heaters are not keeping residential areas as warm as the coal did  in the past. Stay tuned for a first hand account in a few months…

State oil companies to add 5,000 distributors for LPG by 2019 (India Times)

Maersk Oil, partners to invest $3.4 billion in Denmark’s North Sea gas (AP)

R-Power inks agreement for Bangladesh power plant, LNG terminal (IANS)

Shell, PetroChina jv paves way toward big gas development in Australia (Reuters)


Peru’s San Gaban project receives Chinese cash infusion (HydroWorld)

Andhra Pradesh Cabinet approves Polavaram Hydro power project (India Times)

AfDB loaning €150 million for development of 420-MW Nachtigal hydro in Cameroon (HydroWorld)

Small hydro acquisition in Italy includes future and existing plants (HydroWorld)


Austrian parties plan to use Brexit to reopen EU nuclear power pact (Reuters)


Pressured for profit, oil majors bet big on shale technology (Reuters)

Mexico’s Pemex declares force majeure on Isthmus crude oil (Reuters)

Trump administration permits ENI to drill for oil off Alaska (Reuters)


A tale of 2 states: Massachusetts and California provide different lessons on growing community solar (UtilityDive)

Macron makes renewable energy push in power-starved Africa (Reuters)


Developer abandons plans for long-stalled Cape Cod wind farm (AP)

Vattenfall places large offshore wind power order with Siemens Gamesa (Reuters)

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