I will begin this week with promoting an excellent piece written about wind energy in Andalusia. Anthropologist David Hughes asks tough questions of his informants in rural Spain regarding the way they make money off of wind turbines installed on their ranch land. Ultimately, it boils down to whether the wind should be regarded as a public or private good. This is a timely insight, drawn out through Hughes discussion with his informants, and a proper ethnographical treatment of energy issues. And he didn’t even have to use the word “Anthropocene” once! 🙂 The piece deserves to be widely read.
Who Owns the Wind? (Boston Review)
I have to admit, while reading this piece I had completely forgotten about David’s recently published book on oil production in Trinidad and Tobago, but I think it is also well worth promoting here at EAN:
Although I focused on Puerto Rico last week, again this week brought it back into the energy news spotlight. Last week I posted a local news story about a very small (two employees!) company from Montana awarded a contract to help restore power in Puerto Rico. Those of us interested in issues of energy justice must have been furious (as I was) with the disgraceful comments from Whitefish Energy in response to Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s questioning of the way the company obtained a $300M contract to help repair powerlines on the island. The title of this piece by Esquire is spot on:
How Does This Tweet Make You Feel? (Esquire)
It makes me feel wretched. Especially because I am from Montana. It is unforgivable. The company should be thoroughly investigated for corruption and the Mayor has ever right to say so without being threatened. Actually Mayor Cruz is a powerhouse on Twitter, I highly recommend following her posts. There are a number of good articles that emerged this week about what is happening in Puerto Rico so I list them here before getting into the rest of this week’s news. Enjoy:
Emergency Manager to Be Installed at Puerto Rico Power Utility (Wall Street Journal)
The energy transition needs anthropologists (Antropologia 2.0)
This weekend Energy was in the air at the 5th symposium for Why the World Needs Anthropologists. Here is a great interview with Benj Sykes, a keynote speaker for the event, discussing why anthropologists are so important for the energy sector!
99% of funding goes to grid projects. It is time we start looking into the ideological reasons for this, because the technological reasons don’t merit this kind of neglect.
Might take this article with a grain of salt (the author is the CEO of company producing VRFBs) but the potential boost for grid storage with new advancements in battery technology should not be ignored.
This is primarily a report focused on the U.S. labor market.
The Battle of Treaty Camp (Intercept)
For perspective, when a white male slaughters 58 people with guns (plural!) it is called “a mass shooting incident”, but when protestors damage a pipeline it should be called “terrorism”. And this comes from Democrats and Republicans.
Embarrassing that Norway or another other sovereign fund has yet to pull out their support for Energy Transfer Partners.
In case you hear otherwise, note that the KRG did delay elections of the presidency and parliament and offer to freeze the results of their independence referendum this week.
Clean energy can advance Indigenous reconciliation (Conversation)
Could be some major changes in U.S.-China energy policy after this meeting…or it could amount to nothing more than another circus act. We’ll see.
All four of these articles feel like they could have been printed in 1984.
Interesting point at the end of the article that energy generated by an oversupply of solar and wind could be stored as hydrogen for transportation uses, something along the lines of this study.
It may be that the climate change discourse is forcing the price of coal to finally reflect the environmental externalities associated with the polluting energy source.
Coal shortage hits Karnataka hard (Bangalore Mirror)
…this happened the day before.
How oil exploration is adding to Mali’s security woes (Conversation)
Benj Sykes, the keynote speaker at Why the World Needs Anthropologists symposium this weekend, is the Head of Programme Asset Management of Offshore Wind Power for the DONG Energy discussed in this article. Perhaps he talked more about this news at the symposium?