Energy in the News

Each week, C2ES provides a roundup of top energy news. Each headline below links to the full story at the original news outlet, which is solely responsible for its content.  Additional links to relevant C2ES resources are also provided.

Week of February 1, 2015

  • One statistic shows just how dramatically our energy system is changing (Washington Post)
    In detailing just how transformative the year 2015 was for the U.S. electricity system, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Sustainable Energy in America factbook notes that coal only accounted for 34 percent of U.S. electricity last year — versus 39 percent just a year earlier, in 2014, and 50 percent in 2005.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Electricity generation from renewable sources expected to grow 9 percent this year (Energy Information Administration)
    Much of the growth comes from new installations of wind and solar plants and increases in hydroelectric generation after a relatively dry 2015. In 2016, electricity from utility-scale renewable sources is expected to account for 14 percent of the total electricity generated in the United States, with wind and solar contributing 5.2 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • New report points the way to a leap in electricity savings (Regulatory Assistance Project)
    According to a new report from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), the United States could achieve 30 percent electricity savings in the next decade by promoting the innovative thinking and approaches of leading states with regard to energy efficiency.
    More from C2ES on residential end-use efficiency
  •  New York regulators propose nuclear power mandate in new clean energy plan (Utility Dive)
    Staff of the New York Public Service Commission issued a white paper on a new Clean Energy Standard proposed for the state, calling for utilities to purchase power from several struggling upstate nuclear facilities while also boosting renewables and energy efficiency.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • World's largest offshore windfarm to be built off Yorkshire coast (Guardian)
    Danish company, Dong Energy said it is moving ahead with its multi-billion pound Hornsea offshore wind project, which will occupy more than 400 square kilometers, situated about 120km off the Yorkshire, United Kingdom coast. The 1.2GW project will be made up of 7MW wind turbines, the largest generally available, each more than 190m high. It is expected to power as many as one million homes in the region.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • Morocco unveils a massive solar power plant In the Sahara (NPR)
    Morocco has officially turned on a massive concentrating solar power plant in the Sahara Desert, kicking off the first phase of a planned project to provide renewable energy to more than a million Moroccans. When the next two phases are finished, the plant (580 MW) will be the single largest solar power production facility in the world.
    More from C2ES on solar

Week of January 25, 2015

  • Canada’s carbon cap may crimp oil giants’ new reserves (Wall Street Journal)
    Alberta’s plan to curb the oil sands industry’s emissions to 100 million metric tons a year may prevent oil majors from tapping growing reserves. The industry currently emits 70 million metric tons of greenhouse gas a year—about a quarter of the province’s overall emissions.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Natural gas prices expected to rise over next two years (Energy Information Administration)
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects natural gas prices to rise, averaging $2.65/MMBtu in 2016 and $3.22/MMBtu in 2017. Expected price increases reflect consumption growth, mainly from the industrial sector, that outpaces near-term production growth.
  • America's using the least coal ever to keep the lights on (Bloomberg)
    The U.S. is using the least amount of coal ever to make electricity as cheap natural gas establishes itself as the nation’s favorite power-plant fuel. Coal’s share of total electricity generation fell in November to a record 29 percent. Natural gas was the dominant fuel for a fifth straight month, making up 34 percent of the U.S. power mix, according to the EIA.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • U.S. wind industry posts huge gains for Q4 2015: more to come (Forbes)
    According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which just released its fourth quarter report, the U.S. wind industry had its second best quarter ever, with 5,001 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. This brings the 2015 annual total to 8,598 MW and the cumulative installed total to 74,472 MW (with over 52,000 operating turbines).
    More from C2ES on wind power

Week of January 18, 2015

  • China's coal-burning in significant decline, figures show (The Guardian)
    China’s coal use has fallen in 2015 across a wide range of measures and its national carbon emissions are likely to have fallen by about 3 percent as a result. There was a 3.5 percent drop in coal production, coal-fired electricity generation fell 2.8 percent and overall power generation dropped 0.2 percent, the first fall in 50 years. There were similar decreases in coal-intensive heavy industry such as iron, steel and cement.
    More from C2ES on coal
  •  Solar surges past wind, hydro as California’s no. 1 renewable energy source (KQED News)
    In 2015, solar became the No. 1 source of renewable energy in California, producing 6.7 percent of the state’s total electricity (doesn’t include smaller, privately-owned distributed (rooftop) solar). Not only did solar beat wind power for the first time, but it also topped drought-depleted hydropower, the long-standing leader in California electricity generation outside fossil fuels and nuclear.
  • China now the largest installer of clean energy, report says (The Globe and Mail)
    China was the largest developer of renewable energy projects in 2015, accounting for almost 40 percent of all the wind, solar, biopower and small hydro installations around the world.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • DOE Funds Advanced Pebble-Bed and Molten-Salt Nuclear Reactor Development (Green Tech Media)
    The Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of two companies, X-energy and Southern Company, "to further develop advanced nuclear reactor designs." These awards originate from the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) program.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • PSC issues permit for Dakota Access Pipeline (Bismarck Tribune)
    North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) members approved the siting permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would transport as many as 450,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude with a future capacity of 570,000 barrels per day. The 1,168-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline begins in western North Dakota near Stanley and would end near Patoka, Illinois.
    More from C2ES on oil

Week of January 11, 2015

  • Shell-led gas export project in Canada granted 40-year export license (Wall Street Journal)
    The Canadian National Energy Board approved a 40-year export license for a liquefied-natural-gas plant proposed for Canada’s Pacific coast by a consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC. The permit allows for annual export (to Asian markets) of up to 1.34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is the equivalent of 3.7 billion cubic feet a day, and requires LNG Canada to start exports by 2022.
  • Wholesale power prices decrease across the country in 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    Wholesale electricity prices at major trading hubs on a monthly average basis for on-peak (daytime) hours were down 27 -37 percent across the nation in 2015 compared with 2014, driven largely by lower natural gas prices. Because natural gas-fired generation sets the marginal price in many markets, wholesale electricity prices are sensitive to changes in natural gas prices.
  • Australia LNG Exports First LNG Cargo (Rigzone)
    Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd. Announced Monday that it had commenced operations with its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo departing from its LNG facility on Curtis Island, near Gladstone, Australia.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • As oil crashed, renewables attracted record $329 Billion (Bloomberg)
    The slump in oil prices that’s brought upheaval and cost-cutting to the traditional energy industry spared renewables such as solar and wind, which raked in a record $329.3 billion of global investment last year (up 4 percent from 2014). Wind and solar added about 121 GW of worldwide capacity in 2015.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Crude oil prices to remain relatively low through 2016 and 2017 (Energy Information Administration)
    The Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released on January 12, which is the first STEO to include projections for 2017, forecasts Brent crude oil (the global benchmark) prices will average $40 per barrel in 2016 and $50 barrel in 2017.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • NY governor aims to phase out coal by 2020 (The Hill)
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday he aims to phase out coal-fired power plants in the state by 2020. New York only gets about 1.3 percent of its electricity from coal, according to the Energy Information Administration. Greens and Democrats welcomed his Wednesday pledge to zero that figure out.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of January 4, 2015

  • Oil prices hover near multi-decade lows (Wall Street Journal)
    Oil prices slid to levels not seen in more than a decade Thursday, hammered by continuing market turmoil in China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Tax credit extensions can be a big opportunity (Utility Dive)
    The federal investment tax credit (ITC) extension will add an additional 25 GW of solar installed capacity by 2020, a 54 percent increase over what would have been deployed without the extension, according to GTM Research. The production tax credit (PTC) extension will result in as much as 19 GW of additional wind, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) estimates.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • India closing in on Westinghouse deal to build six nuclear reactors (Reuters)
    India expects to seal a contract with Westinghouse Electric Co LLC to build six nuclear reactors in the first half of 2016, a senior government official said, in a sign its $150 billion dollar nuclear power program is getting off the ground.
  • China to build 40 nuclear power plants over the next five years (Independent)
    The People’s Republic of China is set to build around 40 domestic nuclear power plants over the next five years, the country’s Government has said. The country’s 13th five year plan period, running from 2016 to 2020, includes provisions for building six to eight new nuclear power plants a year. If all goes according to plan, the country will aim to increase its output to ten plants a year past 2020.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • China to halt new coal mine approvals amid pollution fight (Bloomberg)
    China will stop approving new coal mines for the next three years and continue to trim production capacity as the world’s biggest energy consumer tries to shift away from the fuel as it grapples with pollution.
  • Alberta's quitting coal, for better and worse (CBC News)
    Alberta's new climate change plan calls for the province to shutter its fleet of coal-fired power plants (around 6,300 MW) by 2030.
    More from C2ES on coal

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