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 April 6, 2015

  • U.S. largest producer of petroleum and natural gas, again (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2014, the United States produced more petroleum and natural gas than Russia or Saudi Arabia. In 2014, petroleum production increased by an average of 1.6 million barrels per day from the previous year, and natural gas production has increased by 13.9 billion cubic feet per day over the past five years.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • U.S. natural gas resource reaches a record high (Penn Energy)
    The Potential Gas Committee’s latest biennial assessment indicates that the United States’ technically recoverable resource base of natural gas has increased to 2,515 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) at the end of 2014, an increase of 131 Tcf from the previous assessment in 2012.
  • FERC approves LNG export facility expansion (Natural Gas Intel)
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the expansion of Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana. The facility, which was initially authorized for exports back in 2012, is expected to begin exporting LNG later this year.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Hudson River power line faces challenges (Capital New York)
    A 333 mile 1,000 MW high-voltage direct current power transmission line from Quebec to New York City still needs final permits and key federal energy market exemptions before construction can begin.
    More from C2ES on hydropower
  • 2015 will be a watershed year for US power sector (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
    In 2015, the United States is likely to set new records for new renewable builds, coal plant retirements and for natural gas use in the power sector.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Japan expected to announce climate treaty target in June (Reuters)
    Japan, the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter, is expected to announce in June its contribution to an international climate agreement in December. Japan is considering a pledge to cut its emissions 20 percent by 2030 from 2013 levels. Prior to the Fukushima disaster, Japan had pledged a 25 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2020.
    More from C2ES on international

Week of March 30, 2015

  • US pledges emissions cuts of up to 28 percent (The Guardian)
    The United States announced its “intended nationally determined contribution” or INDC to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Country-submitted INDCs will form the basis of a new international agreement on climate change expected in December.
    More from C2ES on international
  • Leaks from natural gas distribution systems have shrunk (New York Times)
    A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology finds that methane leaks from 13 urban natural gas distribution systems are 36 to 70 percent less than estimated by the 2011 EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory. System upgrades since the 1990s have contributed to curtailing emissions.
  • General Electric unveils new natural gas turbine (Bloomberg)
    General Electric’s new HA (high-efficiency, air-cooled) natural gas turbines, which will be available in July, are capable of efficiencies (converting fuel to electricity) greater than 61 percent in a combined-cycle configuration – the highest in the world. This translates into an emission rate of around 650 lbs CO2/MWh.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • EIA reporting on crude-by-rail (Energy Information Administration)
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration is now reporting on monthly movements of crude oil-by-rail (CBR). Total CBR movements in the United States and between the United States and Canada were more than 1 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2014, up from 55,000 b/d in 2010.
  • U.S. oil and natural gas rig counts drop (AP)
    According to oilfield services company Baker-Hughes, 1,028 rigs were exploring for oil and natural gas last week, down by 20 from the previous week and 790 from a year ago.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Passive homes are under development in New York City (New York Times)
    In New York City, interest is resurfacing in passive homes, which use around one-quarter of the energy of traditionally powered homes. Worldwide, buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of carbon emissions, but in New York City, it’s closer to 71 percent.
    More from C2ES on building envelope

Week of March 23, 2015

  • Crude export ban hurting U.S. producers (Fuel Fix)
    A new study from Rice University finds that the United States’ 40-year ban on crude oil exports benefits a handful of domestic refiners, but hurts all U.S. producers.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Bipartisan push to solve nuclear waste issue (Utility Dive)
    Last week, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced bipartisan legislation to safeguard and permanently dispose of the nation’s stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel, which are currently accumulating at separate sites across the country.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • California achieves solar electricity milestone (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2014, California became the first state to generate more than 5 percent of its electricity from utility-scale solar power. Its solar resource generated 9.9 million megawatt-hours, an increase of 160 percent from the previous year. During 2014, California completed nearly 1,900 MW of new utility-scale solar capacity.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • California drought affects hydropower output (Fierce Energy)
    The multi-year California drought has reduced hydroelectric power output and increased the state’s greenhouse gas emissions (and electricity rates), as natural gas has been running more often to make up for the shortfall.
    More from C2ES on hydro
  • China’s carbon emissions drop for the first time since 2001 (Bloomberg)
    In 2014, total carbon dioxide emissions fell by 2 percent compared with the previous year. Coal demand is slowing, while other fuels including oil, natural gas and renewables are growing.
    More from C2ES on international

Week of March 16, 2015

Week of March 9, 2015

  • U.S. shale oil output grinding to a halt (Platts)
    According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), shale oil production is only expected to increase by 1000 barrels per day from March to April 2015. Flat to declining production is projected in most areas with only the Permian and Utica shale plays increasing slightly.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Federal energy subsidies have declined since 2010 (Energy Information Administration)
    According to a new report from the EIA, federal financial interventions and subsidies in energy markets decreased by 23 percent, reflecting changes in the type of subsidies offered and fuels that received support.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Military services tout renewable energy and efficiency (E&E Daily - Subscription)
    Military services have been increasingly relying on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency to reduce energy bills and increase energy security.
  • Utility-scale solar generation doubled last year (Utility Dive)
    Between 2013 and 2014, output from large-scale solar projects (in the electric power, commercial and industrial sectors) increased by 102 percent.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Nuclear power gains traction in China (Wall Street Journal)
    China has approved construction of two new nuclear reactors in the country’s northeastern Liaoning Province. Currently, China operates 24 reactors and 25 are under construction.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of March 2, 2015

Week of February 23, 2015

  • Obama vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline bill (USA Today)
    On Tuesday, President Obama rejected a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Meanwhile, the State Department permit application process, which was initiated in September 2008, continues with no stated timeline for a final decision.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Illinois lawmakers introduce pro-nuclear bill (Energywire – Subscription, Utility Dive)
    Legislation
    filed in the Illinois House and Senate would replace the state’s renewable energy standard with a low-carbon portfolio standard requiring 70 percent of electricity used in areas served by large investor-owned utilities to come from low-carbon sources of generation.
  • Washington State lawmakers mull small reactors (The Olympian)
    Washington Senator Sharon Brown has introduced bills aimed at advancing small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the state’s future energy mix.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • EU proposal to merge energy markets (European Commission)
    The European Union Commission has approved a long list of proposals to assist climate goals, improve energy security and create a single European energy market.
    More from C2ES on international
  • Defense contractors expanding energy businesses (USA Today)
    Lockheed Martin and other large defense contractors are growing their energy businesses, developing innovative energy technologies and providing energy-efficiency services.
    More from C2ES on energy

Week of February 17, 2015

Week of February 9, 2015

  • IEA releases Medium-Term Oil Market Report (International Energy Agency)
    In the Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2015, the International Energy Agency expects global oil demand will increase by 6.6 million barrels per day from 2014 – 2020, a growth rate of 1.2 percent per year, which is below its 2001 – 2007 growth trend of 1.9 percent per year.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Desert Sunlight Solar Farm formally dedicated (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
    The 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm located in Riverside County, California was formally dedicated by the Interior Secretary last week. The facility is currently tied with the Topaz Solar project, also in California, for the title of largest solar plant in the world.
  • Duke Energy buys major stake in REC Solar (Utility Dive)
    Duke Energy, currently the largest U.S. electric utility, acquired a majority stake in commercial solar installer REC Solar, continuing a trend of large utilities moving into the commercial solar arena.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Natural gas prices expected to be lower in 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    In its latest Short-Term Energy Forecast, the Energy Information Administration predicts that Henry Hub (U.S. benchmark) natural gas prices will average $3.05 per million Btu in 2015 – 30 percent lower than average 2014 prices.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • EU installs more wind in 2014 than coal and gas combined (Fierce Energy)
    Europe added around 11.8 GW of new wind power capacity in 2014, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to 2013. It now has 128.8 GW of wind power capacity across 28 countries; Germany’s share is 30 percent and Spain represents nearly 18 percent of the total installed capacity.
    More from C2ES on wind

 

Week of February 2, 2015

  • Oil prices rebound (Wall Street Journal)
    Responding to reports of fewer U.S. rigs drilling for oil and lower spending plans by major oil companies (among other things), Brent crude prices (the global benchmark) have surged nearly $10 per barrel over the past 10 days.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • U.S. solar capacity increased 55 percent in 2014 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
    With around 7.2 GW of new solar capacity added in 2014, cumulative capacity now exceeds 20 GW in the United States. This was responsible for around 19 TWh of generation or 0.5 percent of total U.S. generation in 2014.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Carbon capture and storage project canceled (Quincy Herald-Whig)
    The Department of Energy suspended development funding for FutureGen 2.0, a 200 MW coal-fired carbon capture and storage project in Meredosia, Illinois. Coal companies working with the government to develop the facility said they had no choice but to shut down the project.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • Kerry offers no timeline for KXL (The Hill)
    On Monday, federal agencies reported to the State Department on whether the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the nation’s interest. At a press conference, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the State Department would “analyze and address” the information, but gave no indication for when a final decision might come.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Energy-pinching Americans pose threat to power grid (Wall Street Journal)
    Utility experts fear that as Americans use less power, electric companies will not have the required revenue to maintain the vast network of power plants and transmission lines.
    More from C2ES on energy

Week of January 26, 2015

  • Obama administration plans to open Atlantic to offshore drilling (Washington Post)
    The Obama administration announced plans to allow offshore oil drilling in the waters off the East Coast from the southern Chesapeake to Georgia.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Georgia reactor’s schedule slips again (Energywire - subscription)
    In its latest filing, Georgia Power said that its Plant Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear reactor would commence operations in the second quarter of 2019 with Unit 4 starting up one year later – around 3 years behind its original schedule.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Wind has a good fourth quarter (Climate Wire - subscription)
    Wind power added 4,850 MW of new capacity in 2014 due to a flurry of activity in the fourth quarter. There is now more than 65,000 MW of installed wind capacity in the United States.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • EPA power plant rule will boost natural gas (Climate Wire - subscription)
    A semiannual report from consultants Black & Veatch, forecasts that natural gas combined cycle power plants will be responsible for nearly half of U.S. power generation by 2038, due in part to upcoming EPA greenhouse gas regulations for existing power plants.
    More from C2ES on EPA Clean Power Plan
  • Report sees signs of slow demand growth in China (Energywire - subscription)
    Consultants Wood Mackenzie in a new report say that energy demand growth slowed significantly in China in 2014 – “compared to 2013, power demand growth fell by almost half, gas demand growth fell by more than 8 percent; coal demand barely grew; and diesel demand actually contracted for the first time in more than a decade."
    More from C2ES on energy
  • China’s coal production drops (Xinhua News)
    For the first time since 2000, China’s year-on-year coal production has dropped. The China National Coal Association estimated that 2014 coal production was 2.5 percent lower than in 2013. Sluggish demand, overcapacity (large stock piles), and large imports were factors contributing to the reduced production.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of January 19, 2015

  • Crude exports would raise production, lower prices – study (Fuel Fix)
    A study from Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy and the Rhodium Group finds that lifting the ban on crude exports could raise U.S. production an additional 1.2 million barrels per day by 2025, which would lower the price of gasoline and other petroleum products by up to 0.12 cents per gallon.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Tennessee reactor on track for 2015 startup (Nuclear Energy Institute)
    The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor is scheduled to commence commercial operations later this year, becoming the first new nuclear plant in the United States to start up in nearly 20 years.  There are currently 4 other reactors under construction in Georgia and South Carolina.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Texas wind power’s share of generation exceeds 10 percent (Houston Chronicle)
    According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), wind power was responsible for 10.6 percent of power generation in the state in 2014 – a record share of the electricity mix.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • State Department gives federal agencies deadline to weigh in on KXL (Washington Post)
    The State Department is giving eight federal agencies (Departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency) until February 2 “to provide their views on the national interest with regard to the Keystone XL Pipeline permit application.” There is no explicit timeline for the permit process beyond the February 2 date.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • Algeria backtracks on plans for shale gas (AP)
    Algeria has put on hold its plans to exploit its shale gas resource. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Algeria has the world’s third largest technically recoverable shale gas resource.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • India to reveal climate goal in June (The Economic Times)
    India, the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, is expected to reveal its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in June. INDCs provide information about a country’s particular climate targets. These targets will form the basis of a global climate deal expected to be signed in Paris in December.
    More from C2ES on International

Week of January 12, 2015

  • South Korea launches cap and trade system (The Hill)
    Last week, South Korea launched the world’s second largest cap-and-trade system, behind Europe, covering 525 companies. The country pledged in the 2010 Cancún Agreements to reduce emissions 30 percent below business-as-usual levels by 2020; the carbon market is a key piece of its strategy.
    More from C2ES on International
  • Suncor cuts jobs and spending amid oil price collapse (Bloomberg)
    Suncor, Canada’s largest oil company, will cut 1,000 jobs and reduce its 2015 capital budget by 13 percent due to the recent slide in oil prices. Specifically, the company plans to defer the second phase of its MacKay River oil sands project and the White Rose Extension project offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Wholesale electricity prices were higher in 2014 (Energy Information Administration)
    According to data from SNL and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wholesale electricity prices increased at major trading locations across the United States last year, primarily due to increases in natural gas prices and high energy demand caused by cold weather in the beginning of 2014.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • EIA issues U.S. coal production forecast (Energy Information Administration)
    In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that 2014 U.S. coal production will rise around 1 percent above 2013 levels to 994 million short tons. However, this is around 15 percent lower than the U.S. peak production level in 2008. The EIA projects that production will fall to 977 million short tons in 2016.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • New turbine technology will open Southeast to wind development (Utility Dive)
    New maps from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which incorporate taller wind turbine heights, show that the Southeast United States could produce wind energy at much higher capacity factors.
    More from C2ES on wind power

Week of January 5, 2015

  • Nebraska court clears hurdle for KXL (Wall Street Journal)
    The Nebraska Supreme Court threw out a lower-court ruling, and found that the law passed by the state legislature, granting the governor the power to review and approve certain major pipelines, including Keystone XL was constitutional. The Obama administration put the State Department led Keystone XL approval process on hold in April 2014, pending the outcome of this court challenge.
    More from C2ES on Keystone

  • Illinois identifies options to support existing nuclear power (Energywire - Subscription)
    Four Illinois agencies produced a report outlining a range of policy actions that could be taken to help support three in-state nuclear plants that are struggling economically. The options range from relying solely on changes in federal regulation and regional wholesale markets to drive change to a cap-and-trade policy, carbon tax and making nuclear energy part of a low-carbon portfolio standard.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

  • PJM seeks permission to postpone plant closures (Greenwire - Subscription)
    PJM, the operator of the nation’s largest wholesale power market, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to pay plant owners to keep generating beyond their scheduled retirement dates. PJM is concerned about system reliability, particularly in the event of severe weather such as the polar vortex.
    More from C2ES on electricity

  • IEA releases medium-term coal report (International Energy Agency)
    According to the IEA’s latest report, coal is the fastest growing fossil fuel in the world. However, the annual rate of coal consumption growth is slowing, especially compared to the 10-year average. Coal is expected to grow at a rate of 2.1 percent per year over the next 5 years, down from 2.3 percent per year in last year’s forecast.
    More from C2ES on coal

  • 5. Russian oil production hits a post-Soviet high (Reuters)
    According to the Energy Ministry, Russian oil output averaged 10.58 million barrels per day in 2014, an increase of 0.7 percent over the previous year. The International Energy Agency expects production to fall by 1 percent in 2015.
    More from C2ES on oil

  • India launches energy conservation program (Times of India)
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a plan to distribute two subsidized, energy efficient LED light bulbs to all registered electricity consumers.
    More from C2ES on energy efficiency – on-bill financing

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