Energy in the News Archives

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Week of December 14, 2015

  • Congressional leaders agree to lift 40-year ban on oil exports (Wall Street Journal)
    In a move considered unthinkable even a few months ago, congressional leaders have agreed to lift the nation’s 40-year-old ban on oil exports, a historic action that reflects political and economic shifts driven by a boom in U.S. oil drilling.
    More from C2ES on oil

  • What just happened in solar is a bigger deal than oil exports (Bloomberg)
    The clean-energy boom is about to be transformed. In a surprise move, U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend tax credits for solar and wind for another five years. This will give an unprecedented boost to the industry and change the course of deployment in the U.S.
    More from C2ES on renewables

  • New efficiency regs to yield biggest energy savings in history (E&E news - subscription)
    The Energy Department moved last week to finalize efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners and warm air furnaces. The two standards -- not yet published in the Federal Register -- would cut carbon pollution by 885 million metric tons over the lifetime of the products' use, DOE said.

  • San Diego vows to move entirely to renewable energy in 20 years (New York Times)
    With a unanimous City Council vote, San Diego, the country’s eighth-largest city, became the largest American municipality to transition to using 100 percent renewable energy, including wind and solar power. Environmental groups hailed the move as both substantive and symbolic.
  • Norwegian wind company to build LEEDCo off-shore turbine project (The Plain Dealer)
    Norwegian wind farm developer with experience in the North Sea will build the $120 million pilot wind farm (six-turbines located eight to 10 miles northwest of downtown Cleveland and generate about 20 megawatts of electricity at peak output) planned for Lake Erie.
    More from C2ES on wind

Week of December 7, 2015

  • 196 countries approve historic climate agreement (Washington Post)}
    Negotiators from 196 countries approved a landmark climate accord with the overarching goal to bring down pollution levels so that the rise in global temperatures is limited to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages. Delegates added language that expressed an ambition to restrict the temperature increase even further, to 1.5 degrees C, if possible.
    More from C2ES on Paris Agreement
  • Brent crude falls; Oil prices end at nearly seven-year lows (Wall Street Journal)
    Brent crude, the global benchmark, dipped below $40 a barrel in a selloff that has raised a worrisome possibility: that oil prices could be even lower next year than they have been in 2015. Rising inventories of crude oil and petroleum products world-wide are at the crux of the oil market’s weakness.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Natural gas falls to lowest level since 2002 on mild weather outlook (Bloomberg)
    U.S. natural gas tumbled to the lowest intraday level since January 2002 amid forecasts that mild weather will persist through the end of the month. January futures fell as much as 5.6 percent to $1.879 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas is down 35 percent this year, headed for its second annual decline.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Stalled carbon capture coal project in Texas begins to move forward (Fuel Fix)
    Summit Power Group’s Texas Clean Energy Project – a planned 400-megawatt, coal gasification power plant on 600 acres in West Texas to produce electricity, trap carbon for enhanced oil recovery, and create urea and sulfuric acid byproducts to help make fertilizers – may start construction in 2016.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • City of Las Vegas strikes deal for 100% renewables as casinos look to defect (Utility Dive)
    The city of Las Vegas has struck a deal with NV Energy that puts it on track to use 100 percent renewable energy, assuming the solar arrangement is approved by state regulators and the city council.
    More from C2ES on solar

Week of November 23, 2015

  • U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves rise in 2014 (Energy Information Administration)
    Oil proved reserves rose 9 percent in 2014, exceeding a U.S. total of 39 billion barrels for the first time since 1972. Natural gas proved reserves rose 10 percent in 2014, setting a new U. S. record of 388.8 trillion cubic feet.
    More from C2ES on oil, natural gas
  • Utilities ratchet up spending on reliability (energybiz)
    With projections that industry capital expenditures could reach $108.6 billion by the end of 2015 - a $20 billion jump over last year - according to the Edison Electric Institute, utilities are making major investments that they say will benefit both customers and the grid in the long run.
  • Midwestern grid operators hit new wind energy records in November (Utility Dive)
    Three regional grid operators have struck new wind generation records in recent weeks, with the biggest increase coming in the Midcontinent ISO (MISO), to reach 12,600 MW. Additionally, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) set a new record of more than 9,500 MW, with a 33 percent penetration level, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system topped 12,600 MW, more than 75 percent of its installed capacity.
    More from C2ES on wind
  • Alberta plans carbon tax, phaseout of coal power by 2030 (Climatewire - subscription)
    The government of Canada's oil-rich Alberta province moved to impose an economywide carbon tax (beginning at $20 per metric ton in 2017) and phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL Pipeline

Week of November 16, 2015

Week of November 9, 2015

  • Rising inventories drive down federal crude price forecast (Energywire - subscription)
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration, in its short-term energy outlook, said it expects Brent crude oil prices (the global benchmark) next year to average $56 per barrel, up $2 per barrel from this year's expected average but $2 per barrel below what the agency was predicting just a month ago for 2016.
  • For once, oil prices are responding to supply and demand, not OPEC (Economist)
    The International Energy Agency expects oil demand to grow by 1.9 percent this year, well above the average for the past decade, of 0.9 percent.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Stagnant load growth fueling US utility merger mania (Utility Dive)
    Utility deals in North and South America reached $57 billion in the third quarter of this year, marking a 5-year record for the quarter. The spike in merger activity is being fueled by stagnant load growth and increasing interest from the electric sector in gas investments.
  • Pipeline's defeat could translate to rail gains (Energywire - subscription)
    President Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline could come with a heavy side of tank cars. Canadian energy companies need about a dozen crude-laden trains each day to replace the volume of oil that could have been transported through the Keystone XL pipeline.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Surviving U.S. power plants will help keep coal demand steady (Bloomberg)
    Power plants with 23 gigawatts of coal-burning capacity will close this year as utilities strive to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits on mercury and other air toxins, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The retirements are the most in a single year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Still, America will use 773 million tons of coal in 2016, the same as this year, as plants that survive the regulatory shakeout use more of the fuel, the EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook.
  • Glut of coal-fired plants casts doubts on China’s energy priorities (New York Times)
    In the first nine months of this year, state-owned companies received preliminary or full approval to build 155 coal power plants that have a total capacity of 123 gigawatts. That capacity is equal to 15 percent of China’s coal-fired power capacity at the end of 2014.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of November 2, 2015

  • Citing climate change, Obama rejects construction of Keystone XL oil pipeline (New York Times)
    President Obama rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies. Mr. Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL Pipeline
  • Entergy announces plans to retire NY's FitzPatrick nuclear plant (Utility Dive)
    Entergy Corp. announced it will shut down its 838 MW James A. FitzPatrick nuclear facility in Scriba, New York, by late 2016 or early 2017 due to the cost of maintaining the plant.
  • Despite recent closures, U.S. nuclear capacity is scheduled to increase by 2020 (Energy Information Administration)
    Despite the scheduled closure of more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of nuclear generating capacity by 2019, scheduled additions of more than 5,000 MW of capacity between 2016 and 2020 could result in a net increase in total U.S. nuclear capacity.
  • White House hosts nuclear summit (E&E News PM – Subscription)
    The White House held a nuclear summit Friday afternoon and unveiled an initiative to help developers overcome regulatory and financial hurdles, a sign of support for a struggling industry facing a surge of cheap natural gas, lower power demand, high capital costs, and a new run of closures in the Northeast and Midwest.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • 5. How to decarbonize the US energy system, in 14 charts (Utility Dive)
    A new, powerful and free Energy Policy Simulator (modeling tool) from San Francisco-based think tank Energy Innovation (EI) shows meeting the Clean Power Plan is not a very heavy lift for the power sector. A separate analysis of President Obama’s international climate pledge to reduce U.S. emissions 26-28 percent (below 2005 levels) by 2025 shows ambitious, but still achievable, policy solutions are required.
    More from C2ES on Clean Power Plan, International
  • China burns much more coal than reported, complicating climate talks (New York Times)
    China, the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases from coal, has been burning up to 17 percent more coal a year than the government previously disclosed, according to newly released data.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of October 26, 2015

  • China confronts the pain of kicking its coal addiction (Washington Post)
    In China, coal use, which had risen by more than 9 percent a year in the decade to 2011, fell by 2.9 percent last year, as the industrial economy faltered. The decline has continued this year. Coal consumption may flicker upward for another year or two as plants already under construction come online, but peak use is just around the corner.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Duke Energy to Buy Piedmont Natural Gas for $4.9 Billion (Wall Street Journal)
    Duke Energy Corp. said it would buy Piedmont Natural Gas for $4.9 billion, as the electric utility tries to bulk up on gas assets that offer reliable profit margins and good growth prospects. The deal marks the second time this year that an electric utility has agreed to buy a gas-distribution company already operating on its home turf. In August, Southern Co. agreed to buy AGL Resources Inc. for $8 billion; both companies are based in Atlanta.
  • FERC: Renewables account for over 60 percent of new generation in 2015 (Utility Dive)
    Renewables accounted for just over 60 percent of the new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first three quarters of 2015, according to the "Energy Infrastructure Update" from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.
  • Wind power industry catches another breeze (Climatewire - Subscription)
    The U.S. wind power industry added 1,602 megawatts of new generation during the third quarter of 2015, nearly four times the amount of capacity added in the same quarter of 2014 and the second-highest third quarter since 2012.
    More from C2ES on wind
  • After years of decline, U.S. oil imports rise (Wall Street Journal)
    U.S. crude imports declined 20 percent between 2010 and 2014 amid the domestic energy boom but have recently started to rise again. Total crude-oil imports rose for three straight months between April and July, according to the most recently available data from the Energy Information Administration.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Start-ups take on challenge of nuclear fusion (New York Times)
    A group of start-ups is promising a new and virtually unlimited source of power, one that produces none of the gases scientists say contribute to global warming. The only problem? A way to harness the energy source, nuclear fusion — the reaction that gives birth to sunlight — still needs to be invented.

Week of October 19, 2015

  • NRC issues Watts Bar 2 nuclear power plant operating license (Power Mag)
    For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued an operating license for a new nuclear power plant. The 40-year license was issued to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for the long-overdue Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor (1,150 MW) on Oct. 22.
  • Xi's U.K. nuclear deal seen as boon for Chinese reactor exports (Bloomberg)
    China’s 6 billion pound ($9.3 billion) investment in the U.K.’s first nuclear power project (Hinkley Point, 3.3 gigawatts) in a generation may be the biggest boost yet for the Asian nation’s efforts to gain wider acceptance for its atomic technology and expertise. As part of the deal announced Wednesday during President Xi Jinping’s visit, they also agreed to develop a 1 gigawatt plant at Bradwell in southern England that may incorporate Chinese nuclear technology.
  • Report: 11 percent of U.S. nukes could retire early, putting Clean Power Plan goals at risk (Utility Dive)
    A review by SNL Energy of three major rating agencies (UBS, Moody’s and Fitch) industry analysts concludes that a dozen nuclear reactors are “at risk” of early retirement largely due to their inability to compete in power markets.
    More from C2ES on nuclear, Clean Power Plan
  • Exelon-Pepco merger could create largest U.S. electric utility (Energy Information Administration)
    The proposed merger of Exelon and Pepco would, if approved, create the largest electric utility holding company in the United States as measured by number of customers. The combined 8.5 million customers served by the new Exelon would surpass the number of customers served by the next-largest utility holding company, Duke Energy, which merged with Progress Energy in 2012.
  • Xcel plans $100 million in LED upgrades (Energy BIz)
    Streetlights are about to get brighter, cheaper, last longer (up to two decades) and more energy-efficient wherever Xcel Energy does business. The company is starting in Minnesota, where it intends to replace all of its 100,000 streetlights across the state with energy-efficient LEDs -- part of a proposed $100 million, five-year streetlight upgrade in all eight states it serves.
    More from C2ES on lighting efficiency
  • OPEC is about to crush the U.S. oil boom (Bloomberg)
    After a bit of a delay, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decision last November to keep pumping instead of curtailing oil production in the face of an oversupplied market and weed out competition appears to be working. U.S. crude production has retreated about 500,000 barrels a day from the three-decade peak reached in June to 9.1 million a day in the week to Oct. 9, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The losses will accelerate next year with a drop of 390,000 barrels a day in annual average production to 8.86 million barrels a day, according to the EIA.
    More from C2ES on oil

Week of October 12, 2015

  • Entergy announces closure of Massachusetts nuclear reactor (Boston Globe)
    Citing ‘financial viability’, the owner of the 43-year-old Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (Massachusetts only nuclear reactor) announced that it plans to close the facility no later than June 2019. A company statement noted, “Low current and forecast wholesale energy prices — brought about by record low natural gas prices, driven by shale gas production — significantly impacted Pilgrim’s revenues.”
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Michigan plans to shutter 25 coal units by 2020 (Utility Dive)
    Michigan, which gets over 50 percent of its power from coal, is poised to shut down 25 coal-fired facilities by 2020. Many of these older units were slated for retirement before the EPA finalized its Clean Power Plan in August.
    More from C2ES on Clean Power Plan, coal
  • New England looks north for power boost (Wall Street Journal)
    New England’s most populous states are looking to tap Canadian dams and rivers for more of their electricity, a change that officials say would help cut greenhouse-gas emissions and help keep some of the nation’s highest power prices in check.
    More from C2ES on Canadian hydropower
  • Energy Secretary Moniz releases report on America’s regional vulnerabilities to climate change (U.S. Energy Department)
    A new Energy Department report concludes that climate change -- and the worsening droughts, intense storms and rising temperatures that come with it -- poses a threat to energy production and infrastructure across the U.S., and calls for proactive action to identify risks and boost resilience.
    More from C2ES on science and impacts
  • Why energy storage is key to a future with 'no more gas turbines' (Utility Dive)
    San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) chief development officer James Avery speaking at the Energy Storage North America conference in San Diego said that we are living through the inflection point in storage — the period when it moves from a niche technology, deployed mostly in demonstration projects and the imaginations of power engineers, to a possible replacement for [natural gas turbine] peaker plants and even traditional generation.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage

Week of October 5, 2015

  • Nationwide, electricity generation from coal falls while natural gas rises (Energy Information Administration)
    The monthly natural gas share of total U.S. electricity generation surpassed the coal share in July for the second time ever, with natural gas fueling 35.0 percent of total generation to coal's 34.9 percent share.
  • UK said to consider closing all coal-fired plants by 2023 (Bloomberg)
    The United Kingdom is considering whether to close all of its 12 coal-fired power plants by 2023 as part of its effort to reduce the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, an official with knowledge of the discussions said.
  • Half of world's coal output Is unprofitable, Moody's says (Bloomberg)
    China’s slowing appetite for the power-plant fuel and steelmaking component has depressed the seaborne market, creating a worldwide glut. In the U.S., cheap natural gas is stealing coal’s share of the power generation market. And the strong dollar has tempered exports.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • California leads a quiet revolution (New York Times)
    Contracts already in place virtually guarantee that California will reach its goal of getting 33 percent of electricity from renewables by 2020, a number that does not include most home generation. And at the rate California has been going, a new target of 50 percent renewables for 2030 is within reach.
    More from C2ES on renewables, map
  • Africa could meet 20 percent of its power with renewables by 2030 -- report (Climatewire - subscription)
    A new analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) projects that hydropower and wind energy have the greatest growth potential over the next 15 years, to 100 gigawatts of capacity each. Solar power could achieve 70 GW of capacity over the same period, including sizable increases in concentrated solar power in North Africa, the group said.
    More from C2ES on renewables

Week of September 28, 2015

Week of September 21, 2015

  • Fading coal industry in China may offer chance to aid climate (New York Times)
    Across China’s grimy coal heartland, mines have fallen silent, reduced production or shut down. Miners, owners and officials here wonder whether boom times will return for the “black gold” that has fed the nation’s craving for cheap but dirty energy.
  • U.S. coal mine starts continue to decline (Energy Information Administration)
    The number of new and reactivated coal mines that began production in 2013 fell to the lowest level in at least the past 10 years.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Pipeline replacement aids in GHG emissions reduction: Study (Platts)
    As energy industry and government officials alike wrestle with the best way to limit the release of methane into the atmosphere, a new study reveals that U.S. cities with programs calling for the replacement of aging natural gas pipeline have 90 percent fewer leaks per mile than cities without such programs.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Seven years later, Obama still mum on Keystone (McClatchyDC)
    More than seven years have passed since TransCanada applied for its permit to build the pipeline from the Canadian oil sands, through the United States’ midsection and on to refineries in Texas. As Obama prepares to leave office in a year, there is still no sign of a decision from him on the pipeline.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL Pipeline
  • China to launch a nationwide cap-and-trade system (New York Times)
    Chinese leader Xi Jinping announced plans for a national greenhouse gas trading program, which would launch in 2017 and initially include large companies in several industries.
    More from C2ES on Clean Power Plan

Week of September 14, 2015

Week of September 7, 2015

  • Drought takes toll on renewable power share (Energywire - subscription)
    The share of renewable energy in the U.S. power sector is expected to decrease around 3.5 percent this year due to the impact of the California drought on regional hydropower, according to federal energy forecasters.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • U.S. crude oil production continued to decline in August (Energy Information Administration)
    EIA estimates that total U.S. crude oil production declined by 140,000 barrels per day in August compared with July production. Domestic crude oil production is forecast to continue decreasing through mid-2016 before growth resumes late in 2016.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Solar energy is poised for yet another record year (Washington Post)
    The U.S. solar industry is on course for a new growth record in 2015, according to a new report that finds that solar photovoltaic installations now exceed 20 gigawatts in capacity and could surpass an unprecedented 7 gigawatts this year alone across all segments. A gigawatt is equivalent to 1 billion watts and can power some 164,000 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Central New York nuclear plant could close by 2017 (Politico New York)
    Entergy, the owner of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear facility located in Oswego in Central New York, said its financially struggling plant may shut it down by early 2017. The 838 MW plant is licensed to operate until 2034.
  • Exelon defers decision to close 2 of its Illinois nuclear plants (Chicago Tribune)
    Exelon announced that it will put off a decision, for at least a year, to close its Quad Cities and Byron nuclear plants because of dwindling profits. Over the past few weeks, a series of power auctions, known as "capacity auctions,” (which represent a promise to deliver power to the electric grid in the future) have positioned Exelon to receive an additional $1.2 billion in estimated revenue for its northern Illinois nuclear plants, according to industry experts.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power, Clean Power Plan

Week of August 31, 2015

  • Southern Co. to buy AGL resources for $8 Billion (Wall Street Journal)
    Southern Co. agreed to buy natural-gas utility AGL Resources Inc. for about $8 billion, a move that would give the electricity provider a big chunk of the fast-growing gas market from New Jersey to Florida. The acquisition would double the number of Southern’s customers to nine million, making it the second-largest utility in the U.S., and providing it with new revenue to help offset its rising costs.
  • U.S. coal burn back down to early 1980s levels (SNL Energy)
    U.S. electricity generation from coal fell by over 14 percent in the first half of 2015 from the same time in 2014 on competition from natural gas-fired capacity and unit retirements, causing coal burn to slump to levels not seen since the early 1980s on an annualized basis.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Solar ready to thrive without subsidy, says U.S. Energy Secretary (PV Magazine)
    U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the Obama administration backs Democrats' calls for an extension of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy, but stresses the solar industry will grow even without further subsidy.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Report: Nuclear retirements could scuttle Clean Power Plan climate goals (Utility Dive)
    According to a new report from Third Way, retirements of much of the U.S. nuclear energy fleet could make it much more difficult for the nation to meet its carbon reduction goals outlined in President Obama's Clean Power Plan.
  • Analyst: Cuomo may need to keep NY’s nuclear plants alive (Politico New York)
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have to keep the state’s struggling nuclear power plants open because of the revenue and jobs they generate for local municipalities and the pollution-free energy they provide, an independent analysis has concluded.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power and the Clean Power Plan

Week of August 24, 2015

  • DC regulator rejects proposed Pepco-Exelon merger (Washington Post)
    Saying it was not in the best interests of the ratepayers, the three-member District of Columbia Public Service Commission denied Chicago-based electric utility Exelon’s proposed $6.4 billion takeover of Pepco Holdings.
  • Three nuclear plants fail to clear PJM capacity auction (Market Watch)
    Exelon’s Oyster Creek (New Jersey), Three Mile Island (Pennsylvania) and Quad Cities (Illinois) nuclear power plants failed to clear PJM’s annual capacity auction. Therefore, these plants will not receive capacity revenue from this auction. Although capacity revenue in a single year is an important consideration in a plant’s long-term viability, it is just one of several factors Exelon will use to make decisions about its plants’ future operations. Note that many of Exelon’s other plants did clear the auction and will receive considerably higher payments than in previous years due to new market rules. In 2010, Exelon announced it would retire the Oyster Creek plant at the end of 2019.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • New U.S. electric capacity is mostly renewable (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)
    In the first seven months of 2015, 62 percent of new electric generating capacity was wind (43 percent), solar (14 percent), biomass (4 percent), geothermal or small hydro.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • India coal consumption exceeds 800 million metric tons (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2014, coal consumption in India rose above 800 million metric tons. In the same year, China used 3,877 million metric tons (estimated) and the United States consumed around 830 million metric tons.
  • Thermal coal imports to India soar 24 percent to 33 MT at 12 major ports (The Hindu)
    Imports of thermal coal jumped 24 per cent at India’s top 12 major ports to 32.54 million metric tons (MT) during the April-July period this year even as the government continues to announce its commitment to boost domestic output, mainly by monolith Coal India.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of August 17, 2015

  • EPA proposes cutting methane emissions from oil, natural gas drilling (Wall Street Journal)
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rules aimed at cutting methane emissions from oil and gas production by requiring energy companies to install new technologies at future wells. The proposals are part of a broader Obama administration goal to cut methane emissions from oil and gas production by as much as 45 percent from 2012 levels over the next decade.
  • EPA proposes stricter landfill methane regulations (ClimateWire - Subscription)
    U.S. EPA wants to tighten the threshold at which landfills (responsible for about one-fifth of the country's human-related emissions of methane) must begin collecting methane emissions. EPA expects the change to reduce yearly methane emissions by more than 436,000 metric tons beginning in 2025, compared with current requirements. That's the equivalent of 10.9 million metric tons of CO2.
  • Methane leaks from gas supply chain top EPA estimate (New York Times)
    Natural-gas gathering facilities, i.e., pipelines and equipment that bring natural gas from the field into power plants and homes, lose about 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year, about eight times as much as estimates used by the EPA, according to a study, which appeared in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The newly discovered leaks, if counted in the EPA inventory, would increase its entire systemwide estimate by about 25 percent, said the Environmental Defense Fund, which sponsored the research as part of methane emissions studies it organized. In 2013, natural gas systems, which include production, processing, transmission and storage and distribution were responsible for 2.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Canadian oil-sands producers struggle (Wall Street Journal)
    Canada’s high-cost oil-sands producers are struggling as oil prices sink to fresh six-year lows, and even the most efficient drillers are losing money on every barrel they produce at current prices, according to a report from Canada’s TD Securities.
    More from C2ES on oil

Week of August 10, 2015

  • Oil demand growing at fastest pace in five years, says IEA (Wall Street Journal)
    Demand for oil is increasing at its fastest pace in five years, boosted by an oil-price drop below $50 a barrel, according to the International Energy Agency, as it sharply upgraded its consumption-growth forecast for the commodity.
  • Lower oil prices expected to continue through 2016 (Energy Information Administration)
    In its latest Short-Term Energy Forecast, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts crude oil prices (U.S. benchmark) will average around $50 per barrel in 2015 and $54 per barrel in 2016, down from around $93 in 2014. Lower prices are expected to increase consumption of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Total U.S. liquid fuels consumption is forecast to grow by 400,000 barrels per day (b/d) (2.1 percent) in 2015 and by 190,000 b/d (1.0 percent) in 2016. More from C2ES on oil
  • Installed price of distributed solar PV continues to fall (Berkeley Lab)
    Installed prices for residential and small non-residential solar photovoltaic systems completed in 2014 were $0.40-per-watt lower, and prices for large non-residential systems were $0.70-per-watt lower, than in the prior year.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Japan poised for nuclear restart (Financial Times)
    Japan is set to re-enter the ranks of nuclear power-producing nations on Tuesday after a two-year hiatus that has heightened its reliance on imported energy and sent electricity prices soaring.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • Australia sets emissions goal (New York Times)
    Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a greenhouse gas reduction goal for Australia of reducing carbon emissions at least 26 percent, and possibly 28 percent, from 2005 levels by 2030.
    More from C2ES on international

Week of August 3, 2015

Week of July 27, 2015

  • Climate change: Obama to unveil Clean Power Plan (BBC)
    The revised Clean Power Plan is expected to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
    More from C2ES on Clean Power Plan
  • With $1B loss, Peabody searches for ways to weather industry storm (Energywire - subscription)
    Peabody Energy Inc., the world's largest private-sector coal firm, posted a loss of over $1 billion in the second quarter. The company cited "extended low-cycle market conditions," including soft global demand and stubbornly weak international coal prices as driving factors.
  • Coal will remain major power source in 'foreseeable future' -- Moody's (Climatewire - subscription)
    Despite its present headwinds, coal will remain a dominant energy source in the United States for years to come, according to a research note from Moody's Investors Service.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • New methanol and fertilizer plants to increase already-growing industrial natural gas use (Energy Information Administration)
    Reversing a decline that lasted more than a decade, industrial natural gas consumption has grown steadily since 2009 as relatively low natural gas prices have supported use of natural gas as a feedstock for the production of bulk chemicals.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • 'First Steel In The Water' For Wind Farm Off Block Island (Hartford Courant)
    Construction has begun off Rhode Island's coast on the nation's first offshore wind farm, a milestone that federal and state officials say will help the fledgling U.S. industry surge ahead.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • Obama will reject KXL pipeline during recess -- Hoeven (E&E Daily – subscription)
    Not detailing his sources, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said, from the Senate floor, that President Obama will reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada during the upcoming congressional recess. In early February 2015, the State Department received “national interest” comments from eight federal agencies (Departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency) effectively completing the pipeline permit application process. A decision on the pipeline could come at any time.
  • More from C2ES on Keystone XL Pipeline

Week of July 20, 2015

Week of July 13, 2015

  • Most U.S. LNG projects won’t cross the finish line, new study says (Fuel Fix)
    According to a new report by Brookings, most of the proposed U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects won’t get built due to stiffening foreign competition and weakening demand, among other factors. Only five U.S. LNG export terminals (Sabine Pass, Cameron, Freeport, Cove Point and Corpus Christi), which are already under construction are likely to be completed.
  • Natural gas surpasses coal as biggest U.S. electricity source (ABC News)
    According to U.S. Energy Department data for April 2015, natural gas overtook coal as the top source for U.S. electric power generation for the first time ever – about 31 percent of generation in April came from natural gas, 30 percent from coal, and 20 percent from nuclear power. For the full year, the EIA expects coal to generate 35.6 percent of U.S. electricity in 2015, down from 38.7 percent in 2014, while natural gas is forecast to average 30.9 percent this year, up from 27.4 percent in 2014.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Southeast U.S. getting its first large-scale wind farm (Utility Dive)
    Iberdrola Renewables is breaking ground on the 208 MW (104 turbine) Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East installation in northeast North Carolina, the first large scale wind energy development to go into construction across the nine states of the Southeast. Taller turbines are making wind more viable in the Southeast.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • China's coal imports plunge more than one-third in first half of 2015 (ClimateWire - subscription)
    According to the General Administration of Customs, China's coal imports decreased by 37.5 percent year over year to 99.86 million tons in the first half of the year. In 2014, Chinese coal imports fell by 10 percent, the first decline since 2008. While the slowdown in China's coal consumption is a key driving force behind this slide, some analysts say that recent policy changes on imported coal have also played a role.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of July 6, 2015

  • Oil prices tumble nearly 8 percent (Wall Street Journal)
    Worries over weak oil demand in China, Greek drama strengthening the U.S. dollar (because oil is a dollar-denominated commodity, a stronger dollar often drags prices lower) and potential new Iranian supply put downward pressure on crude prices.
  • Despite the slowdown, U.S. on track to produce its greatest quantity of oil since 1970 (Energy Information Administration)
    In its latest Short Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that domestic crude oil production will average 9.5 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2015 (the highest level in 45 years) and 9.3 million b/d in 2016.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Utility-scale solar at record low prices (Utility Dive)
    NV Energy, a Nevada public utility, agreed to a power purchase agreement at a $0.0387 per kWh rate for the 100 MW output of First Solar’s Playa Solar 2 installation. It is likely the lowest rate for solar energy-generated electricity made public to date, and is likely the cheapest electricity available in the U.S. today.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Carbon tax repeal sparks jump in Australia's electricity emissions (The Guardian)
    According to the Climate Council, Australia’s electricity emissions have increased 4.3 percent since the repeal of the carbon tax, which has undone part of an 11 percent fall in emissions during the two years the carbon tax was in place.
    More from C2ES on pricing carbon

Week of June 29, 2015

  • China pledges to halt growth of carbon emissions in climate plan (New York Times)
    China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, offered the following goals as part of its commitment to an international climate agreement expected later this year: achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 or sooner; lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 percent from the 2005 level; increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent; and increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters on the 2005 level.
    More from C2ES on international
  • U.S., Brazil ramp up renewable goals (Greenwire - subscription)
    President Obama joined with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who visited Washington, D.C., to pledge that both countries would draw 20 percent of their power from non-hydropower renewable sources by 2030.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • New York seeks deep emissions reductions (Utility Dive)
    The New York State Energy Plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, to obtain 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources and to cut building energy consumption 23 percent below the 2012 level by 2030.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Why the French are losing enthusiasm for nuclear (ClimateWire - subscription)
    France, which currently derives about 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, is aiming to pass legislation this month that will bring nuclear's share of generation to 50 percent by 2025.
  • Germany shuts down nuclear power plant (ABC News)
  • Germany shut down its oldest nuclear reactor, part of a move initiated four years ago to switch off all its nuclear plants by the end of 2022. Germany until March 2011 obtained one-quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy; as of the end of June, it is now about 17 percent.
    More from C2ES on nuclear

Week of June 22, 2015

  • U.S. coal production expected to decline by 7 percent in 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that lower coal demand for domestic consumption and exports will contribute to a 70 million short ton or 7 percent decline in production for 2015 (from 2014 levels). Production is expected to decline in all coal-producing regions with the largest decrease in Appalachia.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Bloomberg New Energy Outlook sees global power emissions peaking in 2029 (ClimateWire - subscription)
    A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects a significant build of renewable power generating capacity (around 5,900 GW) over the next 25 years; however, it still sees power sector carbon dioxide emissions increasing by 13 percent from 2014 to 2040. Emissions are projected to peak in 2029, then only slowly declining out to 2040.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Planning for Maryland offshore wind project gets underway (Baltimore Sun)
    U.S. Wind, the Italian company that won federal leases to develop a wind project off Maryland’s coast, recently began surveying the ocean floor to work out where it will place steel foundations for turbines. If it can successfully clear financial and regulatory hurdles, it plans to construct a 500 MW project. U.S. Wind is currently developing Deepwater Wind Block Island in Rhode Island, which will be the nation's first offshore wind project.
    More from C2ES on wind
  • Solar developers rush to install capacity ahead of tax credit expiration (Utility Dive)
    32 GW of utility-scale solar PV projects were currently under development in the U.S. ahead of the Federal energy investment tax credit (ITC) deadline. Analysts believe just 16 GW will be completed by the end of 2016.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • World nuclear performance gained in 2014 for first time since Fukushima (Platts)
    World nuclear generation tracked by Platts in 2014 rose 1 percent compared to 2013, the first annual gain since the 2011 accident at Fukushima in Japan curbed global nuclear output sharply, an analysis shows.
    More from C2ES on nuclear

Week of June 15, 2015

  •  Record year for renewable power; heat, transport stay fossil (New York Times)
    In its new Global Status Report on renewables, REN21 reports that the growth of renewable energy outpaced that of fossil fuels in the electricity sector in 2014, with a record 135 gigawatts of capacity added worldwide from wind, solar, hydropower and other natural sources.
  • EU on track to meet its 2020 renewable target (The Guardian)
    A status report from the European Commission finds that the EU-28 is on track to source 20 percent of its energy from renewables such as wind, solar and biomass by 2020. Most countries are on track to meet their individual targets. Notably, the UK, France and the Netherlands are currently off track.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Report offers strategy to peak global energy emissions (International Energy Agency)
    A peak in global energy-related emissions could be achieved as early as 2020 and at no net economic cost by implementing five key policy measures, according to the International Energy Agency in its new World Energy Outlook Special Report on Energy and Climate Change.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Dozens of U.S. companies bet on nuclear power revolution (Reuters)
    A new report from Third Way finds that dozens of companies are collectively betting more than $1.3 billion that a new wave of advanced nuclear power can be a force to fight climate change.
    More from C2ES on nuclear

Week of June 8, 2015

  • U.S. oil production expected to decline through 2016 (Energy Information Administration)
    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged almost 9.6 million barrels per day (b/d) in May 2015 – the highest level in 44 years. However, in its latest Short-Term Energy Forecast (STEO), EIA expects U.S. crude oil production will begin to decline in June, with continuing declines through early 2016, when total production is forecast to average 9.2 million b/d in the first quarter.
  • Pace of Canadian oil production projected to slow (Wall Street Journal)
    In its latest forecast, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers expects Canadian crude output—mostly from Alberta’s oil sands—to reach 4.96 million b/d by 2025. That forecast is less than the previous estimate of 5.6 million b/d and the 6.0 million b/d it had forecast back in 2013. The lower forecast is the latest sign of a global retrenchment in oil and gas investment that has hit the most expensive forms of extraction the hardest, including oil sands and shale oil production in North America.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Fueled by Growth in Residential Solar, US Installs 1.3GW of PV in Q1 2015 (Greentech Media)
    According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA), the U.S. installed 1.3 gigawatts of solar PV across all market segments in Q1 2015. The United States residential segment of the market grew 76 percent over the first quarter of 2014, installing a record-breaking 437 megawatts of photovoltaics (PV) in the first three months of 2015.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • World needs to ramp up battery use, energy storage to meet climate targets (ClimateWire - subscription)
    A new report from the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) finds that energy storage will be a vital element for utilities and grid operators in order to double the amount of clean energy produced by 2030. The "Renewables and Electricity Storage" technology road map estimates construction of 150 gigawatts of battery storage and 325 GW of pumped hydro storage will be needed.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage
  • Chinese greenhouse gases projected to peak earlier than pledged (Bloomberg)
    A new report from former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern suggests that Chinese greenhouse gas emissions could peak around 2025.

    More from C2ES on international climate agreement

Week of June 1, 2015

  • Big oil’s plan to become big gas (Bloomberg)
    Oil companies that have pumped trillions of barrels of crude from the ground are now saying the future is in their other main product: natural gas, a fuel they’re promoting as the logical successor to coal.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Global growth in natural gas lower than previous forecasts (International Energy Agency)
    In its latest update of the Natural Gas Medium-Term Market Report, the International Energy Agency finds that weaker than expected demand growth in Asia leads global demand to rise by only 2 percent per year by the end of the five-year forecast period, compared with the 2.3 percent projected in last year’s outlook. The report also notes that capital-intensive, liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects are likely to be adversely impacted (delayed or cancelled) in the medium-term by lower oil prices.
  • PJM gas capacity exceeds coal for the first time (Argus)
    Natural gas has edged out coal as the fuel with the most installed generating capacity in the PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. wholesale power market, for the first time.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Exelon to decide fate of Illinois nuclear plant in September (Platts)
    As the Illinois General Assembly fails to pass legislation creating a low-carbon portfolio standard this session, Exelon CEO Christopher Crane said the nation's largest nuclear generator will decide in September whether to close its money-losing, 1,824-MW Quad Cities merchant nuclear plant in Illinois.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Japanese PM to pledge 26 percent greenhouse gas cut (Australian Financial Review)
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he would pledge (by the end of July) a 26 percent reduction in greenhouse gases from 2013 levels by 2030 as his country’s contribution to an international climate agreement expected later this year.
    More from C2ES on international climate agreement

Week of May 26, 2015

  • Renewables share of U.S. energy consumption highest since 1930s (Energy Information Administration)
    Renewable energy (e.g., wood, hydroelectric, waste, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for 9.8 percent of total domestic energy consumption in 2014. This marks the highest renewable energy share since the 1930s, when wood was a much larger contributor to domestic energy supply.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • U.S. wood pellets can provide 'viable GHG reduction strategy' for E.U. (ClimateWire - subscription)
    A new analysis from Duke University concludes that the use of wood pellets manufactured in the U.S. Southeast to fuel energy production in the European Union "could represent a viable [greenhouse gas] reduction strategy" for the bloc if recommended sustainability guidelines are followed.
    More from C2ES on biomass
  • Iran cuts gasoline fuel subsidies (AP)
    Last week, Iran increased the price of subsidized gasoline by nearly 40 percent from around $0.90 to $1.28 per gallon. The average U.S. price is $2.66 per gallon; the UK price is $6.84 per gallon. A 2013 report by the International Energy Agency found that accelerated action towards a partial phase-out of fossil-fuel subsidies would reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 360 million metric tons in 2020.
  • Forget 'peak oil.' Is the world's economy heading toward 'peak demand'? (Energywire - subscription)
    Projections by some energy analysts, government organizations and even major international oil and gas companies suggest global oil demand may plateau in the next 25 years.
    More from C2ES on oil

Week of May 18, 2015

  • EIA models the Clean Power Plan (Energywire - subscription)
    Analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds that the proposed Clean Power Plan would more than double the amount of coal plant retirements (87 GW, rather than 41 GW) from its business-as-usual scenario, raise electricity prices 4.9 percent above their current trajectory, and trim 293 million metric tons of electricity-related carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, among other things.
    More from C2ES on Modeling EPA’s Clean Power Plan
  • ACEEE releases city energy efficiency scorecard (ACEEE)
    A new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks 51 large U.S. cities on what they are doing to save energy in five areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings, energy and water utilities, and transportation.
    More from C2ES on efficiency
  •  32 companies generate a third of world's man-made greenhouse gases (ClimateWire - subscription)
    According to a report from Thomson Reuters, using data from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Climate Accountability Index (CAI), one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the operations of 32 energy companies and the use of their products.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Minnesota PUC approves transmission line (Star Tribune)
    Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously approved the Great Northern Transmission Line, which will facilitate the transmission of Manitoba (Canada) hydropower to Minnesota and Minnesota wind power to Canada. The line is expected to go into service by 2020.
    More from C2ES on Canadian Hydropower and the Clean Power Plan
  • U.S. crude oil rig count slows (Wall Street Journal)
    After 23 consecutive weeks of declines, the U.S. oil rig count fell by just eight last week to 660. The number of rigs, a proxy for activity in the oil industry, has fallen sharply since prices headed south last year. There are now about 59 percent fewer rigs working since a peak of 1,609 in October 2014.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Japan approves third nuclear plant for restart (Reuters)
    Japan’s nuclear regulator has signed off on the basic safety of Shikoku Electric Power Co’s Ikata nuclear power station (890 MW) in southwestern Japan. The consent of local authorities and additional operational checks are required before the reactor can restart. Two other nuclear plants operated by Kansai Electric Power and Kyushu Electric Power have also passed through the first stage of regulatory checks.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of May 11, 2015

  • Natural gas and coal generation temporarily converge in April, May (EIA)
    According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity generated with coal and natural gas are expected to make up 31.7 percent and 30.7 percent, respectively, of total generation in April, and for May, EIA expects coal to make up 33 percent of all generation and gas to account for 31.6 percent. Milder weather in the first quarter of 2015, lower natural gas prices and coal plant retirements due to tougher emission rules are driving down coal consumption. The EIA expects coal’s share of the U.S. electricity generation mix to fall from 38.7 (in 2014) to 35.8 percent in 2015.
  • Coal plant retirements to hit peak in 2015 (SNL)
    Approximately 4,600 MW of U.S. coal-fired generation has already retired this year through April and another 7,700 MW will close in the rest of 2015 as utilities work to comply with the U.S. EPA's new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS, which took effect last month.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Natural gas prices hit four-month high (Wall Street Journal)
    Bolstered by rising demand from the power sector, natural gas prices climbed back above $3 per million BTUs last week.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • OPEC sees oil prices below $100 for the next decade (Wall Street Journal)
    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) expects that oil prices will remain consistently below $100 through 2025. This is in-line with the recent outlook by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • “Always-on” devices waste $19 billion in energy annually (Utility Dive)
    A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Fund finds that “always-on” appliances and electronics cost U.S. households about $165 per year on average.
    More from C2ES on home energy consumption


Week of May 4, 2015

  • Solar has great potential, but technical and policy changes are needed (MIT)
    In a new report, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) finds that solar energy has great potential to meet our energy needs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The study emphasizes the need for federal research and development support to advance low-cost, large-scale energy storage technologies, and policies that reward solar energy production, among other things.
    More from C2ES on solar energy
  • DOE grants permission to export LNG from Maryland facility (Natural Gas Inter)
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted Dominion Cove Point LNG final authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries. The Calvert County, Maryland facility is authorized to export up to 0.77 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) for a period of 20 years. According to ClearView Energy Partners, including Cove Point’s export volumes, the cumulative amount of LNG approved by DOE for export thus far to non-FTA countries stands at 6.51 Bcf/d.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Grid improvements could help states reduce emissions (Energywire - subscription)
    Inefficient transmission lines are responsible for the loss of more than 6 percent of U.S. electric power. Available technologies could help mitigate those losses and reduce U.S. carbon pollution. Additionally, smart grid technologies would help realize the full potential of renewable generation, demand response, and distributed energy investments, while improving grid resilience and reliability.
  • LED street lighting: high up, low hanging fruit (Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership)
    A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) found that switching municipal street lights in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic from less efficient technologies to light emitting diodes (LED) with advanced controls could reduce energy consumption by 1.76 TWh or 55 percent annually. The report highlights the technical, financial and regulatory barriers to installing LED, which include, among other things, utility ownership of the street lighting.
    More from C2ES on lighting efficiency
  • New Tennessee reactor nearly complete (Energywire - subscription)
    The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Watts Bar 2 nuclear reactor set to come online later this year will be the first new U.S. reactor in nearly 20 years. The reactor’s 1,150 MW will replace power from coal plants that TVA plans to retire.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • India overachieves on renewable energy targets (Clean Technica)
    India added more than 4,000 MW of renewable energy capacity over its 2014-15 fiscal year ending March 31. It exceeded targets for wind, small hydro and solar power; to date, it has installed nearly 36,000 MW of grid-level renewable power.
    More from C2ES on renewables

Week of April 27, 2015

Week of April 20, 2015

  • DOE releases first installment of Quadrennial Energy Review (Department of Energy)
    The Department of Energy released its first-ever review of the nation’s energy infrastructure, which seeks to identify vulnerabilities in the system and proposes major policy recommendations and investments to replace, expand, and modernize infrastructure where appropriate.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Global natural gas leakage rate around 3.2 percent (Forbes)
    A new report from the Rhodium Group found that more than 3.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas escaped into the atmosphere as a result of global oil and gas operations in 2012. Russia, the United States, Uzbekistan, Canada and Mexico were the largest emitters.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Gains for natural gas in short-term outlook (Energy Information Administration)
    U.S. power generators are using more natural gas than last year, primarily because of lower natural gas prices compared with coal prices. The use of natural gas-fired generation is projected to average 30.4 percent of total generation in 2015 compared with 27.4 percent during 2014. U.S. coal production is expected to fall by 7.1 percent in 2015, as natural gas displaces coal for power generation.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Canada will be challenged to meet its climate target (The Globe and Mail)
    A report to the UN from Environment Canada shows Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions have now risen by 4 percent since 2009 and it is unlikely to meet its intended 2020 target. The rising emissions have been driven by higher oil and gas production.
    More from C2ES on key country policies
  • China pours money into Pakistan, opens new trade routes (Wall Street Journal)
    China plans to invest more than $45 billion in Pakistan on energy and infrastructure projects. Among other things, it aims to develop the Pakistani port of Gwadar, near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and create a 2,000 mile economic corridor between the port and northwest China, including roads, rail links and pipelines crossing Pakistan.
    More from C2ES on energy

Week of April 13, 2015

  • EPA releases U.S. annual greenhouse gas inventory (Environmental Protection Agency)
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks for the year 2013. In 2013, the U.S. released 6.673 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – a 2 percent increase from the previous year, but 9 percent below 2005 levels.
    More from C2ES on global warming facts and figures
  • EIA releases Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a pared down version of its Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) this year with just six scenarios. U.S. energy consumption is expected to grow just 0.3 percent per year from 2013 to 2040 in the Reference case, far below the projected economic growth rate of 2.4 percent per year. The EIA plans to release an additional case in May that will consider the effect of the Clean Power Plan.
  • Grim forecast for global energy demand (Energywire - Subscription)
    The International Monetary Fund and other international institutions see slowing growth in developing and developed countries, implying that living standards may improve more slowly in the future and energy demand may increase more slowly.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Mercury standards go into effect (Greenwire - Subscription)
    EPA standards for mercury and other toxic air pollutant emissions (also known as MATS or Mercury Rule) from power plants went into effect on Thursday. Affected facilities could have requested a one-year compliance extension from last week’s deadline. It is expected that around 13 GW of coal-fired electric generating capacity will retire in 2015 as a result of the rule.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Japanese court rejects bid to restart nuclear reactors (Washington Post)
    Citing safety concerns, a Japanese court issued an injunction ordering two Japanese nuclear reactors to stay offline. The government would like to restart many of the country’s 48 reactors that were powered down after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011.
  • Japanese emissions on the rise (Reuters)
    Japanese greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.2 percent from a year ago to 1.408 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – the second highest level on record.
    More from C2ES on nuclear

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)
    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

December 15-31, 2014

  • Top five factors affecting oil prices in 2015 (
    Oil prices declined around 50 percent during the last six months of 2014 with Brent crude currently trading around $54 per barrel. The future trajectory of oil prices will depend on China’s economy, U.S. shale production, elasticity of demand, OPEC’s next move, and geopolitical flashpoints among other things.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Natural gas prices plunge in December (ABC News)
    Natural gas prices have fallen nearly 30 percent since late November to below $3.20 per 1,000 cubic feet; abundant supply and relatively mild December temperatures were the primary drivers.
  • Governor bans ‘fracking’ in New York State (New York Times)
    Citing health risks, Governor Cuomo announced that the state would ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’, which involves injecting large amounts of water, sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure to release oil and/or natural gas from rock formations.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Minnesota PUC stands by oil sands pipeline expansion decision (Pioneer Press)
    The Minnesota Public Utility Commission unanimously voted against revisiting its August decision to allow expansion of Enbridge’s Alberta Clipper pipeline. The expansion will raise the Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin pipeline’s capacity from 450,000 to 800,000 barrels per day.
  • GOP prepares legislation that would approve the KXL pipeline (Bloomberg)
    Both chambers of Congress are preparing legislation that would approve the $8 billion Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, attempting to take the decision out of the hands of President Obama.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • Congress passes retroactive PTC extension (Utility Dive)
    According to the American Wind Energy Association, the extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC) until the end of 2014 will only allow minimal new wind development.
    More from C2ES on the PTC

Week of December 8, 2014

  • US crude settles below $60 a barrel for the first time in 5 years  (Reuters)
    New York Mercantile Exchange's front-month West Texas Intermediate contract for U.S. crude settled down 99 cents, or 1.6 percent lower, at $59.95 per barrel, its lowest close since July 14, 2009.  The contract has lost almost 9 percent this week and roughly 45 percent from a June high above $107 a barrel. Traders warned that a bottom for crude remained elusive after a six-month selloff.
  • House Republican to introduce bill to lift crude export ban (The Hill)
    Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) will introduce legislation that lifts a decades-old ban on crude oil exports on Tuesday. Barton, who has been planning the bill since earlier this year, is a strong advocate in favor of repealing the ban first imposed during the Arab oil embargoes of the 1970s. Barton’s legislation will be introduced sometime Tuesday, according to his spokesman. It comes out ahead of a House hearing on Thursday that will focus on the export ban.
    More from C2ES on oil.
  • Global Shale Ambitions Wane as OPEC Price War Deepens (Bloomberg)
    Efforts to replicate the U.S. shale revolution are under threat as a price war by OPEC pushes crude to levels last seen during the global financial crisis. From the U.K. to Australia, countries without government-backed energy producers appear the most vulnerable to delays in extracting shale oil and gas. Even nations such as China and Argentina, where state-run producers have a government mandate to drill, could see a slowing in investment.
  • Oil’s Fall Puts a Chill on U.S. Drilling (Wall Street Journal)
    U.S. energy companies are starting to cut drilling, lay off workers and slash spending in the face of an accelerating decline in oil prices, which fell to a fresh five-year low Wednesday. The number of rigs drilling for oil in North Dakota and parts of Texas has started to edge down, new drilling permits have dropped sharply since October, and many companies say they are going to focus on their most profitable wells.
    More from C2ES on natural gas.
  • GOP gains put nuclear power back on the table (The Hill)
    Republicans and the nuclear power sector are hopeful that GOP control of the Senate will improve the political landscape for an industry that hasn’t opened a new generator in nearly two decades. As Senate Democrats this week held their tenth hearing on nuclear safety since Japan’s Fukushima Daichii meltdown three years ago, Republicans and observers looked forward to a future with a more business-friendly approach to the industry. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), long a champion of nuclear power and a critic of environmental rules, is set to become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees nuclear safety. 
    More from C2ES on nuclear.

Week of December 1, 2014

  • Net generation from solar power doubles (Utility Dive)
    According to data from the Energy Information Administration, electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal sources doubled in the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013; electricity from solar PV was five times greater than the first nine months of 2012.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Illinois regulators approve Rock Island Clean Line (Utility Dive)
    The Rock Island Clean Line, which would deliver up to 3,500 MW of electricity from wind-rich northwestern Iowa to the Chicago area on a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line, cleared an important regulatory hurdle.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • FERC approves Northeast natural gas pipeline (ABC News)
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania to New England. The pipeline could be operational in a year if it receives timely approval from Pennsylvania, New York and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • DOE invests in low-head hydropower projects (Department of Energy)
    The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $4.4 million in funding for two projects to advance the development of low-head hydropower technologies, which only require a change in elevation of 6 to 60 feet. The DOE estimates a technical resource potential of more than 50 GW of low-head hydro in the United States.
    More from C2ES on hydropower
  • New Georgia nukes unlikely to start in 2017, 2018 (SNL)
    Consultants have informed the Georgia Public Service Commission that two new nuclear reactors at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle are likely to be delayed at least another year, as critical project milestone dates continue to slip.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • German utility to split into two companies (Wall Street Journal)
    Germany’s largest utility E.ON will split into two companies – one focused on renewables and the other on conventional energy.
    More from C2ES on electricity

Week of November 24, 2014

Week of November 17, 2014

Week of November 10, 2014

Week of November 3, 2014

  • Oil prices tumble again (Wall Street Journal)
    U.S. benchmark crude prices tumbled to a three-year low after Saudi Arabia cut prices for U.S. buyers. This is good news for consumers, but sustained lower crude prices could threaten some U.S. producers.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Progress on world carbon capture projects (ClimateWire - Subscription)
    According to the latest report from the Global CCS Institute, there are now 22 major projects either under construction or operating that capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) from the industrial and power sectors. The total CO2 captured from these 22 projects will be around 40 million metric tons per year or the equivalent of taking around 8.4 million vehicles off the road annually.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • Keystone XL pipeline prospects get a boost from elections (CBC News)
    With a Republican takeover of the Senate last week, the chances of the Keystone XL pipeline being approved increased. The $8 billion, 830,000 barrel per day, 1,200-mile pipeline would travel from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska via the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the U.S. states of Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • Japanese reactors set to restart early next year (BBC News)
    After clearing a final legislative hurdle, the two reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant (1,692 MW) are set to become the first of a possible 48 reactors restarted after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • China aims to cap some industrial emissions (ClimateWire - Subscription)
    China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced that it plans to cap carbon dioxide emissions from the steel and cement industries at 2015 levels.
    More from C2ES on international emissions

Week of October 27, 2014

  • Allowing crude oil exports could lower U.S. gasoline prices (Energy Information Administration)
    A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds that lifting the 40-year old crude oil export ban could result in higher U.S. crude prices and lower U.S. gasoline prices.
  • TransCanada files application for Energy East pipeline (Toronto Globe and Mail)
    TransCanada filed for regulatory approval of its 1.1 million barrel per day, 2,800 mile Energy East crude oil pipeline from Alberta to refineries and ports in Eastern Canada.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • EIA releases updated LNG export study (Energy Information Administration)
    The EIA released an updated study on the effect of increased levels of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports on U.S. energy markets. The new study looked at much higher LNG export levels (12 to 20 billion cubic feet per day), which the modelers noted were not very likely scenarios. An earlier analysis looked at more modest export levels.
  • Lithuania receives floating natural gas terminal (New York Times)
    Built in South Korea, a floating natural gas terminal will allow Lithuania (Latvia and Estonia) to immediately receive shipments of liquefied natural gas from Norway.
  • Sasol will move ahead with $8.1 billion chemical plant (Bloomberg)
    South African energy and chemicals company Sasol announced that it will construct an $8.1 billion plant in Louisiana that will convert natural gas into plastics and other products.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Emissions drop puts EU just shy of 2020 goal (AP)
    European Union (EU) greenhouse gas emissions fell 2 percent in 2013. The 28-nation bloc has a goal to reduce its emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. While many EU countries were meeting their national reduction targets, Germany and Spain were not.
    More from C2ES on emissions
  • Battery storage cheaper than fossil fuel peaker plant? (Financial Times)
    A private Swiss firm, Alevo, claims to have made a breakthrough in electricity storage technology. It plans to invest $1 billion in a new battery plant in North Carolina.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage

Week of October 13, 2014

  • Lower oil prices means projects at risk (Fuel Fix)
    With the recent sharp decline in oil prices, projects in the Canadian oil sands, offshore fields in Norway and drilling-intensive U.S. shale plays are among the most vulnerable to reduced investment, curtailment or cancellation.
  • Lifting crude export ban might not lower gasoline prices (The Hill)
    Preliminary results from an EIA study suggest that domestic gasoline prices are set in global energy markets, and that lifting the ban on exporting U.S. crude might not have much of a price impact.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • North Dakota announces $4 billion plastic factory (Fuel Fix)
    Badlands NGL unveiled its plans to construct a 3.3 billion pound per year polyethylene factory in North Dakota. The largest private investment ever in the state will help to capture some of the natural gas that is currently being flared due to a lack of natural gas infrastructure.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Exelon to build natural gas CCS project (Exelon Press Release)
    Exelon announced plans for a first-of-its-kind natural gas power plant that produces no emissions. It will produce pipeline quality carbon dioxide, which can be sequestered underground, used for industrial purposes or enhanced oil recovery. The $140 million, 50 MWth facility will be built in Texas, and is expected to be operational in 2016.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • Lockheed claims fusion energy breakthrough (Scientific American)
    Lockheed Martin claims that it has made a technological breakthrough in the area of fusion energy, and believes it could build a compact (seven by ten foot) 100 MW nuclear fusion reactor within 10 years.
    More from C2ES on energy

Week of October 6, 2014

  • Investments in efficiency outpacing renewables: IEA (Bloomberg)
    According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, global investments in reducing energy waste and increasing efficiency are overtaking investments in wind and solar energy.
  • U.S. net energy imports continue to fall (Energy Information Administration)
    U.S. energy production continues to surge, while growth in consumption is modest. As a result, net energy imports are 17 percent lower in the first half of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Canadian crude exports to US ramping up (Reuters)
    According to EIA data, Canada exported an average of 3.2 million barrels per day of crude to the United States in the week ended October 3, up 18 percent from the previous week and up 35 percent from the same period a year earlier.
  • Oil prices continue to slide (Bloomberg)
    West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. oil benchmark, fell below $85 a barrel last week (and global crude prices weren’t far behind at around $88 a barrel). If prices continue to fall lower, the economic viability of some non-conventional oil plays could be at risk, lowering overall U.S. production.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Proposed Texas LNG export facility clears environmental hurdle (Fuel Fix)
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has determined that Cheneire’s Corpus Christi liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility will not significantly harm the environment, clearing the way for full approval.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • France reiterates its pledge to reduce nuclear power (Reuters)
    Citing the high cost of maintaining its aging nuclear fleet, France plans to bring down nuclear power’s share of its electricity mix from 75 percent today to 50 percent by 2025.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of September 29, 2014

  • U.S. CO2 emissions up again (The Hill)
    In the first half of 2014, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of fossil fuels were 2.7 percent higher than the same period during 2013, and 6 percent higher than the same period during 2012.
    More from C2ES on U.S. climate pledge
  • Cove Point LNG export terminal clears environmental hurdle (Capital Gazette)
    Dominion Energy’s proposed Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • Australians' natural gas bills soar amid LNG export boom (Wall Street Journal)
    With seven LNG export projects expected to come on line in the next three to four years, Australia will become the largest LNG exporter in the world. Australia’s natural gas prices have risen sharply in anticipation of tighter supplies.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Presidential permit issued for Quebec to Queens power line (Greenwire - subscription)
    The Department of Energy will grant a presidential permit for a $2.2 billion, 1,000 MW power transmission line extending from Quebec to New York City. In 2011, more than 97 percent of Quebec’s electricity came from hydropower.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Kemper Plant delayed again (Climate Wire - subscription)
    Startup of Mississippi Power’s Kemper County Energy Facility, which will be the first large-scale U.S. power plant to capture the majority of its carbon dioxide emissions, is being delayed into the second half of 2015 due to issues related to “start up activities and operational readiness.”
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage

Week of September 22, 2014

  • Crude by rail is here to stay (Wall Street Journal)
    Initially conceived of as a stopgap measure until pipelines could be constructed, attractive economics have contributed to crude by rail becoming a permanent part of the nation’s energy infrastructure.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Statoil halts oil sands project (Wall Street Journal)
    Citing high costs and shipping bottlenecks, Statoil has shelved its Corner in-situ oil sands project for at least three years.
    More from C2ES on oil sands
  • California utility plans largest battery energy storage project in North America (Greentech Media)
    Southern California Edison announced plans for an 8 MW lithium-ion battery storage (4-hour duration) demonstration project located near one of California’s best wind resources in the Tehachapi Mountains.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage
  • Eastern coal production continues to slow (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    According to data from SNL Financial, more than three quarters of the recent drop in national coal production occurred in the Central Appalachian region, i.e., eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of September 15, 2014

  • GAO report expects more coal power plant retirements (The Hill)
    The Government Accountability Office reported that around 13 percent of the nation’s 2012 coal power plant capacity will retire by 2025 as a result of environmental regulations, and increased competition from falling natural gas prices, among other things.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Drilling productivity is rising (Wall Street Journal)
    Innovation in oil and natural gas extraction technology is leading to significant increases in production per new well; some analysts suggest that U.S. supply can continue to rise through 2040.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • NRC certifies new reactor design (Greenwire - Subscription)
    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the GE Hitachi Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor (ESBWR) design for use in the United States. The ESBWR is a 1,574 MW reactor, which incorporates passive safety features that would automatically cool the reactor in the event of an accident without the need for human intervention.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • Shell to resume Arctic exploration next summer (Energy Wire - Subscription)
    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management made public Shell’s plan to drill for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. The company plans to use 2 rigs to drill up to 6 wells in 2015.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Demand response market growth rate lowered (Utility Dive)
    A report from Greentech Media has nearly halved the annual growth rate of the demand response market. FERC Order 745, which would have ensured demand response resources received full market prices in wholesale power markets, was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals earlier this year.
    More from C2ES on residential end-use efficiency

Week of September 8, 2014

Week of September 1, 2014

  • PNM to ask for rate increase to pay for falling revenues (Utility Dive)
    Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) will seek a rate increase to recover its costs. While some areas of the country are beginning to see rising electricity sales in a nationally-improving economy, a weak economy, energy conservation and self-generation like rooftop solar have resulted in lower electricity sales in New Mexico.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • EPA issues key permit for carbon capture project (Houston Chronicle)
    The Environmental Protection Agency issued a permit that will allow the FutureGen 2.0 clean coal project to store carbon dioxide emissions underground. The commercial-scale (200 MW) power plant aims to capture and permanently sequester nearly all of its carbon dioxide emissions in deep saline aquifers. The Illinois-based project is expected to come online in late 2017.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • Water availability could hamper energy extraction efforts (Fuel Fix)
    A new report from World Resources Institute finds that 38 percent of global shale gas and tight oil resources are in areas where water resources are highly constrained. Typically, energy extraction from these geological formations is extremely water intensive.
    More from C2ES on water and energy
  • Shell’s Appalachia strategy looks promising (Fuel Fix)
    Shell’s two successful discovery wells in Tioga County, Pennsylvania may suggest that the sweet spot of the Utica Shale formation is considerably larger than previously thought.
    More from C2ES on natural gas

Week of August 25, 2014

  • Vancouver approves new coal export facility (CBC)
    Port Metro Vancouver issued a permit to allow the existing deep-water facility - Fraser Surrey dock - to expand and export around 4.4 million tons of U.S. coal per year. Although this facility does not currently ship coal, in 2013 Canada’s largest port (Vancouver) exported nearly 42 million tons of (28.5) metallurgical and (13.2) thermal coal.
  • Australian economist sees end to coal-dominated growth model in China (Sydney Morning Herald
    In a recent report, climate policy expert and economist Ross Garnaut sees Chinese coal consumption falling 0.1 percent per year from 2014 to 2020 – a historic turnaround.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • China to start national carbon market in 2016 (Reuters)
    A senior Chinese climate official, Sun Cuihua, told a conference in Beijing that China plans to launch its national market for carbon permit trading in 2016. When fully operational, it will be the largest market in the world.
    More from C2ES on China and climate change
  • Rail deliveries of U.S. oil continue to increase (Department of Energy Information Administration)
    During the first seven months of 2014 around 8 percent of U.S. oil production was moved via rail. The average volume of crude and refined oil products delivered via rail has doubled since 2012 to more than 1.5 million barrels per day.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Renewables to generate more than one quarter of electricity by 2020 (The Hill)
    In its latest Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report, the International Energy Agency expects more than $1.6 trillion to be invested in new renewable energy capacity between now and 2020, when renewable sources will account for more than one quarter of global electricity generation.
    More from C2ES on renewable energy

Week of August 18, 2014

  • Oregon rejects permit request for coal export facility (Reuters)
    Oregon’s Department of State Lands denied Ambre Energy’s request to build a coal export terminal on the Columbia River at the Port of Morrow. The facility would have exported around 8.8 million tons of coal per year. In 2013, the United States exported 117 million tons of coal. Ambre has 21 days to appeal the decision.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Massive Wyoming wind farm to proceed with or without federal credit (Casper Star Tribune)
    Power Company of Wyoming announced that its up to 1,000 turbine (3,000 MW) wind farm in Carbon County will proceed regardless of the status of the federal production tax credit. When completed, the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farm will be the largest in the United States.
  • U.S. wind capacity expected to increase 25 percent (Department of Energy)
    In the latest Department of Energy Wind Technologies Market Report, U.S. wind capacity addition forecasts for 2014 through 2016 from Bloomberg NEF, IHS EER, Navigant, and MAKE Consulting increase the current installed capacity (61 GW) by 15.1 to as much as 20.5 GW. In 2013, wind supplied 4.1 percent of total U.S. electric power generation.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • U.S. firms helping China develop shale resource (Houston Chronicle)
    China, home to the world’s largest, albeit geologically challenging shale resource is sweetening deals with U.S. firms to gain their know-how.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Tennessee reactor on schedule and within budget (The Chattanoogan)
    In its most recent quarterly filing, the Tennessee Valley Authority reports that the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant unit 2 is more than 90 percent complete. The 1,150 MW reactor will most likely go on-line in December 2015 and the final cost is projected to be $4.2 billion. It will be the first new nuclear reactor built in the United States since 1996.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of August 11, 2014

  • EPA moving forward with rule to protect fish (The Hill)
    After a three-month delay, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the cooling water intake structure rule in the Federal Register last week. More than 1,000 existing power plants will soon be required to implement measures to prevent fish from getting sucked into their cooling water systems. Note that more than 40 percent of the affected facilities have already implemented the required technologies.
    More from C2ES on cooling water intake rule
  • Pipeline firm plans $1.75 billion infrastructure investment (Fuel Fix)
    Columbia Pipeline Group announced its plan to build two new pipelines to move stranded Marcellus and Utica shale gas to nearby states and its interstate network.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • South Carolina nuclear reactors delayed (GSA Business)
    SCANA Corp announced that the two 1,117 MW reactors it is constructing at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station could be delayed by 2 ½ to 3 years from the original schedule. The new expected online dates are late 2018 for one unit and the first half of 2019 for the second unit.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • Oil prices fall on weaker demand and ample supply (Bloomberg)
    World and U.S. benchmark crude oil prices fell last week on weak economic data from the euro area and oversupply in the Atlantic basin.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • India was fourth-largest energy consumer in 2011 (Energy Information Administration)
    With the world’s second largest population, dynamic economic growth and modernization, India’s energy demand continues to rise.
    More from C2ES on energy

Week of August 4, 2014

  • China lowers 2020 shale gas production target (Reuters)
    China has halved its 2020 shale gas production target to 30 billion cubic meters (1,059 billion cubic feet) after early efforts to access the unconventional fuel proved challenging. China is estimated to have the largest technically recoverable shale gas resource in the world.
  • Marcellus shale hits production record (Energy Information Administration)
    Natural gas production from the Marcellus shale formation (Pennsylvania, West Virginia) hit a record high in July, averaging more than 15 billion cubic feet per day.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Exelon seeks compensation for reactors (Chicago Tribune)
    Exelon expects that its Illinois nuclear plants will benefit from state legislation that is being crafted in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The company has delayed its decision on whether to close any reactors from the end of this year until June 2015.
    More from C2ES on Clean Power Plan, nuclear power
  • Wind adds 835 MW in first half of 2014 (AWEA)
    The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported that U.S. wind generation capacity additions picked up in the first half of 2014 to 834 MW, compared to just 1.6 MW during the same period in 2013. Globally, the U.S. has the second largest installed capacity at nearly 62,000 MW, while China has more than 91,000 MW.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • Beijing districts to ban coal by 2020 (Sydney Morning Herald)
    Xinhua is reporting that coal for electric power and other uses will be banned in six inner districts of Beijing by 2020.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Mexico’s Congress approves changes for energy industry (New York Times)
    Mexico’s Congress has approved a sweeping overhaul of its energy industry, affecting Pemex, its state run oil company as well as creating a competitive electricity market. Mexico is one of the top three suppliers of crude oil to the United States. The legislation is designed to help Pemex boost its sagging output in the coming years, among other things.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • DOE to provide funds for geothermal (The Hill)
    The Department of Energy will provide $18 million for 32 projects that aim to reduce the costs of geothermal energy production.
    More from C2ES on geothermal

Week of July 28, 2014

Week of July 21, 2014

  • China considers cap on coal consumption (New York Times)
    Under pressure to reduce unhealthy air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the Chinese government is exploring mitigation options, including putting a cap on coal.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • After a slow 2013, global wind power growth expected to resume (Fierce Energy)
    Wind power supplied around 3 percent of the world’s electric power in 2013. According to Navigant Research, this is expected to grow to more than 7 percent by 2018.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • Administration opens Atlantic to oil and gas exploration (The Hill)
    The Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it will allow the use of air guns and sonic sensors off the East Coast to map hydrocarbon potential in the basin – a key first step toward future drilling.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Natural gas less polluting than coal in power sector (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists have performed an apples-to-apples comparison (harmonization) of eight previously reported life-cycle analyses of unconventional natural gas. They found that from production at the wellhead to its burning in power plants shale gas emits about half as much carbon as coal over its life cycle.
  • Natural gas prices continue to decline (Bloomberg Businessweek)
    Below-normal temperatures in many areas of the country, yet again, have lowered demand for natural gas in the power sector (power plants account for 31 percent of natural gas consumption). August futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $3.78/MMBtu on Friday. Prices have declined 20 percent over the past six weeks.
    More from C2ES on natural gas

Week of July 14, 2014

  • Australia repeals carbon tax (Wall Street Journal)
    Australia's senate voted to repeal the country's politically divisive carbon tax. Australia is the 12th largest economy in the world and one of the largest carbon dioxide emitters on a per capita basis – carbon dioxide emissions divided by GDP – due to its heavy reliance on coal-fired power plants.
    More from C2ES on carbon tax
  • EIA predicts slowdown in power plant growth (Energy Information Administration)
    Business-as-usual modeling from the Energy Information Administration projects that just 351 GW of new electric generating capacity will be built between 2013 and 2040 in the power and end-use sectors. In 2012, the United States had around 1,060 GW of electric generating capacity. The majority of new capacity is projected to be natural gas-fired.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Utility-scale solar on course to add 3.8 GW in 2014 (Utility Dive)
    Utility-scale solar projects continue apace according to a new report from GTM Research. In the first half of 2014, around 1.1 GW of utility-scale solar capacity was added, bringing the total to around 7 GW.
    More from C2ES on solar power
  • NRG announces $1 billion Texas carbon capture project (Reuters)
    NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration announced their Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project, which will capture 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from a refurbished coal-fired power unit for enhanced oil recovery beginning in 2016.
    More from C2ES on Carbon Capture and Storage
  • N.Y. nuclear reactor at risk of retirement (Energywire - Subscription)
    Exelon has requested assistance from the New York Public Service Commission to compel utility Rochester Gas & Electric to negotiate an agreement to purchase power from its Ginna Nuclear Power Plant (581 MW, located in Ontario, NY).
  • Japan completes first safety assessment of nuclear reactors (Bloomberg)
    Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority has completed its first assessment of a nuclear power plant. The Kyushu Electric Power Company's Sendai facility in southern Japan has passed safety checks. The utility hopes to resume operations this autumn.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • China behind schedule on offshore wind development (Bloomberg)
    With only 429 MW in place at the end of 2013, officials announced that China will not meet its goal to build more than 5,000 MW of offshore wind turbines by 2015.
    More from C2ES on wind power

Week of July 7, 2014

  • EIA forecasts lowest oil imports since 1970 (Energy Information Administration)
    In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that average U.S. oil production will rise from 7.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2013 to 9.3 million b/d in 2015 – the highest production level since 1972. EIA also expects the net imported share to fall from 33 percent in 2013 to 22 percent in 2015 – its lowest level since 1970. In 2005, the imported share was 60 percent of the petroleum products supplied.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Industrial natural gas use set to spike (Energywire - Subscription)
    Researchers at the University of Texas estimate that industrial consumption of natural gas in 2020 will likely increase by 19 percent above 2012 levels as new petrochemical processing facilities come online.
  • GE, Suncor announce oil sands deal (Energywire - Subscription)
    General Electric and Canada's Suncor Energy announced projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water usage from in situ oil sands extraction facilities.
    More from C2ES on oil sands
  • EU offshore wind targets in doubt (Cimatewire - Subscription)
    According to the European Wind Energy Association, European countries, particularly France and Germany, are falling significantly behind on their offshore wind development targets. This could affect the European Union's binding target of achieving 20 percent of its energy consumption from renewable energy by 2020.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • China's second-largest hydropower station is now fully operational (Xinhua)
    Xiluodu, China's second-largest hydropower station and the third biggest in the world, started full operation earlier this month. The plant can generate up to 13,860 MW. The Three Gorges Dam, also in China, can generate 22,500 MW and the Itaipu Dam on the Brazil-Paraguay border has an installed capacity of 14,000 MW.
    More from C2ES on hydropower
  • World's largest nuclear plant unlikely to restart this year (Reuters)
    Japan's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant (7 reactors) is unlikely to restart this year. The newly formed Nuclear Regulation Authority, vetting restart applications from nine utilities, has fallen far behind screening applications.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of June 30, 2014

  • DOE loan for Cape Wind likely (Department of Energy)
    The Department of Energy (DOE) announced the first step toward issuing a $150 million loan guarantee for the Cape Wind offshore wind project. The controversial 360 megawatt (MW) project off the Massachusetts coast will need around $2.6 billion in project financing according to Bloomberg news.
    More from C2ES on wind
  • North Dakota moves to capture more flared natural gas (Energywire - Subscription)
    North Dakota approved an additional policy aimed at capturing natural gas from oil production sites. Noncompliant drillers will face significant production restrictions.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • BNEF report bullish on global renewable growth (CimateWire - Subscription)
    Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) 2030 Market Outlook expects that by 2030 more than half of the world’s electric power capacity will be from zero-emission energy sources. In 2012, the zero-emission share of electric capacity was a little more than a third.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • China looks to natural gas as a fix for air pollution concerns (CimateWire - Subscription)
    China continues to ink deals and create supportive policy for consuming more natural gas. It is hoping to displace more of coal’s share of its overall energy mix, thereby improving air quality and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • More Nuclear Power for the United Kingdom (New York Times)
    Toshiba and GDF Suez have announced plans to build 3 reactors (~3,400 MW) in the northwest of England. The reactors are expected to begin coming online in 2024, and the facility’s estimated cost is a minimum of $17 billion. According to the World Nuclear Association, the government aims to have around 16,000 MW of new nuclear capacity operating by 2030.
    More from C2ES on nuclear

Week of June 23, 2014

  • Four-decade ban on crude oil exports loosened (Wall Street Journal)
    In a private ruling, the Commerce Commission has reportedly given two U.S. companies permission to ship unprocessed ultralight oil (condensate) from the Texas Eagle Ford Shale formation abroad.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Texan policy helps expand transmission (Energy Information Administration)
    Over the past four years, the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones program in Texas has spurred the development of new transmission, which has relieved system congestion and led to the reduced occurrence of wind curtailment (excess wind power being restricted by the grid operator due to physical limitations) and negative power prices.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • DTE to cut its coal fleet by a third (CimateWire - Subscription)
    Michigan’s largest electric utility DTE announced that it plans to cut 2,000 MW of its coal-fired capacity by 2025 due to plant age, market conditions and new regulations from the EPA.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • NOAA report weighs in on global methane emissions (CimateWire - Subscription)
    A new report from researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Earth Systems Research Lab found that methane emissions from the natural gas industry globally were most likely between 2 and 4 percent of the gas produced since 2000 and trending downward. The report suggests that “further reductions from the natural gas industry may be needed to ensure climate benefits over coal during the next few decades.”
    More from C2ES on natural gas

Week of June 16, 2014

  • Gazprom stops supplying natural gas to Ukraine (New York Times)
    Russian energy company Gazprom stopped supplying natural gas to Ukraine last week after it missed a Monday morning deadline for payment.
  • Sempra Energy wins approval for LNG export (Bloomberg)
    Sempra Energy's Cameron LNG export terminal (Hackberry, LA) became the second facility to win government approval after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted unanimously to let the nearly $10 billion project proceed. The facility will export up to 1.7 billion cubic feet per day. Cheniere's Sabine Pass plant (TX/LA border) is the only other facility approved to ship LNG to non-free-trade agreement (FTA) countries like Japan, India and the European Union; it is expect to begin exporting LNG in late 2015.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Global coal consumption at highest level in decades (Greenwire - subscription)
    In 2013 according to the BP World Statistical Energy Review, global primary energy (oil, natural gas, coal, renewable energy and nuclear electric power) use increased by 2.3 percent. Coal was the fastest growing fossil fuel in 2013, and its share of global energy consumption reached 30.1 percent, its highest share of the mix since 1970.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Strong growth continues in domestic crude oil production (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2013, for the second year in a row, domestic crude production grew by more than 14 percent from the previous year. In 2013, the United States produced on average nearly 7.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, up nearly 50 percent from 2008 levels, which were around 5 million barrels per day.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Canada approves KXL alternative (CTV)
    The Canadian federal government announced conditional approval of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline. If constructed, the 730 mile pipeline would carry up to 525,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to the port of Kitimat, British Columbia.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • MISO gives retiring plants a lifeline to preserve system reliability (Midwest Energy News)
    In the past two years, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has ordered at least seven coal- and gas-fired power plants (which had planned to retire) to keep running in order to preserve electrical system reliability. The plants are designated as "System Support Resources" and the plant operators are compensated for their service.

Week of June 9, 2014

  • “Golden Age” of gas coming to China (International Energy Agency)
    In its latest Medium-Term Gas Report, the International Energy Agency expects natural gas demand to increase 90 percent by 2019 in China, where air quality concerns are prompting government plans to reduce pollution.
  • New rules to reduce ND flaring now in effect (Energywire - subscription)
    As of June 1, permits will only be issued to oil and natural gas producers in North Dakota that can demonstrate to regulators a plan to harness most of the natural gas that comes up during oil drilling. Currently, around one-third of natural gas associated with oil production in the state is flared (burned) directly into the atmosphere.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • CAPP lowers oil sands production forecast (Edmonton Journal)
    In its latest annual report, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) forecasts oil sands production levels to reach 4.8 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2030, which is around 400,000 b/d or 8 percent lower than last year’s 2030 forecast. CAPP cites cost competitiveness and project schedule delays for the shift in 2030 production.
  • Oil prices up on turmoil in Iraq (Reuters)
    Oil futures hit a 9-month high on concerns over escalating violence in Iraq. The OPEC country provides more than 3 million b/d of global crude supply.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • MIT report shows cap-and-trade policy as the low cost option (ClimateWire - subscription)
    A new report from researchers at MIT modeled six climate policy scenarios and found, among other things, that a national cap-and-trade system could reduce emissions at a fraction of the cost of command-and-control regulations.
    More from C2ES on cap-and-trade
  • Google to build tools for electric utilities (Bloomberg)
    Seizing on a market opportunity, Google’s Energy Access team is said to be in the early stages of developing software and hardware tools to manage power lines and other system infrastructure.
    More from C2ES on electricity

Week of June 2, 2014

  • EPA proposes rules for existing power plants (New York Times)
    The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 from existing power plants.
    More from C2ES on carbon pollution standards
  • Domestic energy production continues to rise (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2013, U.S. energy production was enough to satisfy 84 percent of total U.S energy demand. This is up from 69 percent (historical low point) in 2005.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • IEA says Mideast oil investment needed (Wall Street Journal)
    A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights the importance of Middle East oil supply in the mid-2020s, as the current U.S. oil boom begins to decline around that time.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • NREL and LBNL analyses the effect of RPS on electricity rates (ClimateWire - Subscription)
    A study by the National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has found, among other things, that renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which mandate the development of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, has resulted in electricity rates around 1 percent higher, on average, than they would have been in the absence of the RPS.
    More from C2ES on RPS
  • Dominion considers new natural gas pipeline (Richmond Times Dispatch)
    Dominion Transmission is considering building a $2 billion, 450 mile natural gas pipeline from the Marcellus shale region in West Virginia to end-users in North Carolina.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Global non-hydro renewable power capacity increased nearly 17 percent in 2013 (REN21)
    According to a United Nations report, non-hydro renewable power capacity increased by 80 GW to 560 GW worldwide; in 2013, solar photovoltaic (PV) increased by 39 GW and wind power increased by 35 GW.
    More from C2ES on renewable energy

Week of May 26, 2014

  • DOE proposes changes to LNG export application process (Reuters)
    In an attempt to streamline and expedite the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export application process, the Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed changes. Additionally, the DOE plans to conduct additional studies to determine the economic impact of exporting between 12 and 20 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of U.S. LNG per day. Permits have already been conditionally issued that would result in the export of around 8.5 Bcf per day.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Solar deployment continues apace (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    According to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association in the first quarter of 2014, 1,330 MW of solar PV was installed – 232 MW in the residential sector, 225 MW in the commercial sector and 873 MW in the utility sector – it was the second-largest ever quarterly total. There is currently around 13,400 MW of PV solar capacity in the United States.
    More from C2ES on solar energy
  • Three Exelon nuclear plants fail to clear PJM auction (Energywire - Subscription)
    Exelon’s Quad Cities and Byron nuclear plants in Illinois and its Oyster Creek facility in New Jersey failed to clear in PJM’s annual capacity auction last week. "That means expected revenue for those plants will likely fall short of their costs of operation," said Tim Hanley, an Exelon senior vice president. Capacity markets create important forward price signals and provide compensation to power plants today for the promise of future capacity. Note that the Oyster Creek plant is already scheduled to retire in 2019.
    More from C2ES on Climate Solutions: The Role of Nuclear Power

Week of May 19, 2014

  • Russia signs long-term natural gas deal with China (BBC)
    Russia’s Gazprom and China’s National Petroleum Corporation signed a 30-year deal estimated to be worth in excess of $400 billion. Starting in 2018, Gazprom is expected to deliver around 38 billion cubic meters or around 1.34 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) a year to China. In 2013, the United States consumed 26 Tcf of natural gas, of which 8.15 Tcf (31 percent) was in the electric power sector.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Shell sees no stranded assets in a carbon-constrained future (Energywire - Subscription)
    In a recently released paper, Shell reports that none of its proven oil and gas reserves are at risk of becoming irrelevant even if stringent climate regulations come into effect, such as those associated with the International Energy Administration’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO) “450” scenario – in which government actions set the energy system on-track to keeping the long-term average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
    More from C2ES on oil
  • China ups zero-carbon emission energy source targets (Bloomberg)
    According to information posted on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website, China plans to triple its solar capacity to 70 GW by 2017. Additionally, it plans to increase wind capacity to 150 GW from 92 GW (2013), hydropower to 330 GW from 249 GW (2012) and nuclear to 50 GW from 12.5 GW (2012) by 2017. In 2012, 758 GW (66 percent) of 1,145 GW of total installed electricity capacity was coal-fired generation.

Week of May 12, 2014

  • EPA existing power plant emission rules will not harm reliability (Energywire - Subscription)
    A report from the Analysis Group asserts that upcoming EPA rules for carbon dioxide emissions will not threaten electrical system reliability because, among other things, "Section 111(d) [of the Clean Air Act] affords states considerable latitude to mitigate and otherwise resolve reliability concerns."
    More from C2ES on EPA regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants
  • NERC report highlights peak-power issues for Texas and Midwest (Greenwire - Subscription)
    In its summer reliability assessment 2014, The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) highlights unit and baseload plant retirements as well as constraints within natural gas infrastructure systems as operational challenges for the Texas and Midwest electrical grid.
    Florida utility gets nod for two new reactors
    (Energywire - Subscription)
  • Last week, Florida Power & Light (FPL) received approval from the governor and his Cabinet to add two 1,100 MW reactors to its Turkey Point nuclear generation facility located 25 miles south of Miami. Federal combined construction and operating licenses (COL) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are likely years away from being issued. Still, FPL is hoping to complete the reactors in 2022 and 2023.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • Rhode Island offshore wind farm secures permit (Providence Journal)
    Deepwater Wind moved a step closer to becoming the nation's first offshore wind project when it secured a key permit last Tuesday. The 30 MW, 5 turbine project, to be located 3 miles southeast of Block Island, expects to begin transmission construction in 2014 and offshore construction in 2015.
  • 14 offshore wind projects in advanced stages of development (Utility Dive)
    Navigant consulting has identified 14 offshore wind projects, located off the Mid-Atlantic, New England and Texas coasts, with 3,900 MW of capacity that have reached an advanced stage of development.
    More from C2ES on wind energy
  • China responsible for 49 percent of global coal consumption (Energy Information Administration)
    Increasing for the 13th consecutive year in 2012, China produced 46 percent of global coal and consumed 49 of global coal – almost as much as the rest of the world combined.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of May 5, 2014

  • EIA outlook for U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are flat (Energy Information Administration)
    In the business-as-usual scenario of the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (full report released last week), energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 are 8.7 percent below 2005 levels and 6.7 percent below 2005 levels in 2040. Lower economic growth, increased use of renewable technologies and fuels, vehicle efficiency improvements, slower growth of electricity demand and greater use of natural gas (substituted for coal) are factors driving this trend.
  • Natural gas prices fall as inventories increase (24/7 Wall St)
    Last week, natural gas prices eased ($4.63/MMBtu) from their recent April highs ($4.81/MMBtu) as storage levels continue to recover from the massive drawdown during an exceptionally cold winter.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Dominion Resources to study if its nuclear reactors can run 80 years (Power Engineering)
    Dominion Resources is looking into the feasibility of extending the operating licenses of its six reactors (Surry, North Anna, and Millstone) for an additional 20 years.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • U.S. coal shipments to Europe remain strong (Wall Street Journal)
    In 2013, the 28-nation European Union (EU) imported 47.2 million tons of U.S. coal, nearly 3.5 times the amount it imported 10 years ago. Last year, only Russia supplied more coal to the EU than the United States.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of April 28, 2014

  • Exelon plans to buy Pepco (New York Times)
    Last Wednesday, Exelon announced it would buy Pepco Holdings for $6.8 billion. Pepco provides power to customers in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC. The combined companies will have around 10 million customers.
  • More delays for Kemper CCS (Sun Herald)
    Last week, Mississippi Power announced that its 582 MW Kemper County Energy Facility will be delayed around six months and not go online until the first half of 2015. The first-of-its-kind plant will convert locally sourced lignite coal to synthesis gas (syngas), capture the pre-combustion carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery, and utilize the syngas to generate electric power. Overall, the technology will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 65 percent.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • U.S. could nearly double its hydropower capacity (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    A report from the Department of Energy estimates that there could be 65 GW of potential new hydropower developed across all 50 states. In 2013, hydropower provided almost 7 percent of U.S. electricity.
    More from C2ES on hydropower
  • New England’s natural gas infrastructure issue (Wall Street Journal)
    Last January (one of the coldest in decades) in New England at one point, nearly 75 percent of natural gas plants were idle because the operators couldn’t get natural gas or buy it at the right price.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • NREL and INL collaborating on linking nuclear and renewable power (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have been jointly exploring ways of combining nuclear and renewable energy systems into a hybrid energy system. A white paper is expected soon.
    More from C2ES on nuclear energy
  • Report estimates future Chinese nuclear capacity (Wood Mackenzie)
    A new report from research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie estimates that China could have around 175 GW of installed nuclear capacity by 2030. In comparison, the EIA’s IEO 2013 estimated that China would have an installed nuclear capacity of 120 GW by 2030 and 160 GW by 2040. According to 2013 data from the Chinese National Energy Association, it currently has around 14 GW (1 percent) of nuclear out of a total of 1,244 GW installed capacity.
    More from C2ES on policies in key countries

Week of April 21, 2014

  • Natural gas prices expected to remain around $4/MMbtu (Energy Wire - Subscription)
    In its latest Strategic Natural Gas Outlook, consulting firm ICF sees natural gas prices remaining around $4 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) for the next decade, as efficiencies have improved and drillers are getting more of the gas out of the shale formations.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Solar capacity expanding rapidly (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    According to the EIA, since 2010 U.S. solar capacity increased 418 percent from 2,326 MW, accounting for 0.2 percent of total electric generation, to today's 12,057 MW, or 1.13 percent of generation.
    More from C2ES on solar power
  • U.S. geothermal energy growth lagging (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    In 2013, the United States added just 85 MW of geothermal energy. Globally, geothermal energy added 530 MW last year, and it’s growing at 4 to 5 percent per year.
    More from C2ES on geothermal electricity
  • Capacity market reforms mooted (Energywire - Subscription)
    Nuclear plant operators believe that capacity market reforms are necessary to help preserve electrical system reliability.
    More from C2ES on electric power
  • DOE plans to use loan guarantees to spur energy storage breakthrough (Utility Dive)
    The Department of Energy will use up to $1.5 billion in loan guarantees approved by Congress in 2009 to support energy storage, demand response and efforts to make electrical grids more resilient.
    More from C2ES on energy storage

Week of April 14, 2014

  • Keystone XL pipeline decision delayed (New York Times)
    On Friday, the Obama administration put on hold its permitting decision for the Keystone XL pipeline until after ongoing litigation in Nebraska that may ultimately affect the pipeline route is resolved.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL pipeline
  • Global emissions growing more quickly (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
    According to a new report from the IPCC, global annual greenhouse gas emissions grew on average 1 gigatonne of carbon dioxide equivalent or 2.2 percent per year from 2000 to 2010, a higher rate than in each of the previous three decades. The latest report also describes, among other things, mitigation pathways – technical measures and behavioral changes – to limit global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
    More from C2ES on IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
  • Canada’s oil and gas sector is now largest source of GHGs (Environment Canada)
    The latest National Inventory Report from Environment Canada shows that the oil and gas sector edged out transportation to become the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2012. Overall, Canada’s greenhouse gases fell slightly, down 0.3 percent from 2011 levels.
    More from C2ES on oil sands
  • Carbon capture could help lower future oil sands emissions (The Globe and Mail)
    Husky Energy is partnering with CO2 Solutions to build a pilot carbon capture project at its Pike Peak South oil project in Saskatchewan. The project will use enzyme-based solutions to scrub carbon dioxide from the emissions of natural gas boilers as opposed to ammonia-based scrubbers, which it believes will lead to cost reductions.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • Maine leads all U.S. states in non-hydro renewable power generation (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2013, the U.S. derived 6.2 percent of its electricity generation from non-hydro renewable sources. Maine led all states by generating 32 percent of its electricity from non-hydro renewables, primarily biomass generation from the wood products industry. 11 states generated electricity from non-hydro renewables at double the U.S. average.
    More from C2ES on renewable energy
  • White papers on methane and VOC emissions offer clues to how EPA might regulate (Energywire - Subscription)
    The EPA released 5 white papers last week on potential significant sources of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the oil and gas sector, including Compressors, Emissions from completions and ongoing production at hydraulic fractured oil wells, Leaks, Liquids unloading and Pneumatic devices.
    More from C2ES on methane emissions
  • Tepco will seeks bids for new thermal power plants (Bloomberg)
    Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), Japan’s largest utility, plans to ask for bids for up to 6 GW of new thermal generation. It did not specify which fuels the plants will use.
    More from C2ES on policies in key countries

Week of April 7, 2014

  • U.S. crude oil reserves highest in nearly 40 years (Energy Information Administration)
    For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. crude oil reserves increased. At 33 billion barrels, U.S. crude oil and leased condensate reserves were at their highest levels since 1976.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Statoil sets target for reducing its oil sands production emissions (Bloomberg)
    Statoil plans to reduce its per barrel carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020 (and 40 percent by 2025) using innovative technology in its in situ oil sands development.
    More from C2ES on oil sands
  • Coal’s share of electricity generation increased (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2013, coal-fired electricity generation increased nearly 5 percent from 2012 levels, while natural gas-fired generation fell a little more than 9 percent. The U.S. 2013 electricity mix was: coal (39.1 percent), natural gas (27.4 percent), nuclear (19.4 percent), hydro (6.6 percent), wind (4.1 percent), other renewables (2.1 percent), and oil (0.7 percent).
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Revised earthquake estimates require costly analyses for nuclear reactors (New York Times)
    Following a reanalysis of the earthquake risk in the central eastern United States by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), owners of at least two dozen nuclear reactors will be required to undertake extensive analyses of plant structures and components to show that their reactors could tolerate the effects of the most severe earthquakes that they might face.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • Germany reforming renewable energy laws (Reuters)
    The German government is reforming renewable energy laws in order to slow cost increases as the country moves to double its renewable energy share to 40 to 45 percent by 2025 (and 55 to 60 percent by 2035). Germany currently has some of the highest household power prices in Europe.

Week of March 31, 2014

  • Total U.S. net energy imports in 2013 lowest since 1980s (Energy Information Administration)
    Net energy imports declined 19 percent from 2012 to 2013, as increases in domestic production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported modest increases in petroleum product exports.
  • Canadian crude imports exceed 3 million barrels per day (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2013, Canada, the largest crude exporter to the United States, sent an average of 3.1 million barrels per day (b/d) across the border – a 6 percent increase above 2012 levels. This was more than the second (Saudi Arabia - 1.3 million b/d) and third (Mexico - 0.9 million b/d) countries combined. The United States consumed an average of 18.3 million b/d of petroleum products in 2013.
  • Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise (Energy Information Administration)
    In 2013, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased 2.3 percent from 2012 levels to 5,390 million metric tons. Sector-wide, emissions from coal (+3.9 percent), natural gas (+2.1 percent) and petroleum (+1.3 percent) increased. While natural gas use in the electric power sector decreased, its consumption increased in the industrial, residential and commercial sectors.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • Natural gas emissions from utility-owned distribution systems declining (Fierce Energy)
    A study (to be published this summer) by the American Gas Association, the Environmental Defense Fund and Washington State University found that natural gas emissions from utility-owned distribution systems have fallen by 16 percent since 1990, even as the industry increased the size of the pipeline network by 30 percent.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • DOE approves new standards for commercial equipment (Greenwire - Subscription)
    The Department of Energy (DOE) finalized open-air refrigerator and walk-in freezer standards that will reduce energy consumption and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 142 million metric tons from 2017 – 2046, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 27 million cars.
    More from C2ES on appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards
  • Sixth Chinese carbon market launches (Bloomberg)
    Last week, the central Chinese province of Hubei joined Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Shenzhen to become the country’s sixth regional carbon market; Chongqing will be the last market to launch. The pilot carbon exchanges are a precursor to a national trading system that could start as early as 2016.
    More from C2ES on policies in key countries
  • Global clean energy investment declined for the second year in a row (Pew)
    A report from The Pew Charitable Trusts founds that global clean energy investment fell 11 percent last year to $254 billion. Investment in the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell to $55 billion in 2013, less than half of 2011 levels.

Week of March 24, 2014

  • Coal-fired power plant operators consider regulation compliance options (Energy Information Administration)
    As at the end of 2012, 69 percent of U.S. coal plant operators were in compliance with the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS), which goes into effect in April 2015. 16 percent of the fleet was undecided on whether it would retrofit or retire. Coal-fired generation was responsible for 39 percent of U.S. electricity in 2013.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • DOE gives nod to eighth LNG export facility (Greenwire - Subscription)
    The Department of Energy (DOE) conditionally approved (subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval) the Jordan Cove Energy Project to export up to 0.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/day) of domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its facility in Coos Bay, Oregon.
  • Canadian government issues 4 LNG export licenses (Energywire - Subscription)
    The Canadian government issued LNG export licenses for terminals in British Columbia to Woodfibre LNG, Pacific NorthWest LNG, WCC LNG and Prince Rupert LNG for up to 73.7 million metric tons per year or around 9.8 Bcf/day.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • U.S. producing 10 percent of global crude (Energy Information Administration)
    Increases from the Bakken and Eagle Ford basins helped push U.S. production to more than 10 percent of the world total in the last quarter of 2013.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • New Hampshire support for Northern Pass power line rising (Energywire - Subscription)
    A high-voltage electric power line that would bring additional Canadian hydropower into the New England power market has reached a high point of support, according to pollsters at the University of New Hampshire.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • United Kingdom’s GHG emissions decline 2 percent (The Guardian)
    Lower coal and gas consumption combined with increased wind power generation, led to a 2 percent fall in 2013 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United Kingdom from 2012 levels. Emissions have fallen back to 2009 levels.
    More from C2ES on international emissions
  • German utility seeks approval to close reactor early (Wall Street Journal)
    E.ON SE, Germany’s largest utility, is requesting permission to shut down its 1.3 GW Grafenrheinfeld reactor as soon as May 2015, around seven months early, because the plant is marginally profitable.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of March 17, 2014

  • NRDC updates its proposal for reducing emissions from existing power plants (NRDC)
    NRDC has released an update to its December 2012 proposal for reducing emissions from existing power plants. Its new analysis finds that that 470 to 700 million tons of carbon pollution can be eliminated per year in 2020 compared to 2012 levels.
    More from C2ES on carbon pollution standards for existing power plants
  • FERC commissioner says nuclear critical to lower U.S. emissions (Greenwire - Subscription)
    In a public meeting last Thurday, FERC Commissioner John Norris expressed concern over the retirement of baseload nuclear power plants. He said that nuclear is critical to lowering emissions in the coming decades and "if we don't do something…we are letting some pretty big bridges be torn down."
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • Fitch report highlights market challenges for merchant generators (Reuters)
    Fitch expects, "a continuation of relatively low (wholesale) power and (natural) gas prices, as well as rising costs related to environmental regulations and modest prospective sales growth due to competitive pressures from both energy-use efficiency and renewable generation" to create challenges for merchant generators. Merchant generators, or independent power producers, sell their power into competitive wholesale markets at the prevailing market price.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Power market rule changes could keep nuclear plant online (Boston Business Journal)
    Independent system operator (ISO) New England is considering power market rule changes that would reward baseload generators for their round-the-clock power. If implemented, these changes could help the 688 MW Pilgrim nuclear power plant (marginally profitable) in Massachusetts remain online.
  • China's demand for solar panels increasing (Bloomberg)
    Rising domestic demand for solar panels is helping Chinese manufacturers return to profitability. China became the largest solar market in 2013, surpassing Germany, and could install more than 14 GW in 2014.
    More from C2ES on solar power

Week of March 10, 2014

  • California PUC approves natural gas as nuclear replacement (E&E News - Subscription)
    In a unanimous ruling, the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved the use of up to 800 MW of new natural gas-fired power plants to replace lost power from the retired San Onofre nuclear power plant. Environmental groups had pushed for replacement from only "preferred sources" – energy efficiency, renewable power, battery storage and conservation. However, the commission responded that the natural gas plants were necessary to guarantee electric system reliability. "The simple reality is that no one in the world has managed to run a complex electric grid like the one we have in Southern California" without having fossil energy for contingencies, Commissioner Mike Florio said.
  • Report: LNG exports benefit the US (NERA)
    In an update of its 2012 report to the Department of Energy, NERA finds that U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) provide net economic benefits in all scenarios and that the market for LNG is self-limiting, i.e., if domestic prices rise above current expectations then exports will be curtailed.
  • Poland proposes tax breaks for shale gas (Wall Street Journal)
    In an effort to spur development of what may be the largest technically recoverable shale gas reserves in Europe (according to the EIA), Poland is proposing tax breaks and regulatory reform for exploration.
    More from C2ES on natural gas.
  • Canadian regulators approve pipeline reversal (Energy Wire - Subscription)
    In a move that could help move oil sands crude to global markets, Canadian regulators have backed the reversal and expansion of Enbridge's Line 9 oil pipeline.
  • Iraqi oil production surging (Energy Wire - Subscription)
    Exports from the southern Iraq port of Basra have reached around 2.5 million barrels per day, a level not seen since 1979. With the pace of economic growth slowing in China and India and global oil production increasing, some analysts believe a significant price drop in 2014 is likely.
    More from C2ES on oil

Week of March 3, 2014

  • Exelon working to keep Illinois nuclear units from shuttering  (Crain’s Chicago Business)
    Exelon is working with state officials to find ways of keeping three of its six unprofitable or struggling Illinois nuclear units from closing.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • Methane emissions could be cut at low cost (Climatewire - Subscription)
    A new report from ICF (commissioned by EDF) finds that 40 percent of methane emissions could be eliminated using existing technologies and at a fairly low cost; methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are projected to rise 4.5 percent from 2011 to 2018.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • U.S. coal production expected to rise (Cimatewire - Subscription)
    According to a report from ICF, a steady decline in U.S. coal production driven by lower natural gas prices and EPA regulations is predicted to level off, while growing global demand for coal is forecast to send even more U.S. coal abroad. Export capacity could triple in the coming years if planned terminals along the Gulf Coast and Pacific Northwest are built. Though, coal export terminals in the Northwest face strong challenges from environmental groups and local communities.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • U.S. refineries expanding capacity (New York Times)
    Increased U.S. oil production is leading oil refiners to expand refining capacity at existing facilities.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Solar association issues year-in-review report (Solar Energy Industries Association)
    The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported that 29 percent of new electric generating capacity in 2013 was solar, second only to natural gas at 46 percent.
    More from C2ES on solar power
  • China’s wind power capacity increasing (Bloomberg)
    According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China is expected to add 14.7 GW of wind power in 2014. At the end of 2013, there was more than 12 GW of wind power under construction in the United States.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • China renews interest in nuclear power (Climatewire - Subscription)
    China is signaling that it is interested in expanding nuclear power into inland locations in its next five-year plan (2016 - 2020). According to the World Nuclear Association, China currently has 20 operational reactors and 28 under construction.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of February 24, 2014

  • EPA releases draft GHG inventory (EPA)
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft version of the 2014 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory report. It showed that 2012 U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are 6,501.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent, which is the lowest they have been since 1994. This is 3.3 percent below 2011 and 10.3 percent below 2005 levels.
  • CATF offers proposal for existing power plants (Reuters)
    The Clean Air Task Force (CATF) issued a plan aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 111(d). The CATF proposal could inform emissions standards for existing power plants from the EPA, which is legally required to regulate greenhouse gases under the CAA and has been directed by President Obama to issue a proposed rule by June 1, 2014 (with a final rule due in June 2015).
    More from C2ES on existing power plant regulations
  • KXL decision could come in months (Los Angeles Times)
    Republican Governors Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), Nikki Haley (South Carolina) and others told reporters that President Obama promised them that he would weigh in with a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline within the next few months. The promise came during a private meeting with governors on Monday.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • Japanese draft energy plan calls for nuclear restart (New York Times)
    A draft energy plan by the government of Prime Minister Abe refers to nuclear power as an important “baseload” electricity source that should be part of Japan’s energy mix, although no specific target for future use of nuclear power was set.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power
  • 5. What keeps utility execs up at night? (Utility Dive)
    A survey of 500 plus (mostly investor-owned) utility executives found that their greatest pressing challenge was ageing infrastructure; the current regulatory model, an ageing workforce, distributed generation and flat demand growth, rounded out the top 5 list.
    More from C2ES on electricity

Week of February 17, 2014

  • Utilities pursuing ‘back-to-basics’ strategy (Utility Dive)
    Utilities like FirstEnergy, Duke, Dominion Power, and Ameren are increasingly pulling out of unregulated operations, where a combination of factors, including low natural gas prices and weak demand for electricity (driven by a soft economy, energy efficiency mandates, and demand response initiatives) have driven down wholesale prices and reduced margins.
  • MISO survey forecasts decrease in electricity demand (Energy Wire - Subscription)
    The most recent Organization of MISO States (OMS) survey indicates a -0.75 percent annual growth rate (2014 – 2016) of electricity demand in its north and central regions. If the forecast holds, it would reduce a potential generation shortfall from 8.5 to 2 GW below the system’s 2016 reliability margin requirement. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) administers a wholesale electricity market covering 15 states (from Minnesota to Louisiana) and one Canadian province.
  • Nebraska ruling could delay KXL (Reuters)
    A Nebraska court invalidated a law passed in 2011, allowing Gov. Dave Heineman to approve the route for the Keystone XL pipeline through the state. The judge said that the Nebraska Public Service Commission is the proper state agency to decide pipeline matters. The governor has filed an appeal. An anonymous State Department source said Friday that the agency is continuing to review the application at this time and monitoring events in Nebraska.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • Natural gas prices hit 5-year high (CNBC)
    Low storage levels and a forecast of continued cold weather into March sent NYMEX March natural gas futures above $6/MMBtu.

Week of February 11, 2014

  • DOE approves 6th LNG application (Green Wire - Subscription)
    Cameron LNG has received conditional (pending environmental and regulatory review) approval from the Department of Energy to export up to 1.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Louisiana facility. Other facilities recently approved for export include: Lake Charles Exports (2 Bcf), Sabine Pass (2.2 Bcf), Freeport (2 applications, 1.8 Bcf), and Cove Point (0.77 Bcf); the maximum total of future U.S. LNG exports now stands at 8.47 Bcf/day or just over 3 Tcf/year. In 2012, the United States consumed 25.5 Tcf of natural gas.
  • EPA may underestimate methane emissions (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    A new synthesis report by researchers from Stanford, MIT, University of Michigan and others, indicates that methane emissions are 1.25 to 1.75 times higher than reported by the EPA. Notably, the researchers conclude that emissions from fracking are not the main culprit, and overall emissions are likely driven by a few “super-emitters” in the oil and gas sector. In spite of the higher emissions, the research found that switching from coal to natural gas in the power sector offers robust climate benefits, while substitution of diesel or gasoline with natural gas in the transport sector may not.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • First US offshore wind project in sight (Climate Wire - Subscription)
    A 30 MW offshore wind project (using five 6 MW Alstom turbines) could be generating power as early as 2016. The project will be located about 17 miles south of Rhode Island, near Block Island.
  • Germany switching from gas to coal (Wall Street Journal)
    By 2015, 10 GW of natural gas-fired power plants are expected to be taken down in Germany and replaced by 7 GW of coal. In 2011, 75 GW of installed fossil generation delivered 60 percent of Germany’s electricity.
  • Oregon issues permits for coal export terminal (Portland Business Journal)
    The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued three permits for the Morrow Pacific coal project, which proposes to export “low-sulfur coal from the U.S. Intermountain region to trade allies such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.” Additional state permits and approval from the Army Corps of Engineers are required before the project can be developed.
  • EIA projects more coal power plant retirements (Energy Information Administration)
    In its Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Reference Case, the EIA expects an additional 16 GW or so of coal plant retirements above what operators have already stated (40 GW) by 2016.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of February 3, 2014

  • Some Exelon reactors unprofitable (Seeking Alpha)
    On a conference call, Exelon CEO Chris Crane informed analysts and investors that some of its ten nuclear power plants were not profitable, and it will consider shutting down units (by the end of the year) if it does not “see a path to sustainable profits.”
  • Nuclear operators express concerns (Green Wire - Subscription)
    At an energy conference last week, nuclear operators Exelon and Entergy expressed their concern about the viability of older, single reactors throughout the Northeast, which face challenges from cheap natural gas, high operating costs, new regulatory expenses following the Fukushima disaster, and competition from other subsidized generation like wind and solar.
    More from C2ES on nuclear energy
  • Two Bakken pipelines won’t move ahead (Inforum)
    Two proposed pipeline projects will not move ahead due to lack of interest, driven in part by the availability of flexible crude-by-rail shipping, and uncertainty around Keystone XL development among other things.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • UK GHG emissions rise (Reuters)
    According to government data for 2012, greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom rose by 3.2 percent. In 2012, coal overtook natural gas as the nation’s largest source for electricity generation. Additionally, a colder than average winter contributed to the emissions rise.
    More from C2ES on international emissions
  • Japan’s LNG imports hit a record (Reuters)
    Japan’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports hit a record high in 2013. The shutdown of the country’s nuclear power plants following the Fukushima disaster in 2011 has forced the country to increase its reliance on fossil fuels for electric power generation.
    More from C2ES on key country policies
  • Poland announces nuclear plans (Economist)
    Poland, which currently gets more than 80 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, announced plans to build its first nuclear reactor – expected to be up and running by 2024.
    More from C2ES on international emissions

Week of January 27, 2013

  • State Department issues final environmental impact statement on KXL (State Department)
    The State Department released a final environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday. “The range of incremental greenhouse gas emissions for crude oil that would be transported by the proposed Project [was] estimated to be 1.3 to 27.4 MMTCO2e annually.” This represents 0.02 to 0.4 percent of  total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (2011). The EIS release initiates a 30-day "national interest determination" comment period (February 5 to March 7) during which State seeks feedback from the public, interested parties and other federal agencies.
    More from C2ES on Keystone XL
  • FERC issues energy infrastructure update (FERC Report) According to FERC’s energy infrastructure update 14.2 GW of new electric capacity was added in 2013, down from 29.7 GW in 2012. Natural gas-fired generation made up 51 percent of the additions, followed by solar (21 percent), coal (11 percent), wind (8 percent), biomass (5 percent) and hydro (3 percent). Notably, new wind installations were down by more than 90 percent in 2013; however, there are currently more than 12 GW under construction – a record high.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Proposal aims to reduce Bakken flaring (Energy Wire - Subscription)
    The North Dakota Petroleum Council has put forth a proposal to reduce the amount of wasted natural gas from the Bakken formation. Data from November 2013 indicated that 29 percent of natural gas produced statewide is flared. Through various measures, the proposal aims to capture 90 – 95 percent of the gas in pipelines by 2020.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Republicans push natural gas pipeline bill (Green Wire - Subscription)
    Seizing upon President Obama’s State of the Union support for natural gas, House Republicans suggested in a letter to the President that this might be an area where there is “potential for agreement” between the Administration and Congress. Last year, House Republicans passed a bill designed to cut red tape for natural gas pipeline permitting.
    More from C2ES on State of the Union
  • New York State fracking moratorium to continue (Bloomberg)
    New York’s environmental commissioner announced last week that a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing will continue until at least April 2015.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Crude oil price spread narrows (Bloomberg)
    The crude oil price spread between West Texas Intermediate (U.S. benchmark) and Brent (global benchmark) fell below $10 per barrel last week. The opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, which is currently transporting around 288,000 barrels per day to the Gulf Coast, is easing a supply glut in Cushing, Oklahoma. TransCanada, the pipeline operator, plans to increase flows this year toward its 700,000 barrel per day maximum.
  • South Korea approves new reactors (Bloomberg)
    South Korea has approved construction of two 1,400 MW nuclear reactors, its first since the Fukushima disaster. It currently has 23 reactors with plans to build another 11. South Korea gets around one-third of its power from nuclear energy, and is aiming to increase this to 50 percent.
    More from C2ES on nuclear power

Week of January 20, 2013

  • Natural gas prices soar again (Market Watch)
    Increased demand from the latest winter storm and cold weather outbreak sent natural gas prices to record highs again in New England – spot prices averaged nearly $80/MMBtu on the Intercontinental Exchange for some locations. The region’s gas-fired electricity generating capacity has grown, while pipeline and storage capacity has not. The expectation of continued cold weather into February, sent the benchmark (Henry Hub) natural gas price above $5/MMBtu for the first time since June 2010.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • DOE Quadrennial Energy Review to focus on infrastructure  (Greenwire - Subscription)
    The Department of Energy’s (DOE) first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), due by January 31, 2015, will focus on energy transmission and distribution infrastructure issues, including wires, pipelines, rail, and import/export terminals.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • EU plans to cut emissions 40 percent (Bloomberg)
    The 28-nation European Union (EU-28) announced plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. In 2011, EU-27 GHG emissions fell 3.3 percent from 2010 levels; they are currently 18.4 percent below 1990 levels.
  • Advanced meter market penetration rising (FERC Report)
    A recent report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) estimates that advanced (electricity) meter penetration rates may now exceed 30 percent of total meters deployed, up from around 5 percent in 2008. Advanced meters allow utilities to restore power more quickly after outages, as well as offer time-based rates and demand response programs. Additionally, they help consumers to better understand their energy consumption, among other things.
    More from C2ES on the smart grid

 Week of January 13, 2013

  • U.S. energy-Related CO2 emissions rising (
    Preliminary data for 2013 indicates that U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions were around 2 percent higher than in 2012, as coal regained some market share. However, since 2005 energy-related emissions are down a little more than 10 percent. According to EIA’s short-term energy outlook, energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to increase around 0.5 percent by 2015, which would leave energy-related emission down slightly less than 10 percent from 2005 levels. According to EIA’s annual energy outlook 2014 reference case, energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to be 8.7 percent below 2005 levels in 2020.
  • Carbon capture projects receive funding (PDF from
    Lake Charles Clean Energy (LCCE) has been awarded cost-share funding of $261.4 million from the DOE for a Louisiana plant that will convert petroleum coke, a refinery byproduct that is more than 90 percent carbon, to hydrogen gas, methanol and other products. Around 89 percent of the carbon dioxide will be captured and piped to the West Hastings oil field for EOR. Plant construction is expected to take around 3 years.
    DOE approved $1 billion for FutureGen 2.0, an Illinois coal plant retrofit (168 MW) that will capture more than 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions and pipe them into an underground storage facility about 30 miles from the plant (notably, not for EOR).
  • What is next for the Keystone XL permit process (Financial Post)
    The State Department is expected to release a final environmental impact statement (EIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline soon after Obama's January 28 State of the Union address. The EIS release will initiate a "national interest determination" process during which State is obliged to seek feedback from other interested agencies.
  • Alaska natural gas pipeline moving forward (Energy Wire, subscription required)
    Alaska, ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhilips and TransCanada signed a preliminary agreement last week to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to an export facility on the state’s southern coast.
  • Canada reports to the UN on its emissions (Climatewire, subscription required)
    In a report to the UN, Canada’s carbon emissions are projected to be 11 percent above 2005 levels by 2030, mostly due to increasing oil sands projects. Last fall, Environment Canada found that emissions in 2020 would likely be 3 percent lower than 2005 levels when LULUCF (land use, land-use change and forestry) is included.

Week of January 6, 2014

  • Oil Prices fall as output rises (Bloomberg News)
    U.S. crude prices fell to an 8-month low ($91.66 a barrel) last week on rising output, ample supply and reduced fuel consumption. Also last week, the global (Brent) price was trading at around $106 a barrel.
  • Report details natural gas emissions intensity (NOAA Report)
    A new report from NOAA found that (in 2012) natural gas combined cycle power plants  emitted (890lb CO2/MWh) on average 44 percent of the CO2 compared with coal power plants (~2,024lb CO2/MWh). Data from EPA’s continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) was used for the analysis. Over the past 15 years, the CO2 emission intensity of natural gas combined cycle power plants has decreased by about one-third. The average emission rate from all forms of natural gas-fired power generation is 1,135lb CO2/MWh.
  • Cold snap spurs record natural gas demand (Marketwatch)
    U.S. natural gas demand reached a record high of 134.3 billion cubic feet/day on Tuesday January 7, as consumers heating demand increased and utilities increased usage for electric power generation on one of the coldest days in years. Day-ahead natural gas spot prices in New England spiked to over $50/MMBtu for a time on Monday in anticipation of the coming cold wave.
  • Utility Mergers Ahead? (E&E News, subscription required)
    Duke CEO Lynn Good expects to see continued consolidation in the utility sector in the face of a slowing rise in electricity demand.
  • DOE awards projects for Small Modular Reactors (SMR) (E&E News, subscription required)
    NuScale Power (Oregon) has been selected to received up to $226 million in DOE funding over the next 5 years for development of its 45 MW SMR. In 2012, Babcock & Wilcox (Tennessee) received a similar amount of funding for its 180 MW mPower design. Commercialization of these small reactors is not expected for at least another 10 years.
  • Nebraska nuclear plant restarts (Omaha World Herald)
    After nearly 3 years offline and $177 million spent on recommissioning by the Omaha Public Power District, Ft Calhoun nuclear power plant (563 MW) returned to service last month after getting the green light from the NRC.
  • Big money backs energy storage (Greentech Grid)
    Aquion Energy, a developer and manufacturer of sodium ion batteries, attracted a slew of high profile investors in 2013 including Bill Gates. The Western Pennsylvania company will commercially launch its range (off-grid to grid-scale) of energy storage products in early 2014.

 Week of December 31, 2013

  • Kerry backs 17 percent emissions reduction (E&E News, subscription required)
    In the State Department’s 2014 Climate Action Report, Secretary Kerry stated that the U.S. Copenhagen Accord (2009) pledge of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 is “ambitious but achievable.” Kerry notes that U.S. emissions have already fallen by 6.5 percent since 2005 as a result of “economic factors and government policies.”
  • EIA report details declining electricity sales (
    According to EIA data, total U.S. electricity sales have decreased in four of the past five years (2008 – 2012) due to a variety of factors, including a declining industrial sector, weather pattern shifts, efficiency improvements, and growth in distributed generation. The early release of its Annual Energy Outlook 2014 predicts flat electricity use through 2015. Average household power usage in 2013 has fallen to 2001 levels. The decline is attributed to more energy efficient housing, appliances and gadgets.
  • Trans Mountain oil sands pipeline could expand (E&E News, subscription required)
    Kinder Morgan formally applied to the Canadian Government to expand the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia (Vancouver). It hopes to complete the project by 2017, but faces opposition from First Nations and environmental groups.
  • Shell explores use of LNG trucks (E&E News, subscription required)
    In an attempt to reduce its oil sands emissions profile, Shell is looking into using trucks that run on LNG.
  • Chinese pilot emissions trading schemes (E&E News, subscription required)
    There are now 5 trading schemes operating in China: Tianjin, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong province.
  • Australia unveils Emission Reduction Fund (The Australian)
    Australia released some details on its $1.34 billion fund to cut carbon emissions. The fund will replace a carbon tax the government expects to formally repeal in July 2014.