Morning Volt for 04/25/2017

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04/25/2017
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Morning Volt

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China May Lead the Electric Car Revolution

Tamara Warren, The Verge

The car industry is in a delirious moment of change. Industry experts say more changes will happened in the next five years than have happened in the last fifty. As self-driving technology and ride-hailing companies circle, change is not only part of the pursuit of profit, but a matter of survival. But knowing when and how to double down on investment into new strategy is a tricky game. Despite the growing numbers of car companies manufacturing electric vehicles, consumers are still not lining up to buy EVs and broad support of self-driving car technology faces regulatory hurdles. But what’s…

Why It’s Really Hard to Pitch a Green Energy Startup

Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN

Three Stanford graduates figured out a way to turn carbon dioxide into fuel.A few years have passed, and their idea has since become a company — Opus 12 — complete with a prototype, funding and a plan for a first commercial unit.Opus 12 is one of the lucky ones. Clean energy startups face challenges that software startups don’t.

These States Use the Most Renewable Energy

Casey Leins, US News & World Report

See which states are using the most hydropower, wind and solar energy.

How Total Could Be Building a Renewable Energy Giant

Travis Hoium, Motley Fool

Traditional energy companies like oil majors and utilities are starting to map out how they view the future of energy now that wind, solar, and energy storage are becoming economically viable across the globe. No company wants to be caught flat-footed, but making the transition from a highly profitable business dependent on fossil fuels to something cleaner is easier said than done.We’ve seen some utilities like NextEra Energy and NRG Energy move into renewables through the development of renewables and yieldco vehicles, which are both adjacent to their core electricity businesses. But most…

Paying Nuclear Losers for ‘Clean’ Power Upends US Markets

Jim Polson, Bloomberg

Some U.S. states are trying to save money-losing nuclear plants — and disrupting America’s electricity markets in the process.New York and Illinois have cleared the way for nuclear power to be subsidized with higher fees on buyers — aid normally reserved for renewable energy like solar and wind. One reason policy makers gave was to protect jobs at aging plants teetering on closure. Another was nuclear’s emission-free electricity, because states are trying to address climate change by relying less on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Connecticut and Ohio are considering similar moves,…

UK Renewable Energy Firms Grab Contracts Worth Billions

J. Ambrose, Telegraph

The UK’s renewable energy industry clinched international contracts totalling billions of pounds last year as firms jostled to take a leading role in the growing global market for wind and marine power, a report from the industry group Renewable UK said.Using a sample of 36 UK-based companies in the wind and marine energy sector from its membership base of around 400 firms, Renewable UK estimated the total value of exports last year could be close to 2bn.

A Bad Week for Oil

Daniel Jones, Seeking Alpha

Over the past week, we saw oil prices take a step back, driven in large part by fears that OPEC’s cuts may not be extended alongside non-OPEC nations. However, another big contributor appears to have been some rather unsavory oil-related data (unsavory in the eyes of the market at least), which showed that the glut of crude and products is rather stubborn. In what follows, I will look at all of this data and give my thoughts on what it should mean for investors in companies like Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL), Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK), Approach Resources (NASDAQ:AREX), and Legacy…

OPEC Will Have to Adapt to Continued Shale Oil Drilling

Sami Zaatari, Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Fluctuating oil prices are likely to remain for the foreseeable future as the oil market adapts and balances itself to the continued drilling of shale oil, that was the opinion of former high ranking Opec delegates who took part on a round table discussion in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.Hosted by New York University Abu Dhabi, the panellists included Abdullah Al Attiya, former Qatari deputy prime minister and minister of energy, Ramzi Salman, former Opec deputy secretary general, and Majid al Moneef, former Opec governor, Saudi Arabia.

Is There a Price Breakout Ahead for Crude Oil?

Daryl Guppy, CNBC

We know the weekly NYMEX Oil chart shows a long-term inverted head and shoulder reversal pattern. This trend reversal pattern is reliable and has a high probability of reaching the projected price breakout targets. It is a powerful trend reversal pattern, but it’s a long term pattern and a lot of things can happen between now and the achievement of the pattern targets.

Is Australia the Next Big Thing in Shale?

Dave Forest, OilPrice

As natural gas prices have seen a bit of a correction, it’s easy to forget that natural gas is actually a pretty good play right now at least in certain parts of the world.As the chart below shows, North American natgas prices have been uninspiring recently. With rates at the Henry Hub slipping back to near $3/mcf trading at $3.16 as I write.North American natural gas prices have been subdued over the past year (source: Energy Information Administration)That gives little to get excited about for traders. A far cry from the end of 2014, when a surge to over $5/mcf suddenly (and…

Argentina’s Gas Shortfall Is Exxon’s Big Windfall

Gary Bourgeault, Seeking Alpha

With a domestic gas deficit of approximately 30 percent, Argentina has offered incentives for drillers to accelerate production and shrink the gas deficit by 2021-22, according to Platts. That in turn will allow the country to resume exports to the surrounding region.Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is one of the companies taking up Argentina on the offer, as it accelerates gas production in one of the strongest shale plays outside the U.S. – the Vaca Muerta, located in Argentina’s Neuquen province.

The Oil Market Has One Big Problem: People Aren’t Buying Enough Gas

CNBC

Lackluster gasoline demand is once again raising concerns that the oil market won’t be able to escape the doldrums.Demand for U.S. gasoline has recovered since January, but remained below 2016 levels throughout much of this year. Now, analysts are worried weak consumption will cause gasoline stockpiles to keep building and eventually result in weaker crude oil demand and pricing.

China’s New Silk Road: Is It Black or Green?

Hao Tan & John Mathews, Energy Post

The expansive internationalization of China’s energy role has led many to believe that while China is greening its own economy, it is at the same time exporting it’s fossil-fuel-based energy system abroad. John Mathews, Professor of Management at Macquarie University, Australia and Hao Tan, Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia, provide a detailed assessment of China’s energy exports and come to a largely different conclusion. CourtesyAsia-Pacific Journal.Suddenly the geopolitics of world energy are turned upside down. Donald Trump’s overt campaigns against green…

How a Cold Day in Texas Exposed the Value of Grid Flexibility

Eric Gimon, GreenTech

As the sun rose over Dallas on March 3, 2014, thermometers read 15 Fahrenheit. Across the state, Texans turned their heaters on full blast as they prepared to head to work. Meanwhile, at the operations center for Texas’ electricity system, ERCOT, operators saw the price of electricity skyrocket.Around 8 a.m. prices jumped to nearly $5,000 per megawatt-hour, more than 100 times the average price of electricity.

Where Apple Stands in Its Quest for 100% Clean Energy

Jackie Wattles, CNN Money

Apple is producing more than 200 million electronic devices each year. And making all those iPhones, MacBooks and tablets takes an enormous amount of energy.That’s why it’s a big deal when Apple (AAPL, Tech30) says it wants to be the greenest company on Earth.

The Train Has Left the Station on Renewable Energy

Henrik Cotran, GreenBiz

Obscured by unending debate and hype about the merits of renewable energy, a consequential transition quietly took place in recent years: Unsubsidized renewable energy is economically viable in many regions of the world. While government subsidies for renewable power generation have played a critical role to this point, powerful economic and technological forces have permanently altered the energy landscape. Companies and consumers are taking note. Renewable energy, especially solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind, is the fastest-growing energy segment and soon is likely to displace a significant…

The Electric Car Revolution Now Faces Its Biggest Test

Tom Randall, Bloomberg

Are electric cars ready to stand on their own? If you took a spin down to the New York International Auto Show last week and saw the $37,500 Chevy Bolt (electric) parked next to the strikingly similar $17,000 Chevy Cruze (gasoline), the answer is probably a hard no. The Bolt is arguably a better car than the Cruzebut not $20,000 better.

Bioeconomy: One Billion Tons of Biomass

Tom Ewing, Breaking Energy

The federal agencies that provide the muscle for energy policy are finalizing plans to harness the energy from one billion tons of biomass per year. The Bioeconomy Vision is an effort to move biomass out of the laboratory and into the market. The goal, within the next 15 years, is production and commercialization of biofuels, renewable chemicals and similar organic products. The target is a 30 percent penetration of biomass carbon into the U.S. transportation market by 2030 to create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas impacts, and enhance national security.

An Old Rock Could Lead to Next Generation Solar Cells

John Fialka, Sci. American

After a 170-year delay, the discovery of a strange, metallic-looking rock found in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1839 has ignited a global technology race for a cheaper, more efficient solar cell. It could seriously disrupt the world’s solar market, currently dominated by China.The features of the rock led to the understanding that there was not a particular mineral involved, but a class of minerals that share a common crystalline structure of cubes and diamondlike shapes. The structure was named for Lev Perovski, a Russian mineral expert who first studied it. He died in 1856. Later,…

Lifeline for Nuclear Plants Is Threatening Wind and Solar Power

J. Ryan, Bloomberg

The push to save U.S. nuclear plants for the sake of fighting climate change is threatening support for the bread and butter of clean power: wind and solar.New York and Illinois have already approved as much as $10 billion in subsidies to keep struggling reactors open for the next decade as part of a plan to limit fossil fuel consumption. Lawmakers in Ohio, Connecticut and New Jersey are debatingwhether to do the same.

An America Without Nuclear Power

Scott Jones & David Gattie, Forbes

As the U.S. nuclear industry works to increase its contribution to the civilian power sector, recent issues with Toshiba and Westinghouse have reignited the debate regarding the future of nuclear power in the U.S.On one side, opponents leverage these issues to argue that nuclear power has no future due to economics and they conclude that the U.S. should abandon nuclear and go all-in on renewable energy. This position is strongly supported by anti-nuclear activists promoting a chimerical renewable-energy-only economy. This has already had a chilling effect as Georgia Power Company recently…

Oil Slides on Signs of Oversupply

Puko, McFarlane, & Hsu, Fox Business

Oil prices retreated Monday to their lowest point in four weeks, as growing U.S. production and other signs of global oversupply keep thwarting a widely-expected rally.Monday’s downturn from overnight gains is the latest sign oil may continue to fall instead of rising toward $60 a barrel as many predicted, brokers and analysts said. Losses Monday mark the sixth down session in a row for U.S. oil. It is now off 8.5% from the one-month high it hit April 11 and starting only its second stretch of the year below $50 a barrel.

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