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Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Next-Generation Nuclear Power? Not Just Yet

Posted by hkarner - 5. Februar 2017

Date: 04-02-2017
Source: Technology Review

The West is struggling to build out safer reactors, but China shows no such delays.

New kinds of safer, simpler nuclear reactors are having a hard time becoming a reality—at least in certain countries.

Bloomberg reports that the nuclear industry is currently struggling to build out power production facilities that are supposed to make use of new generation III+ pressurized water uranium fission reactors. While generation III reactors have been in use since 1996, the newer „plus“ versions are supposed to incorporate extra safety features and require less operator input.

Problem is, they’re proving rather tricky to actually build. Projects in France, Finland, and the U.S. are running behind schedule and over budget. And newly committed projects, such as the U.K.’s Hinkley Point, are shaping up to be eye-wateringly expensive.

What gives? According to Lake Barrett, a former official at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who spoke to Bloomberg: “The cost overrun situation is driven by a near-perfect storm of societal risk aversion to nuclear causing ultra-restrictive regulatory requirements, construction complexity, and lack of nuclear construction experience by the industry.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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President Trump Takes Immediate Aim at Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Posted by hkarner - 22. Januar 2017

What an idiot! I hope the world stops claiming that this guy is not dangerous to our prosperity! (hfk)

Date: 21-01-2017
Source: Technology Review
Shortly after Donald Trump took office, climate change and clean energy disappeared from the White House website.

The newly minted Trump administration wasted little time establishing that it will chart a starkly different course on energy policy than President Obama. On the White House website Friday, a new page called „An America First Energy Policy Plan“ appeared shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. The plan asserts that Trump and his new hires will move to eliminate climate regulations and boost coal, oil, and gas production.

Conspicuously, the URL to the climate change page also went dead.

The new plan makes no mention of solar, wind, or other sustainable energy sources. The closest it gets is stating a commitment to „clean coal technology,“ which still hasn’t been demonstrated to work in a cost-effective way. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Oil Producers Turn to Wind Power

Posted by hkarner - 28. Dezember 2016

Date: 27-12-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

European oil companies take on offshore wind projects; a way to diversify and leverage experience drilling at sea

Wind energyThe Netherlands wants to build the world’s largest offshore wind project,
and an unlikely company is helping: Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

The oil-and-gas giant is facing shareholder pressure to develop its renewable business. Add in falling construction costs for such projects, and Shell has decided to join a handful of other oil companies aiming to leverage their experience drilling under punishing conditions at sea.

Norway’s Statoil ASA is already building its third offshore wind farm, in the Baltic Sea, and is developing the world’s first floating wind farm off the east coast of Scotland. Denmark’s state-owned Dong Energy AS—once a fossil-fuel champion—is now the biggest player in the offshore wind market. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why a Coming Gap in the Supply of Oil Is Unlikely

Posted by hkarner - 17. November 2016

Date: 16-11-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Fracking CCWSJ Energy Expert Amy Myers Jaffe writes about concern over a  projected gap in oil supply sometime between 2018 and 2020.

Amy Myers Jaffe (@AmyJaffeenergy) is executive director of energy and sustainability at the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management. She was formerly the director of the Energy Forum at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

The oil industry and analysts alike have made a hullabaloo about how capital investment in new oil and gas fields has fallen sharply since oil prices collapsed in 2014. The latest theory about it, reminiscent of scarcity mongering during the run up in oil prices in the 2000s, is that the spending decline is so large it will create a dangerous gap in oil supply sometime between 2018 and 2020. The so-called supply hole thesis was bandied about widely at a recent gathering of senior oil and gas executives in London where the Saudi oil minister credited concerns about the gap to the kingdom’s willingness to cut its own oil supply now “to signal” other producers to pour more money into exploration and spending budgets now to ensure sufficient oil will be available in the 2020s.  In Houston, belief in the 2018 supply hole is so strong, it is driving cash-starved shale-oil and gas firms to struggle to hang on and not offer their assets into the distressed debt market in the hopes that oil prices will turn back up before they have to close their doors. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is Nuclear Power Vital to Hitting CO2 Emissions Targets?

Posted by hkarner - 16. November 2016

Date: 16-11-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Nuclear Power plant ccSupporters say nuclear plants are the best way to transition to a low-carbon future. Others argue the plants are too risky to keep in operation.

New nuclear power plants are rare due to market conditions and rules favoring renewable sources of electricity.

Nuclear power is fizzling.

In recent years, many countries have largely stopped building new nuclear plants and are looking elsewhere for power. In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, Japan shut down all its nuclear reactors, though a few have restarted since last year. Germany also moved to phase out nuclear power by 2022. (China is a notable exception, with 20 reactors under construction.)

Market conditions heavily favor cheaper fuels such as natural gas over nuclear. And the regulatory climate favors other sources of energy. In the U.S., the Obama administration introduced rules requiring power plants to cut CO2 emissions 32% from 2005 levels by 2030, though President-elect Donald Trump says he will drop that rule. While nuclear plants don’t generate CO2, companies can tap federal tax credits for investing in renewables. What’s more, power companies can sell renewable electricity at higher prices because utilities need wind and solar supply to comply with state rules. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 31. Oktober 2016

Date: 30-10-2016
Source: NewsWeek

New products aim to show the benefits of combining Tesla with SolarCity.

Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday unveiled new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his electric car and battery maker with solar installer SolarCity Corp.

The billionaire entrepreneur showed off solar-powered roof tiles that eliminate the need for traditional panels and a longer-lasting home battery, which Tesla calls the Powerwall, aimed at realizing his vision of selling a fossil fuel free lifestyle to consumers.

„This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof. The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated,“ Musk said while showcasing the products on homes that once served as the set of the television show „Desperate Housewives.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Österreich: Drastischer Anstieg des Strompreises zu erwarten

Posted by hkarner - 28. Oktober 2016

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten  | 

Der Strompreis in Österreich dürfte schon bald kräftig steigen. Deutschland will den Stromhandel mit Österreich begrenzen.

Deutschland will den Stromhandel mit Österreich wegen Netzengpässen an der Grenze notfalls einschränken. Die Bundesnetzagentur wies die vier Übertragungsnetzbetreiber am Freitag an, ein sogenanntes Engpass-Management vorzubereiten. Ab Juli 2018 soll dies dann greifen können. Es geht um etwa zehn Prozent des Handelsvolumen, das wegen fehlender Netze eigentlich nicht abgewickelt werden könnte.

Die Folge könnte eine drastische Preissteigerung für die österreichischen Konsumenten sein. Die Wiener Zeitung Presse schreibt: „Eine solche Markttrennung wird hierzulande zu höheren Verbraucherpreisen führen und damit sowohl die privaten Haushalte als auch die österreichische Industrie belasten. Darüber sind sich alle Experten einig. Sie rechnen mit einem empfindlichen Anstieg des Strompreises von bis zu zehn Prozent.“ Allerdings ist nicht zu erwarten, dass der Strompreis über Nacht erhöht wird. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 29. August 2016

Date: 28-08-2016
Source: NewsWeek

Tesla cars will be a part of a sustainable electric system: the solar panels, the batteries, and the software to manage power and trade it over networks.

Musk CCThis has been the planet’s hottest summer in recorded history, so it’s nice to know Elon Musk has commenced his grand scheme to transform the energy business so profoundly that there’s a chance Iceland won’t become the new Jamaica after all.

One small step in Musk’s plan involves merging Tesla, his electric car company, with SolarCity, his cousin’s solar panel maker. That deal—announced in August—has been getting all sorts of blowback from short-term-thinking Wall Street nincompoops, who groan that both companies are losing money and the merger won’t help. Such doubts about Musk are like asking the Wright brothers in 1899 why they were fiddling with bicycle parts.

Future of Energy

There’s so much more at stake than just a company or stock price. The future of energy is coming into view, driven by Musk and a growing number of investors and entrepreneurs. In a decade or two, most homes and buildings will have cheap and superefficient solar panels on their roofs and high-powered batteries in their basements or garages. The batteries will store power generated when the sun shines for use when it doesn’t. Each of these buildings will be connected to a two-way power line that can allow anyone to sell excess energy or buy needed energy in an eBay-style marketplace. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Five things Bill Gates gets right on energy

Posted by hkarner - 24. Juli 2016

Date: 24-07-2016Nyquist CC

Source: www.mckinsey.com By Scott Nyquist

And one I’m not so sure about.

There’s a saying that where you stand depends on where you sit. When it comes to energy, that holds true. For example, while I am an energy guy in general, I have spent much of my time in oil and gas. That colors how I see the future (and the present, for that matter). People who are deep into solar almost certainly have a different perspective. A mother in Africa cooking over a wood-burning stove might have a third. And a coal miner in West Virginia yet another.

Finding a consensus about what to do next and how, then, becomes difficult. And that is one reason why I find Bill Gates an interesting voice on energy issues. Having spent his life in IT and philanthropy, his views do not fit into a single box—and are all the more refreshing for that. He does have skin in the game. In 2015, he founded a $1 billion clean-energy fund, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which is devoted to research and development on clean energy. He also has been active on issues related to climate change and nuclear power. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rethinking Energy-Efficiency Policies

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juli 2016

Photo of Bjørn Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg, a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School, is Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which seeks to study environmental problems and solutions using the best available analytical methods. He is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Cool It, How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place and The Nobel Laureates‘ Guide to the Smartest Targets for the World, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2004.

JUL 20, 2016, Project Syndicate

KRAKOW – Improving energy efficiency is a fashionable policy that governments worldwide promote. On paper, it seems a no-brainer: improving energy efficiency is sold as cost-reducing, job-creating, and planet-saving. Win, win, win – and the media often help close the deal, focusing entirely on all the supposed upsides. But there is another side – a downside – to the story.

After spending £240 million ($316 million), the United Kingdom ended government funding for its flagship energy-efficiency-loan program last year, after a scathing report from the National Audit Office showed the program was neither attracting people to sign up, nor delivering cost-effective energy-saving measures for those who did. The policy “did not persuade householders that energy efficiency measures are worth paying for,” according to the auditors, and “failed to deliver any meaningful benefit.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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