Drumbeat: September 12, 2011
Posted by Leanan on September 12, 2011 - 9:48am
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (Reuters) - Power company Entergy faces off against the state of Vermont in U.S. court on Monday to fight a landmark effort to force the closure of its aging nuclear power plant.
Entergy in April lodged its lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the state and Gov. Peter Shumlin, saying the state violated the terms of Entergy's deal to buy the reactor in 2002 by giving politicians the power to shut it down.
The battle over the 620-megawatt (MW) Vermont Yankee plant, which produces almost enough electricity to power the entire state, comes six months after an earthquake in Japan triggered the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years and raised new doubts about the safety of the technology.
If you are an energy policymaker (or layperson interested in energy) and you are NOT perplexed by the last decade, read no further. You have little to gain from what I write below. However, if you are a perplexed energy policymaker (or perplexed layperson interested in energy), please continue and learn why poor quality data, lack of transparency, broad uncertainty and flawed thinking about risk have made it difficult for many experts and the public alike to think sensibly about our energy future.
Kolkata (IBNS) India would set up its third largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal somewhere in the east coast to fulfill the requirement of gas and put thrust on green energy.
US authorities are reportedly investigating the precise reason for the problem at the San Diego Gas and Electric company substation that set-off the cross-border energy crisis.
Huge loans from the Chinese Development Bank are helping Chinese solar companies push American solar firms out of the market.
Vienna - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) activated its emergency center immediately after news broke of an explosion at a French nuclear site, the IAEA's chief Yukiya Amano said Monday.
The BBC quotes Le Figaro newspaper as saying one person was killed and three injured in the explosion following a fire in a storage site for radioactive waste.
The BBC also quotes media as saying there is a risk of a radioactive leak from the accident, which occurred in France's Gard region.
SINGAPORE – Oil prices fell to below $86 a barrel Monday in Asia as investor concern about Europe's debt crisis undermined confidence in equities and commodities.
OPEC cut its forecast for global oil demand growth next year because of a worsening economic outlook and said a disappointing economic performance in top consumer the United States could further weigh on fuel use.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in a monthly report on Monday, also said concerns were easing about a tight oil market in the fourth quarter of the year and that it expected Libyan oil output to return to full capacity in less than 18 months, more quickly than some estimates.
The National Energy Board has ordered TransCanada Corp. TRP-T to restrict the flow of natural gas through a major Quebec pipeline, amid a broader crackdown on pipeline safety.
Late last week, the energy regulator quietly slapped TransCanada with a “pressure restriction” and ordered it to do a series of inspection digs on the TQM Pipeline, which delivers more than half the gas to Quebec’s major markets.
Seven oil workers who spent three days drifting on a life raft in the Gulf of Mexico have been rescued.
Mexico's state oil company, Pemex, said the men - four Mexicans, two Americans and a Bangladeshi national - were found in the sea off the state of Campeche.
TEHRAN // Boosting Iran's crude production is one of the Oil Ministry's top priorities, the ministry's Shana news website reported, citing Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi.
Crude output must increase by 1 million barrels a day by 2013, Qasemi said at a meeting with officials in the southern city of Ahwaz, according to Shana. Iran, the second-biggest producer in OPEC, pumped 3.6 million barrels of oil a day in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq halted all exports of crude today, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said.
An oil tanker is sailing to the Libyan port of Mellitah, a sign the nation may be resuming energy exports after months of fighting that led to the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi, ship-tracking data show.
RAS LANUF, Libya — Muammar Gaddafi loyalists attacked an oil refinery on Monday, killing 15 guards, in an apparent attempt to disrupt a drive by Libya’s new rulers to seize the ousted leader’s last bastions and revive the oil-based economy.
Witnesses said the assailants damaged the front gate of the refinery, 20 km from the coastal town of Ras Lanuf, but not the plant itself, which is not fully operational.
Libyan opposition forces pushed toward Sirte, Muammar Qaddafi’s birthplace and the last coastal town controlled by his supporters. A son of the deposed leader fled to Niger.
We need incentives to end our addiction to crude oil that is primarily obtained from foreign sources. I contend that we will be much better off in the long run if we face the issue head on rather than to pretend that a problem doesn't exist. Even with the pessimistic evaluation that we are already experiencing "peak oil," we have only used half of our extractable reserves. In order to avoid a collapse of our national (global?) economy we need to utilize our existing supplies to ease the transition to other energy alternatives.
Turning to fuel, he debunked the whole concept of peak oil saying new discoveries and technologies will give us access to a virtually unlimited supply of oil and natural gas. But high-quality, sweet oil will be tight - much of the world's supply is "junk" including Saudi oil. "It contains too much sulphur and it's too expensive to refine - no one wants it," he contended.
This explains why Brent crude, which is sweet light oil produced in the North Sea, is trading at a significant premium to West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) which is the North American benchmark, he suggested. The spread between the two is likely to continue to widen.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has voted to kill Yucca Mountain again, sort of.
The project has become more complex than nuclear physics. Yucca Mountain, a volcanic structure 100 miles from Las Vegas, was the government’s lead candidate for a nuclear waste repository, but President Obama, making good on a campaign pledge, cut funding for an Energy Department plan to build there, meaning that the country would have to restart the search for a burial spot.
Russian oil major Lukoil plans to build a solar-powered generating facility in Uzbekistan, company President Vagit Alekperov has said, according to a video posted on the Lukoil press service's blog.
HONG KONG — Almost a year ago, the Turanor PlanetSolar, a sleek catamaran that bears a resemblance to a giant water beetle, set off from Monaco on a voyage around the globe. Later this month it will arrive in Singapore, having amassed proof that it is possible to traverse the world’s oceans on solar power alone.
Fearing its bid could be torpedoed by the blistering heat that would greet FIFA officials on an inspection tour, Qatar knew it needed to do something dramatic. The heat issue already was being used against it in a bidding contest that included the United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan.
Organizers turned to the global consultancy Arup Associates and gave it a simple directive: come up with a design that will keep a soccer stadium cool. Arup delivered a 500-seat model stadium with a solar-powered cooling system that keeps temperatures below 75 degrees. The $25 million price tag was nearly as much as some countries spent on their entire World Cup bids.
She calls the solar-panel assembly particularly frustrating because in the neighborhood where they live, with homes valued at about $900,000 and up, atop Newport's Wiedemann Hill, views were among the top selling points.
"I don't know how you do this to somebody," said Bush, who in June moved into the couple's Watch Hill Lane home. "I just don't."
LUCY McArthur was born today, a hypothetical gen-alpha girl who will leave home and start her adult life in 2031. By then, Australia’s population is projected to have swelled to 27 million people – five million of them in Melbourne. The world will have run out of cheap oil, and its eight billion people will have to rely on renewable and reclaimed energy as petrol tops $8 a litre at the bowser.
Lucy will grow up in a low-rise apartment block. She will never play in a cubby house in her own backyard and will probably never know many of the things we take for granted today, like cheap, personal cars, hairdryers and bananas available all year round.
To stop heading down that road, Asian governments must immediately recognize that a bleak future lies ahead if Asians attempt to live out an aspiration to consume like Americans.
Above all, Asia must reject the blinkered views of those who urge Asians to consume relentlessly – be they Western economists and leaders who want the region to become a “motor of growth” or Asian governments convinced that ever-expanding economies are what their populations need.
As his campaign group turns 40, Greenpeace director John Sauven tells Michael McCarthy how he plans to save the Pole from big oil.
(Reuters) - Electric cars and hybrids may be capturing headlines and the imagination of green-leaning consumers around the world as one automaker after another announces plans to push into the brave new world of fossil fuel-free mobility.
But away from the spotlight, carmakers have been quietly delivering significant cuts in CO2 emissions with some re-engineering of internal combustion engines, technology advances, weight reduction and aerodynamic improvements.