May 2015 EEnergy Informer

The May 2015 issue of EEnergy Informer is now available. Here is the contents list:

  • New York Redefines Distribution Business
  • California Redesigning Retail Tariffs
  • OPEC Minus The E?
  • Australia Passes Multiple Milestones
  • Climate Hot In Paris
  • Global Wind Capacity Tops 370 GW
  • DOE’s Updated Vision Upbeat On Wind
  • Coal’s Demise: Beginning Of The End Or End Of The Beginning?
  • AREVA And EPR Under Pressure
  • Japan’s Nuclear Policy In Limbo
  • Solar Grid Parity: Closer Than You Thought
  • Book Review: Power Shift

You can request a sample issue of EEnergy Informer here.

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OPEC Minus The E?

If current consumption patterns persist, there will be little left to export

OPEC, as everyone knows, stands for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, an oil-rich 12-member club, mostly in the Middle East and Africa plus Venezuela and Ecuador. Historically, they produced a lot and consumed relatively little — which meant that most of what they produced could be exported, hence the E in OPEC. But as their population and domestic energy consumption balloons, exacerbated by heavy subsidies (graph below), the proportion that could be exported shrinks over time. It is bad news for the affected governments, especially now that oil prices are at historical lows.
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Article on Utilities at Renew Economy

Dr. Sioshansi has a new article about utilities on the Renew Economy website. It is titled, “Utilities brace for ‘perfect storm’ as demand disruption deepens”. To read it, click here.

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April 2015 EEnergy Informer

The April 2015 issue of EEnergy Informer is now available. Here is the contents list:

  • As Demand Falls So Do Utility Revenues
  • Sun Shines Mostly Where Regulations Allow
  • Is Big Oil In Denial?
  • Wind Will Contribute To EPA’s Clean Power Plan
  • Europe’s Demand Growth Is History
  • The Value Of The Integrated Grid: The Sequel
  • EV Charging: Growth Business
  • Value Of Reliability
  • Micro-grids: More Distributed, More Resilient
  • Hand In Hand: Energy Productivity and Economic Prosperity
  • Nuclear’s Future Not In The West

You can request a sample issue of EEnergy Informer here.

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Article on Carbon Capture in Energy Spectrum

Dr. Sioshansi has a new article in Energy Spectrum magazine. It is titled, “No future for FutureGen”. To read it (PDF), click here.

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Nuclear’s Future: Not In The West

Nuclear fleets in the US, France & the UK aging with no renaissance in sight

While Japan vacillates on the future of nuclear energy and Germany proceeds to phase out its nuclear reactors, the US, France and the UK are contemplating the fate of their own aging fleet against a backdrop of stagnant electricity demand and flat or falling wholesale prices due to the flood of renewable generation. Japan, once among the top 10 global nuclear generators, has fallen off the list since the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in 2011 (graph below). Germany will also be off the chart by 2022 when the last one of its operating reactors will be shut down. The specifics vary from one country to the next, yet the prognosis is grim — and does not bode well for nuclear power outside centrally planned economies of China, India, Russia, South Korea and a handful of other countries still keen on atom.
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March 2015 EEnergy Informer

The March 2015 issue of EEnergy Informer is now available. Here is the contents list:

  • Centralized Or Distributed Future: It Is Not Either Or
  • Home Not Just Castle But Power Source
  • NRG: Utility Of Future?
  • Half New US Capacity Renewable In 2014
  • Who Should Invest In EV Charging Infrastructure
  • No Future For FutureGen
  • Solar Not Only Green And Plentiful But Cheap
  • Wind: 2,000 GW By 2030?
  • US Nuclear Renaissance Turns Into Retirement Party
  • Germany’s Energiewende Finally Making Turnaround
  • Are EVs As Green As Claimed?
  • US Energy Efficiency On The Rise

You can request a sample issue of EEnergy Informer here.

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Article on Home Generation at Renew Economy

Dr. Sioshansi has a new article about making your home a zero net consumer of energy on the Renew Economy website. It is titled, “Home is not just castle – but a zero net energy power source”. To read it, click here.

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Article on Over-Generation in Energy Spectrum

Dr. Sioshansi has a new article in Energy Spectrum magazine. It is titled, “New headache: over-generation”. To read it (PDF), click here.

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Germany’s Energiewende Finally Making Turnaround

Deutschland appears to be on path to a more renewable and affordable future

A lot has been written about Germany’s energiewende or turnaround since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government’s abrupt decision to phase out the country’s perfectly safe operating reactors by 2022 following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. The nuclear gap was to be filled by more renewables and some gas. Germany, like other European countries, is also on course to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while increasing the overall energy efficiency of the economy as required by European Union (EU) guidelines.

German renewables on target

Many pundits criticized the energiewende, frequently ridiculing it as an impractical, expensive and economically ruinous gamble. It was predicted that German consumers will revolt against the rising renewable surcharges to fund the scheme, German industry will become non-competitive and the grid will collapse due to the increased intermittency and/or unpredictability of renewable generation. Indeed, there have been some ominous signs:

  • Retail prices did rise even as wholesale prices were depressed;
  • There were an increasing number of episodes when wholesale prices would go negative when renewable generation exceeded demand on the network;
  • The 4 main grid operators had to intervene more frequently in the market to maintain grid reliability; and
  • Greenhouse gas emissions rose rather than fell due to cheap coal prices.

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