Archive for the ‘electric power’ Category

US Interior review will likely find ways to ‘fix’ federal coal

The US Interior Department announced January 15 that it is going to “review” the Bureau of Land Management’s leasing program of federal lands upon which an estimated 41% of all US coal is currently produced, and is putting a hold on all new lease applications while the three-year review is underway.

The announcement raised immediate suspicions in some quarters that the department was angling at more than a mere review of leasing procedures, a possible royalty fee hike and a benign moratorium on future leases. At the very least, the announcement was seen as a shot across the bow of coal production in the US.

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Grow a tree, burn a tree…a rethink of biomass philosophy

A re-evaluation of biomass for electricity generation appears a certainty, and the evolution of sustainability criteria is likely to retard market growth, just as it did for biofuels, although their implementation will run into industry and political resistance.

However, the experience of biofuels and doubts over biomass-fired power generation raise a broader question. The world has a functioning energy system in the production of food. Read the rest of this entry »

US nuclear power trade group head to retire in 2016

A new leader will head the US nuclear power industry’s powerful trade group when Marvin Fertel, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute since 2008, retires at the end of 2016.

The nuclear industry, facing escalating economic challenges and rising operating costs, could tap an executive with Exelon, the largest merchant nuclear plant operator, to succeed him, Fertel said. He first revealed his retirement plans in an exclusive interview with Platts December 16.

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Ticket to ride: Energy outlooks and the few who benefit

If you’ve been involved in any conversations about energy in 2015, there’s very much a sense the industry is gritting its teeth and just trying to get through this period of sustained low prices. And if you’ve looked at any forecasts about prices, supply, demand and production into the near future, it’s clear why there’s a prevailing sense of grim determination.

The Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum was held today in New York, and while there was still a feeling of caution about what the future will bring, there were also glimmers of hope for growing energy consumption to support producers. Well, glimmers of hope for some countries, anyhow.

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India is looking for its economic rainbow through thick smog

Delhi is choking again. Levels of PM2.5 — fine particulate matter in the air known to cause heart and lung diseases — routinely swing between the “unhealthy” and “hazardous” ranges on the Air Quality Index, with the measurement spiking to an eye-popping 999 on November 27.

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Keeping the hope for more offshore power afloat with wind turbines

The evolution of floating wind turbines mirrors almost exactly that of offshore oil exploration and production structures. Norwegian oil company Statoil’s decision to build the first floating wind farm represents a carbon risk hedge in an area in which it can deploy its considerable offshore expertise. If costs can be reduced, floating wind farms would hugely expand the exploitable wind resource. Ross McCracken, managing editor of Platts’ Energy Economist, explains.

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US data indicates power sector CO2 emissions down 15.6% since 2007

As it prepares for the November 30 start-up of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris, the US Department of Energy has been generating data that shows total US carbon dioxide emissions have declined and then flattened out in the past eight years, with emissions specifically from the US power sector part of the same trend.

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Look to Mexico for some of the best oil market story lines through 2020

“Reform” is one of those words that means anything you want it to mean. It’s been deployed in so many political fights, it has really lost its meaning in most contexts. I suppose some people still say a teen car thief is sent off to “reform school,” but I doubt it.

Here in Mexico City, that word is loaded. I’m writing this 12 floors up from the Paseo de la Reforma, the grand boulevard named for the civil war between liberals and conservatives here in the 1850s and 1860s.

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Halloween comes early to ERCOT

Two days before Halloween and as most of the New York Mets’ bats continued to show lifelessness in the World Series, news of a rabies-infected bat brought a timely dose of fear and humor to Electric Reliability Council of Texas stakeholders.

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Why US natural gas prices hit multi-year lows this week

On Oct. 29, 2015, the NYMEX November natural gas futures contract settled at $2.033/MMBtu.

For comparison, the November contract closed at $3.649/MMBtu in 2014, $1.61 higher or 79 percent higher than Oct. 29. The last time the prompt-month contract closed lower than Oct. 29 was April 24, 2012 at $1.975/MMBtu.

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