Archive for the ‘renewable energy’ Category

US EPA pleads for some RFS understanding

Attendees of the National Ethanol Conference in suburban Dallas last week who were hoping to hear, at long last, what biofuels volumes the US Environmental Protection Agency would require in the overdue 2014 and 2015 Renewable Fuel Standards likely left disappointed.

Read the rest of this entry »

US ethanol shrugs off its RFS local difficulties to embrace the world

For those ethanol producers outside of the US, the subtitle of the Renewable Fuels Association’s National Ethanol Conference — “Going Global” — is likely to unleash ripples of unease across their industry. Far from reeling from a perceived loss of support in the face of government hesitation and collapsing crude oil prices, the US ethanol sector is enjoying an upbeat gathering deep in the heart of Texas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why wind farms were not to blame for ‘spiral’ seal deaths

It was one of the mysteries of summer 2010: what was responsible for the strange deaths of grey seals off the picturesque north Norfolk coast of England, many with horrific “corkscrew” or “spiral” cut marks? New research suggests wind farms were not to blame, despite some suggestions at the time.

Dozens of seals had been found washed up on England’s east coast with the distinctive wound pattern. Reports said some 38 dead seals were found at Blakeney Point, 12 miles from the Sheringham Shoal wind farm then under construction.

A number of possible causes were proposed, but one of the top theories discussed at the time was whether the seals could have been caught up in the propellers of the increased boat traffic to and from local harbors as developers put up the turbines offshore.

Read the rest of this entry »

California’s cap-and-trade no more than road bump in gasoline’s steep price decline

Drivers in car-crazed California paid more than 10% more for their gasoline at the start of the year. They just didn’t realize it.

As expected, California’s introduction of the emissions cap-and-trade program for transportation fuel suppliers boosted Los Angeles regular gasoline rack prices nearly 17 cents in the first two days of 2015 to $1.5885/gal. The rack is the wholesale level where gasoline and diesel is moved onto those often-shiny tanker trucks that hold roughly 9,000 gallons.

What barely changed right away was the price up and down the supply chain.

Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt’s Sisi outlines national energy policy at World Future Energy Summit

Egypt has set development and reform of its energy sector as a key priority as it seeks to rebuild its economy following the country’s second revolution in the past few years, the country’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, said January 19 during his first official visit to the UAE in that role.

During his keynote address to the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Sisi also said he considered the security of the Persian Gulf region to be “part and parcel of Egyptian security.” The annual Abu Dhabi WFES gathering, while primarily a UAE forum for promoting and discussing regional and international renewable energy development, has also developed a significant political agenda.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ethanol production in US approaches milestone at warp speed

Earlier this year, I jokingly asked an ethanol trader if he thought the US would hit one million barrels of ethanol production per day anytime soon.

“No way,” he said. “That’s light-years away.”

And in many ways, it did seem like an impossibility at the time.

Read the rest of this entry »

The 10% ethanol blendwall is once again looming

Don’t look now, but the ethanol blendwall is back.

That 10% cap of how much ethanol can be blended into the US gasoline pool was a fiery issue in the Big Oil vs. Big Farm battle in 2013.

And believe it or not, the number has quietly but quickly crept back up into dangerous territory.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping the electricity flowing in Europe and the UK…or at least trying

Among the many brilliant and baffling woodcuts by the Dutch artist MC Escher is a depiction of what appears to be a triangle made of three sections of wood, which is in fact an impossible construct owing to the way the joints appear to fit together.

If it existed at all, it would resemble the leg of an insect, which viewed from one position only would appear to enclose a triangle, but in reality it would form a three-part zigzag in space, two of its ends far apart.

Read the rest of this entry »

Regulation & Environment: Cap & Trade comes to California oil product markets

California’s cap and trade law has been reality for a wide variety of CO2 emitters for several years. But they are all stationary sources. In January, it moves to a moving kind of source: motor vehicles. In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment, John Kingston, fresh off a trip to the state’s capital city of Sacramento, discusses the implementation of the law in the fuels business.

Read the rest of this entry »

Letter from the IAEE meeting: competitive response

To visit an energy conference in New York, or perhaps anywhere in the United States, is to feel the full force of the shale gale that has swept across the US oil and gas industry, transforming the country’s domestic and foreign perspectives. Its founding fathers have achieved legendary status and are provided the veneration that only America appears capable of giving business leaders.

Shale is variously described as a “revolution,” even a “miracle.” Benjamin Schlesinger, president of Benjamin Schlesinger and Associates, went that one step further to state that “natural gas is a renewable fuel.”

This was the international conference of the International Association for Energy Economics held in New York from June 15-18, where it was clear that America is the cat that has got the cream. It is the crucible of the revolution in drilling technology that has reduced the cost of previously unrecoverable oil and gas resources to affordable levels, and it is beginning to export those technologies to the rest of the world. It no longer has to concern itself with existing and emerging import dependencies. Instead it is discussing the possibility that it may soon be a net exporter of oil.

Read the rest of this entry »