Morning Volt for 05/17/2017

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05/17/2017
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Morning Volt

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TransCanada Reassessing U.S. Producers’ Interest in Keystone XL

Globe and Mail

The Dakota Access pipeline gives oil producers in North Dakota and Montana another option to ship their product

Top 10 Reasons We Work On Conservative Clean Energy

Powell and Faison, Clearpath

At ClearPath, we work on conservative clean energy policy. The what: We advocate for more 24/7, baseload energy sources with low or no emissions. Specifically, for us that means nuclear, coal with carbon capture, natural gas and hydropower. We also like renewables and other advanced energy, but without grid-scale storage we can’t have reliable power without baseload clean energy.

Shale Wars — Checkmate

Mark P. Mills, University of Mary

So far it has cost Saudi Arabia something like $200 billion to undertake one of the most expensive experiments of all time. The Saudi government has been draining its massive $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund to cover revenues lost from the petroleum price collapse over the past couple of years.

US Shale Groups Refuse to Lie Down and Die

Ed Crooks, Financial Times

Since taking over as secretary-general of Opec last year, Mohammad Barkindo has been trying to build contacts with the biggest threat to the oil producers’ cartel: the small and mid-sized US shale companies that have been the most potent new force in the energy industry in the 21st century.

Aramco Plans at Least 10 Energy Deals During Trump Visit

Wael Mahdi, Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco plans to sign agreements with at least 10 companies including General Electric Co. and oil field-service businesses Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co. when President Donald Trump visits Saudi Arabia, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Global Oil Market Rebalancing Speeds Up, Belied By Inventories

Rigzone/Reuters

The global oil market is rebalancing and the pace at which supply and demand are falling into line is picking up.

Floating Solar Panels Possible Wave of Future

Jaime Chambers, Fox5

A plan to use floating solar panels at the Olivenhain Reservoir has been moving forward.

Oil Demand’s New Elasticity

Sarah Miller, Energy Intelligence

For decades now, changes in the oil price have had little, if any noticeable effect on demand. Prices could double — or halve — and oil consumption remained on a slow, steady growth track, slipping only slightly in times of major economic stress. The reason was simple — nearly two-thirds of global oil demand is for transportation, where there has been virtually no interfuel competition, rather than in power generation, where usage of different fuels can swing sharply in reaction to relatively small price moves. Oil’s privileged position above the competitive fray of the power sector is now…

The Oil Market Is Listening … For Now

Liam Denning, Bloomberg Gadfly

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy and Industry echoed Alan Greenspan in warning against “irrational exuberance" that his country, or OPEC, would support oil prices simply so rivals could get a free ride. In the weeks since, Khalid Al-Falih has swapped out Greenspan for another central banker: the European Central Bank’s Mario “whatever it takes" Draghi.

U.S. Shale Is Immune to an Oil Price Crash in 2017

Tsvetana Paraskova, OilPrice

Since OPEC announced the production cut deal at the end of November, industry analysts have been warning that rising production from producers outside the dealU.S. shale in particularis effectively capping the oil price gains from that agreement.Four months after the OPEC/NOPEC deal took effect, oil prices dropped to the levels preceding the agreement, amid concerns over still stubbornly high inventories and rising U.S. output.

Oil, Gas Wells Dot Developments, Raising Potential Dangers

Dan Boyce, NPR

A few weeks ago Julia Chapman’s daughter was heading to a playdate across the street in their recently built suburb in Firestone, Colo. Suddenly, the friend’s house exploded, killing two of the friend’s relatives who were in the basement."It shook our home," Chapman says. “We came out and we saw that it was essentially just collapsed on itself. The insulation was still floating in the air, down the street."

Oil Won’t Last Forever, So Dubai Is Betting Big on Science and Tech

Blum, PopSci

Dubai drops away behind us, its comic-book skyline replaced by khaki sand dunes and the occasional wild camel. The first sign of the technological ambition we are about to see is a billboard: a 20-foot-tall portrait of Dubai’s ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, rendered in a mosaic of solar panels.At a cluster of buildings about a half-hour south of the city, a guard slides open a high steel gate for our white SUV, with Alhaz Rashid Khokhar at the wheel. A project manager for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Khokhar has, for the past several months,…

Government Red Tape Is Stifling Nuclear Innovation

Andrew Follett, Daily Caller

Government regulations and bureaucratic red-tape are killing the U.S. nuclear industry’s ability to innovate, a prominent nuclear scientist told The Daily Caller News Foundation.The regulations are causing U.S. nuclear reactors to shut down, which will be both an economic and environmental disaster. Red tape adds millions of dollars in costs to each new reactor and leads to delays lasting for years.Nuclear is failing because its nearly impossible to innovate, Dr. Jeff Terry, a professor of nuclear physics involved in energy research at the Illinois Institute of Technology, told…

Denmark’s Wind Industry Is Ready to Compete Sans Subsidies

Coca, TriplePundit

Denmark’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, says it’s ready to compete without subsidies: a sign that the wind industry is maturing at least in countries that genuinely support it.It’s no coincidence that Vestas is in Denmark. The country is a leader in clean energy and once generated 140 percent of its electricity from wind. In fact, it’s tactics have proven so successful that Denmark’s government announced a timeline to remove wind subsidies by 2030.

Senate Republicans Urge Vote on Pro-Ethanol Bill

John Siciliano, Washington Examiner

Republican lawmakers from corn-producing states are hoping to get a vote on a pro-ethanol bill as soon as possible after striking a deal ahead of last week’s failed repeal of the Obama administration’s methane rule on oil and natural gas drillers.Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., who introduced the bipartisan ethanol bill, “received assurances" from Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., “that there will be a hearing and a markup" on the bill, said Brianna Puccini, spokeswoman for Fischer.

Large-Scale Solar Industry Takes Off as 12 New Plants Secure Finance

Guardian

Australia’s large-scale solar industry now appears to be on solid ground, with all 12 plants recently awarded grant funding by the Australian Renewable EnergyAgency reaching financial close this month.That means they are fully financed and have locked in engineering, construction and grid connection agreements, as well as council and environmental approvals.Construction has already begun at nine of the 12 Arena-funded plants, and the others three are a done deal, with the NSW White Rock solar farm the final project to reach financial close last week.

Industry Meltdown: Is the Era of Nuclear Power Coming to an End?

Pearce, YE 360

Is the nuclear power industry in its death throes? Even some nuclear enthusiasts believe so. With the exception of China, most nations are moving away from nuclear existing power plants across the United States are being shut early; new reactor designs are falling foul of regulators, and public support remains in free fall. Now come the bankruptcies.In an astonishing hammer blow to a global industry in late March, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse the original developer of the workhorse of the global nuclear industry, the pressurized-water reactor (PWR), and for many decades the…

Trump Coal Obsession Largely Irrelevant to Electric Utility CEOs

D. Wamsted, EC

The Trump administration’s obsession with the coal industry has driven many of its early energy and environmental policy initiativeswith the Energy Department’s thinly veiled baseload power plant review just the latest in a string of efforts to buttress the troubled sector. But none of these policies are going to change coal’s central problem: The utility industry, far and away its largest customer, is steadily moving away from the black rock. This transition won’t happen overnight, but the direction is clear, as a close review of recent utility executive statements and company…

OPEC Prolonging Cut Would Achieve Mission to Clear Oil Glut

G. Smith, Bloomberg

The world’s two biggest oil exporters seem to have finally figured out how to eliminate a global surplus that’s kept crude prices in check for almost three years.Saudi Arabia and Russia said in Beijing on Monday they favor prolonging this year’s oil curbs to the first quarter of 2018. If they convince fellow producers to adopt the strategy when OPEC and its partners meet next week, it will pare near-record inventories in developed nations by 8 percent and erase the glut weighing on the market, according to Bloomberg calculations using U.S. government data.

Renewable Groups Push Back on Energy Department Electric Grid Study

The Hill

Four renewable energy groups on Tuesday pushed back against a Department of Energy power sector review that they say threatens wind, solar and other industries. In a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the groups said the agency’s study on the electric grid is based on a faulty premise that the growing renewable energy sector is to blame for the retirement of coal and nuclear plants that, in turn, puts grid reliability at risk.

Will Merchant Solar Gain a Foothold in Mexico?

Adam Critchley, GreenTechMedia

In April, Mexican firm Fortius opened the 8-megawatt Jalisco I solar plant, making it the first merchant solar plant in Mexico in the wake of the country’s market reforms. It is now planning a second similar project.It was a groundbreaking development. But it’s too early say whether merchant PV is going to take off in Mexico.

Strong Natural Gas Prices and Tight Supply in 2017

Art Berman, Forbes

A year ago, most analysts were bearish about natural gas prices. I wrote that natural gas prices might double and they did. Today, most analysts are again bearish about gas prices and again, I think that they are probably wrong at least for 2017.The mainstream narrative is that new pipeline capacity—notably the Rover Pipeline—out of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays will unleash a torrent of pent-up supply.

Trump’s Energy Plan Coming One Deadline at a Time

Siciliano, Washington Examiner

President Trump’s executive order on energy independence reached a crucial first deadline over the weekend for all agencies to report regulations that could hurt energy production from fossil fuels, marking the opening salvo of what is expected to become the Trump energy agenda.Although he has signed orders to establish task forces to review and dismantle all manner of regulations, his latest energy independence order and another on offshore drilling are probably the most centered on what will become Trump’s environmental and energy policy legacy in the next four years.

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