April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2020


¶ “Australian Government’s $94 Million Crude Oil Purchase Offers A Simple Economics Lesson” • Last week, Australia took advantage of record-low oil prices to buy crude oil it needed to maintain a fuel stockpile. This illustrates the difference between energy that must be stocked, such as oil, and energy that flows naturally, such as renewables. [ABC News]

Oil tankers (Hamad I Mohammed | Reuters)

¶ “NextEra’s Earnings Portend Well For Utilities And Renewable Energy” • Heading into Q1 earnings reporting season, the big question for electric utilities was how hard COVID-19 would hit demand for power. Now we have answers from NextEra Energy, and implications are bullish, especially for companies speeding adoption of wind and solar energy. [Forbes]

¶ “Why The Oil Industry Can No Longer Rely On China” • US shale oil, far too heavily reliant on Cushing storage, paid the price when WTI prices went negative as Cushing hit capacity. In their way, OPEC oil and gas producers are similar. They  invested heavily in China, and they are paying the price, as Chinese demand is hit by Covid-19. [OilPrice.com]

Enbridge tank farm (roy.luck, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Research Turns Old Soda Bottles Into Battery Electrodes In Microwave” • Researchers at Purdue University have devised a way to use microwaves to convert plastic waste into battery electrode material. The process applies to PET – polyethylene terephthalate – the most commonly used plastic for single-use water and soda bottles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Extreme Weather Spurs Billions In Utility Resilience Spending, Regulators Struggle To Value Investments” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory tried to evaluate approaches to resilience to guide utility investing. It found there are too many factors to quantify easily. This moves regulators back to human judgment. [Utility Dive]



¶ “Bottling Australian Sunshine: South Korea Is Keen To Enter The Hydrogen Future” • A joint report between the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and South Korea’s prestigious National Academy of Engineering Korea has indicated that Australia could be a world-leading hydrogen exporter by 2030. [Stockhead]

¶ “KIA Teases 800 Volt 300 Mile EV With 25 Minute Recharge Time” • KIA and corporate cousin Hyundai are building efficient EVs that challenge industry leaders like Tesla. The Hyundai Kona EV and KIA Niro EV are world-class cars and are close to meeting Elon Musk’s plea to other manufacturers to build compelling electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai-45-Concept (Hyundai image)

¶ “Singapore’s EMA And Keppel Sign $10 Million MOU For Green Innovations In Marine Sector” • In Singapore, the Energy Market Authority and Keppel Offshore & Marine announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding  and entered into a $10 million partnership to develop energy solutions with green energy resources. [Mercom India]

¶ “Westminster Relaunches Plutonium Reactors Despite Earlier ‘Disastrous’ Experience” • Documents released by the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation under freedom of information law reveal that “advanced nuclear technologies” backed by UK ministers include fast reactors, which can burn and breed plutonium. Campaigners condemned the idea. [The National]

Dounreay plant in Caithness


¶ “Universal Community Solar Revolution Brewing Under COVID-19 Crisis” • The DOE is doubling down on a commitment to ensure that every household and business in the country has access to renewable energy by 2025. The key ingredients at the core of the effort are the community solar model, affordability, and jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In ‘Climate Refuge’ City Of Duluth, Fight Brews Over Utility” • Duluth has a growing environmental movement. But for those who want a carbon-free Duluth, their biggest roadblock may be a unique and influential hometown utility that also serves a stable of energy-hungry taconite mines and paper mills that support the region’s economy. [Patch.com]

Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge (Walker Orenstein | MinnPost)

¶ “Wisconsin Biogas Gas Producer Sees Potential In Thermal Renewable Credits” • US Gain, a Wisconsin company, was the first to sign up with the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, which is designed to help monetize the environmental benefits of methane captured from dairy farms, landfills, and other sources. [wausaupilotandreview.com]

¶ “New Trump Nuclear Plan Favors Uranium Mining Bordering The Grand Canyon” • Mining companies want to dig up uranium in two areas on the edge of the Grand Canyon. In 2012, with local support, the US Congress imposed a 20-year mining ban in the areas to prevent pollution. But the Trump administration wants to mine uranium. [InsideClimate News]

Have an exhilarantly excellent day.

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