QGOG Constellation S.A. announced today that on November 14 it exercised, through one of its affiliates, an option for an advanced-capability DP3 ultra-deepwater drillship to be constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (“SHI”). This will be the third drillship with SHI in South Korea and is scheduled to be delivered in December 2014. The [...]
Offshore Energy Today
Sometimes simplicity is best. Researchers have discovered an easy way to make nanofluidic devices: using paper and scissors. And they can cut a device into any shape and size, adding to the method’s versatility. Nanofluidic devices are attractive because their thin channels can transport ions — and with them a higher than normal electric current — making them promising for use in batteries and new systems for water purification, harvesting energy and DNA sorting.
ScienceDaily: Energy Technology News
Researchers have used abundant and inexpensive materials to create a tandem solar cell that can store solar energy as hydrogen for use at any time of day.
Solar Technology feed
Net metering is a common distributed renewable energy policy in the United States, allowing individuals to “turn back” their meter (and reduce their electric bill) by generating on-site electricity. But utility accounting systems typically prevent people from sharing the output from a single, common “community” solar or wind project. Virtual (or g
Ernst & Young released rankings this week that place Nevada and Massachusetts among the top five most attractive states in the country for solar installations. The finance and accounting firm releases a report twice a year evaluating state attractiveness for solar, wind and mixed renewable energy installations. Michael Bernier, senior manager of Ernst & Young’s national tax group, focuses on monetizing tax credits. Renewable energy has been a growing part of that work over the last five years, he said. “The U.S. is a very favorable market for renewable energy,” he said. “But that only tells part of the story. As you know, the U.S. is a big country and different parts are more attractive than others for renewable energy investment.” Ernst & Young doesn’t just measure the sunny days or possible wind generation capacity in a state, Bernier said. The company evaluates tax credits and other financial incentives that make solar and wind good investments. The long-term solar index ranks California, Nevada, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New Mexico as top states for solar investment in that order. The long-term outlook
Recent information regarding the ongoing Southeastern and Central European natural gas pipeline project of South Stream, point out that a significant shift in priorities is in motion.
More specifically, the Head of the Project Management Department of Gazprom, Leonid Chuguno, stated to both Greek and Italian stakeholders that the proposed pipeline has in effect, postponed its route from Bulgaria to Greece and then underwater to Otrando-Italy.
The main reason is the present lack of market criteria as Gazprom puts it, meaning that it does not view either Greece or the Southern Italian gas markets as capable of absorbing gas quantities of around 10 billion cbm per year, as envisaged initially in the plans of South Stream.
Thus, it was added that if Greece is interested and capable to buy more gas in the future, it should rely in the existing Bulgarian-Greek connection that provides around 2.8 billion cbm per annum to the country. Regarding Italy, Gazprom relayed that it is very much interested in the Northern Italian market where the basis of the country’s major industries and most consumers are located.
For the above reasons it was concluded South Stream will pursue the route from Bulgaria-Serbia-Hungary-Slovenia-Italy and Austria route. Thereafter, quantities could be transferred to the South of Italy via the domestic pipeline network.
On the other hand, Gazprom stated once more its strong interest in acquiring the Greek natural gas company DEPA and disconnected the South Stream project from the privatization of that company. This latest culmination points out that Gazprom is proceeding into a business tactic that is both force concentrated and force dispersal at the same time in order to overcome a serious of financial, regulatory and geopolitical hurdles.
First of all there is the issue of the EU’s Competition Directorate that is pressing heavily Gazprom regarding potential monopolistic practices for the supply of the member states.
Just after the announcement regarding South Stream’s routes, the spokeswoman for Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, Marlene Holzner. stated that ” It was never communicated to the (European) Commission that South Stream has a final route…We don’t regard this as a final investment decision.”
Since South Stream is not strictly a Gazprom plan, but it is actually a collaboration of that company (50% share) along with ENI (20%), EDF (15%) and Wintershall (15%), the Russian company has to take care that this delicate balance of multiple European energy companies does not run into issues with the all-powerful competition commission. Thus by “sacrificing” the Southern leg of the pipeline (Greece-Italy) it both reduces construction and operational costs of the pipeline and also reduces fears of encompassing the markets of both these countries to an extent that the EU could not turn a blind eye to. This is force concentration tactic, since now Gazprom is able to focus on one route and engage even more actively with the countries participating to the route, the most centrally located one being Serbia which is not an EU member, thus not liable to any pressures of regulatory level by Brussels.
On a second level, by re-affirming its commitment to buy DEPA, it seems that Gazprom is viewing Greece as an ideal location to be used for LNG exports to the world markets.
DEPA has already a domestic pipeline network that links with most major ports of the country, along with an LNG terminal and several unused potential gas storage facilities on coastal regions. By adding to the fact that Greek-ship owners have become over the past few years major players in the global LNG transportation business environment, Gazprom may be possibly relying on that option to open a new market for its gas exports that first of all is not going to be subject to EU competition regulations since the commodity is going to be exported to non-EU countries such as India with LNG vessels via the Aegean-Suez-Indian Ocean route.
Furthermore the collaboration that has been observed between Gazprom and Israeli companies regarding Eastern Mediterranean gas reserves, further indicates that the interest of the Russian company about DEPA is subject to a strategy of expanding into sea gas trade, by linking its disperse interests (and that of the Russian energy policy as a whole) in Greece, Cyprus, Syria and Israel with the additional interests Russian companies retain in Iraq and Iran.
That is force dispersal and diversion, since it opens up a new “front” for Gazprom by neutralizing opposition forces that were worried about competition and regulation affairs, but also relieves pressure for the present Greek and Italian energy strategies that rely on the Trans-Adriatic pipeline project (TAP) to supply gas from Azerbaijan. In that sense Azeri gas could be exported to these markets and the Southern Corridor could be established, without causing a loss on Gazprom’s market share which could be substituted by the opening of new markets.
Gazprom, by establishing a “Modus Vivendi” with TAP’s shareholders (Statoil, EGL, EON), manages potentially to engage almost the majority of major European gas businesses in long-term “truce” and acquires a certain leverage over its competitor SOCAR, that will also pay attention to the above culminations and may even be tempted to proceed with LNG plans as well.
Lastly, two certain assumptions could be made, based on the latest developments. First and foremost, from now on the main pipeline competition takes place exclusively in the Northern Southeastern Europe between Nabucco West and South Stream and secondly Gazprom’s tactics resemble military maneuvers, indicating quite possibly that this company administers itself not only as corporate organization, but also as a military one, that takes its business decisions based on armed forces traditions, mentality and judgment, surely an interesting aspect when examining the modern-day European natural gas market.
Note: “Force concentration” & “Force dispersal” are two basic principles of military tactics since ancient times.
Wow, that was some ugly action in the solar sector on Wednesday.
Forbes – Energy
Pre-treating your plants with water filters for organic gardening is the most popular trend to make your plants healthy and keep great care of your vegetation. Most of the organic gardens in town often use the tap water which is supplied to fulfill the vegetation requirements. Until you use rain barrels for collection of [...]
Want to buy this gadget? Check out the Water Filters for Organic Gardening article on EnviroGadget to see the lowest prices for this gadget.
- The Hydropal Filter Water Bottle
- Some Commandments for Eco Gardening
- Water Saving Water Watch Spray Nozzle
As I opened this week’s 2012 Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference, I looked out at hundreds of faces, some long-time friends and associates, and many I’ve not seen before. The brain power in the room immediately struck me. I explained the simple black slide that surrounded me on stage. It simply said: 5.5. We’ve held this conference 5 1/2 t
How can solar energy be stored so that it can be available any time, day or night, when the sun shining or not? Scientists are developing a technology that can transform light energy into a clean fuel that has a neutral carbon footprint: hydrogen. The basic ingredients of the recipe are water and metal oxides, such as iron oxide, better known as rust.
ScienceDaily: Alternative Fuel News
Filed under: Regulation
Now that the votes are in and media attention has shifted from a contentious US presidential election to the looming fiscal cliff, energy companies in the oil and gas space as well as wind, solar and…
A new cooling method for polyatomic molecules paves the way for the investigation of molecular gases near absolute zero temperature.
ScienceDaily: Energy Technology News
Four years after the U.S. credit market crashed, energy efficiency projects continue to struggle to secure financing. What’s the problem? A slow economy, of course. But when it comes to energy efficiency — and on-site renewable energy — the problem runs deeper. It’s not lack of interest in green energy. To the contrary, says Angela Ferrante, direct
SolarWorld AG has suffered significant losses in the first three quarters of 2012, compared to the previous year. To improve the situation it will, among other measures, cut back on personnel. The company is very firmly laying the blame at the feet of the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) may allow a thirty percent reduction in electrical consumption in cities, as demonstrated recently by a European research project. The results were presented after analysis showed how to optimize the use of residential consumption and generation infrastructures.
ScienceDaily: Energy Technology News
Forget US energy independence, the real message of the latest IEA World Energy Outlook is that we have to keep two-thirds of all remaining fossil fuels in the ground to avoid wrecking the planet.
Energy Policy feed
After being bombarded with political ads for the past few months, most of us are relieved we no longer encounter them everywhere we turn. But imagine if you heard one like this:
It was announced more than a year ago, then test vehicles were shown in March, and now finally the car itself will be unveiled this month. The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, the electric conversion of Chevy’s smallest vehicle sold in the U.S., will debut two weeks from today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Chevy said in a statement that The basics of the…
The UAE-based owner of seismic vessels, Polarcus Limited, today reported net profit of $ 21.1 million for the third quarter 2012, an increase compared to the $ 5.9 million earned in the same period 2011. The third quarter 2012 was the first time Polarcus operated its full fleet complement of eight vessels subsequent to the delivery of [...]
Offshore Energy Today
Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released the findings of an economic analysis indicating as much as 18 percent of the country’s coal-fired energy generating capacity should be considered for closure. The study found as many as 353 generators in 31 states, totaling 59 gigawatts (GW) of electricity generation capacity, likely will be more expensive to operate after installing modern pollution control equipment than switching to cleaner energy alternatives such as natural gas, renewable energy, or using greater energy efficiency measures. These potential closures are in addition to 41 GW of already announced coal retirements.
California’s Proposition 39 did not get much attention in the months leading up to Tuesday’s election, but voters handily approved the measure to increase taxes on some corporations, with $ 2.5 billion of the money going for projects to conserve electricity and natural gas consumed by schools and other government buildings.
The appeal to Californians was understandable. Basically, the additional taxes will be paid by companies that sell their products in the state but have relatively few employees and little property here. In turn, $ 500 million annually for five years will pay for public building retrofit projects, each of which must save taxpayers more on energy costs in the long term than the retrofits cost.
The money can be used for renewable energy installations like solar panels too, but the cost-effectiveness requirement currently favors energy efficiency projects like insulation or modernizing heating, air-conditioning, water, or lighting systems, according to James Sweeney, professor of management science and engineering, and director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University.
“Many efficiency improvements can pay for themselves in several years,” said Sweeney.
According to a McKinsey & Co. report in 2009, state and local government buildings in the United States could reduce energy costs by $ 49 billion for $ 26 billion in efficiency investments, while also slashing their greenhouse gas emissions by a third. For decades, California has been more aggressive than most states in promoting energy efficiency. State regulations result in utilities spending about $ 1 billion annually on financial incentives primarily for homeowners and businesses rather than large government buildings. Such programs are funded primarily by utility customers, not tax receipts.
Under Proposition 39, $ 500 million to $ 550 million a year will be spent in three areas: outright grants to cover the costs of projects, low-interest loans for such projects, and workforce training to increase the number of skilled workers available to install the new technologies.
The state legislature is to write, by June, the rules that will determine how the money will be divided among these three groups.
That will require debate, said Sweeney. Cities and school districts in these tough budget times would much prefer grants to loans. Even 1 percent interest loans create more debt on already strained government balance sheets.
Federal stimulus funds that California allocated to energy conservation grants for small cities and counties were taken up quickly, while a related low-interest loan program is still taking applications.
“For public buildings, capital constraints have prevented cost-effective investments to conserve electricity and natural gas. Grants under Prop. 39 will clearly overcome these capital constraints,” said Sweeney.
On the other hand, most policymakers in Sacramento have a strong preference for low-interest loans, which upon repayment can fund additional projects. A significant loan program could leverage the Prop. 39 program far beyond five years and $ 2.5 billion by conserving more energy and creating more jobs than one-time grants. Such a program might also be extended to private companies rather than just governments.
Under state mandates, half of the proceeds from the higher taxes must go to certain types of spending, primarily public education. After five years, the annual $ 500 million for energy efficiency will become available for general purposes.
Mark Golden works in communications at the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University.
Precourt Energy Efficiency Center: (650) 724-1629, email@example.com
It may seem as though the German plains are all but tapped out when it comes to wind energy production. To refute this theory researchers are sending stunt kites into the skies to harness the wind and convert the kinetic energy generated into electricity.
ScienceDaily: Energy Technology News
Filed under: Regulation
A hole and a section of pipe remain in a neighborhood that was devastasted by a gas line explosion in September of last year on May 19, 2011 in San Bruno, California. Transportation Secretary…
In December 1973, President Richard Nixon explained to the American people his administration’s critical initiative to confront the “energy crisis” du jour (precipitated by the 1973–74 Arab oil embargo): “Many [energy savings…
POWER Magazine :: Suing for (Pipeline) Safety
Renewables – including solar power and wind energy – will become the world’s second-largest source of power generation by 2015 and will close in on [...]