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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Chile Solar Electricity Cheapest Of All




Solar Delivers Cheapest Electricity ‘Ever, Anywhere, By Any Technology’


Half the price of coal!



Chile has just contracted for the cheapest unsubsidized power plant in the world, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reports.
In last week’s energy auction, Chile accepted a bid from Spanish developerSolarpack Corp. Tecnologica for 120 megawatts of solar at the stunning price of $29.10 per megawatt-hour (2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour or kwh). This beats the 2.99 cents/kwh bid Dubai received recently for 800 megawatts. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.
“Solar power delivers cheapest unsubsidised electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology,” BNEF Chair Michael Liebreich said on Twitter after this contract was announced.
Carlos Finat, head of the Chilean Renewable Energies Association (ACERA) told Bloomberg that the auction is “a strong warning sign that the energy business continues on the transition path to renewable power and that companies should adapt quickly to this transition process.” Indeed, in the same auction, the price of coal power was nearly twice as high!
Grid-connected solar power on Chile has quadrupled since 2013. Total installed capacity exceeded 1,000 megawatts this year — the most by far in South America. Another 2,000 megawatts is under construction, and there are over 11,000 megawatts that are “RCA Approved” (i.e. have environmental permits).


The Strategies of Global Warfare: Washington’s Military Design in the Asia-Pacific

China, North Korea as well as Russia are potential targets under Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”, involving the combined threat of missile deployments, naval power and pre-emptive nuclear war. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Asia Pacific region. The planning of military operations is coordinated with non-conventional forms of warfare including regime change, financial warfare and economic sanctions. All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped.
A Thousand Balls of Flame 

The US has squandered a fantastic sum of money fattening up its notoriously corrupt defense establishment with various versions of “Star Wars,” but none of that money has been particularly well spent. 


Inside the CIA's Secret Drone War
From drone operators to strike victims, we examine the impact of remote-controlled killing and the future of warfare.

Today's ENERGY News - 31 August 2016





Top Stories 


Nigerian Slump Deepens as Economy Shrinks 2.1% in Second Quarter


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Economy contracted as oil output declined from previous period IMF forecast Nigeria economy will shrink 1.8% in 2016 Nigeria’s economic slump deepened in the second quarter as a declining oil industry weighed on output. Gross domestic product in Africa’s most-populous country contracted by 2.1 percent in the three months through June from a year earlier, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday, after shrinking 0.4 percent in the first quarter. The median of 17 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a 1.6 percent contraction. Nigeria suffered a revenue squeeze after oil prices slumped by half since mid-2014, and crude exports fell by over 20 percent in the second quarter as militants in the Niger River delta blew up pipelines and reduced output. This was exacerbated by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency peg that led to a lack of dollars in the […]

Mystery Shrouding Oil on Chinese Islands Puzzles Crude Markets

Analyst opinion divided over level of China strategic reserves Purchases for SPR have lifted crude imports, helping prices China’s got the world puzzling over its oil hoard. From underground caverns by the Yellow Sea to a scattering of islands in the Yangtze River delta, the government has been stockpiling crude for emergencies in a network of storage sites dotted around the country. Record purchases this year by the world’s biggest energy consumer have helped oil prices recover from the worst crash in a generation. What the country plans to do next could determine where they go from here. The difficulty is that nobody outside China really knows for certain. The government won’t say how much it’s holding or when the tanks will be full. Energy Aspects Ltd. says the country will probably keep buying and fill up commercial tanks if it has to, while the likes of JPMorgan Chase […]

 bloomberg.com



Oil Companies May Spend $8 Billion to Start Output in Uganda

Government expects Tullow, Total, Cnooc to drill 500 wells Companies expected to start crude production in 2020 Uganda expects three oil companies to invest $8 billion in the East African nation before they start producing crude in 2020, Energy Minister Irene Muloni said. The government on Tuesday issued production licenses to London-based Tullow Oil Plc and Total SA of France and said that together with Cnooc Ltd., the state-owned Chinese producer, the country expects to pump as much as 230,000 barrels per day of crude. “The companies are expected to invest over $8 billion in the infrastructure required for all the production licenses,” Muloni said in the capital, Kampala. “This investment will be for the drilling of about 500 wells, construction of central processing facilities and feeder pipelines, among others.” Uganda discovered oil in 2006 and has an estimated 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable resources. Cnooc, the first company […]

Venezuela Cracks Down on Opposition Before Massive Rally

President Nicolás Maduro has intensified a crackdown on opponents ahead of Thursday’s major opposition rally to demand a referendum on his rule amid a deepening economic crisis. On Tuesday, police from the government’s intelligence agency detained Carlos Melo, a leader of the Progressive Advance party, on a Caracas street, the party’s spokesman said. The agency declined to confirm the detention. The arrest followed Monday’s detention of Yon Goicoechea, an organizer for the Popular Will opposition party, for allegedly carrying bomb-making materials, according to a top government official. At least four other Popular Will leaders went into hiding in the past week after authorities raided their houses or issued arrest warrants, according to the party. The actions against opposition parties are raising tensions in a deeply polarized country as thousands of Venezuelans descend on […]

4 Energy Storage Options That Elon Musk Is Ignoring


Image result for invention of wheel  funny
In research there is evolution, revolution and sometimes, what I call “retro revolution,” which happens when old methods have new applications. All three are in play in the world of electricity, and they are having an extraordinary effect on energy storage. The inability to store electricity has been a challenge since the time of Thomas Edison. Electricity is made and used in real time, putting huge pressure on utilities at particular times of the day. For much of the East Coast in summer, for example, the peak is in the evening, when people come home from work or play, crank up the air conditioning, flip on the lights, the TV and start cooking. In many cities, the subways operate at peak and the electricity supply is stretched. Traditionally, there have been two ways to deal with this. One is that utilities have some plant on standby, […]

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Climate Causing Thousands Of Yellowstone Fish To Go Belly-Up


CLIMATE NEWS


This unprecedented kill reveals why we need to keep rivers resilient

FishKill4.jpg

The Massive Yellowstone Fish Die-Off: A Glimpse Into Our Climate Future?

It was the kind of clear late-August day that anglers live for. Yet at the Yellowstone River near Livingston, Montana, not a single oar boat or even a fishing line broke the river’s calm surface. All was still, save for an osprey scavenging the corpses of pale, shimmering whitefish along the gravelly shoreline. A light breeze carried the sweetish smell of aquatic decay.
Earlier this month, the Yellowstone River made national headlines with the news of an unprecedented fish die-off in its usually healthy waters. Starting in mid-August, biologists counted 4,000 dead whitefish floating on the Yellowstone or washed ashore, but they estimate that the true number is in the tens of thousands. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve recently spotted rainbow trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout—both economically important species—go belly-up as well.
The Smithsonian

 

The War On Cash

The banks, credit card companies and big businesses have declared a war on cash. Sweden is going to go cashless. Death of cash means the rise of something else, which may be detrimental to society.

Water As A Commons

Every day, 2 million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are discharged into the world’s water, the equivalent of the weight of the entire human population of more than 7 billion people. The amount of wastewater produced annually is about six times more water than exists in all the rivers of the world.

Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar

The new era of synthetic biology could make the dangers of the atomic age seem quaint. By the turn of the next century, most scientists believe biological technologies will introduce the most wrenching changes in our daily lives. These technologies will include human and animal life extension, crop and livestock genetic manipulation, and human performance enhancement, which together will begin changing the very nature of what it means to be human. 


Three mini-farms are sowing the seeds of global food security

Tiny, biointensive operations show smallholder farmers from around the world how they can grow far more food than conventional approaches. biointensive farms use up to 75% less land, up to 100% less fertilizer, up to 8% less water and up to 99% less energy to produce a given amount of food than conventional farming. 

Today's ENERGY News - 30 August 2016






Top Stories 



Oil market rebalancing could take until end 2017: Shell


Image result for rebalancing funny comedy

The huge global oil oversupply that has weighed on prices for the past two years may not clear until the second half of 2017, Shell’s chief energy adviser Wim Thomas told Reuters. The potential return to the market of some 1.5 million barrels per day of supply from Libya and Nigeria and uncertainty about Iranian and Iraqi production levels could push a rebalancing further away than many in the oil industry are hoping. “All these things when they come back on the market can again postpone the true balancing,” Thomas said in an interview on the sidelines of the ONS oil conference in Stavanger, Norway. He said the most optimistic scenario was for rebalancing, meaning that huge volumes of stored crude have to be absorbed, to kick in this year and that Shell was […]

Oil Discoveries at 70-Year Low Signal Supply Shortfall Ahead

New finds at lowest since 1947 and headed even lower: WoodMac Explorers replacing just 6% of resources they drill: Rystad Explorers in 2015 discovered only about a tenth as much oil as they have annually on average since 1960. This year, they’ll probably find even less, spurring new fears about their ability to meet future demand. With oil prices down by more than half since the price collapse two years ago, drillers have cut their exploration budgets to the bone. The result: Just 2.7 billion barrels of new supply was discovered in 2015, the smallest amount since 1947, according to figures from Edinburgh-based consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd. This year, drillers found just 736 million barrels of conventional crude as of the end of last month. That’s a concern for the industry at a time when the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that global oil demand will grow from […]

Is An OPEC Production Freeze Even Remotely Possible?

Oil Rig Oil prices enjoyed a bump last week, thanks in part to a weakened dollar and some geopolitical tensions in the Persian Gulf. But a large factor in the recent rally has been the return of a possible OPEC production freeze , a subject that was last tossed around before the organization’s much-publicized, and ultimately unproductive, meeting in Doha last April. The likelihood of a freeze sent markets up on Thursday, though some less-than-confident comments from the Saudi oil minister sent them dropping back on Friday. Whether a freeze occurs or not is likely to be the trending gossip among speculators for the next month, at a time when such talk is exerting greater-than-average pull on the crude price. But a question worth asking is whether a freeze is even possible , given the state of OPEC and the increasingly divergent interests of its fourteen members. This new […]

Shell to Sell Gulf of Mexico Oil Assets for $425 Million

Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider operation in the Gulf of Mexico for $425 million as Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden seeks to resuscitate an explorer dinged by the lowest profits in more than a decade. The buyer, EnVen Energy Corp., will gain control of four blocks in the U.S. part of the Gulf, as well as the platform and subsea pipeline network that funnel crude from the fields to shore, The Hague-based Shell said in a statement on Monday. The field pumps the equivalent of 25,000 barrels of oil a day, or 5.8 percent of Shell’s output in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell, the biggest oil producer in the U.S. Gulf, has been canceling projects and reducing cash outlays to cope with the plunge in oil markets and the burden of the company’s $54 billion purchase of BG Group in February. Quarterly profit fell […]


World population may rise to nearly 10 billion by 2050


Image result for extinction overpopulation
Ever Wonder Who's Next? 
The world population will reach 9.9 billion in 2050, increasing by 33 per cent from an estimated 7.4 billion now, the latest report from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has predicted. If the assumptions underlying 2050 projections by the PRB’s World Population Data Sheet are applied to subsequent years, the world population would hit the 10 billion mark in 2053, with set to Asia gain about 900 million to 5.3 billion. (ALSO READ: Humans altered 97 per cent of most species-rich places on Earth ) “Despite declines in fertility rates around the world, we expect population gains to remain strong enough to take us toward a global population of 10 billion,” said Jeffrey Jordan, president and CEO of PRB. “Significant regional differences remain, though. For example very low birth rates in Europe will mean population declines there while Africa’s population is expected to double,” said […]

EYE on the World - Global Physics: An Unsustainable Shrinking Pie






 Stories Going Beyond The Mainstream 

 


    Global Physics:

 An Equation That Is Not Sustainable.  


" Our Daily Shrinking Planetary Pie With More Mouths" 


We Are Running Out of Natural Resources - Now What?




unep-material-extraction-chart


Humans are gobbling up natural resources at a terrifying rate


Humans are using too much crap.
That’s the official word from a new U.N. report on the use of natural resources. It found that, from the food we eat to the homes we live in to the fuels we burn, our rates of consumption are just unsustainable. That’s not too surprising, but the real shock is that our extraction of the primary materials used to make all of our stuff has more than tripled in the past 40 years.

“We urgently need to address this problem before we have irreversibly depleted the resources that power our economies and lift people out of poverty,” said the U.N.’s Alicia Bárcena Ibarra. 

Scotland On Path To Completely Ditching Fossil Fuels



stirlingwindfarm-1.jpg 

Scotland just produced enough wind energy to power it for an entire day


Strong winds combined with low demand on a sunny summer Sunday help Scotland reach ‘significant milestone’ on path towards ditching fossil fuels entirely

For the first time on record, wind turbines have generated more electricity than was used in the whole of Scotland on a single day.
An analysis by conservation group WWF Scotland found unseasonably stormy weather saw turbines create about 106 per cent of the total amount of electricity used by every home and business in the country on 7 August.
Gale-force winds lashed much of the country with a speed of 115mph recorded at the top of Cairngorm mountain. 

Serious Money Moving To The Sidelines




Investors Stockpiling Cash Like It’s 1999


Wealthy investors are stockpiling cash at levels we haven’t seen since 2001, in the wake of the Dot Com crash. The cash slush pile is larger even than in 2008 when investors fled the market during the Lehman collapse. According to a recent survey, large investors, including asset managers and institutional investors, have almost six percent of their holdings in cash. The amount of cash being squirreled away by just the world’s billionaires, not solely in the U.S., but worldwide, is estimated to beas high as $1.7 trillion dollars. That’s ten percent of the entire U.S. GDP.

There are a lot of reasons that the investment world has retreated to cash, but this is the first time it’s happened when there was no clear ongoing economic disaster. In other words, seasoned investors are behaving as if there’s been a market collapse at a time when equity markets continue to march higher—when to all outward appearances we’re in a boom.


Last Days For Oil Industry? 


Heinberg: Is the Oil Industry Dying?  

The peak oil controversy stages a comeback as the industry confronts a future of higher costs — and low prices. A spindletop spouter gushes oil in 1902. (Image: Wikimedia Commons) Talking about “peak oil” can feel very last decade. In fact, the question is still current. Petroleum markets are so glutted and prices are so low that most industry commenters think any worry about future oil supplies is pointless. The glut and price dip, however, are hardly indications of a healthy industry; instead, they are symptoms of an increasing inability to match production cost, supply, and demand in a way that’s profitable for producers but affordable for society. 
Is this what peak oil looks like?  

No Future For Middle-Class Or Wage-Earners





Here's Why Wages Have Stagnated--and Will Continue to Stagnate

The only way to reverse declines in labor participation and stagnation in wages and demand is to make it easier to start enterprises and hire people.

Mainstream economists are mystified why wages/salaries are still stagnant after 7+ years of growth / "recovery." The conventional view is that wages should be rising as the labor market tightens (i.e. the unemployment rate is low) and demand for workers increases in an expanding economy. 

Overpopulation Ultimately Leads To Global Food Shortages



The Odds of a Global Food Crisis Are Rising

Image result for food crisis venezuela

The vulnerability of global food production to extremes of weather is a profound reality that few grasp.
Given the current abundance of food globally, confidence in permanent food surpluses and low grain prices is high. Few worry that the present abundance of food could be temporary. But the global food supply is more fragile than we might think, despite historically low grain/agricultural commodity prices.


Both corn and wheat have plummeted in price due to current demand/supply:



Let's start with one salient fact: there are 7+ billion human mouths to feed now plus hundreds of millions of animals that are being fed grain to supply humanity's insatiable appetite for meat:

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