Daily Archives: March 26, 2010

Sheila McNulty

T Boone Pickens has been wrong before. The billionaire oil man discusses those times openly in his book, The First Billion is the Hardest. But mostly being wrong for Pickens is really a matter of timing – not substance.

And that is why it is interesting to note, in a recent interview, how keen he has become about wind – and now, water.

Pickens was so sure about the future of wind that, until the economic crisis, he was pushing it full force, with plans for the world’s biggest wind farm, in the Texas Panhandle. He has shelved those plans, because of transmission issues in getting the wind power generated to the urban centres where it is needed.

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

- Shale gas in Europe and China – the outlook

- The clean energy winner is…

- Nabucco delayed? Not so fast…

- One down, at least four to go on biofuels

- The many obstacles to a US climate bill

- GE’s European wind turbine plans and China’s nat gas flurry in Energy headlines

Further reading:

- The Caribbean‘s undiversified oil supply

- Yet more on the Leggett/Monbiot feed-in tariff debate

- Time to invest in uranium?

- Decarbonisation: How much, where and how pays?

- Venezuela expands Easter holiday to save energy

- The perils of projecting oil demand

- Conservative evangelicals embrace God and green

Kate Mackenzie

Virent, a Wisconsin company, and Shell have managed to produce a small amount of biogasoline from sugar.  Two thirds of a barrel per day, in fact.

It sounds small, but it does represent something of a success: the goal stated when Shell invested in Virent two years ago was simply to create biogasoline instead of ethanol, which is the most widely-available form of biofuel. As the FT report points out, gasoline (or petrol) produced from biological sources can be used in existing liquid fuel production systems, while ethanol needs to be transported separately. 

Kate Mackenzie

It’s official. We’ve seen that China leads the world on wind turbine installations and wind and solar manufacturing, and now a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts finds China is winning the ‘clean tech race’, such as it is.

In fact, it leads by quite a long way, as the chart shows:

Pew Charitable Trusts

Pew Charitable Trusts

Kate Mackenzie

A US climate bill looks ever more complicated, even as it apparently gets closer to being introduced in the Senate.

Senators Joe Lieberman, John Kerry and Lindsey Graham are planning to introduce revised bill in mid-to-late April, after the Easter break, according to reports which emerged after the trio met with oil industry representatives, and Obama administration officials held talks with Senate Democratic committee leaders.

The three senators have been holding numerous meetings in an attempt to win adequate support, but the obstacles still appear vast. Here’s a few:

Guenther Oettinger, EU energy commissioner, set the cat among the proverbial pigeons this week by appearing to suggest that the Nabucco gas pipeline could be delayed for four years.

Oettinger told Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he hoped the Nabucco consortium would this year take a final investment decision to build the ambitious pipeline bringing natural gas to the European Union from the Caspian.

But he said first gas would flow “probably in 2018″ instead of 2014 as originally planned, without citing reasons for the delay.

Backers of the 3300km pipeline spend a great deal of time trumpeting its credentials as a way to dilute Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, and contradicting speculation there is not sufficient gas or demand to fill it.

Kate Mackenzie

Big Oil seeks nat gas deal in US climate bill (Reuters)

Senators outline US utility carbon market (Bloomberg)

Mulva warns of challenge to growth efforts (FT)

Shell venture yields petrol from sugar (FT)

GE plans for £99m offshore wind turbine plant (FT)

China’s gas sector heats up amid flurry of deals (FT)

Energy Source is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

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