The scale of forced closures in nuclear power-reliant France - 19 reactors offline and 12 more due to shut - is the biggest since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, after French nuclear safety watchdog ASN warned its sprawling probe into forged quality control reports on reactor parts would turn up more irregularities. These deepening setbacks have sent French power prices soaring to 8 year highs and are expected to spike more into the winter...
China, the world’s largest oil consumer, has been increasing oil imports and feasting on the low crude oil prices. Could Russia and Saudi Arabia’s plan to stabilize crude oil prices cut into China’s oil hoarding plans?
Electric cars are often touted as the nail in the coffin for gasoline-powered vehicles. However, there’s another fuel revolution in the developing world, which is changing the economics of electric cars. Whether it’s CNG, LNG, autogas, or propane, gaseous-hydrocarbon fuels turn conventional cars into dual-fuel vehicles, and limit the uptake of electric cars in these economies.
The nuclear reactors of tomorrow will not only be safer than the ones we already have – which are themselves safer than many believe – they will be much more efficient. Bill Gates’ TerraPower, for instance, has designed a traveling wave reactor, which utilizes nuclear waste. Another design, by two MIT researchers, again uses waste, mixed into molten salt. In short, the nuclear reactors of the future will utilize not just regular uranium but will take care of the waste as well – the same waste that raises so much concern among environmentalists and the general public.
“Everything that is not resilient to high energy prices and extreme weather events will become economically unviable... and approach worthlessness. On the other hand,... Investments of time, energy, and money in resilience will become more economically valuable..."
Ever since the discussions on how to address "manmade global warming" started to gain traction in the 1990s trillions of dollars have been spent on infrastructure, subsidies, R&D, regulations, trading schemes and even political organizations with the explicit intent of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Alas, the world has changed considerably since the 1990s. Rather than diminishing, carbon emissions have actually increased by a great deal. Developing countries as a whole are now the #1 emitter. And many OECD (mostly developed) countries are trying to manage very difficult fiscal positions. In fact, the only thing that seems to have remained constant is the strategy on how to reduce emissions globally.
“From approximately 6:14 a.m. to 6:16 a.m., a small section of the Earth’s atmosphere should be perceptible to the naked eye when looking towards the southwest in Beijing... For anyone who hasn’t seen it before or isn’t sure what to look for, the sky will appear as a small, bluish area that should stand out clearly from its surroundings"
Sunday, April 17th was the designated moment. The world’s leading oil producers were expected to bring fresh discipline to the chaotic petroleum market and spark a return to high prices. But what happens if confidence in the eventual resurgence of demand begins to wither? Then the incentives to cooperate begin to evaporate, too, and it’s every producer for itself in a mad scramble to protect market share. This new reality -- a world in which “peak oil demand,” rather than “peak oil,” will shape the consciousness of major players -- is what the Doha catastrophe foreshadowed.
"It's a supply issue", "No, it's a demand issue" - when it comes to the cause for plunging oil prices, the two camps will surely never agree on just what is causing it. Luckily, Obama may provide just the tiebreaker.