Detroit Hosts Annual North American International Auto Show

Tesla and SolarCity’s Elon Musk told utility executives at the Detroit auto show that utilities and solar power can get along just fine. “Rive’s cousin and SolarCity investor Elon Musk sought to assuage such fears further at the Detroit auto show. Speaking about utilities’ role in the future of the energy mix, he said: ‘Long-term, I think [electricity] demand approximately doubles, and if half of that is met from solar and half from existing utilities, to a first approximation the utilities’ business [share] remains about the same.’” [PV Magazine]

As oil companies evaluate capital spending programs, high-cost projects are being cancelled and delayed. Shell announced it will not proceed with a $6.5 billion petrochemical project in Qatar. “The Al Karaana project, an 80:20 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Shell, would have produced 2m tonnes a year of petrochemicals products, largely intended for Asian markets.” [Financial Times]

The Obama administration today will announce new methane emission regulations for oil and gas development operations. “The call for tighter controls on methane is part of President Obama’s effort to use his executive authority under the Clean Air Act to confront global warming. The administration earlier unveiled plans for strict limits on power plant emissions. Like that proposal, the methane plan is certain to draw protests and legal challenges from big energy companies.” [Los Angeles Times]