It is almost common knowledge these days that advancements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, both decades-old techniques, have been the keys to unlocking vast gas and oil deposits in recent years that were previously considered too costly to develop. As hydraulic fracturing has become commonplace across large swaths of the United States – sometimes in areas in which oil and gas drilling is a relatively new phenomenon – it has sparked a range of environmental concerns. These include fears that the materials injected into the ground in the process, which include chemicals and proppants, may contaminate water supplies. Keep reading →
Economists tend to be very good at finding reasons things won’t go well, and it is part of their professional mission to detail and warn the many potential pitfalls for companies, governments and individuals facing a complex and uncertain world. So how does the profession of energy economics in North America deal with an unexpected outbreak of good news?
Rising production of oil and natural gas based on falling prices has made many of the anticipated problems with transitioning to a cleaner economy less immediately urgent, and despite the recent problems with the transmission grid and generation system exposed by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, the US has in large part navigated a period of low demand for electricity without a sharp slowdown in needed investment. Keep reading →
The US energy sector has been a rare bright spot through much of the past four years as first financial firms and then the rest of the global economy has struggled to recover from a grinding and often jobless recession.
Statistics about jobs vary, but any region with significant oil or gas resources has noted the uptick in employment in those sectors as development has accelerated. The most recent numbers from Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry, for example, show core employment in the Marcellus Shale developments in the state up by 177.5% from first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2012, even as the state’s overall employment level has lagged that of the rest of the country. Keep reading →
The US wind industry is on track for a record-breaking year. In August, the American Wind Energy Association announced a milestone 50 GW of capacity and installations will this year beat previous records.
Matt Kaplan, US wind analyst at IHS Emerging Energy Research, estimates that 12 GW will be installed this year. Keep reading →
David Cameron’s promise within his first month as UK prime minister to be “greenest government ever” looks at risk of derailment – by his own Chancellor, George Osborne.
Conservatives and Liberal Democrats appeared to carry over the political consensus on action on climate change and a switch to renewable energy. But what began as an ideological rift in the British Cabinet has become a very public clash between the Tory chief at the Treasury and the Lib-Dem boss at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Keep reading →
A windswept archipelago that bears the brunt of Atlantic storms, with a dense and growing population: Britain’s conditions are perfect for an industry with a stable future.
In addition to its natural resources, the UK’s energy economics create good market potential for renewables: high retail electricity prices, Europe-wide natural gas prices of around €15 per mmbtu, energy security concerns, an aging nuclear fleet and environmental restrictions on shale gas. Keep reading →
A panel of energy experts told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee January 31 in Washington, DC that Canadian oil producers won’t run out of pipeline capacity to ship additional crude across the US border until about 2019. Keep reading →
The proposed Bluewater wind farm off the coast of Delaware is facing an uncertain future, one that could reflect broader impacts for the still-emerging US offshore wind industry.
The proposed wind farm off the coast of Delaware received a near-fatal blow this week when developer NRG Bluewater Wind said it would withdraw from a power purchase agreement with local utility Delmarva Power that would have given the wind farm a market for 200 MW of its output. Keep reading →
Indications that fierce competition in the global wind turbine industry is about to intensify came with news from the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer. Vestas abandoned its forecast of €15 billion in revenues in 2015 and said that job losses and restructuring will follow instead.
The Danish manufacturer’s third quarter results signal the challenges ahead as established players seek traction in emerging markets to compensate for oversupply, market expansion slows and the US and EU face potential double dip recessions, just as Chinese companies entice overseas customers with knock-down prices. Keep reading →
2010 marked a pivotal year both for global turbine manufacturing capacity and installed capacity around the world.
Global wind turbines saw a record 39.9 GW delivered in 2010. Although leader Vestas saw its market share increase to 14.7% last year also marked a shift as Chinese manufacturers increased deliveries. Sinovel, Goldwind, and Donfang have increased their combined market share by nearly 6% annually on average up to 27% in 2010. Keep reading →