By - Jim Vess

Lithium chemical glut may turn into a pinched market by 2025, Bloomberg analysis says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 The battery demand for lithium chemicals – now in the doldrums – could reach 700,000 metric tons by 2025 and along with 300,000 metric tons for non-battery uses, making for a tight market, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis. Lithium prices have been cut in half since the last quarter of 2017

By - Jim Vess

Global energy efficiency drops to lowest rate since the start of the decade in 2018, IEA says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 Primary energy intensity, a key indicator of how much energy is being used by the global economy, was down 1.2 percent in 2018 – the slowest improvement since 2010, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It marked the third year in a row of declining rates, with 2017 posting a 1.7 percent improvement. The

By - Jim Vess

Coal mine prospects in the Powder River Basin are on a poor trajectory, Moody’s says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 A string of coal mining company bankruptcies in the Powder River Basin (PRB), straddling Wyoming and Montana, has changed the basin’s competitive landscape, but not its “poor overall long-term trajectory,” according to an analysis by Moody’s Investor Services. “All of the rated coal companies that produce PRB coal are now focusing on metallurgical coal production

By - Jim Vess

Using EV batteries as a power source can shift peak load, save utilities money, study says

Energize Weekly, October 23, 2019 Turning electric vehicle (EV) batteries into a source of electricity during peak demand hours – making them “virtual power plants” – can shave load and save money, according to an analysis by energy consultant Jackson Associates. The study took customer data – hourly loads, commuting and household data – and used that to model the

By - Jim Vess

IMF calls for $75-a-ton carbon tax, says current carbon-cutting measures are inadequate

Energize Weekly, October 23, 2019 An International Monetary Fund (IMF) analysis says that a $75-a-ton tax on carbon emissions or a comparable fiscal policy needs to be in place by 2030 to limit global warming to 2 degrees centigrade, though it will lead to sharp increases in electricity and gasoline prices. “Policy makers need to act urgently to mitigate climate

By - Jim Vess

U.S. market for ‘smart home’ devices to triple to $75 billion by 2025

Energize Weekly, September 25, 2019 The U.S. market for “smart home” devices will more than triple by 2025, reaching $75 billion, according to data analytics company GlobalData. The growth will be driven by the increased use of smart thermostats, which consumers see as an energy-saving device and utilities as one that can help manage load. GlobalData is projecting an 18

By - Jim Vess

Seattle’s grid could be overwhelmed by ambitious plans for electric trucks and buses

Energize Weekly, September 18, 2019 Seattle’s ambitious plans for electrifying the city’s transportation sector could destabilize the metropolitan area’s electric grid by the addition of large numbers of electric trucks and buses, a study finds. The study by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in collaboration with Seattle City Light offers a series of steps to deal with the potentially high

By - Jim Vess

July EV sales plunge as China cuts subsidies, but rebound is likely in Q4

Energize Weekly, September 11, 2019 After a sharp decline in electric vehicle (EV) sales in July – the first drop in 30 months – Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) cut its sales forecast for the year by 6 percent to 1.5 million vehicles. EV sales in July were down nearly 7 percent compared with July 2018 and 51 percent from

By - Jim Vess

Dominion Energy launches a program to swap diesel school buses for electric ones

Energize Weekly, September 4, 2019 Dominion Energy has launched a program to replace diesel school buses in Virginia with electric buses starting with 50 vehicles in 2020 and then a second phase – adding 200 buses each year through 2025 – with the ultimate goal of replacing all diesel buses by 2030. The price tag on the first phase of

By - Jim Vess

Building a Small Modular Reactor Fleet

Energize Weekly, August 28, 2019 By Budd Haemer, Senior Nuclear Counsel, American Electric Power About half the corporate leaders of the United States see nuclear power as essential to a sustainable energy future.  Many of the leaders of the nuclear industry and in Congress see Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) as one key aspect of a viable nuclear industry in the

By - Jim Vess

U.S. DOE launches $50 million research program on electric and alternative-fuel trucks

Energize Weekly, August 28, 2019 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with university researchers and major auto manufacturers, has launched a $50 million program to develop electric and alternative-fuel technologies for trucks and off-road vehicles. The research projects will focus on gaseous fuels – including natural gas, bio-power and hydrogen – heavy-duty truck electrification, fuel cells and energy

By - Jim Vess

Oil will have to drop to $10/barrel to stay competitive with EVs and renewables, BNP Paribas study says

Energize Weekly, August 14, 2019 The economics for electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy charging have become so competitive that in the future, the price of oil will have to be no more than $10 a barrel to compete, according to analysis by Paris-based BNP Paribas. The analysis – Wells, Wires and Wheels – is based on a BNP Paribas-devised

By - Jim Vess

Battery storage market to soar by 2040, but could face short-term supply chain challenges

Energize Weekly, August 7, 2019 Energy storage worldwide will grow 122-fold, to nearly 1,110 gigawatts (GW) by 2040 as battery prices fall and their use expands – but growth may also create supply chain challenges. These are the views of two recent analyses, one by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) seeing market growth, and another by Wood Mackenzie cautioning that

By - Jim Vess

Coal-dependent counties face financial risks if climate change policies are implemented

Energize Weekly, July 31, 2019 A handful of coal-dependent communities and counties could suffer severe financial burdens as policies to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases and deal with climate change are implemented, according to a study by the Brookings Institution and Columbia University. Twenty-six counties in 10 states rely on coal mining for a significant portion of their employment,

By - Jim Vess

Closing a coal plant and contracts for offshore wind are signs of utility industry’s shift

Energize Weekly, July 24, 2019 In a sign of the shifting fortunes in the utility industry, on the same day came news of the largest coal-fired plant closure in nearly a decade and the largest U.S. offshore wind contracts ever. On July 18, American Electric Power (AEP) agreed to close a 1.3-gigawatt (GW) coal-fired unit in southern Indiana, and New

By - Jim Vess

Wood Mackenzie puts the cost of transition to all renewable energy at $4.5 trillion

Energize Weekly, July 3, 2019 The cost of transforming the U.S. electric grid to totally renewable energy in the next 10 to 20 years would be $4.5 trillion given current technology, according to a study by energy-and-industry consultant Wood Mackenzie. At a time of competing climate plans among Democratic presidential candidates and the Green New Deal being promoted by Congressional

By - Jim Vess

New York passes sweeping climate action plan to get to net-zero carbon emission by 2040

Energize Weekly, June 26, 2019 A bill passed by the New York state legislature sets the goal of boosting renewable power, including poorer communities in the transition to clean energy and getting the state to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 for all economic activity. The legislation, passed on June 20, is supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “New York has enacted

By - Jim Vess

Big increases in fossil fuel consumption places world on an unsustainable path, BP says

Energize Weekly, June 26, 2019 The strong growth in global energy demand in 2018 is a sign that the world is on an “unsustainable path,” according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Global energy demand was up 2.9 percent and carbon emissions grew by 2 percent in 2018, faster than at any times since 2010-2011, according to the

By - Jim Vess

New Jersey unveils a broad plan to reach 100 percent clean energy target by 2050

Energize Weekly, June 19, 2019 A multipronged, draft energy plan aimed at getting New Jersey to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 was unveiled June 10 by the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The plan looks to address transportation, energy consumption by buildings, grid modernization, as well as a net-zero carbon electricity generation and energy storage. The plan also

By - Jim Vess

Oil demand will see a shift with transportation using less and petrochemicals using more, Barclays says

Energize Weekly, May 15, 2019 Global oil demand—under current economic and energy development trends—is projected to peak between 2030 and 2035 and then plateau through 2050, according to a new analysis by the London-based investment bank, Barclays. That peak could come as early as 2025 if more aggressive energy policies highlighting renewable power and energy efficiency are implemented, the analysis

By - Jim Vess

Biodiesel fuels claiming a bigger share of U.S. soybean oil production

Energize Weekly, May 15, 2019 As the soybean market is roiled by trade disputes between the U.S. and China, the domestic biodiesel fuel industry is taking an increasing share of the country’s soybean oil production, according to federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Biodiesel production absorbed 30 percent of domestic soybean oil, or 7.1 billion pounds, from Oct. 1, 2017,

By - Jim Vess

The crossover point when EVs are cheaper than ICE cars is getting closer, BNEF says

Energize Weekly, May 8, 2019 The “crossover point” when electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper than their internal-combustion-engine (ICE) counterparts continues to get closer with falling battery costs, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). In a 2017 BNEF analysis, the crossover point was forecast as 2026. In 2018, the crossover point had moved two years closer to 2024. In the

By - Jim Vess

Coal plant closure moving west into areas with strong renewable energy resources, says BTU Analytics

Energize Weekly, May 1, 2019 The battle over coal-fired power plants and renewable energy is moving west, according to analyses by BTU Analytics, a Lakewood, Colo.-based energy consultant. About 81 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity has been closed at 696 units at 360 plants since 2008. In the early years, most of the closures were in the East. “Those retirements were

By - Jim Vess

Western states move on clean energy and carbon emissions reductions

Energize Weekly, May 1, 2019 A push for clean electricity is sweeping western states with a burst of activity last week as Washington and Nevada adopted new standards and Colorado moved closer to approving a 100 percent net-zero-carbon target for 2050. California last September set a net-zero-carbon target by 2045. In March, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a

By - Jim Vess

Climate-driven weather events pose a risk to municipal bonds, commercial real estate and utilities, BlackRock says

Energize Weekly, April 24, 2019 Among the economic threats posed by climate change are risks to municipal bonds, commercial real estate investments and the utility sector, according to an analysis by BlackRock and the Rhodium Group. “Our work with Rhodium Group shows a rising share of U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) will likely be hit by climate change in the coming decades,”

By - Jim Vess

Duke Energy proposes a $76 million EV charging station program in North Carolina

Energize Weekly, April 10, 2019 Duke Energy has filed a plan with North Carolina regulators for a three-year, $76 million pilot plan to add electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and promote the growth of the vehicles in the state. “North Carolina’s current pace of EV infrastructure availability cannot support the current and future pace of EV growth, and as EV

By - Jim Vess

Dynamic pricing for EVs could lead to $2.6 billion in benefits for Illinois consumers, study says

Energize Weekly, April 10, 2019 A well-designed electric vehicle (EV) program in Illinois could create $2.6 billion in consumer benefits, according to the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), a consumer watchdog group. The key to those benefits is simultaneously promoting the adoption of EVs and creating a rate structure that optimizes the charging of those vehicles at off-peak hours, particularly late

By - Jim Vess

Facing costly coal plant closures more states are looking to using securitized bonds

Energize Weekly, March 20, 2019 Faced with a growing number of coal plant closures, some states are looking at the use of securitized bonds to soften the financial impact. New Mexico and Colorado already have legislation to create such bonds. “Securitized bonds are a way to avoid a rate shock and benefit from lower rates from cheaper generation,” said by

By - Jim Vess

NY Gov. Cuomo proposes Green New Deal with $1.5 billion in energy grants

Energize Weekly, January 23, 2019 New York Gov. Mario Cuomo has begun to roll out specifics of his proposed “Green New Deal,” including $1.5 billion in grants for large-scale renewable energy projects and a $70 million fund to help communities absorb tax losses from shuttered coal-fired power plants. The programs were outlined in Cuomo’s State of the State address Jan.

By - Jim Vess

Utilities must redefine their relations with customers to deal with emerging issues, J.D. Power says

Energize Weekly, January 23, 2019 Utility companies need to redefine how they interact with their customers to deal with emerging issues, such as time-of-use rates, electric vehicles (EVs) and rooftop solar, according to an analysis by marketing research company J.D Power. “There is a need for traditional utilities to engage with their customers as things are happening,” Andrew Heath, senior

By - Jim Vess

EV sales set a record in 2018, almost doubling the number of electric vehicles sold

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019 Electric vehicle (EV) sales soared in 2018, surpassing record-breaking 2017 by 81 percent with 361,307 vehicles sold, according to Inside EVs, a market-tracking website. December also set a monthly record with 49,900 plug-in vehicles sold, nearly double the number sold in December 2017. Each of the last three months of 2018 posted a record, beating

By - Jim Vess

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose across all sectors in 2018, Rhodium says

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019 U.S. carbon dioxide emissions linked to energy use rose for the first time in three years in 2018—with all sectors from power generation to manufacturing to home heating—posting increases. There was a 3.4 percent increase in emissions, according to a study by the Rhodium Group, an energy and economic analytics consultant. “This marks the second

By - Jim Vess

Natural disasters caused $160 billion in damages in 2018 with about half covered by insurers

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019 Natural disasters worldwide caused $160 billion in damage and killed 10,400 people in 2018, making it the fourth mostly costly year for the insurance industry since 1980, according to the international insurer Swiss Re Group. “The indications at the start of 2018 were that it would be a more moderate year,” Petra Löw, a Swiss

By - Jim Vess

Floating solar in U.S. reservoirs could produce 10 percent of the nation’s electricity

Energize Weekly, January 9, 2019 Floating solar panels on 24,000 man-made reservoirs in the U.S. could generate 10 percent of the nation’s electricity and avoid gobbling up 8,100 square miles of land with ground installations. One of the challenges with large-scale deployment of wind and solar generation is the land requirements but shifting to floating photovoltaics (PV) could offer one

By - Jim Vess

Market pressure, state and local governments pushing marijuana growers to be more energy efficient

Energize Weekly, January 9, 2019 Legal marijuana cultivation—which is spreading across the county—is one of the most energy-intensive economic activities and is spurring the industry, as well as state and local governments, to seek ways to make grow operations more efficient. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Others, notable New York

By - Jim Vess

New York sets goal of carbon-free electricity by 2050 as clean energy pace picks up

Energize Weekly, December 26, 2018 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set a target of net-zero-carbon electricity generation by 2040, as a broad array of clean energy initiatives continue to move forward in the state. “The federal government still denies climate change, remarkably turning a blind eye to their own government’s scientific report,” Cuomo said in a statement. “New York

By - Jim Vess

Washington clean energy plan ends coal-fired generation, looks to electrify transportation

Energize Weekly, December 19, 2018 Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has unveiled a legislative package aimed at reducing the state’s carbon emissions by 25 percent over 1990 levels, led by phasing out fossil-fuel electricity generation by 2035. The plan focuses in five initiatives: 100 percent clean energy by 2045, moving to electric transportation, a clean fuel standard, constructing energy efficient buildings

By - Jim Vess

Global carbon emissions rise, cutting them will be a challenge, studies find

Energize Weekly, December 12, 2018 Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, driven by increased fossil fuel consumption, jumped in 2018. Even with major initiatives to curb carbon, fossil fuels are likely to hold a dominant share of energy production through 2040, according to a series of new studies. Carbon emissions worldwide rose 2.7 percent in 2018, compared to 1.6 percent in

By - Jim Vess

National climate assessment sees challenges in electric generation and higher demand

Energize Weekly, December 5, 2018 Climate change poses the dual hazard of increasing electricity demand while reducing generating efficiency, as well as producing severe weather that can damage the grid, according to a federal assessment of impacts of climate change. The Fourth National Climate Assessment, a 1,600-page analysis complied by 13 federal agencies, covers a wide range of potential impacts,

By - Jim Vess

Carbon emissions in heavy industry and transport could be could to zero by 2060, study says

Energize Weekly, November 28, 2018 Heavy industry carbon emissions—less of a focus and harder to curb than the power sector’s—could be reduced to zero by 2060 at cost of just a fraction of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to a new study by the nonprofit Energy Transitions Commission. The challenge in reducing industrial and transportation carbon emissions is that

By - Jim Vess

Demand response programs providing U.S. utilities with 18.3 gigawatts of capacity

Energize Weekly, November 28, 2018 The demand response programs of the major U.S. utilities, designed to reduce peak demand, tallied 18.3 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in 2017, with more than half of it dispatchable, according to an industry survey. The 2018 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot, which covers 155 utilities, with about 62 percent of the country’s utility customers, was

By - Jim Vess

New York set to spend $250 million on a statewide EV charging program

Energize Weekly, November 28, 2018 New York State plans to spend $250 million by 2025 on electric vehicle (EV) charging stations—the first step broad program to promote EVs as part of a plan to cut carbon emissions. The New York Power Authority announced it would install 200 charging stations under the plan’s first phase and the authority said it had

By - Jim Vess

Thin-film solar can grow in high-value markets like aerospace and building materials, NREL study says

Energize Weekly, November 21, 2018 Silicon solar cells account for 95 percent of the global market, but there are potentially multi-billion dollar markets for flexible, thin-film cells, according to an analysis by researchers at the federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “Multiple markets are emerging for renewable, low-cost power generation including aerospace and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), portable charging, micro-integrated

By - Jim Vess

Cannabis industry drives growing electricity demand, expected to soar with increased legalization

Energize Weekly, October 31, 2018 The legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is becoming a big energy consumer, using 1.1 million megawatts-hours a year—enough to power 92,500 homes— with consumption projected to grow by 162 percent between 2017 and 2002, according to a study by New Frontier Data. “As more states transition from illicit markets to legal medical markets or

By - Jim Vess

Goggle Maps adds EV charging stations around the world to its search

Energize Weekly, October 24, 2018 Google Maps is now a guide to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in countries around the world. A search on Google Maps in the U.S. will show the stations operated by Tesla, ChargePoint, SemaConnect, EVgo and Blink Network. The five companies account for about three-quarters of the more than 21,000 charging stations in the country.

By - Jim Vess

Duke Energy Florida will install up to 530 EV charging stations in three-year pilot

Energize Weekly, October 10, 2018 Duke Energy said it will install up to 530 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Florida as part of a pilot in tandem with a three-year program to promote and study EV use. The “Park and Plug” program is focusing on placing charging stations for public use in areas with broad public access, such as

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