Tag Archives: energy

Solar power prices continue slide

solarThe monthly review released today by solarbuzz.com shows solar prices have fallen a bit further over the last month. Prices fell more slowly than last month due to price stability in Europe, but made a step in the right direction. While this price remains significantly above that of coal, oil, and natural gas – it positions solar closer to achieving grid parity in the mid-2010s. Continue reading

Top Wind States Emerge from the Great Plains

n-dakotaThe Great Plains have long been touted as an area of vast wind power potential. And I’m glad to report that the people living there are now beginning to take significant advantage of their renewable resource. North Dakota, the state with the most wind potential in the lower 48, just became the biggest wind producing state by percentage of electricity consumption at ~20.8%. Continue reading

May not be sexy-tech, but it sure can help

cogenOak Ridge National Laboratory put out an important report last Fall that you probably didn’t hear about. It’s not on solar, wind, or other sexy renewables technologies. But the technology can pack a great climate mitigation punch at a relatively low cost. It has been around over 100 years and is called co-generation or combined heat and power (CHP). Continue reading

Saudi Arabia good at limbo: Oil prices may rise

oilpump500-1It seems pretty silly to caution that oil prices could rise in 2009 as we face the worst recession in decades. Demand fell more than 5% in the largest oil consumer in 2008 (our United States of America) and global oil demand is expected to fall another significant amount in the year ahead. But the long-term supply picture is not a rosy one and Saudi Arabia has shown a willingness to lower production in such circumstances. Continue reading

EIA: US carbon emissions to fall further in 2009

climatechange1According to today’s release of the US Energy Information Agency’s Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO), US emissions will continue to slide in 2009. They predict lower energy consumption as our economy shrinks 2% in the coming year. Their preliminary estimate of fossil fuel consumption in 2008 leads me to estimate carbon dioxide emissions fell at least 2.5% this past year, and their projections for 2009 would lead to a further reduction of Continue reading

In reversal, 4th quarter China carbon emissions fall

climatechange1Driven by white-hot economic growth, China carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing at a rate that put fear in the hearts of most climate scientists. But the export-oriented growth of the past several years has imploded on a crash in demand for Chinese products from recession-hit consumers in Japan, the US, and Europe. After years of almost double-digit energy demand growth, Continue reading

Europe Solar Price Falls to Record Low, Global Prices Begin Drop

solarSolar prices have finally begun their downward trajectory in January, as revealed by the monthly survey just released on solarbuzz.com. Solar panels have not had the volatile prices of fossil fuels over the past year. Solar prices neither rose in early 2008 while coal, oil, and natural gas skyrocketed through early July nor did solar prices fall 60+% since July like those same fossil fuels. That steady price made solar look brilliant in the summer but it backfired when Continue reading

SET’s First Webinar: 2008 Energy in Review

oilpump500-1I’m proud to announce that SET will co-host its first webinar! On Friday, Jan 9, at 9am US Eastern Standard Time, we will collaborate with our European partners at Leonardo Energy to present the Energy Year in Review for 2008. We will discuss the tumultuous energy trends of 2008 and potential implications for the upcoming year.

Details on the webinar are available at Continue reading

Energy in 2009 Part III: Coal Outlook

coalCoal was almost as volatile as oil and natural gas in 2008, with its global trade price down more than 50% since the summer. While North American natural gas and global oil prices are poised for rebound since they have fallen below the higher marginal cost of production, coal production costs remain below current prices by most accounts. Therefore, coal prices have substantial room to fall if economic conditions continue to deteriorate. Below are some thoughts on coal supply and demand as we all prepare for the year ahead. Continue reading