Tag Archives: Oil

5 Energy Predictions for 2011: Solar Soars As Fossil Fuel Costs Grow

gas-pump1The year ahead appears poised to be another wild ride for the energy sector. A recovering US economy combined with continued strength in China and India will send oil and coal prices toward highs not seen since 2008. Meanwhile, solar and wind power will become increasingly attractive investments and grow their share of Continue reading

Global Solar Installations Grew in 2009, Despite Recession

solarEven the biggest global recession since the Great Depression couldn’t stop the solar market from growing in 2009. Many analysts doubted growth would be possible due to the collapse of solar’s largest market in 2008 – Spain. But Solarbuzz.com just released their annual report and the amount of solar installed in 2009 grew Continue reading

US Wind Potential Estimate More Than Triples

wind-farmThis month brought another exciting piece of news for those of us hoping the US will transition to renewable energy in the years ahead. Not only did the US add a record amount of wind capacity in 2009, but new data show that the potential supply of wind power is almost infinite relative to our electricity consumption. The US government agency that deals with renewables, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), finally updated their study of onshore wind resources (since the last comprehensive study in 1993). They now estimate that wind power Continue reading

Retail Solar Price Drop Accelerates, New Record Lows Reached

solarAugust solar prices fell at the quickest pace in the last eight years, according to the monthly survey by Solarbuzz.com. In Europe, prices reached another record low. And industrial electricity prices are finally poised to fall below Continue reading

Weekly US oil output falls below last year’s level

oilpump500-1I’ve been sharing the slow reduction of US oil output as oil drilling counts fall during the last few months. Now production has finally fallen below last year’s level. While petroleum fuel inventories remain very high, lower output should tighten them in the months ahead. Even so, I expect oil output to be higher than 2008 on average due to the Continue reading

EIA: US emissions diving more than 4% in 2009

climatechange1As I wrote last month would probably happen, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) lowered its estimate for fossil fuel energy demand in 2009, translating into a huge drop in greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions projections for coal, oil, and natural gas were all lowered in its July Short Term Energy Outlook — meaning, by my calculations, that US emissions are expected to fall Continue reading

Solar quickly approaching grid parity

solarSolar module prices are falling so fast that solar may be able to cost-effectively compete with fossil fuels within a matter of months. The latest bit of news confirming astounding price drops was from China’s LDK Solar. LDK is a producer of the main component of solar modules (wafers). While their second quarter guidance showed a boost in shipments, it also lowered their revenue expectations, translating into a cost per watt of Continue reading

The Human Toll of Fossil Fuel Use

coal-minersMost of my posts have focused on the environmental and public health impacts of burning fossil fuels due to their greenhouse gas emissions. But the 16 deaths from a liquefied petroleum gas explosion on an Italian train today are an important reminder that reduced emissions are not the only benefit from efficiency and Continue reading

EIA Report: US emissions to tank ~3.5% in ’09

climatechangeThe US Energy Information Agency (EIA) has further lowered its emissions projection for 2009 this month, as I said in May was likely. Lower coal consumption drives the reduction, based on the drop in industrial demand for fuel and the substitution by natural gas for coal for Continue reading

House committee passes climate bill as electricity emissions plunge

climatechange1Yesterday, the House Energy & Commerce Committee passed Waxman-Markey’s American Clean Energy & Security (ACES) Act by a 33-25 vote. This passage does not guarantee ultimate passage in the full House or Senate, but gets some positive political momentum behind necessary federal Continue reading