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News from December 2009

Shenzhen Nanshan Refuses Goldman Demand for Payment

Shenzhen Nanshan Refuses Goldman Demand for Payment thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Shenzhen Nanshan Power Co., a utility based in the southern Chinese city, said it refused demands by a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. unit to pay $80 million for alleged default on oil-hedging contracts. Shenzhen Nanshan and Goldman Sachs disagreed on the cause for terminating the contracts in December 2008 and it remains to […]


Seoul seeks to boost nuclear activities

Seoul seeks to boost nuclear activities thumbnail

South Korea won a landmark deal to build nuclear reactors for the United Arab Emirates, boosting calls for lifting Seoul’s self-imposed ban on nuclear activities to tap bigger atomic reactor markets. A South Korea-led consortium beat U.S. and French rivals and clinched a $40 billion deal to build and operate four nuclear power plants in […]


Russia's Putin launches new Pacific oil terminal

Russia's Putin launches new Pacific oil terminal thumbnail

Russia launched on Monday a new Pacific oil terminal that will allow the world’s largest energy producer to conquer Asian markets and divert some Siberian crude flows away from Europe. “This is a great New Year present for Russia,” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told workers under a sunny blue sky in the snow-covered port of […]


Russia Oil to Europe Not Jeopardized by Ukraine Talks

Russia Oil to Europe Not Jeopardized by Ukraine Talks thumbnail

Russia will continue exporting oil to Europe even if no agreement is reached with Ukraine by Jan. 1 over proposed changes in oil transit accords, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said. “There won’t be any problem with crude shipments,” Sechin told reporters in Vladivostok today.The European U-nion yesterday called on Russia and Ukraine, a major […]


2009 biggest year yet for Canadian wind power

2009 biggest year yet for Canadian wind power thumbnail

Canada’s wind industry had its biggest year ever in 2009, as 880 megawatts of new wind-generated power came on stream – the most ever added in one year. With turbines across the country now capable of churning out about 3,250 megawatts of electricity in total – enough to power about one million homes – the […]


The Lithium Rush

The Lithium Rush thumbnail

Nearly four kilometers above sea level in the Bolivian Andes lies the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. But there is more to this surreal, moonlike landscape than meets the eye. Flowing in salt-water channels beneath the surface is the world’s largest supply of lithium–and, possibly, the future of transportation. Lithium is the […]


Old King Coal will stay on the commodities throne for years

Old King Coal will stay on the commodities throne for years thumbnail

There are many dismissing coal as the unwanted black sheep of the fossil fuel family, blamed for 40pc of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. But in defiance of environmental concerns, there has been little sign that any fall off in coal demand this year is due to anything other than […]


Venezuela strengthens saving measures to prevent electrical breakdown

Venezuela strengthens saving measures to prevent electrical breakdown thumbnail

Between October and November the Guri dam level dropped 1.45 meters It was after the second major blackout in Venezuela, back on September 3 this year, that the government hinted a power saving plan. Earlier, in May, seven high-tension towers of the network providing electricity to substation Santa Teresa and supplying power to Caracas and […]


Winter brings snowflake solar cells

Winter brings snowflake solar cells thumbnail

Here we are in the dead of winter, but the most interesting snowflake around is actually all about the sun. A new technology, called the snowflake solar cell, has just debuted and is said to be 100 times more efficient than traditional solar modules. If this is true, it could mean a major about-face for […]


Energy becomes big issue in Atlantic Canada as N.B. ties hopes to Quebec

Energy becomes big issue in Atlantic Canada as N.B. ties hopes to Quebec thumbnail

HALIFAX, N.S. It’s a deal prompted partly by a desire to find alternatives to oil and coal, Graham said in a recent interview. “We had to seize our own future,” he said of the plans to sell NB Power and tie his province more closely to Quebec. “This is a game-changing moment for the province […]


Events of the decade on the scientific front

Events of the decade on the scientific front thumbnail

Alternative Energy From its power sources to its cars, the nation got a glimpse of what a post-petroleum world might be like. “Peak oil” entered the lexicon; petroleum is finite. Officials also are increasingly concerned about global warming emissions related to burning fossil fuels. So the decade has seen a boom in renewable energy, which […]


Peak Oil Begins In 2020

Peak Oil Begins In 2020 thumbnail

In a debate on oil consumption, energy experts Dr. Richard Pike and Dr. Robert Hirsch trade ideas over when demand for oil will peak. The scary numbers: oil demand will be 37% over 2006 levels by 2030 and the amount of available oil will begin its decline in 2020. Business Insider (video)


Will 2010 Be the Year the World Ends — for Mexico?

Will 2010 Be the Year the World Ends — for Mexico? thumbnail

Forget 2012. As far as many Mexicans are concerned, the ancient Mayas were being generous: the sky’s actually going to fall next year. Why? Because it’s 2010, Mexico’s bicentennial, and Mexican history has an eerie way of repeating itself. Mexico’s 1910 centennial, after all, saw the start of the bloody, decade-long Mexican Revolution, which killed […]


Much-delayed Arctic pipeline environmental study expected this week, years late

Much-delayed Arctic pipeline environmental study expected this week, years late thumbnail

Even at noon, Inuvik’s weak December sun never seems to light the Arctic community brighter than twilight “Everyone’s hoping for a positive announcement and away we go,” says Kurt Wainman, who’s got a yard full of heavy equipment sitting idle just waiting for some nice, juicy oilpatch work. Sometime this week, a little of Wainman’s […]


Mexico

Mexico thumbnail

…The dictionary definition of civil war indicates that a civil war is a military conflict which arises from a desire for usually radical change in society as a result of either cultural, social, religious, political or economic disputes due to diametrically opposed and uncompromising ideas about the leadership, administration and management of the population and […]


Rep. Young wrangles millions for carbon sequestration study in Alaska

Rep. Young wrangles millions for carbon sequestration study in Alaska thumbnail

FAIRBANKS As proposed, the carbon dioxide research project would study whether energy companies could use carbon storage, or


U.K. mounts warfare exercise in Falklands

U.K. mounts warfare exercise in Falklands thumbnail

STANLEY, Falkland Islands (UPI) — British forces mounted a warfare exercise involving navy and air force personnel in the Falkland Islands, scene of a 1982 conflict between Argentina and Britain and more recently of intense oil and gas exploration activities. The two-day operation, code-named Cape Bayonet, simulated an enemy invasion in which the British air […]


North Africa: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030

North Africa: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030 thumbnail

National Intelligence Council Research Report: North Africa: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030 Model projections available for North Africa indicate a clear increase in temperature over the next 20 years that is expected to continue throughout the 21st century, probably at a rate higher than the estimated global average. Model simulations also suggest a […]


China's Energy Solution: Ignore the Cost

China's Energy Solution: Ignore the Cost thumbnail

Perhaps you’ve heard the argument that the world needs to move from coal to renewables at any cost. China now appears to be applying this idea quite literally. In an amendment to a 2006 renewable energy law, the Chinese government has mandated that state-owned electric grid companies buy all of the renewable energy produced by […]


Russia Warns EU of Winter Oil Cut-Off

Russia Warns EU of Winter Oil Cut-Off thumbnail

In what has become an annual New Year’s ritual, a dispute with Ukraine over energy transit fees could prompt Russia to cut oil supplies to Eastern Europe (Bloomberg) At least 20 European countries suffered disruption of Russian natural-gas imports in January as the world’s largest producer of the fuel cut supplies to Ukraine during a […]


Kunstler: Forecast 2010

Kunstler: Forecast 2010 thumbnail

Peak oil: It’s still out there, very much out there, a huge unseen presence in the story, the true ghost-in-the-machine, eating away at economies every day. It slipped offstage in 2009 after the oil spike of 2008 ($147/barrel) over-corrected in early 2009 to the low $30s/barrel. Now it’s retraced about halfway back to the mid-$70s. […]


As colleges add green majors and minors, classes fill up

As colleges add green majors and minors, classes fill up thumbnail

Colleges are rapidly adding new majors and minors in green studies, and students are filling them fast. Nationwide, more than 100 majors, minors or certificates were created this year in energy and sustainability-focused programs at colleges big and small, says the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. That’s up from just three […]


The Year in Energy

The Year in Energy thumbnail

With many renewable energy companies facing hard financial times (“Weeding Out Solar Companies”), a lot of the big energy news this year was coming out of Washington, DC, with massive federal stimulus funding for batteries and renewable energy and programs such as Energy Frontier Research Centers and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (“A Year of Stimulus […]


Vietnam: Need to import coal comes early

Vietnam: Need to import coal comes early thumbnail

VietNamNet Bridge The need to import parallels the country’s demand for electricity, which is expected to increase by 17-20 per cent a year, according to a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Due to the country’s rising reliance on thermal power generation and the Government’s increasing power generation targets, much more coal than […]


In New Gas Wells, More Drilling Chemicals Remain Underground

In New Gas Wells, More Drilling Chemicals Remain Underground thumbnail

For more than a decade the energy industry has steadfastly argued before courts, Congress and the public that the federal law protecting drinking water should not be applied to hydraulic fracturing, the industrial process that is essential to extracting the nation’s vast natural gas reserves. In 2005 Congress, persuaded, passed a law prohibiting such regulation. […]


Tanker Glut Signals 25% Drop on 26-Mile Line of Ships

Tanker Glut Signals 25% Drop on 26-Mile Line of Ships thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — A 26-mile-long line of idled oil tankers, enough to blockade the English Channel, may signal a 25 percent slump in freight rates next year. The ships will unload 26 percent of the crude and oil products they are storing in six months, adding to vessel supply and pushing rates for supertankers down to […]


Long term agricultural overshoot

Long term agricultural overshoot thumbnail

According to Peter, humanity has probably been in overshoot of the Earth’s carrying capacity since it abandoned hunter gathering in favor of crop cultivation (~ 8,000 BCE). The problem is that soil needs tightly woven natural ecosystems to properly recycle nutrients and prevent soil erosion. Earth’s inhabitants have devised a whole series of approaches to […]


High-tech vehicles pose trouble for some mechanics

High-tech vehicles pose trouble for some mechanics thumbnail

These days, owner David Baur spends a lot of time worrying in his full-service garage near downtown Los Angeles. As cars become vastly more complicated than models made just a few years ago, Baur is often turning down jobs and referring customers to auto dealer shops. Like many other independent mechanics, he does not have […]


Chinese hackers linked to 'Warmergate' climate change leaked emails

Chinese hackers linked to 'Warmergate' climate change leaked emails thumbnail

The investigation into the so-called Warmergate emails – the leaked data from the University of East Anglia The revelation comes after the Russian security service, the FSB


Diary of an Interesting Year

Diary of an Interesting Year thumbnail

February 12, 2040. My thirtieth birthday. G. gave me this little spiral-bound notebook and a Biro. It …March 6th. Another quarrel with G. O.K., yes, he was right, but why crow about it? That


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