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January 17, 2012 • Current Events, Energy Innovation, Natural Gas

2011: The year in energy (Part 4: Extreme Production)

by Eric Bickel

So far in this series, we’ve focused on global themes from the economy to governmental upheaval, and then circled back to how they’ve affected the U.S. In this final post, we’re going to focus on a recurring theme in the U.S. energy market and how this theme could affect the global market in years to come. And that theme is none other than U.S. natural gas production.

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January 11, 2012 • Current Events, Natural Gas, Perspectives

2011: The year in energy (Part 3: Revolution!)

by Eric Bickel

Last year will be remembered in the history books as the year in which people become fed up with a whole lot of governments (mostly the dictatorship kind, while there was also this). The former was likely the largest single influence on energy markets in 2012 (at least in Europe, a little less so in the U.S.). continue

January 5, 2012 • Current Events, Electricity, Energy Generation, Energy's Lighter Side, Natural Gas

2011: The year in energy (Part 2: Nature)

by Eric Bickel

Global energy markets in 2011 were plagued by something more devastating than economic malaise: nature. With weather being in the lap of the gods, and as nature takes its course, some scenarios are impossible to predict. And 2011 had its fair share of outliers. continue

January 4, 2012 • Current Events, Perspectives

2011: The year in energy (Part 1: Economics)

by Eric Bickel

“Economic malaise” became the phrase of choice in 2011 for forecasters, and not just when describing the U.S. economy. Troubles in the Eurozone have impacted growth prospects for even the strongest economies in the region (see here, here, and here for more), as debt concerns and austerity measures in the peripheral countries of Greece, Italy and Portugal hamper any and all hope for growth for the region. continue

August 8, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

The Summer of Policy – Fuel Economy Standards

by Eric Bickel

The third and final part of the “Summer of Policy” series takes a look at the new fuel economy standards goal released on July 29th from the Obama administration. This is the lightest of the three in terms of content, so it’s sort of like dessert. However, there’s more math involved in this one (so the dessert metaphor kind of breaks down). continue

August 5, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Energy Generation, Natural Gas, Sustainability

The Summer of Policy – Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards

by Eric Bickel

Welcome back to the “Summer of Policy” series! In the first post we discussed CSAPR, and its potential impact on you and me. This time around, we’ll talk about ONGAP…and…its potential impact on you and me. continue

August 3, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Generation, Natural Gas, Sustainability

The Summer of Policy – Cross-State Air Pollution Ruling

by Eric Bickel

Summer 2011 is quickly becoming known as the Summer of Policy Initiatives (trademark: me) as the EPA have recently rolled out two emissions-related policies, while President Obama has just announced a brand new set of fuel economy standards.

Although these policies initially seem straightforward, the toughest part is establishing their indirect impact. Their direct effect on the energy world is usually apparent (as we will see), while the knock-on effects are generally more difficult to predict (as we will also see). So here is a step-by-step guide to the changing world of energy policy, covering these three current and relevant policies (in separate posts, for the sake of both your and my sanity):

  • Cross-State Air Pollution Ruling (CSAPR)
  • Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards (ONGAP)
  • The Obama Administration Fuel Economy Standards (FES) continue
June 2, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Energy Innovation, Perspectives, Sustainability

Speeding up

by Eric Bickel

In California, interest in high-speed rail systems is gathering speed. The push toward high-speed rail systems that largely replicate those in Europe has created quite a debate in the political world, as well as the blogosphere (both against high speed rail and for it). continue

March 16, 2011 • Energy's Lighter Side

Energy, USA

by Eric Bickel

When thinking about energy markets (oil and gas, in particular), it’s pretty easy to focus on the states where oil/gas are commonly associated:  Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico in general.  However, when talking about these markets it’s important to get a feel for the other areas in the United States that are important both currently and historically.  Hence: Energy, USA. continue

February 9, 2011 • Energy Generation, Perspectives

A (very) Historical Look at Energy and What To Expect in the Future

by Eric Bickel

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) takes a look at how the energy environment has evolved since 1775.  The scope is a bit more than most people generally look at, but it is nonetheless interesting to see.

It’s also interesting to see these numbers in comparison to the early release of the 2011 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2011) with consumption projections out to 2035 (Figure 1).  With the recent focus of this blog on nuclear energy, it felt like a pretty good topic.  As seen by the figure below, nuclear energy since around 1970 has witnessed quite a bit of growth in consumption.  However, that growth has somewhat leveled out lately and is expected to continue in a level pattern through 2035.  In fact, of the five sectors shown, nuclear generation is expected to witness the least amount of growth at 9.5%.  Conversely, at just under 30%, hydroelectric generation is expected to see the strongest growth. continue

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