Category: Energy Generation

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

December 20, 2011 • Emerging Technology, Energy Generation, Energy Innovation, Perspectives

One field of heliostats to rule them all…

by Allie Heiniger

Archimedes was not joking around.

Once upon a time in second century Greece, there lived a man named Archimedes who invented all sorts of crazy smart things. One of those things was a heat-ray weapon that was supposedly used to destroy enemy Roman ships. Although the details are not perfectly clear, historians say that Archimedes had 60 soldiers hold up bronze-coated shields aimed at the same small spot on each ship, igniting it within 10 minutes. Pretty impressive stuff for a guy whose last nerd words were supposedly, “Do not disturb my circles.” continue

December 2, 2011 • Electricity, Energy Generation, Natural Gas, Perspectives

A decade later: Ripples from Enron

by Dominic Barbato

The infamous (and now defunct) Enron logo.

It is difficult to believe 10 years have passed since Enron filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2001. The company was America’s darling. Like the Titanic, Enron was thought to be unsinkable. It seemed to do no wrong; it was a company that could not fail. At the height of its power in 2001, Enron ranked seventh on the Fortune 500 with revenues topping $100 billion, a status earning it the moniker of “America’s Most Innovative Company” six consecutive years by Fortune magazine. The company’s business model was heralded to be a paradigm shift in business, a poster child for the new economy and modern markets, a firm that relied more on the development of intellectual capital and technology than on the creation of brick-and-mortar, physical assets.

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 20, 2011 • Emerging Technology, Energy Generation, Energy Innovation, Perspectives

The power of the ocean

by Sara Hoefkens

Those of you who read one of my previous blog posts (“About Sailing and Energy Management”) will remember my adoration for ocean sailing. With all these years and miles of sailing, my respect and love for the ocean has grown very strong. That’s why I could not let the month pass by without remembering the annual “World Oceans Day,” celebrated on June 8.

World Oceans Day (WOD) is an opportunity every year to honor the ocean, celebrate the products the ocean provides and appreciate its own intrinsic value. WOD was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, and since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with greater success each year in participation and building awareness of how our lives depend on the ocean. It’s actually amazing to consider, but the ocean helps generate most of the oxygen we breathe, feeds us, regulates our climate, cleans the water we drink, offers us a pharmacopoeia of potential medicines and last but not least, forms an inexhaustible source of renewable energy! continue

April 6, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Generation, Energy's Lighter Side, Perspectives

UK – A White Knuckle Ride for Energy and a boost for ‘UK Soccer’

by Noreen Guy

This time last month, we were fearful of the direction and strength of price movements, considering ‘treacherous’ and ‘unpredictable’ times. At that time, we had gas for Q3 around 58p per therm and Winter 11 at 67p per therm.  Considerably worse followed, with the devastating events in Japan followed by the German response on nuclear plants, and prices peaked at 66 and 74 respectively. The last two weeks have been a bumpy ride with prices back to these peak levels.

Summit Energy Risk Management professionals view prices as higher than the fundamentals support, but the question remains on when the market will react to what is actually happening than what could happen next. continue

April 4, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Generation, Sustainability

33% By 2020

by Brandon Dickerson

Several years ago, I was having what I considered to be a friendly conversation with a stranger about cap and trade legislation. Apparently, my self-monitor was slightly off that morning, because when I made a light-hearted joke, I was quickly put into my place and told how serious the issue was. I kindly apologized and exited the conversation as quickly as possible. However, I began thinking about the public perception and fear that comes with renewable legislation at the state and federal level. continue

March 18, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology, Energy Generation, Energy Innovation, Perspectives

Winding Up Wind

by Dominic Barbato

I start this blog post from the proverbial “30,000 foot view,” namely because I am at cruising altitude in an Airbus A320 headed west toward the Pacific — Seattle bound, to be specific (whoa, that rhymed). The Rocky Mountains outside Denver litter the landscape below me like autumn leaves on a forest floor, countless and undeniable in beauty. My headphones just blasted out two of my favorite Journey songs, “Wheel in the Sky” and “Edge of the Blade,” Neal Schon’s fanatical guitar riffs outdone only by Steve Perry’s insane vocal prowess. So, with blades and turning wheels in the sky on my mind, I decided to dedicate this post to … drum roll, please … wind power! continue

March 4, 2011 • Current Events, Electricity, Energy Efficiency, Energy Generation

Ever changing priorities for energy buyers

by Noreen Guy

At a recent conference in London hosted by EdF, the audience members (over 300 UK-based energy professionals) were asked to ‘vote’ on which of the four following aspects were of greatest concern now, and results (from my rough notes) were very interesting:

Supply Contracts                                     11%

Compliance to regulations                      15%

Funding for Energy Efficiency                18%

Energy Price – volatility and risk           56%

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