Recently, I came home to find the latest issue of The Economist in my mailbox. As it turns out, this issue was the special “World in 2012” edition, which focuses exclusively on trends to expect in the coming year. As I flipped through the articles profiling different political, economic and cultural trends by country and global region, I stopped on one detailing what’s to come in the energy industry. I found it interesting, and thought you might too. As such, here are the findings from The Economist (and my associated musings…): continue
Category: Energy Management
Given the recent debt crisis and the ensuing focus on government spending, I figured it would only be appropriate for the Summit Energy Watercooler blog to chime in on the topic as well.
While the debt ceiling debate finally yielded a compromise at the 11th hour, it has become clear that it certainly didn’t provide us with an end-all-be-all solution for the issue of US financial stability. (I’d argue there can’t be just one solution, but that’s for another post.) continue
About two weeks ago, as I was sipping from a cocktail on a white-pebbled beach in a Greek bay with crystal blue clear water, I started thinking about the enormous amount of energy that is used every year in making people’s summer holidays happen. Holidays account for a surprising amount of the energy we use each year, with flights, driving, hotel stays and added extras like boat trips all contributing to our carbon footprint. continue
For a few years now, clean energy and sustainable business practices have been driving large-scale efforts inside companies of all sizes. Whether the end goal was cheap energy, response to impending government regulation or even a little positive media exposure, evidence of the new green corporate landscape is everywhere. The green movement is gaining a substantial amount of momentum with little evidence of slowing down, due to large-scale implementation of energy efficiency projects. I recently stumbled on an article that discussed how Google has invested $280 million through a partnership with SolarCity, a California-based solar design and installation company. continue
Recently, Summit Energy commodity analyst Matt Smith appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to field questions on how the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) affects the crude oil market. Matt’s appearance led me to do a little digging on the history of the SPR, which uncovered five fascinating historical footnotes, some awesome ’70s-era YouTube video clips and 62 underground salt caverns that hold more than 700 million barrels of crude oil. continue
This year, energy-risk managers, meteorologists, geologists and evangelists have all had their hands full trying to interpret the signs. It’s been a devastatingly busy year. There were record snowfalls and rain totals in many parts of the United States during the winter and early spring. There was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March. Tornadoes ripped through Alabama and Missouri in April and May. Communities along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers were overwhelmed with floods, with more flooding to follow out west as rivers brace for the runoff from what was a record snow pack in many of the ranges from Montana to the Sierra Nevada. continue
With election season nigh upon us, it’s pretty common to open up the news and see a handful of issues that only get pulled out a few times a year. Suddenly, they are dusted off and take center stage in the public debate. Financial concerns, moral and legal issues, and of course energy debates will be a part of this year’s election coverage – and it’s not hard to understand why. Small changes in any of these arenas can bring about big change in public life. continue
Eight months after the San Bruno, Calif., natural gas pipeline explosion killed eight people, injured dozens and left 55 homes uninhabitable, I still run across articles nearly every day regarding the ongoing investigation of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and what could have been done to avoid this tragedy. While most of these articles place an understandable and significant amount of blame on the utility, there have been a few that turn some of that blame to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). continue
I was making Easter dinner when I remembered that I forgot to buy butter. Real butter. Contrary to the belief of my sons, real butter is not the stuff that sits in a tub and never changes shape. I have to have real butter on holidays.
The grocery store was closed, so I made my way to an open drugstore hoping they might have what I needed. I noticed the tanning salon was open next door. Easter… Fourth of July… Festivus… nuclear holocaust… nothing could close the irreverent tanning salon.
Tanning salons are a lot like traffic court. You never know what you might run into. I think my favorite experience at the tanning salon would have to be the young mom who couldn’t understand why she couldn’t take her baby into the booth with her. I’ll save my traffic court stories for another post. continue
Another birthday and a drawer full of v-neck undershirts signal I’m ready to embrace my inner “old man.” These days I spend a lot of time complaining and talking about the way things were “back in my day,” back before gasoline was $4.07 a gallon. One day last week unleaded gas shot up 37 cents a gallon. Summit Energy commodity analyst, Matt Smith, attributed the meteoric rise to “flooding on the Mississippi, which is impacting both production and transportation of the fuel.” Matt’s right, of course, but the grumpy old man in me would rather blame it on “kids these days” or Communism. continue