Volume 6, Issue 8
December 2, 2018 – December 8, 2018
Anushka Dasgupta '19 | Neha Chauhan '21 | Joseph Kawalec '21 | Amy Amatya '21 | Melanie Porras ‘21 | Patrick Huang ‘21


  New Project Tests Whether Oxygen Is Key To Cheaper, Cleaner Hydrogen   Forbes | November 29, 2018 | John Parnell  The production of hydrogen via electrolysis, which involves using electricity to split water molecules, is promising for the development of fuel cell electric vehicles and other applications. However, a third of the energy in electrolysis is lost as heat and oxygen, leading organizations like the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to search for a more efficient and sustainable process. One possible means of making hydrogen generation commercially attractive is to sell the oxygen by-product. The market for oxygen is being studied in a new project in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Overall, decreasing the cost of green hydrogen production is a step towards bringing down energy production costs and reclaiming hydrogen as a viable source of renewable energy. -JK

New Project Tests Whether Oxygen Is Key To Cheaper, Cleaner Hydrogen
Forbes | November 29, 2018 | John Parnell
The production of hydrogen via electrolysis, which involves using electricity to split water molecules, is promising for the development of fuel cell electric vehicles and other applications. However, a third of the energy in electrolysis is lost as heat and oxygen, leading organizations like the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) to search for a more efficient and sustainable process. One possible means of making hydrogen generation commercially attractive is to sell the oxygen by-product. The market for oxygen is being studied in a new project in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. Overall, decreasing the cost of green hydrogen production is a step towards bringing down energy production costs and reclaiming hydrogen as a viable source of renewable energy. -JK


  Pro-Nuclear Activists Win Landslide Electoral Victory In Taiwan   Forbes | November 24, 2018 | Michael Shellenberger  On Saturday, November 24, pro-nuclear activists secured a victory that would end Taiwan’s phase-out of nuclear energy. Despite the recent Fukushima reactor accident in Japan in 2011, 59% of the voters for the referendum believed that solar and wind energy were not sufficiently stable or inexpensive to support the country’s energy needs. Taiwan suffered a major blackout in 2017 after a nuclear reactor was shut down. Efforts from grassroots organizations seemed to have a significant impact on the final results, with volunteers trying to raise awareness by hosting events and spread their initiative across technology and social media. -PH

Pro-Nuclear Activists Win Landslide Electoral Victory In Taiwan
Forbes | November 24, 2018 | Michael Shellenberger
On Saturday, November 24, pro-nuclear activists secured a victory that would end Taiwan’s phase-out of nuclear energy. Despite the recent Fukushima reactor accident in Japan in 2011, 59% of the voters for the referendum believed that solar and wind energy were not sufficiently stable or inexpensive to support the country’s energy needs. Taiwan suffered a major blackout in 2017 after a nuclear reactor was shut down. Efforts from grassroots organizations seemed to have a significant impact on the final results, with volunteers trying to raise awareness by hosting events and spread their initiative across technology and social media. -PH


  The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?   November 24, 2018 | Scientific American | Somini Sengupta  Moving away from coal-fired power is crucial to achieving carbon emissions targets worldwide, but coal is what Sengupta calls “a powerful incumbent.” Last year, global coal consumption and production actually increased. Abundant, cheap, and compatible with existing energy infrastructure, coal remains an appealing option for many corporations and political entities despite its devastating environmental impacts. Asia is leading the coal expansion effort, with China, consumer of half the world’s coal, at the helm with new coal projects in 17 countries. -AD   Crude Just Had its Worst Month in a Decade, and its Next Move Depends on Saudi Arabia and Trump   CNBC | December 2, 2018 | Keris Lahiff  Last month, oil prices fell to the lowest in a decade in the wake of President Trump’s sanctions against Iranian oil and decreased exports to China as a result of the ongoing trade war. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decide its next move at a meeting on Thursday, though it’s suspected that they will pull over a million barrels from the market in an attempt to restore prices. What happens depends on whether Saudi Arabia heeds Trump’s request to keep production open. Though Saudi Arabia will most likely act in their own economic interest, some countries are hesitant to cut production for fear of losing their market share. -AA

The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?
November 24, 2018 | Scientific American | Somini Sengupta
Moving away from coal-fired power is crucial to achieving carbon emissions targets worldwide, but coal is what Sengupta calls “a powerful incumbent.” Last year, global coal consumption and production actually increased. Abundant, cheap, and compatible with existing energy infrastructure, coal remains an appealing option for many corporations and political entities despite its devastating environmental impacts. Asia is leading the coal expansion effort, with China, consumer of half the world’s coal, at the helm with new coal projects in 17 countries. -AD

Crude Just Had its Worst Month in a Decade, and its Next Move Depends on Saudi Arabia and Trump
CNBC | December 2, 2018 | Keris Lahiff
Last month, oil prices fell to the lowest in a decade in the wake of President Trump’s sanctions against Iranian oil and decreased exports to China as a result of the ongoing trade war. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decide its next move at a meeting on Thursday, though it’s suspected that they will pull over a million barrels from the market in an attempt to restore prices. What happens depends on whether Saudi Arabia heeds Trump’s request to keep production open. Though Saudi Arabia will most likely act in their own economic interest, some countries are hesitant to cut production for fear of losing their market share. -AA


  French President Holds Firm On Clean-Energy Goals, Despite Protests   November 27, 2018 | NPR | Camila Domonoske  For the past month, France has been rocked by grassroots protests over a proposed national tax on gasoline. Nonetheless, President Macron will proceed with the tax, which is intended to facilitate the country’s transition away from fossil fuels. The protests did lead to some modifications of the tax, including adjustments in the case of high oil prices and incentives for switching to eco-friendly cars. The situation in France shows that the long-range effects of climate change seem abstract to the average voter when compared to the more immediate need to get food on the table and keep one’s household running. -AD

French President Holds Firm On Clean-Energy Goals, Despite Protests
November 27, 2018 | NPR | Camila Domonoske
For the past month, France has been rocked by grassroots protests over a proposed national tax on gasoline. Nonetheless, President Macron will proceed with the tax, which is intended to facilitate the country’s transition away from fossil fuels. The protests did lead to some modifications of the tax, including adjustments in the case of high oil prices and incentives for switching to eco-friendly cars. The situation in France shows that the long-range effects of climate change seem abstract to the average voter when compared to the more immediate need to get food on the table and keep one’s household running. -AD