Volume 7, Issue 2
February 24, 2018 – March 2, 2019
Neha Chauhan '21 | Joseph Kawalec '21 | Amy Amatya '21 | Patrick Huang ‘21 | Rei Zhang ‘21


The Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline Moves On    February 16, 2019 | The Economist  Despite concerns over the project from other European countries, the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipeline spanning the Baltic Sea from Germany and Russia is nearing completion. Ukraine, in particular, balks at the prospect of Russia expanding its geopolitical influence through NS2 and of losing revenue if Russian companies transport less gas through Ukrainian territory in the future. Regulations in the European Union that have acted successfully as safeguards in the past may only delay this project. Because half of Germany's heating comes from gas and its leadership might want the opportunity to sell gas to its neighbors, the European giant has a large claim in the pipeline and is resistant to its opposition. Although America may be able to intervene with sanctions on the premise of protecting European security, it seems more likely that NS2 will continue on its current trajectory. -PH

The Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline Moves On
February 16, 2019 | The Economist
Despite concerns over the project from other European countries, the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipeline spanning the Baltic Sea from Germany and Russia is nearing completion. Ukraine, in particular, balks at the prospect of Russia expanding its geopolitical influence through NS2 and of losing revenue if Russian companies transport less gas through Ukrainian territory in the future. Regulations in the European Union that have acted successfully as safeguards in the past may only delay this project. Because half of Germany's heating comes from gas and its leadership might want the opportunity to sell gas to its neighbors, the European giant has a large claim in the pipeline and is resistant to its opposition. Although America may be able to intervene with sanctions on the premise of protecting European security, it seems more likely that NS2 will continue on its current trajectory. -PH


Keeping the Lights On After Brexit: No Deal’s Impact on Energy    February 20, 2019 | Bloomberg | Helen Robertson  Despite plans to leave the European Union on March 29, Britain currently has yet to outline a plan for international trade. While leaving the EU doesn’t mean that Britain will lose gas and electricity, their decoupling from the European energy market could mean less efficient and more uncertain energy trade, meaning higher consumer prices. To prevent potential power delays as Britain makes its switch, companies have begun stockpiling equipment like wind turbine blades and power generators. There are already arrangements in place that would expedite nuclear power trade with the EU, which would hopefully offset inefficient fossil fuel trade brought on by a No-Deal. Factors like reverting to the World Trade Association’s rules of trade, decreased employment due to immigration restrictions, and decreased investment due to political uncertainty could introduce additional costs. -AA     House Opens Inquiry Into Proposed U.S. Nuclear Venture in Saudi Arabia    February 19, 2019 | New York Times | Nicholas Fandos and Mark Mazzetti  Democrats in Congress recently came out with a report indicating that key members of the Trump administration pushed to sell nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia in the first few months of the administration and possibly more recently. This push occurred despite objections from White House lawyers and members of the National Security Committee, says the 24-page report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The report alleges that senior officials, including Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor, worked to allow the spread of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. Democrats have opened a full inquiry into the incident for further investigation. -RZ

Keeping the Lights On After Brexit: No Deal’s Impact on Energy
February 20, 2019 | Bloomberg | Helen Robertson
Despite plans to leave the European Union on March 29, Britain currently has yet to outline a plan for international trade. While leaving the EU doesn’t mean that Britain will lose gas and electricity, their decoupling from the European energy market could mean less efficient and more uncertain energy trade, meaning higher consumer prices. To prevent potential power delays as Britain makes its switch, companies have begun stockpiling equipment like wind turbine blades and power generators. There are already arrangements in place that would expedite nuclear power trade with the EU, which would hopefully offset inefficient fossil fuel trade brought on by a No-Deal. Factors like reverting to the World Trade Association’s rules of trade, decreased employment due to immigration restrictions, and decreased investment due to political uncertainty could introduce additional costs. -AA

House Opens Inquiry Into Proposed U.S. Nuclear Venture in Saudi Arabia
February 19, 2019 | New York Times | Nicholas Fandos and Mark Mazzetti
Democrats in Congress recently came out with a report indicating that key members of the Trump administration pushed to sell nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia in the first few months of the administration and possibly more recently. This push occurred despite objections from White House lawyers and members of the National Security Committee, says the 24-page report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The report alleges that senior officials, including Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor, worked to allow the spread of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. Democrats have opened a full inquiry into the incident for further investigation. -RZ


Google is building a solar power project above fishing ponds in Taiwan, its first in Asia    February 17, 2019 | CNBC | Donovan Russo  As the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world, Google is going through with its first water-based renewable energy project in the form of poles hoisting solar panels above fishing ponds in Tainan City, Taiwan. This is part of a growing trend in the building of solar projects on water, so called “flotovoltaics,” of which Japan is the world leader with greater than 60 installations. As well as converting sunlight into a form of usable energy, the project design that Google is focusing on could also result in an improvement in fishing yields because the elevated panels could provide both shade and room for fish. While floating solar is proving itself to be a viable technology in Asia, the U.S. has been slow to embrace it, despite showing signs of interest in various municipalities like Los Angeles. The World Bank estimates that the potential for the floating solar market worldwide could reach 400 gigawatts, meaning that Google’s 10-megawatt solar array in Taiwan will be a small addition to a much larger cause. -JK

Google is building a solar power project above fishing ponds in Taiwan, its first in Asia
February 17, 2019 | CNBC | Donovan Russo
As the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world, Google is going through with its first water-based renewable energy project in the form of poles hoisting solar panels above fishing ponds in Tainan City, Taiwan. This is part of a growing trend in the building of solar projects on water, so called “flotovoltaics,” of which Japan is the world leader with greater than 60 installations. As well as converting sunlight into a form of usable energy, the project design that Google is focusing on could also result in an improvement in fishing yields because the elevated panels could provide both shade and room for fish. While floating solar is proving itself to be a viable technology in Asia, the U.S. has been slow to embrace it, despite showing signs of interest in various municipalities like Los Angeles. The World Bank estimates that the potential for the floating solar market worldwide could reach 400 gigawatts, meaning that Google’s 10-megawatt solar array in Taiwan will be a small addition to a much larger cause. -JK


Glencore to limit coal production after pressure from investors    February 20, 2019 | The Guardian | Rob Davies  Glencore, a commodities trader and the biggest coal mining company in Australia, responded to investors’ concerns by announcing plans to limit coal production to its current levels. The announcement comes after news that, last year, profits were reduced by 41 percent and Glencore produced almost 130 million tons of coal. The company promises to prioritize using its investments to assist the transition to cleaner energy and transportation. Glencore declared support for the international Paris climate agreement’s focus on limiting climate change and for the United Nations sustainable development goals, including accessibility to affordable energy. The company says its own emissions will decrease by 5 percent by 2020. -NC

Glencore to limit coal production after pressure from investors
February 20, 2019 | The Guardian | Rob Davies
Glencore, a commodities trader and the biggest coal mining company in Australia, responded to investors’ concerns by announcing plans to limit coal production to its current levels. The announcement comes after news that, last year, profits were reduced by 41 percent and Glencore produced almost 130 million tons of coal. The company promises to prioritize using its investments to assist the transition to cleaner energy and transportation. Glencore declared support for the international Paris climate agreement’s focus on limiting climate change and for the United Nations sustainable development goals, including accessibility to affordable energy. The company says its own emissions will decrease by 5 percent by 2020. -NC