Volume 5, Issue 2
February 18, 2018 – February 24, 2018
Anushka Dasgupta '19 | Amy Amatya '21 | Neha Chauhan '21


  'Extraordinary' growth in US shale oil could soon force OPEC to take action, IEA says   February 13, 2018 | CNBC | Sam Meredith  Last year, OPEC and other oil producers  agreed to extend cuts  on oil production to address oversupply and bring up prices. But OPEC’s influence on the market is waning with the rise of U.S. shale oil. U.S. producers have taken advantage of recovering oil prices and could surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia in energy production by 2019. OPEC may soon change its policy to in an attempt to prevent the U.S. from taking over the market. -AD

'Extraordinary' growth in US shale oil could soon force OPEC to take action, IEA says
February 13, 2018 | CNBC | Sam Meredith
Last year, OPEC and other oil producers agreed to extend cuts on oil production to address oversupply and bring up prices. But OPEC’s influence on the market is waning with the rise of U.S. shale oil. U.S. producers have taken advantage of recovering oil prices and could surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia in energy production by 2019. OPEC may soon change its policy to in an attempt to prevent the U.S. from taking over the market. -AD

  Cryptocurrency mining in Iceland is using so much energy, electricity may run out   February 13, 2018 | Washington Post | Rick Noack  Iceland’s energy and economy are in conflict, as a country that both satisfies 81% of its electricity needs with renewable energies, and has become a recent hotspot for Bitcoin miners. Over the last three months, they have seen an inundation of requests to set up cryptocurrency mining projects in Iceland, where the large presence of hydropower makes electricity cheap and cold climate protects mining devices from overheating. While some sense a new source of revenue for the small island country, others fear incoming financial instability to a country that is already in no shortage of tourists. -AA

Cryptocurrency mining in Iceland is using so much energy, electricity may run out
February 13, 2018 | Washington Post | Rick Noack
Iceland’s energy and economy are in conflict, as a country that both satisfies 81% of its electricity needs with renewable energies, and has become a recent hotspot for Bitcoin miners. Over the last three months, they have seen an inundation of requests to set up cryptocurrency mining projects in Iceland, where the large presence of hydropower makes electricity cheap and cold climate protects mining devices from overheating. While some sense a new source of revenue for the small island country, others fear incoming financial instability to a country that is already in no shortage of tourists. -AA

  Avoiding blackouts with 100% renewable energy   February 8, 2018 | Science Daily | Taylor Kubota  A paper by Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and Aalborg University in Denmark, published in Renewable Energy, outlines a plan to keep a 100 percent renewable power grid stable. These researchers wrote an earlier article outlining plans for transitioning 139 countries to entirely renewable energy by 2050. Their new article builds upon this previous work and outlines how to minimize the possibility of blackouts -- which the researchers say is the greatest fear people have preventing implementation of large-scale renewable energy systems. The study accounts for geographic proximity of various countries, some geopolitical concerns, and supply and demand variability for 30-second increments over 5 years. Its success depends on collaboration across political boundaries. -NC

Avoiding blackouts with 100% renewable energy
February 8, 2018 | Science Daily | Taylor Kubota
A paper by Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and Aalborg University in Denmark, published in Renewable Energy, outlines a plan to keep a 100 percent renewable power grid stable. These researchers wrote an earlier article outlining plans for transitioning 139 countries to entirely renewable energy by 2050. Their new article builds upon this previous work and outlines how to minimize the possibility of blackouts -- which the researchers say is the greatest fear people have preventing implementation of large-scale renewable energy systems. The study accounts for geographic proximity of various countries, some geopolitical concerns, and supply and demand variability for 30-second increments over 5 years. Its success depends on collaboration across political boundaries. -NC

  Former Utility CEO Brings Solar Power to Africa   February 12, 2018 | Scientific American/ClimateWire | Jean Chemnick  Jim Rogers has long advocated for “green” initiatives - an unconventional stance for a utility executive. He  began pushing for cap-and-trade legislation  and the deployment of smart meters in customers’ homes to increase energy efficiency in the early 2000s. His brand of environmentalism is strategic, intended to profit utilities in the long-term while reducing carbon emissions. In 2010, he became interested in the electrification of rural areas, founding a nonprofit which deploys distributed solar systems in Africa and Latin America. That said, he believes some coal plant construction will be necessary to Africa’s growth. -AD

Former Utility CEO Brings Solar Power to Africa
February 12, 2018 | Scientific American/ClimateWire | Jean Chemnick
Jim Rogers has long advocated for “green” initiatives - an unconventional stance for a utility executive. He began pushing for cap-and-trade legislation and the deployment of smart meters in customers’ homes to increase energy efficiency in the early 2000s. His brand of environmentalism is strategic, intended to profit utilities in the long-term while reducing carbon emissions. In 2010, he became interested in the electrification of rural areas, founding a nonprofit which deploys distributed solar systems in Africa and Latin America. That said, he believes some coal plant construction will be necessary to Africa’s growth. -AD

  World Class Performance by World’s First Floating Wind Farm   February 15, 2018 | Oil Gas Daily  An update on an October issue of Power Surge: the  world’s first floating wind farm  has been performing better than expected in its first 3 months of operation, already powering 20,000 UK homes. It has surpassed the capacity of comparable fixed wind farms, encouraging developers who are looking to launch floating wind farms in deep waters, where 80% of offshore wind is.  -AA

World Class Performance by World’s First Floating Wind Farm
February 15, 2018 | Oil Gas Daily
An update on an October issue of Power Surge: the world’s first floating wind farm has been performing better than expected in its first 3 months of operation, already powering 20,000 UK homes. It has surpassed the capacity of comparable fixed wind farms, encouraging developers who are looking to launch floating wind farms in deep waters, where 80% of offshore wind is.  -AA

  Trump suggests 25 cent increase in gas tax, senator says   February 15, 2018 | CNN | Ashley Killough  This week, the Trump administration released a $1.5 trillion plan to repair and upgrade infrastructure in the U.S. The amount of federal funding which will be provided is limited to $200 billion, with the rest coming from state governments. At a bipartisan meeting on Wednesday, the President suggested a higher gas tax as an option for states to consider. California  is already trying out  a gas tax increase, but in an age of high fuel efficiency and electric vehicles,  many find  the idea outdated. -AD

Trump suggests 25 cent increase in gas tax, senator says
February 15, 2018 | CNN | Ashley Killough
This week, the Trump administration released a $1.5 trillion plan to repair and upgrade infrastructure in the U.S. The amount of federal funding which will be provided is limited to $200 billion, with the rest coming from state governments. At a bipartisan meeting on Wednesday, the President suggested a higher gas tax as an option for states to consider. California is already trying out a gas tax increase, but in an age of high fuel efficiency and electric vehicles, many find the idea outdated. -AD