Volume 5, Issue 3
February 25, 2018 – March 3, 2018
Anushka Dasgupta '19 | Amy Amatya '21 | Neha Chauhan '21


  Why companies are scrambling for the once little-known element cobalt   Robert Ferris | February 23, 2018 | CNBC  Demand for cobalt is rising with the use of lithium-ion batteries in electronics and electric vehicles. Cobalt is difficult to replace in its role as a key ingredient in these batteries because it is most effective at ensuring their stability. Replacing it with an alternative element would mean producing lower-quality batteries, and industry experts industry predict that cobalt will not be excluded from production for at least another three decades. The increasing demand for cobalt is driving up prices, and the threat of a shortage of the element looms. Because it is mined as a byproduct of other elements, its supply is difficult to control; some companies are attempting to secure their cobalt supplies by buying it directly from miners. -NC

Why companies are scrambling for the once little-known element cobalt
Robert Ferris | February 23, 2018 | CNBC
Demand for cobalt is rising with the use of lithium-ion batteries in electronics and electric vehicles. Cobalt is difficult to replace in its role as a key ingredient in these batteries because it is most effective at ensuring their stability. Replacing it with an alternative element would mean producing lower-quality batteries, and industry experts industry predict that cobalt will not be excluded from production for at least another three decades. The increasing demand for cobalt is driving up prices, and the threat of a shortage of the element looms. Because it is mined as a byproduct of other elements, its supply is difficult to control; some companies are attempting to secure their cobalt supplies by buying it directly from miners. -NC

     New Project to Tackle Crypto Energy Crisis by Generating Electricity Through Waste   Katharine Sharpe | February 23, 2018 | Coin Telegraph  With Bitcoin’s skyrocketing market, concern shifts toward supplying the massive amount of energy needed to support this expansion. One company, 4NEW, is looking to make mining more sustainable by producing their own renewable energy using waste. Revenue from waste collection and byproduct sales will be used to fund privately handled renewable energies (as opposed to traditional farms which often utilize coal), with coin holders being able to use this energy within 4NEW’s mining farms, or sell it directly to the grid at their own fixed prices. At its current rate of increase, cryptocurrency operations are expected to use more energy annually than countries such as Peru and Hungary, so finding a sustainable source is becoming increasingly necessary. -AA Note:  Last week's Power Surge  referenced Iceland's Bitcoin  energy crisis .   New England Has a Power Problem   Erin Ailworth and Jon Kamp | February 23, 2018 | The Wall Street Journal  While residents of New England states support the incorporation of clean energy into their electric grid in theory, building the necessary infrastructure has proven to be a challenge. Offshore wind has taken off in Europe, but Cape Wind, the first proposed offshore wind project in the U.S.,  was cancelled late last year  because residents feared disruption of the landscape and fishing grounds. Plans for a natural gas pipeline connecting New England with Pennsylvania, which is experiencing a fracking boom,  were abandoned in 2016. The Northern Pass Power line, which would bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the region, was the latest attempt to prop up the populous region’s aging electric grid. However, a New Hampshire regulatory committee rejected its portion of the project this month. -AD

 

New Project to Tackle Crypto Energy Crisis by Generating Electricity Through Waste
Katharine Sharpe | February 23, 2018 | Coin Telegraph
With Bitcoin’s skyrocketing market, concern shifts toward supplying the massive amount of energy needed to support this expansion. One company, 4NEW, is looking to make mining more sustainable by producing their own renewable energy using waste. Revenue from waste collection and byproduct sales will be used to fund privately handled renewable energies (as opposed to traditional farms which often utilize coal), with coin holders being able to use this energy within 4NEW’s mining farms, or sell it directly to the grid at their own fixed prices. At its current rate of increase, cryptocurrency operations are expected to use more energy annually than countries such as Peru and Hungary, so finding a sustainable source is becoming increasingly necessary. -AA
Note: Last week's Power Surge referenced Iceland's Bitcoin energy crisis.

New England Has a Power Problem
Erin Ailworth and Jon Kamp | February 23, 2018 | The Wall Street Journal
While residents of New England states support the incorporation of clean energy into their electric grid in theory, building the necessary infrastructure has proven to be a challenge. Offshore wind has taken off in Europe, but Cape Wind, the first proposed offshore wind project in the U.S., was cancelled late last year because residents feared disruption of the landscape and fishing grounds. Plans for a natural gas pipeline connecting New England with Pennsylvania, which is experiencing a fracking boom,  were abandoned in 2016. The Northern Pass Power line, which would bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the region, was the latest attempt to prop up the populous region’s aging electric grid. However, a New Hampshire regulatory committee rejected its portion of the project this month. -AD

  Geothermal Energy Grows in Kenya   Amy Yee | February 23, 2018 | The New York Times  Kenya sits over the East African Rift, a hotspot for tectonic activity. This makes the region ideal for geothermal development. The Kenyan government, with an eye to its rapidly growing population and the gaps in its electric grid, has pushed to expand the nation’s geothermal capabilities in recent years. The main hurdle has been finding financiers for the construction of geothermal plants and the infrastructure to connect them with homes and businesses. But there’s a chance that geothermal energy could power Kenya’s economic growth the way it did for Iceland in the seventies. -AD

Geothermal Energy Grows in Kenya
Amy Yee | February 23, 2018 | The New York Times
Kenya sits over the East African Rift, a hotspot for tectonic activity. This makes the region ideal for geothermal development. The Kenyan government, with an eye to its rapidly growing population and the gaps in its electric grid, has pushed to expand the nation’s geothermal capabilities in recent years. The main hurdle has been finding financiers for the construction of geothermal plants and the infrastructure to connect them with homes and businesses. But there’s a chance that geothermal energy could power Kenya’s economic growth the way it did for Iceland in the seventies. -AD