Volume 1, Issue 7
March 14, 2016 – March 20, 2016
Jason Mulderrig | Anushka Dasgupta

Oil and Gas:
IEA Calls A Bottom in Oil Prices         http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/03/15/iea-calls-a-bottom-in-oil-prices/#7da2fbf43850
March 15, 2016 | Frank Holmes                                                                                                       About two weeks ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report that indicated that oil prices may have bottomed out and are expected to recover in the near future. Even though Holmes remains cautious about the IEA report, he asserts that the recent rise in oil prices are due to a decline in oil output from OPEC and non-OPEC members and high hopes that OPEC and Russia can agree on a production freeze. Holmes also investigated the recent trends of downsizing and merging of oil companies. For instance, overall global oil spending fell 20% in 2015 from 2014, and spending is expected to drop 30% this year compared to 2015. However, these trends have arisen so that oil prices can recover and stabilize at profitable levels sometime in the foreseeable future. -JPM

One of the World’s Largest Solar Facilities Is in Trouble                                 https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601071/one-of-the-worlds-largest-solar-facilities-is-in-trouble/
March 18, 2016 | Richard Martin                                                                                                               The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a facility in California, has failed to produced even two-thirds of its expected power output since its opening in 2014. The plant operates on concentrated solar power. The basic idea of concentrated solar involves mirrors mounted on the ground, which direct sunlight to a central tower and generate steam in a boiler at the top of the tower; Ivanpah uses 750,000 such mirrors. In recent years, however, the price of photovoltaic solar panels has dropped which the cost of concentrated solar power has remained relatively expensive. The California utilities commision has granted the plant a year to meet expectations before it will have to default on its contract with PG&E. -AD

Germany’s Top Court Starts Hearing on Nuclear Shutdown             http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-utilities-nuclear-idUSKCN0WH11C
March 15, 2016 | Karl Sruhe                                                                                                              After the Fukushima accident five years ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel began pushing for a plan to rapidly phase out nuclear power in Germany, with all plants shut down by 2022. The plan was approved, but some officials were wary of the effects the move could have on nuclear energy companies and markets in general. Nuclear power companies have been struggling to cope with the sudden change, and will be suing the government for damages. Germany’s Institutional Court started examining the case on Tuesday. -AD

Energy Storage:
Tesla Discontinues 10-Kilowatt-Hour Powerwall Home Battery         http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Tesla-Discontinues-10kWh-Powerwall-Home-Battery
March 18, 2016 | Julia Pyper                                                                                                         Tesla confirmed this week that they have officially discontinued its 10-kWh Powerwall. That Powerwall version was intended as a backup power supply for the home capable of 500 cycles for a price of $3,500. But according to GTM analyst Ravi Manghani, lead acid batteries and diesel generators are a more economical option for a home back up application as compared to the 10-kWh Powerwall. As a result, the 10-kWh Powerwall fell prey to economics. This leaves the 7-kWh Powerwall as the only remaining Powerwall in Tesla’s lineup. -JPM

Wind Farm May Be Built Off Long Island         http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/17/science/wind-farm-may-be-built-off-long-island.html?ref=energy-environment
March 16, 2016 | Tatiana Schlossberg                                                                                                      This past Wednesday, the Interior Department announced its plans to lease 127 square miles of ocean water off the southeastern shore of Long Island for offshore wind turbine development. However, this wind farm will not be completed for several years due to the extensive process involved in environmental approval. The wind farm, located 11 nautical miles offshore, is estimated to provide enough power for 300,000 homes. This announcement follows another decision from the federal government regarding energy: President Obama announced that he will not allow offshore drilling of oil or gas off of the southeastern Atlantic coast. Both announcements give praise for the environmental and sustainable energy-minded. -JPM