Volume 2, Issue 10
December 5, 2016 – December 12, 2016
Jason Mulderrig | Anushka Dasgupta | Devorah Saffern

Renewable Energy:
Google is Going All In on Renewable Energy                                                                                                                                                                                               http://time.com/4591965/google-renewable-energy-target/
December 6, 2016 | Justin Worland                                                                                                            On Tuesday, Google announced that beginning in 2017, its energy usage will represent no net consumption of fossil fuels. Because renewables are variable sources, Google can’t quite disconnect from the regular utility grid and channel its power directly from wind and solar.  Instead, the company has guaranteed the purchase of the energy from renewable sources, then allowing this energy to go into the grid, resulting in zero net fossil fuel consumption. Ninety-five percent will come from wind farms, the other five percent from solar. This is no small move. Annually, Google’s data centers consume as much energy as the city of San Francisco. Aside from the direct environmental effects, guaranteeing such a large buyer will allow wind companies to develop economies of scale and get better financing. Importantly, Google maintains that the move is based on money: wind power’s price stability and potential to scale makes it an attractive source for the next twenty years. Amazon, Facebook, and Wal-Mart may soon follow suit. -AD

Clean Energy ‘Moving Forward’ Despite Trump’s E.P.A. Pick, Experts Say                                                                                                                                                                                             http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/us/politics/trump-climate-epa-coal-jobs.html
December 8, 2016 | Coral Davenport                                                                                                           While Trump has picked Scott Pruitt as E.P.A. head, announced Wednesday, experts predict that his plans to create new jobs through emphasis on coal sources will unlikely succeed. Pruitt, like Trump, is opposed to President Obama’s Clean Power Plan as well as overall environmental policy, and does not believe in the concept of climate change. Trump and Pruitt’s plans for the energy market involve creating millions of jobs by reverting back to natural energy sources such as coal and natural gas. The U.S. energy market has already moved further away from these pollutant emitting energy sources, driven not just by policy but primarily by investors who are hopeful about solar power and other methods. Between 2010 and 2015, the amount of wind power generated increased by over %100, and by over %20 for solar. The predictions show though, that even with continued shifts away from gas and coal, the U.S. would still not reach the goals set out by the Paris Climate Change Accord without shutting down all fossil fuel structures, which would only be accomplished by new strict government policies. -DS

The Best Eco-Friendly Superyachts, Toys and Tenders to Help Save the Planet                                                                                                                                                                                         http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2016/12/08/the-best-eco-friendly-superyachts-toys-and-tenders-to-help-save-the-planet/#401350c441d3 
December 8, 2016 | Jim Dobson                                                                                                      About 200 teak trees are used to create each 150-foot yacht, a large toll on our earth’s resources. Lately, though, designs have been made to create more eco-friendly boats. The marine industry is now focusing on greener constructions, building yachts that will utilize electric and solar powers and hybrid engines. New designs include the Quadrofoil Electric Hydrofoil Watercraft, an electrically run hydrofoil boat, and ARK Solar Boat, a new yacht designed in Finland that contains solar panels on the upper part of the boat which give charge to silicon nanotube batteries that contain ten times the storage of lithium-ion batteries. These new designs and others are paving the road for more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly marine activities. -DS

Iran Races to Clinch Oil Deals Before Donald Trump Takes Office                                                                                                                                                                                             http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/world/middleeast/iran-oil-sanctions-trump.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0
December 8, 2016 | Thomas Erdbrink and Clifford Krauss                                                                                                            With the lifting of nuclear sanctions upon Iran quickly looking like a window quickly closing with the upcoming Trump presidency, Iran is securing agreements with international oil companies to revive and expand Iran’s aged oil infrastructure. Iran’s oil infrastructure is currently pushed to its max since nuclear sanctions were lifted in January. Now, in an effort to expand its oil market reach to compete with regional rival Saudi Arabia in the face of impending US sanctions, Iran has secured agreements with companies such as Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Schlumberger. However, Iranian hardliners have voiced concerns that these oil company agreements could undermine Iran’s independence in the future. But, given recent comments from Iran’s oil minister Bijan N. Zangeneh, it seems that Iran will continue to make more and more oil agreements for the next month. -JPM