Volume 3, Issue 2
February 13, 2017 – February 19, 2017
Jason Mulderrig | Will Atkinson | Rohit Dilip | Anushka Dasgupta


Energy Policy:
Bill would increase Nevada renewable energy mandate to 80% by 2040

(February 17, 2017; Utility Dive; Peter Maloney)
A bill passing through the Nevada Assembly is proposing to increase the renewable energy portfolio standard from 20% to 80% by 2040 using a phased-in approach. The bill would count electricity sent from rooftop solar panels to the grid towards meeting the renewable energy mandate, which could further boost the rooftop solar industry of Nevada. -JPM


Nuclear:
How Toshiba Lost $6 Billion
(February 17, 2017; Bloomberg; Jason Clenfield, Yuji Nakamura, Takashi Amany, Pavel Alpeyev, and Stephen Stapczynski)
The nuclear industry was shaken by the news that Toshiba declared that its subsidiary Westinghouse, a major brand in the nuclear reactor industry, will not be offering to construct its reactors for future nuclear power stations. Toshiba was pushed to this limit by suffering through numerous delays and spending billions of dollars on overcosts on four of its nuclear reactors in construction in the southeast United States. -JPM

A half-wave rectified alternating current electrochemical method for uranium extraction from seawater
(February 17, 2017, Nature Energy, Liu et al.)
Although the majority of the Earth’s uranium supplies are in seawater, the low concentration makes uranium difficult to extract. This study demonstrates a method to extract uranium from seawater, which has important ramifications for nuclear fission. -RD


Solar
U.S. Solar Surged 95% To Become Largest Source of New Energy

(February 15, 2017; Bloomberg; Chris Martin)
In 2016 for the first time, the U.S. added more solar energy than in any other sector, including natural gas and wind. Solar production nearly doubled compared to 2015, especially due to new utility-scale fields. The industry is quickly becoming profitable, despite the president’s promises to enhance fossil fuels. -WA


Oil & Gas:
Transportation fuels: Desulfurizing diesel

(February 17, 2017; Nature Energy; Carole Lamonier)
Commonly used fuels such as diesel often contain molecules that form toxic substances when combusted. This paper demonstrates a potential method to reduce sulfur concentration in diesel, which could potentially reduce the environmental impact of various fuels. -RD

What Oil Crisis? Arctic Drilling Off Norway Set for Record
(February 14, 2017; Bloomberg; Mikael Holter)
Despite low oil prices, explorers are hoping to increasing drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Norway. Unusually low local sea ice, greater market efficiencies and favorable Norwegian finance plans have enhanced the plans. However, Greenpeace and other environmental groups are suing the Norwegian government, calling the plans irresponsible with respect to climate agreements. -WA


Wind:
The South Has Been Slow To Harness Its Wind, But That’s Changing
Historically, the Southeast has relied on coal-fired plants and even nuclear plants for energy, rather than taking advantage of the strong winds found at high elevations. Advances in technology, allowing for taller turbines, and the growing energy demand of tech companies has set change in motion and brought wind to the Southeastern energy grid. Farmers are jumping on the chance to lease their land out to a new 22,000 acre wind farm in North Carolina; it’ll generate enough energy to power 61,000 homes annually. -AD