US energy Independence Day dawns

Barry Worthington

The most significant US energy policy update in a decade, the Energy Policy Modernization Act 2016, will be introduced into the new Congress in January 2017. With provisions for accelerated permitting for oil and gas drilling, construction of export LNG terminals, as well as energy efficiency standards and grid-integration of renewables, the outlook for US energy security is bright, according to Barry Worthington, Executive Director of the US … [Read more...]

South Africa’s new energy plan: postpone nuclear, phase out coal

old coal power plant turned into recreation area in Soweto (photo Tracy Hunter)

The much awaited updated South African Integrated Resource Plan for electricity, released for comment on 22 November, has sparked strong emotions, writes Hartmut Winkler, Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg. In an article for The Conversation, Winkler discusses the main points of the plan and explains why the nuclear lobby in particular is unhappy. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]

DNV GL on risks of renewables: “We need new tests and standards to prevent major failures”

The largest man-made system on earth (photo DNV GL)

The transition to renewable energy is accompanied by the widespread use of power electronics, such as inverters, which require a whole new way of testing smart equipment, says Theo Bosma, Program Director Power Systems & Electrification at DNV GL, one of the largest technical consultancies in the world. According to Bosma, the new power electronics are not adequately tested at the moment. “New technologies such as solar, wind, batteries and … [Read more...]

Victory: Ukraine doesn’t need Russian gas anymore – and puts transit at risk

naftogaz gazprom-slider

Ukraine has completely “eliminated” its dependence on Russian gas, Ukrainian national gas company Naftogaz has declared in an open letter. Last year it stopped importing Russian gas for its own consumption altogether. At the same time, according to a paper written by Thierry Bros, Senior Research Fellow from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), Naftogaz is putting the future of the transit of Russian gas at risk by demanding higher … [Read more...]

Why sharing solar is the next big thing in energy

Brooklyn microgrid with person-slider

The disruption and the opportunities being offered by solar PV and battery storage are likely to be accelerated massively by the introduction of new software such as the “blockchain” system that has already taken root in financial systems, writes Giles Parkinson of the leading Australian energy website Reneweconomy. Courtesy: Reneweconomy.com. … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s amazing nuclear journey – why it ended, what it means for South East Asia

Ninh Thuan 1 the nuclear power plant that was never built

On November 22, Vietnam took the historic decision to scrap its nuclear power program, after many decades of nuclear preparations, up to a ground-breaking ceremony at the first proposed nuclear site in the country in 2014. Jim Green, editor of Nuclear Monitor, published by WISE (World Information Service on Energy), tells the amazing story of nuclear power in Vietnam – and discusses what the Vietnamese decision means for the prospects of nuclear … [Read more...]

The future of OPEC: it won’t die, but it will become a different animal

OPEC meeting in Algiers with Algeria's minister of energy Noureddine Boutarfa

Regardless of the outcome of the meeting on 30 November, the future of OPEC looks uncertain. The organisation is facing a perfect storm, squeezed as it is between the revolution in shale oil, which has increased global supply and brought down prices, and the prospect of a global peak demand stemming from climate policies and falling costs of alternatives. Some have even declared the death of OPEC, but according to Thijs Van de Graaf, professor at … [Read more...]