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Energy Risks of the Ukraine Crisis

 Russia's intervention in the Crimean Peninsula poses few risks to Europe's energy supplies, but escalation or Western sanctions could change that assessment.If the crisis expanded to mainland Ukraine, the integrity of that country's ...

Posted March 5, 2014    

Can Solar Energy Fill the Hydropower Gap During California's Drought?

Although the scale of California's conventional hydropower remains much larger than that of solar power, solar's rapid growth provides a meaningful contribution to the grid.Solar power can work nearly anywhere, but installing it where it's actually...

Posted March 3, 2014    

A Solar Car for the Masses?

Ford is currently showing a concept car that addresses the shortcomings of solar-powered transportation in a clever way. If they can make it a cost-effective option, it would provide consumers a new kind of convenience, in contrast to the...

Posted February 25, 2014    

US Oil Demand Returns to Growth

Early estimates indicate that US oil demand grew by 2% last year, after several years of declining consumption.Although superficially consistent with recent GDP data, it's not yet clear whether this reflects a new trend or the results of...

Posted February 17, 2014    

Interpreting the State Department's Latest Assessment of the Keystone XL Pipeline

On Wednesday I participated in a webchat hosted by The Energy Collective on the subject of the emissions and market impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline (KXL). It was prompted by last week's release of the State Department's "Final Supplemental ...

Posted February 6, 2014    

The Pros and Cons of Exporting US Crude Oil

Calls for an end to the effective ban on exporting most crude oil produced in the US are based on a growing imbalance in domestic crude quality.At least recently, the ban has likely benefited refiners more than consumers. Assessing the ...

Posted January 30, 2014    

Converting Coal to Synthetic Natural Gas in China

With so much attention focused on China's shale gas potential, its growing synthetic natural gas industry is a wild card.In light of China's severe air quality problems,  trading smog for higher CO2 emissions is an understandable choice, but...

Posted January 22, 2014    

Canada: From Energy Supplier to Competitor?

In addition to its impact on global oil and natural gas pricing and trade, the shale revolution is altering the energy relationship between the US and Canada.This long-standing supplier/customer relationship is becoming more complex as producers in...

Posted January 14, 2014    

Energy 2013: More Shifts Ahead?

2013 was an eventful year for energy, though perhaps with fewer earth-shaking implications for the future than in other recent years.Several developments concerning global oil production, when taken together, improved the odds of lower oil...

Posted January 7, 2014    

IEA Forecasts Sustained Energy Growth, But No 'Era of Oil Abundance'

The IEA's latest long-term forecasts highlights the growth of unconventional oil and gas, especially in North America, but does not see this leading to much lower oil prices.In their main scenario fossil fuels will still meet more than...

Posted December 30, 2013    

Is the Wind Energy Tax Credit About to Expire for Good?

The expiration of the federal subsidy for wind power on 12/31/13 provides an opportunity to replace it with a smaller benefit, more focused on innovation.Comprehensive tax reform is the best way to approach this, including making tax incentives...

Posted December 19, 2013    

The LPG Echo of the Shale Gas Boom

Increased US production of LPG and natural gas liquids is an outgrowth of the shale gas revolution and a key ingredient for translating its benefits into industrial growth.The infrastructure investments, export opportunities and price...

Posted December 16, 2013