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World Energy Consumption Since 1820 in Charts By   Gail Tverberg Figure 1 (above) shows the huge increase in world energy co...


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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Today's ENERGY News - April 6, 2016

Top Stories 

An early look at Elon Musk’s Gigafactory,

 a building that could change the world

Here's Tesla's first Gigafactory, located just outside Sparks, Nevada.
Early concept art for Tesla’s Gigafactory. Everyone’s excited about Tesla’s new Model 3 car , but mass producing that electric vehicle is going to require a ton of batteries. That’s where Tesla’s Gigafactory comes into play. For those unfamiliar, Tesla describes its massive 5.5 million square-foot Gigafactory as a way to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation.” The first Gigafactory, located outside Sparks, Nevada, is an ambitious manufacturing facility that plans to build batteries for Tesla’s electric cars for the foreseeable future. To make these batteries, Tesla will use “economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof.” The Gigafactory is also notable since it will be powered completely by renewable energy, according to Tesla. Tesla’s first Gigafactory aims to start building battery cells by 2017, to coincide with the launch of the Model 3, reaching full […]

NASA Is Facing a Climate Change Countdown

The concrete block perches absurdly atop a piling, elevated about 10 feet above the beach sand. Is it art? A bulky milepost? Carlton Hall pointed to the puzzling object and explained that it was once a tie-down block for securing structures like antenna towers. Dr. Hall, the chief scientist for the space center’s ecological program, said that when he started working here a few decades ago, the block had been buried. Now the sand that enveloped it is gone, swept away by the forces of coastal erosion and storms. He gestured toward the waves rolling in nearby and said, “The beach used to be at least 50 yards out.” On the other side of the dunes, a quarter mile away, sit two […]

North Dakota rig count dipped below 30

After weeks of showing stability, the number of rigs deployed in North Dakota dipped below 30 for the first time in years, state data posted early Monday show. State data posted early Monday showed 29 in active service, a 9 percent decline from the previous week. Once inspectors reviewed the figures later in the day , the official count was raised to 30. The state had 32 rigs actively engaged in oil and gas exploration and production for three straight weeks in March. The decline followed a week of volatility in crude oil prices, which ended last week with much of the gains for the year erased after Saudi Arabia cast doubt […]

Shale gas hits U.S. railroads and diesel demand

Cheap natural gas has slashed coal traffic across the U.S. rail network and in turn hit demand for diesel, demonstrating the interlocking relationship between the country’s energy and transport systems. U.S. rail freight declined more than 6 percent in the first 12 weeks of 2016 compared with a year earlier, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Most categories of bulk freight were down compared with 2015 but by far the largest drop occurred in coal, the single-largest commodity hauled on the network. The number of railcars loaded with coal in the first 12 weeks was down by 32 percent compared with 2015 (“AAR reports weekly rail traffic for the week ending March 26”). Coal loadings are down because power plants have switched to burning inexpensive natural gas, […]

Russian energy minister says may meet Saudi counterpart before Doha event

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday that he may meet his Saudi Arabian counterpart before a planned oil producers’ meeting in Doha on April 17. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, will agree to freeze crude oil production levels only if Iran and other major producers do so, the kingdom’s deputy crown prince said in an interview with Bloomberg last week. “If there is such an opportunity, surely we will talk to our colleagues,” he said about a possible meeting with his Saudi Arabian colleague. Iran has said it will not join fellow OPEC and non-OPEC members in a plan to be discussed in Doha to freeze oil production to boost prices. Novak also said he hoped that a common position would prevail at the […]


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