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Friday, 17 June 2016

Today's ENERGY News - 17 June 2016





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Coal use plunges as China cuts back and US turns to gas


  
The world’s use of coal fell by the largest amount on record last year as the fossil fuel that powered the industrial revolution was struck by tumbling US gas prices and another year of dwindling consumption in China.  BP’s latest world energy review showed 2015 had been “an annus horribilis for coal”, said the oil and gas group’s chief economist, Spencer Dale.  Global consumption and production levels for coal plunged by the biggest amount since at least 1980, while prices fell about 20 per cent.
“I would be surprised if one can think of another period when coal has fallen by a similar amount,” said Mr Dale.  China, the world’s largest coal consumer, was not the main reason for the declines, he said, though its industrial production braked sharply and it was clearly aiming to shift to cleaner sources of energy.  The US was the larger culprit as falling natural gas prices, which plunged alongside oil, saw the country generate more electricity from gas than coal for the first time.

Chinese Investors Looking To Dethrone Tesla As Electric Car Kingpin

Electric Vehicle Charging Tesla is still a synonym for luxury electronic vehicles (EV), but this may change in the not-too-distant future as fresh competition emerges—not just from the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz—but from startups that are poaching engineering and management talent from Tesla and using it to challenge the company on its home turf. Besides their goal, these companies have another thing in common: Chinese money. Atieva, one of those startups, recently unveiled plans to release a luxury EV sedan dubbed Edna within two years. The company, whose Chief Technology Officer is Peter Rawlinson, who led the engineering of Tesla’s Model S, is funded by a variety of investors, among them Beijing Auto and LeEco—a software company owned by entrepreneur Jia Yueting. Another Tesla competitor hopeful, Faraday Future, also based in California, like Tesla and Atieva, is funded by Jia as well. The company, which has announced plans […]

Plans for Electric Planes Gain Traction

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is poised to designate an all-electric plane concept as its newest, futuristic aircraft in the biggest boost yet for the idea of building airliners that don’t burn fuel. The announcement, expected Friday, would place the electric plane in the footsteps of other aviation firsts that the U.S. has pursued through its futuristic “X-Planes” series, which dates to Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1 and was first to break the sound barrier in 1947. The electric aircraft is expected to be called the X-57 and could fly as early as next year, said a person familiar with the plan. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is expected to unveil the designation of the next X-plane, the person said. NASA had no comment ahead of the official announcement. Some of the world’s industrial giants, […]
 wsj.com 

Local Motors debuts first self-driving vehicle using IBM Watson Internet of Things for Automotive

Local Motors, creator of the first 3D-printed cars ( earlier post ), introduced the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson. The vehicle, dubbed “Olli,” will be used on public roads locally in Washington DC, and late in 2016 in Miami-Dade County, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada. Olli was unveiled during the grand opening of a new Local Motors facility in National Harbor, MD and transported Local Motors CEO and co-founder John B. Rogers, Jr. along with vehicle designer Edgar Sarmiento from the Local Motors co-creation community into the new facility. The electric vehicle, which can carry up to 12 people, is equipped with IBM […]

Gazprom, Shell to invest $13 billion in projects in Russia: Russian Energy Minister 


Energy major Shell and Russia’s gas major Gazprom will jointly invest $13 billion in three projects in Russia, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday. Novak said that Shell would take part in the development of Gazprom’s Yuzhno-Kirinskoye gas field offshore Russia’s Sakhalin island in the Pacific. The two companies will also jointly invest in the Baltic Sea Liquefied Natural Gas plant and in the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant expansion. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk and Olesya Ostakhova; writing by Lidia Kelly; editing by Polina Devitt)

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