CES Spotlight Blog
Deepwater Offshore Wind: Hywind Maine
Last week I attended the AWEA Regional Wind Energy Summit in Portland, Maine. This two day conference had many great speakers and provided a wealth of information on the current state of the wind power industry in New England.
One topic of particular relevance at the conference was the Hywind Maine project.
Underground Coal Gasification
An underground coal seam has been on fire in Centralia Pennsylvania since 1962. With no way to extinguish the fire, private homes were taken by the State of Pennsylvania under eminent domain and abandoned. Proponents of a little used technique to harvest coal - underground coal gasification - hope to harness the forces behind the Centralia disaster to revolutionize how we utilize coal. Underground coal gasification involves setting deep underground coal deposits on fire and harvesting the resulting “coal gas” for use in power plants and industry. The Centralia fire was set when the town’s volunteer fire department conducted a routine burn at the town landfill. The landfill was located in an abandoned coal surface mine. The fire traveled underground – but near enough to the surface to receive ample oxygen - and continues to burn unchecked.
Iraq‚??s Oil Production Passes Iran
Iraq's oil production has grown steadily over the past several years while oil output in Iran has eroded. Production in Iraq exceeded 3 million barrels per day in July, about 300,000 barrels higher than its average output during 2011, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Iraq’s daily output is now second only to Saudi Arabia in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
US Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reach 20 Year Low While Europe Misses An Opportunity
The US Energy Information Administration recently reported that carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption during the first quarter of 2012 was the lowest since 1992. What were the biggest factors driving the historic low? An abnormally warm winter reduced heating demand and gasoline usage continued its long trend lower in the US. Carbon Dioxide emissions were reduced from a less intuitive source as well, low natural gas prices. Natural gas prices dropped below coal on a $ per million btu basis and prompted an economic shift in electricity generation. See my previous blog post: Coal Use Plummets For Power Generation.