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February 2, 2018

Energy – SciPol Weekly, January 27 – February 2

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Government

Bloomberg  – The Dark Side of America’s Rise to Oil Superpower

By the end of the year, the U.S. may well be the world’s biggest oil producer. With that, America takes a big step toward energy independence. The U.S. crowing from the top of a hill long occupied by Saudi Arabia or Russia would scramble geopolitics. A new world energy order could emerge. That shuffling will be good for America but not so much for the planet.

Reuters – A modern land run? Trump move opens Utah to mining claims under 1872 law

 U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw federal protections from millions of acres of Utah wilderness will reopen much of the iconic terrain to gold, silver, copper, and uranium land claims under a Wild West-era mining law, according to federal officials.

The Boston Globe – In Québec, it’s power versus a people on hydroelectricity

Within two years, a significant amount of that power, along with hydroelectricity from other plants in this Canadian province, could be exported to Massachusetts, providing the state with a long-awaited influx of renewable energy.

Utility Dive – DOE report touts small modular reactors, but hurdles remain

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy identifies the need for energy resilience and how small modular nuclear reactors can fill that need. The DOE report highlights and makes recommendations for the use of small modular reactors by the Tennessee Valley Authority at a site in Oak Ridge, Tenn., adjacent to a national nuclear and security facility.

Utility Dive – The best laid plans of state regulators are now aimed at building a better distribution system

There is a wide variety of distribution system planning in states that have adopted “advanced elements of integrated distribution system planning and analysis.” And an even “broader array” of approaches in states with more traditional planning methods. Existing planning tools and procedures “are not adequate” to deal with rising penetrations of distributed energy resources.

Industry 

Clean Technica – IEA Highlights Chile’s Potential As Renewable Energy Behemoth

The International Energy Agency has this week published a new report highlighting the emergence of Chile as one of the world’s growing renewable energy destinations, thanks to second-to-none resources and increasingly forward-looking policies.

Electrek – World’s largest offshore wind farm starts construction

The world’s soon to be (2020) largest offshore wind farm has begun construction. The project, being developed by the largest offshore wind power developer – Ørsted – is located 74.5 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, UK.

Reuters – BP expects gas to overtake oil as main energy source in 2040

BP expects gas to overtake oil as the world’s primary energy source in around 2040 as demand for the least polluting fossil fuel grows, its vice president for strategic planning said on Wednesday.

Reuters – Mexico’s drug cartels, now hooked on fuel, cripple the country’s refineries

Drug gangs pressure refinery workers to tap the lifeblood of Mexico’s oil industry. One former worker fled the country. One former gang member helps authorities understand the racket.

Utility Dive – 'Year of the grid': DER management takes center stage at DistribuTECH

The nation’s largest distributed energy show is turning into a software exhibition as utilities search for ways to make sense of a flood of data from new technologies on their grids.

Vox – Utility CEO: new renewables will be cheaper than existing coal plants by the early 2020s

There was a time when the idea that (unsubsidized) renewable energy would be able to compete directly with fossil fuels was downright utopian. As late as the early 2000s, people were debating whether it would happen this century, or at all. But the extraordinary progress of renewables in the past two decades has moved that hoped-for future closer and closer. And now, unbelievably, it is right on our doorstep.

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