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Weekly Highlights | From the Oil & Gas “Boom” to the Shortcomings of EVs and Bitcoin
Weekly Highlights | From the Oil & Gas “Boom” to the Shortcomings of EVs and Bitcoin
illuminem
By illuminem
Jul 30 2021 · 4 min read

Illuminem Voices
Oil & Gas · Renewables · Power & Utilities

1. Oil Boom 2021: Where Do We Go From Here?

By Forbes

  • There seems to be an consensus: the Oil & Gas “boom” is set to continue for many months, potentially years, to come in the US
  • The crude oil price crash on Monday 19/7 (Brent and West Texas Intermediate prices dropped by 7%) was caused by the market overreacting to the resolution of the OPEC+ (an “all time classic”)
  • In the short term, an unexpected surge of the COVID-19 Delta Variant is the only  or demand-killing risk that can potentially reverse the U.S. Oil & Gas “boom”

2. The Cost of Cooling: How Air Conditioning is Heating Up the World

By The Guardian

  • Modern refrigerants introduced in the 30s (chiefly gas in fridges, freezers and air conditioners), in the form of a chemical called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), escaped into the air over time, ripping a hole in the ozone layer
  • HFCs, the chemicals that replaced the banned refrigerant (CFCs) for cooling, are not ozone-depleting. Yet, they can potentially be hundreds to thousands of times worse than carbon dioxide for global warming
  • In an interview the expert Eric Dean Wilson claimed: “The vast majority of cooling in the US is not for emergency situations [...]  I’m actually calling for all of us to redefine what it means to be comfortable

3. Ten Years of Clean Energy Start-Ups

By IEA

  • Fostering the adoption of clean energy technologies in emerging and developing economies is critical for achieving the global sustainable development goals
  • Many more VC investments are needed to support clean energy start-ups to gain scale and achieve impact
  • Analysing the outcome of the 2010s clean technology boom and bust offers a unique opportunity to assess and calibrate the investment strategies needed to exploit the potential cited above

4. EVs Haven't Taken Off Yet — Here Are 4 Reasons Why

By GreenBiz

  • EVs are too expensive: price is an obvious reason for hesitance. Yet, electric cars are cheaper in the long run due to lower fuel, servicing and maintenance costs. In addition, the falling cost of the lithium batteries will help car prices fall or stay flat in the near future
  • There are not enough chargers: despite a 7x global growth in installations in the last 5 years, the perception is not groundless. In Europe, only France, Italy and the the Netherlands have so far delivered the number of charging points required by the EU’s Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive
  • There is a chip shortage: a shortage of microchips is holding back deliveries of EVs
  • We need to address the battery fire risk: in China, 31% of the people taking part to a survey conducted by Deloitte expressed worries about the safety of battery technology

5. Questioning the Sustainability of Biden’s Brave New Green World

By Forbes

  • The Biden administration official, who heads up the Department of Energy’s Loans Program Office, complained that the U.S. government is not investing enough in “clean” energy projects to meet the administration’s climate change goals
  • We perennially have too much money and not enough projects” stated the official. Yet, this comment needs a critical examination in a context where the U.S. have an enormous deficit and a substantial part of the debt is foreign-owned
  • Industrial operators are reportedly confused and need more clarity on the loan program and the overall investment plan

6. Japan’s New 2030 Energy Mix Unveils Radical Plans to Transform the Energy System

By Wood Mackenzie

  • Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has recently released a draft of its upcoming ‘Strategic Energy Plan’, including major changes to the 2030 power generation mix targets
  • The share of fossil fuels in the mix is expected to fall from 76% in 2019 to 41% by 2030
  • This represents up to about 10 Mt decline in LNG demand, compared to the previous government target (56% share of fossil fuels by 2030)

7. Green, Empty Promises? The Truth Behind Corporate Climate Pledges

By The Guardian

  • An increasing number of companies are making climate pledges. However, the pace and ambition are not enough
  • Global emissions are rebounding post-pandemic and 2023 is on track to see the highest levels of CO2 emissions in human history
  • The gap between pledges and action should be filed and actively monitored. One way is to encourage disclosure, as this is not common practice yet. Another way is to push governments to enforce pledges on companies

8. Clean Hydrogen Energy Gaining Momentum, as Potential Asian and European Demand Energises New Markets

By World Energy Council

  • Estimates find that hydrogen could account for 6% to 25% of global energy consumption by 2050 (~150 to 600 Mt). However, today the “hydrogen economy” is only at an embryonic stage of development
  • Asia and Europe are building future demand expectations, while the Middle East and North Africa focus on planning future hydrogen supply
  • Asia primarily shows a focus on hydrogen as a liquid fuel in the form of ammonia and as a transport fuel for shipping and road transport. Europe is more focused on hydrogen as a means to decarbonise “hard-to-abate” sectors

9. A Phantom Menace: Is Russian LNG a Threat to Russia’s Pipeline Gas in Europe

By Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

  • Russian gas exports to Europe have been historically dominated by Gazprom’s pipeline contracts
  • The recent increase in LNG shipments from Russia’s own Yamal facilities prompted a debated on possible competition between the two sources of Russian gas
  • According to the authors, the Russian government chose to support the expansion of Russia’s LNG export capacity at the potential expense of Gazprom’s pipelines

10. CEO on Bitcoin Mining’s Shift Toward Sustainable Energy

By CNBC

  • A key factors behind the Bitcoin’s record volatility has been its environmental concerns
  • The carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining activities has improved on the back of regulatory measures (among others, China’s policies in May 2021)
  • Recent data suggests that >50% of energy used in bitcoin mining is now renewable
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