While it is no longer the night before Christmas, Phil Price’s updated poem offers insight for 2017. As 2016 draws to a close, the U.S. energy business opened a new era with the official start-up of the Block Island Wind Farm – the nation’s first offshore wind project. The eight-year development effort was completed this month with the switching on of the turbines, even though one was damaged during the installation, and producing electricity for the residents of Block Island and Rhode Island. While offering encouragement for environmentalists and future wind farm developers, one can’t escape the fact that offshore wind is very expensive and without tax incentives likely wouldn’t have much of a future now. We take a look at the project’s history and economics, likely for the last time.
Forecasting oil prices is always a challenge, and has usually been done with little success. There’s this slight problem of having to forecast both the oil price and when it will be there. With the new OPEC agreement, some say the worst is over for the industry, but what exactly does Bob Dudley’s “lower for longer” really mean? The Electric Vehicle juggernaut is rolling – driven by feel-good economics and automaker business strategies. Just how green these cars are depends on where they get their electricity, and we now have an early attempt at determining what is the cheapest energy for every county in the U.S. thanks to the work of researchers at the University of Texas’s Energy Institute. Their analysis may surprise some people. Climate change proponents always scares us about the harmful effects of warming temperatures on humanity. An examination of recent studies shows that more deaths are due to cold weather than hot temperatures, so maybe a gradually warming planet won’t be so bad for the human population after all.