Energy & Commodities

New technologies, not Paris climate agreement, will do the job

It’s time for a rethink. The claim that global decarbonisation can be done at little or no cost is nonsense. On the contrary, switching from an overwhelmingly carbon to a non-carbon-based economy in the space of just two or three decades is really expensive. So far the interventions have been staggeringly expensive.

In Germany, it is about €25bn a year. In Britain, these early costs now make up a 20 per cent premium on household electricity bills. The political fact is that, while voters tell us they care about the climate, their concern fades quickly when they are told it is going to increase their electricity bills. In France, the protests about the rising cost of diesel, driven by the carbon tax, dwarf those by climate change activists.

There is no government in any of the major emitters — pre-eminently China, but also India, Africa and the US — that could maintain popular support on the basis of a carbon tax necessary to meet the 1.5C target — and that is the cheapest way of achieving it. Forget the political rhetoric and look at what is happening… Click to read the complete article


Daimler to Buy $23 Billion of Battery Cells for Electric Car Drive

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Daimler (DAIGn.DE) will buy battery cells worth more than 20 billion euros ($23 billion) by 2030 as it readies mass production of hybrid and electric vehicles, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars said on Tuesday.

The company is one of a number of German automakers massively expanding in electric vehicles as European regulators clamp down on toxic diesel emissions.

“With extensive orders for battery cells until the year 2030, we set another important milestone for the electrification of our future …Click here for full article.

Electric Vehicles Are Already Impacting Oil Demand

Electric Car

The International Energy Agency published its World Energy Outlook this week, its annual effort at revising assessments of future demand for and supply of fuels and electricity. There’s a familiar theme within it: The IEA expects more renewable-energy use in the future than it did in last year’s outlook, which was more than it forecast in the 2016 outlook. There’s also something noteworthy on transportation: The IEA is calling the top on oil demand from cars.

Oil use for cars peaks in the mid-2020s, but petrochemicals, trucks, planes and ships still keep overall oil demand on a rising trend. Improvements in fuel efficiency in the conventional car fleet avoid three-times more in potential demand than the 3 million barrels per day (mb/d) displaced…Click here for full article.

Solid State Airplane With No Moving Parts Takes Flight


An airplane with no moving parts has flown a distance of 60 meters. Is that a big deal? It is if you consider that on a cold December day in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first airplane changed the world when it flew a distance of only 37 meters. What new ideas could a solid-state airplane with no jet or internal combustion engine lead to?

Steven Barrett is an aeronautics professor at MIT. He has been leading a team of researchers investigating “ionic wind” propulsion for more than 5 years. He tells The Guardian the inspiration for the research came straight from watching episodes of Star…Click here for full article.

Electric Vehicle Solid State Battery Likely a Decade Away

Solid state battery

“Following detailed analysis of peer-reviewed papers and speaking with battery experts, we believe switching out the current liquid electrolytes for solid materials could be the key to achieving mass market EV penetration,” BMO analyst Colin Hamilton said. “However, in our view we are at least 10 years away from perfecting the chemistry and there are also further developmental risks…Click here for full article.

Harley-Davidson Electric Motorcycle to Go Into Production

HD Motorcycle

Back in 2014, Harley-Davidson made a lot of noise about its silent electric Livewire motorcycle concept. But the company’s been mum ever since about whether it ever planned to build it—until now.

At the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, on Wednesday, the company finally announced official plans to build the Livewire, after years of competition from startup electric motorcycle makers such as Zero and Energica.

The new bike looks a lot like the concept bikes that Harley took on tour in 2014 but adds a minimal Street-style fairing to move away from the “naked”… Click here for full article.