Real Clear Energy Charticles

Energy Charts Interpretated and Analyzed by RCEnergy

OPEC Has Stepped Up Production

OPEC has stepped up its oil production over the past year in an effort to retain its market share in the face of American fracking. Output is not quite as high as it was in the middle of 2012, but it is still headed upward. This has been mainly the result of Saudi Arabian increases in output but word is out now that Iraq is also planning to boost its exports in order to maintain its market...

Decline in Rig Counts Has Leveled Off

The initial response of the fracking industry to falling oil prices was a reduction in the number of rigs pumping oil.  The decline in the Permian Basin was particularly marked, with rigs falling by almost half.  But the pattern has leveled off now and the number of rigs seems to have reached equilibrium.  However, production has not fallen by a corresponding amount.  Improved...

Alternatives Are Making Inroads Against Gasoline

Petroleum consumption in the transport sector has declined since 2008 and much of the difference has been made up by alternate fuels. The trend is small now but it definitely shows up on the graph. Natural gas, biomass (i.e. ethanol) and electricity have all played a part, although electricity is so small it is barely visible at this point. Their contribution has been enough to keep petroleum...

Edmunds.com Says EVs Cheaper After Five Years

The Nissan Leaf is the cheapest car to own after five years, according to Edmunds.com’s “True Cost of Own” gauge. Altogether electrics score six of the top 11 vehicles. The biggest boost for electrics comes from a federal tax credit that ranges from $2500 to $7,500 according to battery size. According to Grist, the Edmunds’ standard takes in “depreciation,...

What China Is Using Instead of Coal

Greenpeace reports that coal use in China has declined over the last six months for the first time in history. The graph shows what China has been using to replace coal. New hydroelectric dams have been the biggest contributor, accounting for about 45 percent, and the better operating of existing hydro has added another chunk of about 25 percent. Natural gas, biofuels and waste burning are...

A Miracle Occurs - China's Coal Use Declines

Only a year or so ago it appeared that the world was doomed to see China’s coal burning head straight up for another decade or two.  The world’s largest country had become the world’s largest user of coal and the world’s largest importer.  All other efforts to limit carbon emissions seemed doomed to be overshadowed. Now a near-miracle has occurred.  Since...

Natural Gas Makes Up for Wind in Texas

Texas likes to pride itself on how much of its electricity it now gets from wind – close to 25 percent. But as the above graph shows, the wind doesn’t blow all the time and it doesn’t necessarily blow when it’s needed. The turquoise portion represents wind, the green represents natural gas, the red coal and the blue at the bottom is nuclear. Wind did seem to provide a...

Streaming Video Becoming Biggest Internet Consumer

Streaming video is becoming the biggest customer on the Internet, according to the annual Green Click Report just issued by Greenpeace. Video is expected to make up 76 percent of Internet traffic by 2018, with email constituting another 16 percent and file-sharing the remaining 8 percent. The major trend is that people are now watching movies and cable series directly on streaming video. ...

Wind Construction Collapses Without Tax Credit

Windmill construction in the United States collapses every time the production tax credit is not renewed. The PTC, originally part of the 1992 Energy Policy Act, now stands at $21.50 per megawatt-hour for the first ten years of generation. As Warren Buffett said a year ago: “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind...

Solar Panels Are Getting Thinner and Thinner

Technological improvements are making solar panels thinner and thinner, opening the possibility that it may be possible to mount them in a variety of places, including windows and the walls of buildings. Current panels made from carbon and silicon are about 180 micromillimeters (um) thick or about twice the thickness of a human hair. The new cadmium-telluride cells, however, are only 3 um thick...

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