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DOE — 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report (August 2014)

August 21, 2014 Comments off

2013 Distributed Wind Market Report
Source: U.S. Department of Energy

In 2013, 30.4 megawatts (MW) of new distributed wind capacity was added, representing nearly 2,700 units across 36 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Since 2003, nearly 72,000 wind turbines have been deployed in distributed applications across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the USVI, totaling 842 MW in cumulative capacity. The 83% decline from 2012 to 2013 of distributed wind capacity additions is in line with the 92% decline from 2012 to 2013 in overall U.S. wind capacity deployed.

To compensate for weaker domestic sales, U.S. small wind turbine manufacturers shifted their focus to growing international markets. Exports from U.S.-based small wind turbine manufacturers increased 70% from 8 MW in 2012 to 13.6 MW in 2013. U.S. small wind turbines were exported to more than 50 countries in 2013, with top export markets identified as Italy, UK, Germany, Greece, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Nigeria. In 2013, 76% of U.S. manufacturers’ new small wind sales capacity went to non-U.S. markets, a substantial increase from 57% in 2012.

The purpose of this report is to quantify and summarize the 2013 U.S. distributed wind market to help plan and guide future investments and decisions by industry, utilities, state and federal agencies, and other interested parties. Distributed wind is defined in terms of technology application based on a wind project’s location relative to end-use and power-distribution infrastructure, rather than on turbine or project size. While the distributed wind market includes wind turbines and projects of many sizes, this report breaks the market into two segments when appropriate: wind turbines up through 100 kW (in nominal capacity) referred to in this report as “small wind,” and wind turbines greater than 100 kW used in distributed applications.

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U.S. Energy Department to make researchers’ papers free

August 18, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Energy Department to make researchers’ papers free
Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled its answer to a White House mandate to make the research papers it funds free for anyone to read: a Web portal that will link to full-text papers a year after they’re published. Once researchers are up to speed and submitting their manuscripts, that will mean 20,000 to 30,000 new free papers a year on energy research, physics, and other scientific topics.

Although the plan will expand public access to papers, some onlookers aren’t happy. That’s because the papers will not reside in a central DOE database, but mostly on journal publishers’ websites. Open-access advocates say that will limit what people can do with the papers.

“The DOE’s plan contains some steps in the right direction, but has some serious holes. Most critically, it doesn’t adequately address the reuse rights needed for the public to do more than simply read individual articles,” says Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). (The same gripes will likely apply to the National Science Foundation’s public access plan, which has not yet been issued but is expected to be similar to DOE’s.)

Hat tip: ResearchBuzz

EIA mapping tool shows which U.S. energy facilities are at risk from flooding

August 8, 2014 Comments off

EIA mapping tool shows which U.S. energy facilities are at risk from flooding
Source: Energy Information Administration

The public now has a new online tool to help inform them about energy facilities’ exposure to flooding caused by hurricanes, overflowing rivers, flash floods, and other wet-weather events. Developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Flood Vulnerability Assessment Map, shows which power plants, oil refineries, crude oil rail terminals, and other critical energy infrastructure are vulnerable to coastal and inland flooding.

The mapping tool combines EIA’s existing U.S. Energy Mapping System with flood hazard information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and represents EIA’s latest step in making energy data more accessible, understandable, relevant, and responsive to users’ needs.

Country Analysis Brief: Azerbaijan

August 4, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Azerbaijan
Source: Energy Information Administration

Azerbaijan, one of the oldest oil producing countries in the world, is an important oil and natural gas supplier in the Caspian Sea region, particularly for European markets. Although traditionally it has been a prolific oil producer, Azerbaijan’s importance as a natural gas supplier will grow in the future as field development and export infrastructure expand. The conflicting claims over the maritime and seabed boundaries of the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan and Iran continue to cause uncertainty, with Iran challenging Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon exploration in offshore areas claimed by both sides.

Natural gas accounted for about 67% of Azerbaijan’s total domestic energy consumption in 2012. Oil accounted for 30% of total energy use, and hydropower contributed a marginal amount. Overall, Azerbaijan is a net energy exporter. The country swaps small volumes of natural gas with Iran—the Nakhchivan exclave receives all of its natural gas from Iran, because it is not connected to Azerbaijan’s pipeline network.

Oil and gas production and exports are central to Azerbaijan’s economy. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on its energy exports, with more than 90% of total exports accounted for by oil and gas exports, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.

EIA — OPEC Revenues Fact Sheet

July 28, 2014 Comments off

OPEC Revenues Fact Sheet
Source: Energy Information Administration

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that, excluding Iran, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) earned about $826 billion in net oil export revenues in 2013. This was a 7% decrease from 2012 earnings, but still the second-largest earnings totals during the 1975-2013 period for which EIA has tracked OPEC oil revenues. OPEC earnings declined largely for two reasons: a drop in OPEC oil production in 2013 (largely because of the supply disruption in Libya), and a 3% decline in average crude oil prices (as measured by the Brent crude oil price marker).

Saudi Arabia earned the largest share of these earnings, $274 billion in 2013, representing approximately one-third of total OPEC oil revenues. On a per capita basis, OPEC (excluding Iran) net oil export earnings reached about $2,520 in 2013. These net export earnings do not include Iran’s revenues, because of the difficulties associated with estimating Iran’s earnings, including the country’s inability to receive payments and possible price discounts Iran offers its existing customers.

Based on projections from EIA’s July 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA estimates that OPEC (excluding Iran) could earn about $774 billion in net oil export revenues in 2014 and $723 billion in 2015 (unadjusted for inflation). These declines from the 2013 level are the result of projected declines in the call on OPEC crude oil production because of the large increases in non-OPEC production for 2014-15, as well as expected crude oil price declines that are also the result of declines in the call on OPEC crude oil production.

Country Analysis Brief: Algeria

July 25, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Algeria
Source: Energy Information Administration

Algeria is the leading natural gas producer in Africa, the second-largest natural gas supplier to Europe outside of the region, and is among the top three oil producers in Africa. Algeria became a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1969, shortly after it began oil production in 1958. Algeria’s economy is heavily reliant on revenues generated from its hydrocarbon sector, which account for about 30% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), more than 95% of export earnings, and 60% of budget revenues, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Country Analysis Brief: Iran

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Iran
Source: Energy Information Administration

Iran holds some of the world’s largest deposits of proved oil and natural gas reserves, ranking as the world’s fourth-and second-largest reserve holder of oil and natural gas, respectively. Iran also ranks among the world’s top 10 oil producers and top 5 natural gas producers. Iran produced 3.2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of petroleum and other liquids in 2013 and more than 5.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry natural gas in 2012.

The Strait of Hormuz, on the southeastern coast of Iran, is an important route for oil exports from Iran and other Persian Gulf countries. At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles wide, yet an estimated 17 million bbl/d of crude oil and oil products flowed through it in 2013 (roughly one-third of all seaborne traded oil and almost 20% of total oil produced globally). Liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes also flow through the Strait of Hormuz. Approximately 3.9 Tcf of LNG was transported via the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, almost all of which was from Qatar, accounting for about one-third of global LNG trade.

Country Analysis Brief: India

July 4, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief:  India
Source: Energy Information Administration

India was the fourth-largest energy consumer in the world after China, the United States, and Russia in 2011, and its need for energy supply continues to climb as a result of the country’s dynamic economic growth and modernization over the past several years. India’s economy has grown at an average annual rate of approximately 7% since 2000, and it proved relatively resilient following the 2008 global financial crisis.

The latest slowdown in growth of emerging market countries and higher inflation levels, combined with domestic supply and infrastructure constraints, have reduced India’s annual inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) growth from a high of 10.3% in 2010 to 4.4% in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). India was the third-largest economy in the world in 2013, as measured on a purchasing power parity basis. Risks to economic growth in India include high debt levels, infrastructure deficiencies, delays in structural reforms, and political polarization between the country’s two largest political parties, the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Country Analysis Brief: Venezuela

June 25, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Venezuela
Source: Energy Information Administration

Venezuela is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of crude oil. It has consistently been one of the largest exporters of crude oil in the Americas. As a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuela is an important player in the global oil market. While production has been declining, Venezuela exports of crude oil to the United States have been among the top. In recent years, through significant upfront investment, an increasing share of Venezuela’s exports have been delivered to China and India.

Short-Term Energy Outlook Supplement: 2014 Outlook for Gulf of Mexico Hurricane-Related Production Outages

June 18, 2014 Comments off

Short-Term Energy Outlook Supplement: 2014 Outlook for Gulf of Mexico Hurricane-Related Production Outages (PDF)
Source: Energy Information Administration

Highlights
• EIA’s mean estimate of storm-related production disruptions in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico during the 2014 hurricane season are 11.6 million barrels (bbl) of crude oil and 29.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas.
• The EIA estimates are based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, which was released May 22. NOAA predicted that the Atlantic Basin likely will experience near-normal or below-normal tropical weather during the 2014 hurricane season, which began June 1 and runs through November 30.
• NOAA expects that 8 to 13 named storms are likely to form within the Atlantic Basin1 over the next 6 months, including 3 to 6 hurricanes, of which 1 to 2 will be intense.2 Last season, the Atlantic Basin experienced 11 tropical storms and 2 hurricanes, neither of which was considered major. Four of the tropical storms and one of the hurricanes passed through the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA does not attempt to predict the location of any hurricane activity within the Atlantic Basin.
• The share of total U.S. oil and natural gas production originating in the federally-administered Gulf of Mexico has declined sharply. In 1997, 26% of the nation’s natural gas was produced in the Gulf of Mexico; by 2013, that share had declined to 5%. The share of crude oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico also has declined in recent years, from 27% in 2003 to 17% last year. The declining share of total production from offshore areas has reduced the vulnerability of overall U.S. oil and natural gas supply to hurricanes.
• EIA’s analysis estimates a 69% probability of production shut-in volumes being equal to or larger than the production shut in during the 2013 hurricane season, which totaled 3.1 million bbl of crude oil and 6.7 Bcf of natural gas.

Country Analysis Brief: United Kingdom

June 6, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: United Kingdom
Source: Energy Information Administration

The United Kingdom (UK) is the sixth largest economy in the world, as well as the largest producer of oil and the second-largest producer of natural gas in the European Union (EU). Following years of exports of both fuels, the UK became a net importer of natural gas and crude oil in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Production from UK oil and natural gas fields peaked around the late 1990s and has declined steadily over the past several years as the discovery of new reserves and new production has not kept pace with the maturation of existing fields.

DOE OIG — The Department of Energy’s Public Dissemination of Research Results

May 30, 2014 Comments off

The Department of Energy’s Public Dissemination of Research Results
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General

The Department of Energy invests over $11 billion annually in research and development. A significant portion of this funding is provided through financial assistance awards to academic institutions, small businesses, and others. The Atomic Energy Act of 1946 and subsequent laws and regulations encouraged the dissemination of Department-sponsored research results, when appropriate. The Department’s mandate to publicly disseminate unclassified research results is fulfilled by the Office of Science’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The results of research funded by the Department are submitted to Energy Link, the Department’s system for collecting, reviewing and releasing technical reports and other forms of scientific and technical information.

Our review revealed that Department-funded science and energy research results were not always properly disseminated to the public. We found that financial assistance recipients had not always submitted final technical reports to the responsible office, unrestricted reports submitted to Energy Link were not always reviewed and subsequently released publicly, and reports were not released after the expiration of associated data protection periods.

These issues occurred due to weaknesses in the Department’s processes for monitoring receipt of final reports from recipients, reviewing and releasing reports that have been received, addressing processing errors that prevent receipt or release of reports, and identifying and releasing reports upon expiration of data protection periods. Management generally concurred with our recommendations and identified planned actions or action already completed to address these issues.

Country Analysis Brief: Norway

April 30, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Norway
Source: Energy Information Administration

Norway, the largest holder of oil and natural gas reserves in Europe, provides much of the oil and natural gas consumed on the continent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Norway was the 3rd largest exporter of natural gas in the world after Russia and Qatar, and the 12th largest net exporter of oil in 2013.

In 2012, crude oil, natural gas, and pipeline transport services accounted for 52% of Norway’s exports revenues, 23% of gross domestic product (GDP), and 30% of government revenues, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). Norway’s oil production peaked in 2001 at 3.4 million barrels per day (bbl/d) and declined to 1.8 million bbl/d in 2013. Natural gas production, on the other hand, increased nearly every year since 1993. Norway experienced a slight decline in natural gas production in 2013 to 3.97 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) from 4.16 Tcf in 2012.

Country Analysis Brief: Mexico

April 28, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Mexico
Source: Energy Information Administration

Mexico is one of the 10 largest oil producers in the world, the third-largest in the Americas after the United States and Canada, and an important partner in the U.S. energy trade. However, Mexico’s oil production has steadily decreased since 2005 as a result of natural production declines from Cantarell and other large offshore fields. The rate of total production decline has abated in past several years. In December 2013, in an effort to address the declines of its domestic oil production, the Mexican government enacted constitutional reforms that ended the 75-year monopoly of Petroleós Mexicanos (PEMEX), the state-owned oil company.

Oil is a crucial component of Mexico’s economy. The oil sector generated 13% of the country’s export earnings in 2013, a proportion that has declined over the past decade, according to Mexico’s central bank. More significantly, earnings from the oil industry (including taxes and direct payments from PEMEX) accounted for about 32% of total government revenues in 2013. Declines in oil production have a direct impact on the country’s economic output and on the government’s fiscal health, particularly as refined product consumption and import needs grow.

Country Analysis Brief: Turkey

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Turkey
Source: Energy Information Administration

Over the past three years, Turkey has experienced some of the fastest growth in energy demand of countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Unlike a number of other OECD countries in Europe, Turkey’s economy has avoided the prolonged stagnation that has characterized much of the continent for the past few years. The country’s energy use is still relatively low, although it is increasing at a fast pace. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy use will continue to grow at an annual growth rate of around 4.5% from 2015 to 2030, approximately doubling over the next decade. The IEA expects electricity demand growth to increase at an even faster pace.

Meeting this level of growth will require significant investment in the energy sector, much of which will come from the private sector. Although Turkey is planning large investments in natural gas and electricity infrastructure, the government seeks to reduce the country’s dependence on imported natural gas by diversifying its energy mix.

USDoE Office of Scientific and Technical Information Newsletter — April/May 2014

April 20, 2014 Comments off

OSTI.gov Newsletter — April/May 2014
Source: USDoE Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Issue Contents

  • OSTI Focused on Meeting Public Access Challenge
  • ScienceCinema: Searchable Videos Showcasing DOE Research
  • What is Audio Indexing?
  • Statistically Speaking: The Contents of ScienceCinema
  • Publication Metrics: Measuring and Evaluating the Impact of DOE’s Research Results
  • 15th Anniversary of DOE R&D Accomplishments
  • OSTI Director Walter Warnick Honored at Retirement
  • SciTech Connect Full-Text MARC Records
  • Most Viewed Documents
  • Search Tip: In-Document Search
  • DOE Science Showcase: Carbon Sequestration
  • The Latest from OSTIblog

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board — Task Force Report on FracFocus 2.0 (March 28, 2014)

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board — Task Force Report on FracFocus 2.0 (March 28, 2014) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Energy (Energy Advisory Board)

This report presents the findings and recommendations for the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) Task Force on FracFocus. This Task Force report builds upon and extends the 2011 SEAB Subcommittee report on the environmental impacts of unconventional gas production.

The Task Force believes that the FracFocus experience to date demonstrates the ease of disclosure of chemicals added to fracturing fluid for companies, the value of this disclosure for the public, and the importance of public confidence in the quality and accessibility of the FracFocus chemical registry data. It has accomplished a good deal and shows the capacity to make improvements at modest additional cost. FracFocus has greatly improved public disclosure quickly and with a significant degree of uniformity.

The Task Force recommends a number of actions that will further improve the effectiveness of the FracFocus disclosure of chemical additives and improve transparency for regulators, operating companies, and the public. Recommendations are made for improving the accuracy and completeness of registry submissions. In addition, the Task Force believes that an independent audit to assess the accuracy and compliance of the process will be useful for all stakeholders.

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves (With Data for 2012)

April 10, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves
Source: Energy Information Administration

Proved reserves are volumes of oil and natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. In 2012, oil and gas exploration and production companies operating in the United States added 4.5 billion barrels of crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves, an increase of 15.4% from 2011—the largest annual increase since 1970.1 U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate have now risen for four consecutive years. Also, proved reserves of oil exceeded 33.4 billion barrels for the first time since 1976.

Proved reserves of U.S. wet natural gas2 decreased 7.5% (a loss of 26 trillion cubic feet) to 323 trillion cubic feet in 2012(Table 1). Total discoveries of oil and natural gas proved reserves both exceeded U.S. production in 2012, with the largest discoveries occurring onshore within the Lower 48 states. The 2012 decline interrupted a 14-year trend of consecutive increases in natural gas proved reserves (Figure 1).

Inspector Report: DOE/IG-0904 Review of Controls Over the Department’s Classification of National Security Information

April 9, 2014 Comments off

Inspector Report: DOE/IG-0904 Review of Controls Over the Department’s Classification of National Security Information
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General

The Department of Energy handles and manages a broad spectrum of classified information, including National Security Information (NSI). The Office of Health, Safety and Security’s Office of Classification, manages the Department-wide classification program and establishes policies to conform with Federal classification requirements. Implementation of classification requirements is shared among various organizations within the Department. In addition, the Department’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is required to follow NSI policies and procedures instituted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Similarly, the Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) separately develops and implements policies and procedures, in coordination with the Office of Classification, for the protection and security of classified information at NNSA sites.

Our inspection revealed that the Department had established and implemented critical elements of its classified NSI program. However, our review revealed that certain aspects of the NSI program could be improved. For instance, our inspection determined that a classification marking tool embedded in the classified email system at an NNSA site automatically marked emails as Secret//Restricted Data, regardless of content. The classification related issues we observed occurred, in part, because of ineffective oversight of classification activities and inadequate training and guidance.

In general, we found management’s comments and planned corrective actions to be generally responsive to our report findings and recommendations.

Annual Energy Outlook 2014

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Annual Energy Outlook 2014
Source: Energy Information Administration

We begin the staged release of the full Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014), expanding on the AEO2014 Reference case tables and highlights that were issued in December 2013. The April 7 release will include the first of eight Issues in Focus articles which will be released according to the schedule at right. The final components of the full AEO2014 will be released on April 30, 2014.

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