Associated Press: U.S. Power Grid Vulnerable to Foreign Hacks
Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyberattackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.
Digital clues pointed to Iranian hackers. And Wallace found that they had already taken passwords, as well as engineering drawings of dozens of power plants, at least one with the title "Mission Critical." The drawings were so detailed that experts say skilled attackers could have used them, along with other tools and malicious code, to knock out electricity flowing to millions of homes.
Wallace was astonished. But this breach, The Associated Press has found, was not unique.
Guardian: Belgium Angers Germany With Nuclear Restart
Belgium has restarted an aging nuclear reactor after a nearly two-year shutdown, angering neighboring Germany, which fears the danger of a Fukushima-style meltdown.
Power company Electrabel said it put the Tihange 2 reactor back on-line “in complete safety.” There had been opposition from officials in adjacent North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state.
Belgium has been hit by a series of nuclear mishaps in recent years, with three of the country’s seven reactors at one point closed, due in two of the cases to the discovery of tiny cracks in the reactor casings.
Reuters: OPEC Will Stick to Policy on No Output Cuts
OPEC will stick to its decision on Dec. 4 to maintain a policy of not limiting production, despite the drop in global prices, Iraq's oil minister said on Sunday, adding that any output reduction aimed at boosting prices would have to be coordinated with non-members.
"We are in a real world; OPEC is not the only producer or the only player. So we have to see what the decisions of others should be -- Russia and the United States and other producers," Adil Abdul Mahdi told Reuters on the sidelines of an Arab oil producers' meeting in Cairo.
Wall Street Journal: Biofuels Move From Lab to Frying Pan
Solazyme Inc., a company founded 12 years ago to make car and truck fuel from algae, is vigorously pushing a new product. But this time, it is fuel for the body: cooking oil, based on algae, marketed as healthful for you and the planet.
Solazyme is one of an array of companies whose initial mission of making alternative fuel has been undercut by cheap oil and regulatory delays. So San Francisco-based Solazyme and fellow biofuel firms are doing what any company might -- shifting to something more profitable.
PV-Tech: China's Reported FIT Changes to Prioritize Distributed Solar
China’s anticipated feed-in tariff (FIT) reforms will place fresh emphasis on distributed solar, a leading analyst has said.
New details have emerged on the scale of cuts to the FIT across different provinces of the country expected in early 2016.
Greater reductions will be made in the west of the country than in the east. In a briefing paper circulated by Frank Haugwitz, director of Asia Europe Clean Energy Advisory, this is interpreted as an attempt to reorient solar deployment toward smaller distributed systems. Solar farms in some areas of the country have suffered grid curtailment issues limiting the volume of produced electricity that could be distributed.