Throughout its 26-year life, NRG Energy Inc. has made most of its money by running big electric plants that burn fossil fuels. But six years ago, the company’s chief executive began a billion-dollar push into clean power: rooftop solar, wind farms and electric-car charging stations.
And David Crane, the CEO, became increasingly outspoken about the need to go green. In an essay earlier this year, Mr. Crane warned his fellow electricity executives that by failing to embrace clean energy they “are losing the hearts and minds of the future generation of Americans.”
He still believes that, he said in an interview. But he is backing away from the renewable-energy businesses anyway -- to placate investors, he said.Reuters: Peak Demand Means World May Never See $100 Oil Again
Just as the energy industry has brushed aside concerns that the world could run out of oil, industry executives now say they believe it is demand, rather than supply, that is nearing its apex.
In 1985, Ian Taylor, today the chief executive of the world's largest oil trader Vitol, was part of a team at Royal Dutch Shell that forecast oil prices would rise fivefold to $125 a barrel in 2015 as global reserves were expected to become more scarce. Now he says it is unlikely to ever reach those levels again.
Oil today stands at around $50 a barrel, having more than halved since June 2014 after global supplies dramatically rose due in large part to the U.S. shale oil boom but also due to the unlocking of huge offshore reserves in Brazil, Africa and Asia.New York Times: Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General
The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business.
According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.
The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.PV Tech: Solar Is the Cheapest Source of Energy in Chile, Says Deutsche Bank
Solar has become the cheapest source of energy in Chile, according to results from the country's latest power tender in October, but issues remain with transmission lines, according to a Deutsche Bank report.
While renewables came away with all of the 1,200 GWh capacity available in the auction, there were bids between US$65 to $68/MWh for three solar parks, while two wind farms were bid for at US$79/MWh and coal power was bid for at a higher price of US$85/MWh.
A market research report on Chile solar from Deutsche Bank research analyst Vishal Shah and research associate Jerimiah Booream-Phelps said that solar is now at grid parity, adding: “Solar and wind are now cheaper sources of power generation in Chile than fossil fuels.”Pacific Business News: Discussion of Utility Ownership Models Allowed at NextEra-HECO Hearings
Hawaii regulators have ruled that the discussion of liquefied natural gas plans and other utility ownership models will be allowed at upcoming hearings involving NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., according to public documents.
Last month, the two companies made a request to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to nix talk of LNG and municipally-owned or co-op owned utilities at evidentiary hearings later this month.