Guardian: Spanish Energy Giant Abengoa's Collapse Predicted by 17-Year-Old
As Spanish engineering and renewable energy giant Abengoa struggles to avoid becoming the country’s biggest bankruptcy, it has emerged that a 17-year-old schoolboy predicted its collapse a year ago, spotting accounting discrepancies apparently overlooked by both Deloitte and Standard & Poor’s.
Pepe Baltá, a secondary school student in Barcelona, chose Abengoa as his economics project and noticed flaws in its accounting. “If it does not act soon, there is a strong risk Abengoa will go into bankruptcy,” Baltá wrote last year in his 18-page paper, titled "Analytical Report on Abengoa, 2012 and 2013."
Baltá, who is now 18 and studying medicine, said he was “very surprised that what I wrote actually happened. I only have basic secondary school knowledge of economics."
The Plain Dealer: Eaton, Nissan Looking to Develop Battery Pack for Home Solar Systems
Eaton Corp. and carmaker Nissan are looking into jointly manufacturing and selling a residential smart battery pack already proven capable of powering an entire 5,000-square-foot home's lighting for up to four hours.
The two companies did just that in a Paris, France home which Nissan is using as a marketing headquarters during the Paris Climate Change Conference.
They want to begin selling the smart system during the first half of 2016, said Jonathan Hart, an Eaton spokesman in Switzerland.
Vox: The Radical Idea at the Core of the Paris Climate Deal
There's a radical idea at the heart of the big Paris climate accord that strikes many people as baffling. The deal is...largely voluntary. That's right: None of the 195 countries that signed on are actually required to make emissions cuts.
Sure, every country is required to submit some sort of plan to address climate change. But the content is entirely up to the country. The plans can be ambitious (like Costa Rica's) or laughably weak (like Russia's) or somewhere in between (China's or America's). What's more, no country will be forced to take further actions, and no one gets penalized if they fail to live up to their promises. The only thing countries have to do, really, is report on their progress in transparent ways and submit new plans every five years.
Bloomberg: Never Mind $35, The World's Cheapest Oil Is Already Close to $20
As oil crashes through $35 a barrel in New York, some producers are already living with the reality of much lower prices.
A mix of Mexican crudes is already valued at less than $28, an 11-year low, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Iraq is offering its heaviest variety of oil to buyers in Asia for about $25. In western Canada, some producers are selling for less than $22 a barrel.
“More than one-third of the global oil production is not economical at these prices,” Ehsan Ul-Haq, senior consultant at KBC Advanced Technologies Plc, said by e-mail. “Canadian oil producers could have difficulty in covering their operational costs.”
MarketWatch: Will Ford Find the Goldilocks of Electric Vehicles?
Ford Motor Company made a $4.5 billion investment in electric vehicles, the company said last week, outlining a plan to add 13 electrified vehicles to its product line by 2020. The automaker joins Volkswagen’s Audi brand, Porsche and Volvo in its vocal commitment to developing more electrified fleets.
The announcement follows a dismal November where electric vehicles saw their worst market share since 2011, and with falling gas prices and the rising popularity of SUVs, there is little hope for a turnaround in the near future. However, the 2025 model year deadline for renewed Environmental Protection Agency standards -- which require an average fleet fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon -- is pushing automakers to invest more in alternative fuel development.