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BP: Oil Demand to Peak by 2040, With 5x Growth in Renewables

BP predicted that global oil consumption is likely to peak by the late 2030s partly due to the rise in renewable energy, electric vehicles and increasing regulations on single-use plastics.

The British oil giant released its "Energy Outlook" on Tuesday forecasting that demand for oil will peak at about 110 million barrels per day between 2035 and 2040 before gradually slowing and plateauing. Consumption is currently around 97 million barrels per day.

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Top Clean Cars and Trucks of 2018

By Josh Goldman

Some of the cleanest cars you can buy today are powered by electricity, though the emissions of an electric vehicle (EV) varies depending on where it is plugged in. Even though parts of the U.S. still partially rely on coal fired power, the average EV sold in the U.S. produces the emissions equivalent of a gas vehicle that gets 73 MPG, and more than 70 percent of Americans live in an area where driving an EV results in fewer emissions than a 50 MPG gas-powered vehicle. Check out how electric vehicles (EVs) fare in your neck of the woods with this interactive tool that will calculate an EV's emissions via zip code.

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Artist's rendition of the Beijing New Airport Terminal building. Methanoia via Zaha Hadid Architects

What Does China’s 'Ecological Civilization' Mean for Humanity’s Future?

By Jeremy Lent

Imagine a newly elected president of the United States calling in his inaugural speech for an "ecological civilization" that ensures "harmony between human and nature." Now imagine he goes on to declare that "we, as human beings, must respect nature, follow its ways, and protect it" and that his administration will "encourage simple, moderate, green, and low-carbon ways of life, and oppose extravagance and excessive consumption." Dream on, you might say. Even in the more progressive Western European nations, it's hard to find a political leader who would make such a stand.

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Exxon refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gary Jones / Flickr

ExxonMobil Releases Climate Impact Report

World demand for oil could dip substantially by 2040 if policies to curb warming are aggressively implemented, ExxonMobil said in a climate-impact analysis released Friday.

The oil giant's shareholders, including financial giants BlackRock and Vanguard, backed a proposal last year requiring Exxon to provide analysis of how climate policies will impact its bottom line in an increasingly warming world.

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Nissan LEAF charging at the Freedom Station in Houston, TX. Wikimedia Commons

Major Increase in EV Charging Stations Across U.S.

While electric vehicles only make up a tiny 0.2 percent of passenger cars around the world, that number is growing, and growing fast. In 2016, there were 2 million EVs on the world's roads, up from "virtually non-existent" in 2012. Nearly 200,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2017 alone, a new record.

This boom in electric car ownership has corresponded with growth in public charging infrastructure. EVgo, the largest public network of fast-charging stations in the U.S., charged 40 million miles of electric driving in 2017. That's a dramatic increase compared to the 22 million EV miles charged in 2016.

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Are Electric Vehicles Finally Taking Off? Here's What You Need to Now

By Jason Mathers

Electric vehicles (EVs) are poised to take off. We've just closed a year of record demand and investment. It's no longer a question of whether EVs—will arrive, it's how: How big of a role will EVs play, how soon and how clean will they be?

Popularizing EVs will depend on tackling key challenges. We're seeing progress on several fronts.

1. Bringing Down the Cost of Batteries

Battery packs account for a third of the upfront cost of full EVs. Driving these costs down expands the number of EV models that are price-competitive with conventional vehicles. There is tremendous progress here.

The price of lithium ion batteries dropped 73 percent between 2010 and 2016, according to research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Numerous analyses point to battery costs of $100 per kilowatt hour (kWh) as the mark where full EVs become as affordable as traditional cars. General Motors' battery costs are $145 per kWh, and the company expects that number to drop under $100 per kWh by 2021.

2. Ramping Up Automaker Investment for New, Improved Models

Automakers are bringing electric cars and trucks to market with ever-better batteries and driving range. Ford Motor Co.'s plan to double its investments in EVs to $11 billion is just the latest example.

Globally, automakers have announced investments of more than $90 billion in EVs. Automakers still need to reveal more about their plans, detailing specific models, timing of release and availability in various markets.

3. Making Charging Stations More Widely Available

People are more likely to invest in plug-in cars once they feel confident they'll always find a place to recharge their batteries away from home, and fast. In fact, the availability of public charging infrastructure is a leading factor in EV adoption.

While the vast majority of charging occurs at home, public charging stations enable EV drivers to take extended trips. They also facilitate EV ownership by households reliant on on-street parking.

A recent assessment found the need for 600,000 public "level 2" (240 volt) plugs and 27,500 fast-charging plugs nationwide by 2030. By mid-2017, there were 36,000 public level 2 plugs and 3,300 fast-charging plugs in the U.S. So, there is a long way to go on this front.

Growth will continue over the next year as states deploy funds from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement to support EV charging infrastructure. Beyond the settlement, California recently approved a utility effort to expand access to charging in the light, medium and heavy-duty sectors, with more long-term, broader projects pending. More states should follow California's lead.

The time it takes to recharge will need to be improved, too. Helpfully, efforts are underway to deploy a next generation of fast-charging stations capable of adding 250 miles in a 15-minute fuel stop.

4. Shifting to Clean Energy for Charging

To get the most out of EVs, we need more renewable energy on the electric grid and drivers who charge vehicles when the grid is its cleanest. States play a vital role.

For example, New York's Reforming the Energy Vision aims to decentralize the electric grid, while aligning utility earnings with public policy needs and marketplace innovations. The program focuses on making it easier—and financially attractive—for customers to help improve the electric system by opting for EVs, rooftop solar and other energy investments.

By encouraging customers to charge EVs at times when renewable energy is readily available and affordable, New York is ensuring that EVs will benefit the grid and the environment.

5. Strengthening and Extending Emission Standards

Well-designed emission standards are critical to scaling clean vehicle solutions, such as EVs. With the certainty of long-term standards in place, manufacturers invest. This dynamic can be seen across the globe, as policy measures from China to California are driving EV investments.

Unfortunately, we are at risk of impairing this critical tool in the U.S. At a time when we should be challenging ourselves to set a new round of protective standards, the Trump administration is reconsidering standards that were set long ago.

The automotive industry has been complicit in this effort, despite its previous embrace of the same standards. To avoid undercutting their own investments in the long-term success of EVs, it is critical that automakers work proactively to strengthen and extend vehicle emission standards.

We're at a Crossroads

Over the next decade EVs can become a major part of our fleet with benefits for our health, economy and environment. We can create a future that drives down global oil demand and cuts nearly 2 billion tons of climate pollution a year.

Technical innovation has opened up this path. We now must muster the conviction to take it.

Energy
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Will Shell Turn From Big Oil Into Big Energy?

By Andy Rowell

On the surface, the good times are back for Big Oil. Later this week, Shell is expected to unveil its biggest profits in a decade since the oil price crash.

As the oil price recovers to over $65 a barrel last year, so do Shell's fortunes, with reported earnings of nearly $16 billion.

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California Goes Big on EVs

By Simon Mui

Gov. Brown released an Executive Order Friday providing the details of an initiative to put 5 million electric-drive vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2030, part of a new goal announced last week in his State of the State address.

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Business
The 2018 Ford Transit, one of Ford's 15 showcased models at the DC Auto Show, gets an estimated 23 mpg according to fueleconomy.gov. washingtonautoshow.com

Earth to Ford: Get Back on Track With Clean Cars

This week, tens of thousands of people will attend the Washington Auto Show to see the latest that the industry has to offer. However, instead of moving toward a cleaner transportation future, Ford Motor Company and other automakers are working to take us backward: They are lobbying the Trump administration to weaken clean car standards, which curb pollution, save consumers money and protect health.

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