Energy News Recap: More Shale Gas Cuts Renewable Energy Investments, Solar PV Cheap As Fossil Fuels in Mideast, More

Steve & Jem Copley/CC BY-SA 2.0

Here's what caught our eye this morning (other than what's touted in the headline): More on misinformation about Keystone XL and US energy independence, New Yorkers speak out against fracking, plus Occupy Wall Street energy bikes redeployed to Occupy DC—and a video (and instructions) on how to make them.

Keystone XL Will Actually Divert Oil Away From The US
A new NRDC report on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline finds that it "would divert up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day from the Midwest to Latin America, Europe and other countries, at a huge profit for the oil companies."

Solar PV Costs Equal Those of Fossil Fuels In Mideast
New analysis on the cost of solar power, compared to fossil fuels, in the Middle East and North Africa, commissioned by the Emirates Solar Industry Association, shows that during peak demand, "solar photovoltaic electricity is competitive with conventional fossil fuel-based electricity generation." More at PV Magazine.

Fracking Cuts Electricity Costs While Derailing Renewables Investments
Bloomberg reports that increases in shale gas supplies has cut electricity prices for US utilities by 50%, while at the same time diverting investment in other forms of electricity generation, including, unfortunately, renewable energy:

Power producers' profits are deflated by cheap gas because electricity pricing historically has been linked to the gas market. As profit margins shrink from falling prices, more generators are expected to postpone or abandon coal, nuclear, and wind projects, decisions that may slow the shift to cleaner forms of energy and shape the industry for decades to come.

Remember, when natural gas is obtained by fracking, as is the case with shale gas, the a greenhouse gas emissions are significantly higher than conventional forms of natural gas extraction.

32,100 New Yorkers Speak Out Against Fracking So Far
Meanwhile... Concern about the environmental impact of fracking in New York State has brought out literally tens of thousands of people to publicly comment about it. New York Times reports that as of yesterday afternoon 32,100 people had commented to the New York State Department of Environment Conservation. By the time all the comments are counted, that total may surpass 40,000.

Occupy Wall Street Energy Bikes Heading to Occupy DC
The energy bikes that had been powering the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park—and which were later confiscated by NYPD in the late night attack on the encampment, and eventually retrieved (it is quite a saga...)—are now heading to Washington DC and the Occupy DC and Occupy Congress protests.

Volunteers from Time's Up! and Occupy Wall Street are transporting the bikes to Washington DC today.

For those that haven't seen them, this is how the bikes work:

Tags: Fracking | Natural Gas | Occupy Wall Street | Solar Power | Wind Power