Energy Management

10 Energy Stories from 2013

3 min read

As we approach the end of the year here are some interesting facts, figures and images from 2013 year in energy. If you have a good energy story to add to the list, let us know.

1. It’s like there’s a new city in North Dakota. Widespread flaring of natural gas released in the process of drilling for oil is lighting up the night sky. bakken from space

2. Think fracking natural gas out of shale was a revolution? Compared to what may be coming, it might be more like a schoolyard fistfight. If the energy industry can figure out the process to safely and economically recover methane hydrates from the ocean bed then there’s potential for a real revolution. Read:

3. In October, the amount of crude oil produced in the U.S. exceeded the amount imported for the first time since 1995; reinforcing the notion that U.S. is on a steady path to oil self-sufficiency. In the coming years this will have dramatic implications for our trade and foreign policies towards oil-rich nations. Source: Institute for Energy Research IER Crude october

4. Until this year the U.S. had 104 active nuclear generating stations across the country producing nearly 20% of the nation’s electricity. So far this year five units have either retired or announced plans to retire in the near future. The operators of these stations have succumbed to insurmountable operational issues, high maintenance costs, little or no profit in a low-cost power environment, or local opposition. More units are likely to follow.

5. In May, in a decision that outraged environmental groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it won’t penalize a California wind operator if its turbines kill or injure an endangered California condor. As one of the world’s most critically endangered animals, there are thought to be fewer than 250 California condors in the wild. Read:

6. Fun fact: electric vehicles have little use for mechanics. There are no valves, cylinders, spark plugs, crankshaft, gears, clutches … and braking is mostly regenerative so brake pads seldom wear out. There is also no engine oil to change. Think about that. Routine maintenance is basically down to four tires and wiper blades.

7. In October, Consol Energy, a company that has been in the coal business for 150 years and is one of the largest coal miners announced it is rushing to get out of the coal business. Its new focus: drilling for natural gas.

8. How to make the earth quake:

9. Sporting two wind turbines, nearly 850 solar panels and a geothermal system burrowed 550 feet into the ground, the pharmacy chain Walgreens opened what is believed to be the nation’s first net zero energy retail store. The store is located in Evanston, IL and is anticipated to produce energy equal to or greater than the amount it consumes.

10. Last year Apple sold over 195 million iPhones, iPads & Mac laptops. If charged fully each day during the year these devices would consume as much power as Constellation’s Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant produces in … wait for it … 36 days.


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