Electric Car Sales ‘Will Definitely Suffer From Oil Prices,’ Says Elon Musk

Electric Car Sales ‘Will Definitely Suffer From Oil Prices,’ Says Elon Musk

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Tesla CEO Says Electric Cars Will ‘Suffer’ From Plunging Oil Prices

Plunging oil prices are set to hit the electric-car industry hard, but Tesla vehicles won’t be the worst affected, says CEO Elon Musk.

“[The] industry as a whole, I think, will definitely suffer from lower oil prices,” Musk told CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout on Monday. “It just makes economic sense.”

The drop in the cost of fuel has already filtered through into the U.S. auto market, where sales of gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs rose last year. Oil has continued its steep descent this year, sinking last week to its lowest level in more than 12 years.

Washington Post: Recent Record Temperatures ‘Extremely Unlikely’ Without Global Warming

Last week, U.S. agencies announced that the year 2015 had smashed records to become the hottest year ever recorded by humans, a finding that emphasizes the continued pattern of long-term global warming on Earth. The prior hottest year was just one year earlier — 2014 — and nine out of the 10 hottest years on global record have now occurred in the past decade.

Now, a new paper out Monday in the journal Nature Scientific Reports conducts what the authors have described as a more rigorous calculation, concluding that the odds of this series of record-breakers — ending with 2014 — were not quite as low as reported. Even so, the calculations still make it clear that the string of record temperatures was highly unlikely to have occurred by chance alone, supporting the idea that human-caused climate change is the culprit.

CNN Money: Big Banks Brace for Oil Loans to Implode

Firms on Wall Street helped bankroll America’s energy boom, financing very expensive drilling projects that ended up flooding the world with oil.

Now that the oil glut has caused prices to crash below $30 a barrel, turmoil is rippling through the energy industry and souring many of those loans. Dozens of oil companies have gone bankrupt, and the ones that haven’t are feeling enough financial stress to slash spending and cut tens of thousands of jobs.

Three of America’s biggest banks warned last week that oil prices will continue to create headaches on Wall Street — especially if doomsday scenarios of $20 or even $10 oil play out.

PV Magazine: China Has the Most Solar PV Installed Globally

Buried in the latest reports on 2015 solar installations is a fact that attests to the changed landscape of global solar markets: that China has surpassed Germany and now has the largest installed solar PV capacity of any nation on earth.

This fact was not missed by official state news agency Xinhua, which last Thursday reported that with 15 GW added in 2015 China has now reached 43 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity. This is at or below the estimates of major market analysts. Mercom Capital says that if the nation installed 15 GW in 2015 this would put it at 43 GW, and GTM Research puts cumulative installations to date at 50 GW.

USA Today: Johnson Controls, Tyco Merge in Tax-Avoiding Inversion Deal

Manufacturing giants Johnson Controls and Tyco International plan to merge in another example of a controversial tax inversion, creating an industrial conglomerate with $32 billion in annual revenue.

The deal marks the latest occurrence of a corporate inversion, in which a U.S.-based company acquires a foreign firm and switches its headquarters to the foreign firm’s home to lower its tax bill.

The Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls will shift its legal and global headquarters to Tyco’s Cork, Ireland, base, but will house its primary operational headquarters in Milwaukee.

Source: greentechmedia.com/GTM_Solar
Electric Car Sales ‘Will Definitely Suffer From Oil Prices,’ Says Elon Musk

Elon Musk: Apple’s Electric-Car Plans Are an ‘Open Secret’ in Silicon Valley

Elon Musk: Apple’s Electric-Car Plans Are an ‘Open Secret’ in Silicon Valley

International Business Times: It Is an ‘Open Secret’ That Apple Is Building an Electric Car, Says Musk

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has said that it is an “open secret” that Apple is developing an electric car, believed to be code-named Titan. Apple, however, has not made any announcement with regards to such a vehicle, even though a car mounted with cameras registered to the iPhone-maker was seen on U.S. roads in 2015.

Musk told the BBC that it was “obvious” Apple was working on its own electric car as “it’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it.” According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook had given the go-ahead for the Apple electric-car project around a year back.

Utility Dive: Why the Cost of Other Components Matters to Storage Deployment

When it comes to energy storage systems, the cost of the battery itself receives a great deal of attention, but a new report shows that the plummeting price of other storage components could prove just as significant for the proliferation of the resource.

The 15 to 20 different items in the balance of the system (BOS) represent one-half to three-fourths of the installation’s cost. Those costs are likely to plummet over the next five years — if the growth of storage deployment continues.

“If storage can keep up its momentum, there is reason to believe BOS costs will fall from their 2015 level of $670/kW to under $400/kW by 2020, a 41% cost drop,” said Luis Ortiz, lead author of a recent report from GTM Research, Grid-Scale Energy Storage Balance of Systems 2015-2020: Architectures, Costs and Players.

Bloomberg: Crude Falls Below $30 a Barrel for the First Time in 12 Years

Oil dropped below $30 a barrel in New York for the first time in 12 years on concern that turmoil in China’s markets will curb fuel demand.

West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled to the lowest level since December 2003. Concerns that China’s economic growth may slow has soured investors on the prospects for a quick recovery, turning hedge funds the least bullish in five years. A rapid appreciation of the U.S. dollar may send Brent oil to as low as $20 a barrel, according to Morgan Stanley.

Engadget: New Material Can Store Solar Energy to Warm You Up Later

Solar projects are usually focused on generating electricity, but we could arguably save more power by storing heat. Scientists from MIT have created a new type of solid material that does exactly that. When exposed to sunlight, it assumes a “charged” state that can be maintained for long periods of time.

However, when triggered with a small burst of heat, the material reverts to its original chemical composition, releasing a much larger amount of heat energy. Since the film is thin and transparent, scientists think it could be useful in the near future for defrosting your car’s windshield and could one day heat your home or even your clothes.

Vermont Public Radio: Solar Companies Must Be Truthful in Marketing, Says AG

The Vermont Attorney General’s office has issued an advisory to solar companies to be truthful in their marketing of community solar arrays.

They are reminding companies that the customers can’t be told they’re buying solar energy if the companies also sell the renewable energy credits to utilities.

Assistant Attorney General Justin Kolber says solar companies must follow the Federal Trade Commission’s guide for environmental marketing.

Source: greentechmedia.com/GTM_Solar
Elon Musk: Apple’s Electric-Car Plans Are an ‘Open Secret’ in Silicon Valley

US Government Sues Volkswagen Over Emissions Cheating Scandal

US Government Sues Volkswagen Over Emissions Cheating Scandal

National Public Radio: U.S. Files Lawsuit Against Volkswagen Over Emissions Trickery

Volkswagen’s use of a “defeat device” to fool U.S. regulators has resulted in a federal lawsuit against the company. Volkswagen has acknowledged that millions of its diesel cars worldwide relied on a ruse to skirt emissions controls.

The civil complaint was filed in federal court in Detroit, with the Department of Justice acting on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency — which says it hasn’t yet reached an acceptable agreement with Volkswagen over how to handle a recall.

Guardian: E.ON Completes Split of Fossil Fuel and Renewables Operations

Germany energy giant E.ON has officially separated its fossil fuel assets into a new company, dubbed Uniper.

The move, which became effective on January 1st, will see the energy company focus on renewables, energy networks, and energy efficiency services. Meanwhile, the independent Uniper will assume control of the company’s fossil fuel and hydro assets, as well as its global energy trading activity.

Johannes Teyssen, chief executive of E.ON, said the move, which was first announced in 2014, would make E.ON and Uniper more “agile” and give each company the best chance of becoming a leader in its own sphere.

New York Times: Uber’s No-Holds-Barred Expansion Strategy Fizzles in Germany

Uber is rapidly expanding its ride-hailing operations across the globe. But here in this city of 690,000 — less than the population of San Francisco, Uber’s hometown — the company recently did something unusual: It retreated.

In early November, Uber shut its small office in Frankfurt’s centuries-old city center after just 18 months of operation, mothballing the online platform that had let people in the city hail rides through a smartphone app. The pullback was spurred in part by drivers like Hasan Kurt, the owner of a local licensed taxi business, who had refused to work with the American service.

Utility Dive: Hawaii Court Upholds Order Ending Retail Net Metering

In October, the Hawaii PUC ended retail rate net metering in the state, reducing payments rooftop solar customers can receive for excess energy they export to the grid. Advocacy group The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) filed suit, arguing that the commission’s order violated state and federal laws because it was made without public hearings preceded by 30 days’ notice.

Leaving the commission’s order terminating the NEM retail rate credit in place, a judge ruled there was “no abuse of discretion in the PUC’s decision to proceed by way of order rather than rule-making.”​

Bloomberg: SunEdison Caps Wild 2015 Ride With Deals Boosting Balance Sheet

SunEdison is taking steps to shore up its balance sheet, announcing a pair of deals Wednesday to reduce debt and sell its stake in a 336-megawatt portfolio of solar farms.

The company agreed to swap $336 million of exchangeable notes for equity in some projects and shares in one of SunEdison’s holding companies. Separately, it completed a deal to buy 33 percent of a solar portfolio from Dominion Resources Inc. and immediately turned around and sold it to a joint venture SunEdison formed in September with investors advised by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Source: greentechmedia.com/GTM_Solar
US Government Sues Volkswagen Over Emissions Cheating Scandal