By 2022, The Netherlands will close down production at the gas field in the Groningen region, which also happens to be Europe’s largest natural gas field. The announcement comes in eight years too early, with Rystad Energy analysts expecting to see some residual production until 2030, as it would be improbable to completely shut down a gas field the scale of Groningen by 2022.
The Dutch government has set a goal of producing 83% of its total power from renewable sources like solar or wind by 2040, and wants to transition from a net gas exporter to a net importer. This will mean that the Netherlands will see a spike in gas-power consumption until its renewable methods are firmly set in place, after which it is expected to decline gradually. Rystad Energy foresees this move to lead to a 32% drop in total gas demand in the Netherlands by 2040.
Did you know?
Less than 1% of the fiber used to produce clothes is recycled into new garments. Textiles in American landfills jumped 67.7% by weight from 2000 to 2015, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Businesses have turned more cautious in their hiring. Small businesses have become especially hesitant. If businesses pull back any further, unemployment will begin to rise.”
– Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, commenting on the state of the U.S. economy
In other news
New U.K. plan for Northern Ireland to stay in single market
The government has delivered its new Brexit proposals to the EU, including plans to replace the Irish backstop. (BBC)
Rumblings of recession get louder
With U.S. manufacturing taking its worst hit since the Great Recession, signs of a global economic downturn are everywhere. (Foreign Policy)
Three-year-old startup snags $585 million from Tencent, others
Udaan, an Indian e-commerce marketplace for businesses, has raised $585 million from investors including Tencent Holdings Ltd., Altimeter Capital, GGV Capital and Citi Ventures. (Bloomberg)
Maersk will set a limit to ships’ engine power
Maersk is already backing the proposal that was submitted to the IMO on Friday to limit engine power on ships in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions. (ShippingWatch)
India goes slow on procurement of electric vehicles, limits sourcing
India’s largest electric vehicle (EV) procurement program could come to a halt amid the economic slowdown. (LiveMint)
The ramped-up consumer interest in electric cars has created a positive feedback loop, as the electric car segment responds with cars that are functionally and economically comparable to the current gasoline car variants. That said, a frequently cited issue with electric cars is the absence of an extensive charging network, a huge caveat in the context of gasoline cars.
However, buoyed by government grants and tax-cuts, electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla and Nissan are swiftly expanding their charging networks across the country. The technology behind superchargers is seeing rapid advancement, with cars being fully charged in about an hour and holding nearly twice the mileage when compared to pre-2010 models.
The battery technology is seeing improvements too, as research around the world make them faster to charge and hold considerably higher energy. Alternatives to the lithium ion batteries are being developed as well, as in the case of carbon ion batteries that can charge to full capacity in a matter of minutes.
On top of this, the price of lithium is plunging this year, after forecasts estimated that a new supply of lithium from Argentina, Chile and Australia will bring surplus lithium to the market. Consistently low lithium prices will further help in reducing the prices of electric vehicles.
Hammer down everyone!