IEA says U.S. to Tap Oil Reserves
With oil prices still averaging above $100, the international community is scrambling for a quick fix to relieve the pressure at the pump that has slowed economic activity. In a move that has only occurred twice in the past, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced that global reserves will be tapped, releasing 60 million barrels of oil into the global market. More than half of the boosted supply will come from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The IEA estimates that the released reserves will be dispersed at a rate of 2 million barrels per day. The organization claims the move comes as an effort to replace the Libyan crude supply that has been missing from the market since the NATO led air strikes caused the country to cut off oil exports. The IEA notes another cause for tapping reserves is high petroleum demand in China—up 9 percent over last year due to rampant diesel generator use in the midst of widespread electric power outages.
The last time the IEA collectively released oil reserves was in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. The devastation in the Gulf of Mexico saw damaged offshore oil rigs, pipelines, and refineries. The only time prior to that was during the Iraqi/Kuwait conflict in the early 1990s.
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The IEA claims the reserves should hit the market by the end of next week. The U.S. will contribute at least 50 percent of the total released reserves, while Europe will contribute 30 percent and Asia 20 percent.
Some analysts believe that the IEA’s actions will only be a short-term fix, and by the end of the summer, oil prices could reach unprecedented heights. With such uncertainty in producing countries like Libya, coupled with Iran and Saudi Arabia’s continued bickering behind the walls of OPEC, not to mention the market manipulation occurring daily in the commodities trading sector, there is no certainty in the future of oil-based energy security at this point.
The best we can hope for is that the world’s leaders act responsibly amidst such chaos, and perhaps consider a fast-tracked multilateral global movement toward alternative energy modes. The reserves we have left MUST be used as a buffer to provide the energy necessary now to develop the renewable energy infrastructure that will take us peacefully into the next century. If these reserves are squandered and not utilized properly, then there may come a time when the bulldozers, cranes, and other equipment necessary to advance energy infrastructure to the next phase won’t have the fuel to operate.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.