The race for the electric car's future is on [Recharge]

Apple reportedly throws its hat into the electric car game; Ukraine gas security takes a hit; BP calls for a price on carbon. Catch up on global energy with Recharge.

Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP/File
A guest test drives Tesla Motors' new version of its Model S sedan, the P85D, in Hawthorne, Calif.

Recharge is a weekly email digest of energy news and analysis written by Monitor reporters David J. Unger and Jared Gilmour.

Car race: It appears it will be Apple vs. Tesla vs. GM vs. everyone else in a race for electrified transportation domination. This week saw a lot of speculation over what an Apple car might look like, but the real prize for these companies lies under the hood.A better battery for both cars and homes is the holy grail that has fostered an evolving energy-transportation-technology nexus.

Ukrtransgaz: Fighting continues in Eastern Ukraine despite last week’s ceasefire, and the region’s gas stability appears to be suffering for it. Moscow accuses Kiev of shutting off flows to rebel-held areas amid frigid weather, while Kiev says the temporary shut-off was the result of heavy fighting. Either way, it’s a troubling setback for a country caught between two centers of energy supply and demand.

‘A meaningful global price’BP endorsed a global price on carbon as a fix for rising emissions this week. The oil supermajor has made such recommendations before, but its latest Energy Outlook report adds to growing calls for a market-based approach to decarbonizing the world's energy supply. It may seem like an odd position for a fossil-fuel company, but a widely agreed-upon carbon price would at least give multinationals some predictability and uniformity as they plan future global operations.

In the pipeline

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Drill deeper

The Battle for Libya’s Oil [Al Jazeera]
With the largest proven reserves in Africa, Libya’s volatility disrupts world markets, contributing to oil's recent climb to $62 a barrel. Before the revolution, oil and gas accounted for 96 percent of government revenue, and much of the current strife centers on control of petroleum resources.

Solar Power Comes of Age [Foreign Affairs]
After decades of setbacks and rocky economics, solar has finally found sure footing. Years of regulatory support, industrialization, technological innovation, and new financing are to thank for the momentum behind sun-powered electricity, which IEA says could propel solar to generate up to 27 percent of world electricity in 2050.

The Hot New Statistic Oil Traders Are Watching Is 71 Years Old[Bloomberg]
“Maybe a month ago was the first time that I ever saw the price really move after the headlines on the [Baker Hughes] rig counts hit the wire,” Tim Evans, energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York, tells Bloomberg. “You’ve got bond traders driving electric vehicles who wouldn’t recognize an oil well if it were in their backyard, and now even they know Baker Hughes.”

Energy sources

  • Wood Mackenzie: "January alone saw a decline in [US land drilling rig] count by nearly 200 rigs to 1,616, down from a peak of 1,859 in November 2014.  The pace of land rigs being idled continues to accelerate, with the first two weeks in February seeing a further 200 rigs coming off contract."
  • Naftogaz: "Ukrtransgas has resolved a natural gas supply stoppage in the area of the anti-terrorist operation through secondary routes. The work was carried out in the most difficult combat conditions at great risk to the lives of company employees."
  • Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani via Rudaw: "We are fully committed to the [Baghdad-Erbil oil deal] but the implementation should be from both parties ... If they don’t send the budget, we won’t send oil."


Data: BP

Recharge is a weekly email digest of energy news and analysis written by Monitor reporters David J. Unger and Jared Gilmour.

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