Top Ten Most Influential Energy Stories of 2014
It's that time of year again! These are some of the most important energy stories we've come across in the past year. They're game changers for the global and Canadian energy landscape, and we're interested to see how they play out in the New Year. Talk Energy with us and share the energy stories you loved or hated in 2014, and let us know if you have different ones. Best Wishes for 2015 from Let's Talk Energy!
(Picture Credit: Roy, http://ow.ly/GPNAN)
1. Oil prices plummeted to under $60 a barrel. It was an early Christmas gift of cheap gas for many Canadians, but we're curious to see the effects on the Canadian economy, carbon emissions, international politics, and renewables projects.
(Picture Credit: United Nations, http://ow.ly/GE7IK)
2. Ongoing UN climate negotiations made headlines, but mostly for the massive protests they sparked. In New York City, over 600,000 people marched to support climate change action, and tens of thousands showed up in London, Melbourne, Paris, and Berlin. A deal was reached in Peru amid more protests, but many believe the deal is not aggressive enough to make an impact.
(Picture Credit: US Embassy, http://ow.ly/GE88V)
3. The US and China, two of the world's biggest polluters, set ambitious climate targets in a historic climate change agreement. Both have committed to reducing carbon and GHG emissions and to investing in renewables.
(Picture Credit: Carlos, http://ow.ly/GNVUK)
4. The ever-innovative Google dealt a blow to renewable energies by ending their Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C) initiative. The project aimed to drive down the costs of renewables to bring them on par with coal, but after seven years of research and development, Google threw in the towel.
(Picture Credit: Zero Emission Resource Organisation, http://ow.ly/GNZYS)
5. In an unprecedented move, Tesla Automotive released its electric vehicle patents in the hope that more companies will help speed up the deployment of electric cars. They also expanded their Supercharger network in the US, and launched in Australia and Canada.
(Picture Credit: shannonpatrick17, http://ow.ly/GO12H)
6. A proposal to speed up the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline was rejected by the US senate in a vote of 59-41. Another vote is expected in 2015, which president Obama has already indicated he will veto if it were to pass.
(Picture Credit: Doc, http://ow.ly/GPG0V)
7. Australia became the first developed nation to repeal its carbon tax, implemented in 2012, despite having some of the worst per capita emissions in the world due to their reliance on coal for electrical generation.
(Picture Credit: Ontario Power Generation)
8. Candu Energy INC made big strides internationally by signing an agreement with China to develop and build Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactors (AFCR) AFCR technology uses both recycled waste uranium from light water reactors and thorium based fuels to generate power. With much of the supply chain based in Canada, this deal is a boon to the Canadian nuclear industry.
(Picture Credit: Jason Armstrong)
9. Unconventional sources like shale oil boosted US oil production to its highest levels since 1980's. As a result, eastern Canada refineries are importing more oil from America than any other country.
(Picture Credit: Jared, http://ow.ly/GDWf0)
10. The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists who invented blue LED lights, paving the way for white LED's and the LED lighting revolution.