Wednesday, March 23, 2016

from the Huffington Post

As business between the United States and Cuba grows following President Obama’s historic Havana trip this week, forging ties in the energy sector would benefit both countries.

Cuba’s energy infrastructure is an odd mix of old and new. On the one hand, Cuba still burns crude oil for most of its electricity (one of very few countries to do that). Its antiquated electric grid includes decaying, half century-old equipment. Its vehicle stock is famous for Buicks and Pontiacs dating to the 1950s.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Up for debate: RFS has increased rather then decreased the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere (scroll to bottom)

Bloomberg Government, feat. John DeCicco

The claims that biofuels reduce CO2 emissions rely on lifecycle analysis, a method for comparing the so-called carbon footprint of various fuels. When it expanded the RFS through the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Congress required EPA to evaluate the lifecycle emissions impact of non-grandfathered biofuels. The agency also adapted the method for its RFS impact assessments. EPA did not originate lifecycle analysis. Rather, the methods used were largely developed by the Department of Energy and academic proponents of renewable energy, and their use was advocated by green groups that back the RFS.

Unfortunately, these lifecycle analysis methods make a serious mistake by assuming that biofuels are automatically carbon neutral. In reality, only under certain conditions does replacing a fossil fuel with a biofuel neutralize the CO2 leaving the tailpipe. For that to occur, harvesting the corn or other feedstock must greatly speed up how quickly cropland pulls CO2 from the air.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Retail gasoline prices are now as low as they were in the “roaring ‘90s.” The 1990s, that is, when the energy crisis of the 1970s had faded from American consumers’ memories, the economy was strong and the market share of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) had more than tripled over the decade.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Energy Institute Research Professor John DeCicco testified on March 16 before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform's Subcommittees on Interior and on Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules. The purpose of the hearing was to "examine the Environmental Protection Agency's management of the Renewable Fuel Standard program," which mandates a certain percentage of biofuels from corn be added to commercially sold gasoline in the United States with the twin goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing reliance on imported oil. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

U-M faculty selected as Sloan Fellows

U-M News Service, feat. Paul Zimmerman

Three University of Michigan professors are among the 126 early career scientists and scholars from the United States and Canada selected as 2016 Alfred P. Sloan research fellows.

The foundation honors researchers it deems "rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders." The fellows, who were nominated by their peers and chosen by a panel of senior scholars, each receives $55,000 to further their research.

Those selected from U-M are:

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Each year, investors eagerly await Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders. And well they might: under his leadership, Berkshire’s compounded annual growth rate from 1965 to 2015 was 20.8%, far better than the 9.7% achieved by the S&P 500.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Fuel economy stays flat last month

U-M News Service, Feat. Michael Sivak

Gas mileage of new vehicles sold in the U.S. remained unchanged during February, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold last month was 25.2 mpg—the same as January's revised figure.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Receive up to $100K in funding from the U-M MTRAC Transportation program. The goal of the program is to accelerate the development and commercialization of advanced materials, robotics and autonomy, sensors, electric vehicle drivetrain/propulsion, software/controls/data, and advanced manufacturing processes. Awarded projects are financed through a 12-month grant and mentored by a team of industry experts and venture capitalists. 

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Are you interested in a career in science, technology, engineering, math or business? If so, the BP scholars program could contribute $5,000 towards your studies.

You’ll also have the opportunity to visit one of the company offices. 

Applications are now open and being accepted through March 15, 2016.

Learn more here:

Monday, February 29, 2016

The University of Michigan Energy Institute and the Michigan Institute for Teaching and Research in Economics will host the third annual TE3 conference on Friday October 28, 2016. Held in the heart of the nation's automotive industry, leading researchers and members of the automotive, energy, and regulatory communities will debate key fuel-economy and emissions issues in the current economic and policy landscape.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Why a production freeze won’t fix the oil collapse

Fortune, feat. Mark Barteau

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the news of “collusion” between Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar to freeze petroleum production would have been greeted with howls that this was a declaration of economic war. It would have prompted frenzied calls for “Energy Independence” and for dramatic increases in alternative domestic energy supplies, especially in the hyperbole-laden rhetoric of an election year. Ah, but the place was not so far away nor the time so long ago. Every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama has unambiguously declared the need to end America’s dependence on foreign oil and with it our vulnerability to supply limitations imposed by other powers. We have seen that movie, its sequels and its remakes, before.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2016 Solicitation 1.  Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Wednesday May 11, 2016.