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SUMMARY
This week's edition features coal's continuing decline in US power generation, a look at Ford's C-Max Hybrid versus the Prius V, Brammo's new 100 mph Empulse; plus lead stories on mining the seafloor for precious metals, Porsche's new 918 Spyder Hybrid and how California plans to turn its economic lemons into lemonaide.
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INSIDER ILLUSTRATED EDITION 12.21

Coal’s Share of Generation Falls

Think this coal train is headed towards a power station in America? It may, in fact, be headed towards China, by way of Portland, Oregon, as the coal industry looks overseas for places to sell its coal, because US demand is falling as generators switch to natural gas. In the first quarter of 2012, coal’s share of electric power generation fell to 36%, supplanted (temporarily?) by cheap natural gas being pumped into the pipeline through a bonanza of discoveries made possible largely by hydraulic fracturing shale deposits.

Of more significance than the 20% drop in coal’s market share over Q1 in 2011, where it had fallen to 44.6%, was the news that power companies are planning to decommission/retire 106 coal-fired power generating facilities. The retirements reflect growing market realities: from cost competitive renewable energy technologies to cleaner air standards to a strong anti-coal political movement. While there continue to be regions across the USA that rely heavily on coal generation, as an aggregate, the US grid appears to be less carbon intensive, and that’s great for electric vehicles.

Golden State's Golden Opportunity

CONTINUED.....

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