Let's Brighten Up the Joint

Welcome to the working week. Here's what we're looking at today: Biden's climate plans blocked by judge, EU is now 80% dependent on gas imports, banking vets move into the renewables, Macron bets big on nuclear, Italian cities blackout landmarks to protest energy bills. 


  • Scholz plans appeal to Putin in effort to stop attack on Ukraine. (FT)

  • Energy Department blames focus on "climate crisis" for ethics oversight. (WFB)

  • Hong Kong expands mandate amid record Covid-19 outbreak. (WSJ)

  • Judge blocks key climate metric. (E&E)

  • Clinton campaign paid to "infiltrate" Trump Tower, White House servers to link Trump to Russia: Durham (FOX).


  • Investors rush to US oil and gas bonds as energy prices boost finances. (FT)

  • Europe's dependence on natural gas imports hits 80%. (OP)

  • Saudi Arabia transfers shares worth $80 billion to wealth fund. (WSJ)

  • The US is exporting every molecule of LNG possible. (BBG)

  • Big oil books biggest cash flow since 2008. (OP)


  • Energia Sierra Juarez Phase II wind farm commences operations. (Sempra)

  • Veteran bankers are taking up jobs in renewables. (OP)

  • Siemens' renewables arm cutting 200 US jobs. (POWER)

  • BBGI Global invests in hydropower in British Columbia. (HR)

  • Mytilineos breaks ground on 110 MW Moura solar project. (PVM)


  • TVA unveils major new nuclear program, first SMR at Clinch River site. (POWER)

  • Announcing new reactors, Macron bets on nuclear power in carbon neutral push. (F24)

  • Preparations begin for demolition of prototype reactor. (WNN)

  • Welding "milestone" for Tianwan 7. (WNN)

  • DOE to provide $6 billion to keep existing fleet running. (ANS)


  • Italian cities turn off lights on landmarks to protest high energy bills. (OP)

  • American Electric Power Service withdraws request for FERC power plant deal approval under pressure from Kentucky Public Service Commission. (UD)

  • PNM, AEP executives, other utility leaders meet with Biden to push clean energy tax measures. (UD)

  • Nighthawk utility-scale storage facility to use Tesla Megapack. (PVM)

  • TVA may not serve Mississippi medical marijuana growers. (MBD)

Let's Brighten Up the Joint

Unfortunately, we live in interesting times. Two years after covid exposed core weaknesses--spiritual, economic, political--within many societies, an energy crisis that could lead to a food crisis down the road has swallowed the globe. But not all is lost. We're seeing some important shifts in nuclear energy, our only hope for the decarbonized "electrify everything" future. 

Last week, I was hard on France for mismanaging its nuclear fleet. Rightly so. But it looks like the country's turned over a new leaf. Macron announced that the country will invest in at least 6 new reactors to bolster the country's energy portfolio and to make progress on its climate goals. Across the channel, Sizewell C has gotten the green light and the Joint European Torus just had a fusion breakthrough. And let's not forget nuclear's inclusion in EU green taxonomy. 

Across the pond, America's TVA forges ahead with a new advanced reactor build. Idaho Labs has made progress with NuScale. And the DOE has created a new program to offer $6 billion to nuclear power plants in danger of closing. West Virginia just repealed its nuclear moratorium with more states likely to follow. 

Take all this with the Chinese commitment to build 150 reactors in 15 years and Rosatom's impressive pedigree in building reactors the world over, it looks like we might be on the cusp of a nuclear renaissance. But I don't want to get too ahead of myself.

The last time things looked this bright for nuclear energy the shale gas revolution and what people think happened at Fukushima dowsed the sparks. If 2020 had any lessons in it for us it is that we, like our forebears, remain vulnerable to contingency. The NRC pulling the rug out from under Oklo belies deeper problems with nuclear regulation in America. Vogtle's grind to get going inspires less than confidence. And it's obvious ESG and renewables remain hegemonic for green energy policy. 

Still, I can't help feeling it's getting a little brighter at the corners. And in these interesting times, I'll take it. 

Crom's Blessing

Rewatch Aliens.