even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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EDF says strike hits a third of French nuclear plants, delaying maintenance work

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PARIS, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Strike action over wage demands was hitting a third of EDF’s 18 French nuclear plants as of Friday night, a spokesperson for the utility said, further delaying the maintenance of its reactors.

“Six sites (were) affected by strikes as of last night,” the spokesperson said on Saturday.

This led to the postponement of the restart date of five reactors currently under maintenance by “one to several days”, the spokesperson for EDF (EDF.PA) added.

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Nuclear power represented more than two thirds of France’s total electricity production in 2021, according to data from grid operator RTE.

The country will be short of between 5 and 15 gigawatts (GW) of power at peak demand this winter depending on the temperature and will need to mainly rely on imports, according to forecast models developed by EDF’s works council CSE.

France will have to buy electricity on the market this winter or produce it from gas, and there is no guarantee that neighbouring countries will be in a position to sell their electricity, CSE representative Philippe Page le Merour has said, given the energy crisis in Europe.

A representative for France’s FNME trade union said on Friday that maintenance work at nine nuclear reactors split between five sites had been delayed due to a strike over wages.

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Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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Toll of Russian Strikes Mounts, Adding Urgency to Ukraine’s Pleas for Weapons

Credit…Jean-Francois Badias/Associated Press

PARIS — France began pumping natural gas directly to Germany for the first time on Thursday, part of a landmark agreement struck by both governments to help each other confront Europe’s energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supplies to Europe.

Volumes of gas capable of producing around 31 gigawatt-hours per day of electricity began flowing early on Thursday into Germany, the French network operator GRTgaz said. The connection has a maximum capacity of 100 gigawatt-hours per day, equal to the power output of four nuclear reactors, or about 10 percent of the amount of liquefied natural gas that France imports each day, the company said.

GRTgaz said that months ago it had begun modifying its pipeline networks to be able to send gas to Germany. For years, the German economy has relied on Russian gas exports, but this year Moscow has slashed them in response to Western sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.

France gets its gas from the Netherlands, Norway and Russia, according to the International Energy Agency, although supplies from Russia were cut off in September. It also receives deliveries of liquefied natural gas from several L.N.G. terminals.

To face the energy crunch, France has been storing gas and getting more of it from its European partners and Qatar. Recently, President Emmanuel Macron has burnished relations with Algeria, a former French colony, which has agreed to sharply increase gas exports to France.

In exchange for the gas from France, Germany has pledged to export more electricity to that country as it grapples with an unprecedented crisis in its nuclear power industry that has reduced power production.

“Germany needs our gas, and we need the electricity produced in the rest of Europe, and in particular in Germany,” President Emmanuel Macron said last month after speaking with the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, about the agreement. “We will contribute to European solidarity in gas and benefit from European solidarity in electricity.”

“Merci beaucoup,” Klaus Müller, the head of Germany’s federal network agency, wrote in a Twitter message to GRTGaz on Thursday. “The gas deliveries from France, through Saarland, help Germany’s energy security.”

European countries have pledged to work together to get through winter as Russia’s aggression in Ukraine raises the prospect of a prolonged energy crisis. On Thursday, Spain proposed increasing its gas deliveries to France by 18 percent in the coming months, Spain’s ecological transition minister, Teresa Ribera, said.

As Europe’s largest economy and the one most dependent on Russian gas, Germany has been among the countries worst affected by the energy crisis rippling across Europe, where natural gas costs about 10 times what it did a year ago. Both Berlin and Paris have imposed a broad range of conservation measures, including lowering thermostats and hot water heaters, encouraging the use of public transport and requiring public buildings to turn off lights early.

The energy crunch has forced European governments to fall back on less-desirable power sources that they had been trying to phase out in a push to go green. Germany, for instance, has decided to keep coal-fired power plants online and restart several others that had been mothballed.

In addition, Germany decided to keep two of its three remaining nuclear power plants operational as an emergency reserve for its electricity supply, breaking a political taboo and delaying its plans to become the first industrial power to go nuclear-free for its energy.

And in France, the government is facing an energy crisis of its own after half its fleet of nuclear power plants — the largest in Europe — was taken offline earlier this year for inspections and repairs. The electricity shortage has driven prices to record levels, forcing factories to cut production and put tens of thousands of employees on furlough.

Bruno Le Maire, France’s economy minister, warned Thursday that high energy prices continued to pose a “major risk” to French industry and would lead to a 10 percent decline in industrial production this winter.

Berlin this month announced a 200 billion euro (about $196 billion) aid plan for German households, businesses and industries. It includes policies to curb natural gas and electricity prices domestically. And France has already spent around €100 billion since last winter doing the same.

But with Mr. Scholz facing pushback over his government’s decision to keep nuclear plants running, Germany’s ability to uphold its end of the energy-swap deal with France may wind up depending on the French themselves: GRTgaz said that the exported French gas would allow Germany to produce more electricity, which in turn would be sent back to the French grid during peak hours.

“If we did not have European solidarity,” Mr. Macron said in a televised interview on Wednesday, “we would have serious problems.”

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Live Updates: Germany Rushes Air Defense System to Ukraine as Allies Discuss More Military Aid

KYIV, Ukraine — Six and a half feet down a ladder inside a small shed at the back of Oleksandr Kadet’s home is an underground room with a cement hatch that he hopes he never has to use.

For the past two weeks, Mr. Kadet, 32, said that he and his wife, who live outside the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, had been preparing for the possibility of a nuclear attack by stocking the room — an old well that they converted into a bunker — with bottled water, canned food, radios and power banks.

“We are more anxious now, especially after yesterday’s attacks,” Mr. Kadet said on Tuesday, a day after a series of Russian missile attacks across Ukraine. “But we do think that in case of a nuclear explosion, we will be able to survive if we stay in the shelter for some time.”

Credit…Oleksandr Kadet

The fears of escalation rose on Saturday after an attack on the 12-mile Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014. Initially, Ukrainians celebrated, but that quickly gave way to worry that such a brazen assault on a symbol of President Vladimir V. Putin’s rule could prompt a severe retaliation.

Even before these recent events, though, concerns about the potential for a nuclear disaster had increasingly been making their way into Ukraine’s national psyche. The fear is that Russia could either use tactical nuclear arms or launch a conventional attack on one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.

U.S. officials have said they think the chances of Russia’s using nuclear weapons are low, and senior American officials say they have seen no evidence that Mr. Putin is moving any of his nuclear assets.

On Sunday, Mr. Putin called the assault on the bridge a “terrorist attack aimed at destroying the critically important civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation.”

But his spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, appeared to tamp down fears of a nuclear reprisal, saying that the attack on the bridge did not fall within the category under Russia’s defense doctrine that allowed for such a response.

Last month, Mr. Putin raised fears that he could resort to nuclear weapons when he warned that he would “use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” if Russian-controlled territory was threatened.

“This is not a bluff,” he said.

Days later, Russia illegally annexed four Ukrainian territories.

Mr. Kadet, who noted that he had begun preparing two weeks ago, said it felt better to have an action plan.

“It’s psychologically easier because you know you are at least somehow prepared for it,” he said. “It’s not a guarantee it will save you, but at least you’re ready.”

Residents of Kyiv said that they had felt wary even before the most recent missile strikes there on Monday.

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

Immediately after the bridge attack, many Ukrainians had shared their glee on social media. They toasted triumphantly in the capital’s bars over the weekend, and posed for selfies in front of posters of the burning bridge.

But the worry soon set in.

“I feel this real fear about how the Russians will answer this,” said Krystina Gevorkova, 30, who was shopping with her friend in Kyiv on Sunday. “Earlier it had felt safer here,” she added. “Now, I have this feeling like something is going to happen.”

Kyiv has for months been spared the worst of the Russian onslaught while Moscow focused its attention instead on southeastern Ukraine. But on Monday, a Russian missile struck just blocks away from where Ms. Gevorkova had spoken.

She said that she had been reading up on how to stay safe during a nuclear war, but that she was skeptical that it would help.

“We can’t really do anything,” she said.

The war has felt far from Kyiv in recent months, as life’s rhythms return to a semblance of normalcy after Russian forces were ousted from parts of northeastern Ukraine. Nevertheless, the city has also been slowly preparing for a potential nuclear attack.

The Kyiv City Council said on Friday that potassium iodide pills would be distributed to residents in case of a nuclear incident “based on medical recommendations,” adding that the pills were also available in city pharmacies.

Potassium iodide is used to saturate a person’s thyroid with iodine so that radioactive iodine inhaled or ingested after exposure will not be retained by the gland.

Alina Bozhedomova, 23, a pharmacist in Kyiv, said that customers were coming in daily looking for the pills, but added, “I haven’t seen people panicking about it.”

Some elementary schools have advised parents to prepare emergency packs for their children to keep with them at school.

Nadiia Stelmakh, 50, who works in a market selling home goods, said that one mother had come to her with a list from the school that included latex gloves, a poncho, boot covers, tissues, wet wipes and a flashlight.

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

“People are really concerned right now,” she said. Her husband, Volodymyr Stelmakh, who has another stall nearby, agreed.

“I have an emergency bag packed,” he said, “but I think if the nuclear threat is imminent, you will have no time to run away.

After worries grew about the security of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the country’s southeast in recent weeks, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health issued guidance about how to respond to a nuclear incident.

The risk of nuclear fallout can feel very real in Ukraine, a country that still bears the scars of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. Chernobyl is only about 60 miles north of Kyiv.

And some who experienced the life-threatening fallout firsthand say that they, possibly more than anyone, understand the full risk of nuclear exposure. Oleksandr, 55, who asked that his last name not be used, said that he and his family had fled Chernobyl for Kyiv immediately after the meltdown, when he was just 18.

His family closely followed guidance to move south, as winds were pushing radioactive materials north, and he said that was the only reason they escaped unscathed.

“Now, people here are really not ready. People don’t know what to do,” he said. “There is not enough information.”

He owns a market stand that sells household necessities and said that more people had come in during the past two weeks preparing for a nuclear disaster, buying flashlights, batteries, knives, radios and small camp stoves.

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

While some were preparing for the worst, others remained optimistic that Russia would never carry out such an extreme attack, which would draw international outrage.

Dmytro Yastrub, 31, said he felt more concerned about Mr. Putin using conventional weapons to target Kyiv.

“I presume something will happen” after the bridge attack, he said, standing outside a bar in the Kyiv city center on Sunday evening with a group of friends. But, he added, the risk of a nuclear attack was not weighing heavy on his mind.

Svetlana Zozulia, 47, and her husband, Vladyslav Zozulia, 37, were walking in central Kyiv with their daughter, Anastasiia, 11, on Sunday night. Ms. Zozulia said she tried to remain optimistic and did not believe that Mr. Putin would launch a nuclear attack on Ukraine.

But she did buy potassium iodide tablets just in case, she said.

“I think our success disturbs him,” Ms. Zozulia said. “But there is also a threat for him if he chooses a nuclear attack.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn contributed reporting

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Engine parts makers must cross ‘valley of death’ to reach EV era

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KIDDERMINSTER, England, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Auto engine parts makers eyeing the promising electric-vehicle market are dealing with a severe case of delayed gratification.

Until EVs truly take off, engine parts makers face a perilous few years where they must invest heavily in new machinery, while struggling with falling sales of fossil-fuel cars.

Evtec Aluminium, a small supplier with two plants in England, is a case in point. It barely survived.

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Within the last decade in the European Union – when Britain was still a member – diesel was the green fuel of the future. Carmakers, including Evtec’s main customer Tata Motors (TAMO.NS)-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), invested tens of billions of dollars in new diesel models and production capacity.

Suppliers followed suit. Evtec, then known as Liberty Aluminium, invested tens of millions of pounds in new machines, some of which sit idle but are still being paid off.

Then the EU, spurred on in part by Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) “Dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal, swiftly abandoned diesel in favour of EVs and now plans to effectively ban combustion-engine car sales by 2035.

“We went in thinking diesel is the future,” said Evtec’s business director, Brett Parker, on a tour of the company’s half-empty foundry in Kidderminster in England’s Midlands, the historical heart of Britain’s car industry. “We backed the wrong horse, unfortunately.”

Evtec was saved last year when a group led by investor David Roberts bought it. Roberts says Evtec’s foundry in Kidderminster is Britain’s most modern – vast machines here pump molten aluminium heated to around 660 degrees Celsius (1,220°F) into castings to make complex shapes – and stands to benefit as UK carmakers look to build EVs that need aluminium parts.

“For me it was a no-brainer to invest in that business,” Roberts said.

As recently as 2015, diesel made up nearly 52% of EU car sales. After Dieselgate and the shift in favor of EVs, diesel fell to 19.6% of EU sales in 2021 and has fallen further this year. In Britain, diesel car sales halved to just 8.2% in 2021.

Petrol car sales in the EU declined to around 40% in 2021 from over 45% in 2015 and will fall further as Europe goes electric.

Major engine parts suppliers like Vitesco Technologies Group AG (VTSCn.DE) and Schaeffler (SHA_p.DE) are already investing in transitioning to electric, but smaller players like Evtec – for which tracking data is not widely available – must adapt or die.

“Engine parts makers are ground zero for the most amount of pain in this transition because they have the least amount of portability into EV world,” said Mark Wakefield, global co-leader of consultancy AlixPartners’ automotive and industrial practice.

Some major carmakers have warned of huge job losses, as EV motors have only a third of the parts of a combustion engine and require less labour.

Fewer parts also mean fewer suppliers.

Engine parts suppliers must either transform into an EV-focused business, or diversify into other industries making parts for anything from heavy equipment to hair dryers.

Or go out of business.

“People have to realize this transition comes at a cost,” Evtec investor Roberts said. “We all have our own valley of death to get to EVs, but for some suppliers it will be so much harder.”

‘CAN’T GROW WITHOUT MONEY’

Declining combustion-engine car sales have already cost jobs.

World No. 4 carmaker Stellantis NV (STLA.MI), for instance, is shifting its plant in Tremery, France – long the world’s largest diesel engine plant – over to EV motors.

Tremery employs 2,400 people now, down from 3,000 in 2019. Many others will not be replaced when they retire.

German supplier Bosch (ROBG.UL) is transforming its plant in Rodez in southern France away from diesel injectors to new products including hydrogen fuel cells, cutting 750 of 1,250 jobs.

Auto industry consultant Bernd Bohr said larger, deep-pocketed suppliers will likely be the “last man standing” for delivering a particular part.

“A lot of companies are fighting for a piece of a smaller and smaller cake and the question is, who’s getting that volume?” he said.

Powertrain supplier Vitesco is focused on combustion engines, but by 2030 the company expects EVs will account for 70% of sales.

In January, the German supplier will split its business into two main divisions, one focused on EV components and the other on higher-value technology that can also be used in combustion engines to bring in cash as that business winds down.

Some parts of the business no longer considered to be core will be shut down or sold off.

“We have to generate the necessary funds so we can invest in the future,” Vitesco CEO Andreas Wolf said. “I can’t grow without money.”

Parts supplier Schaeffler expects its future EV business will be smaller than today’s combustion-engine sales, so the German company is focused on diversifying its customer base.

For instance, the ball bearings Schaeffler sells to carmakers could be sold to other industries.

‘OTHERS WILL DROP OUT’

Smaller suppliers are already struggling with soaring raw material and energy costs, plus the need to invest in greener products to meet carmakers’ climate goals.

Funding new equipment for EV parts could be tough.

Evtec’s investor Roberts said the company has around 330 million pounds’ worth ($363.8 million) of business lined up for EV parts for JLR over a seven-year contract, plus around another 250 million pounds with other carmakers.

But because of long auto industry lead times, the models in those contracts will not start production for two to three years.

Evtec must spend up to 70 million pounds for new tools and machines for those contracts, of which Roberts will pay half, long before any revenue comes in.

Evtec also has support from JLR, which considers it a strategic supplier.

“Our suppliers play a pivotal role in our transformation,” a JLR spokesperson said. “We are working closely with them during the automotive industry’s transition … to electrification.”

AlixPartners estimates carmakers have committed $526 billion to go electric and if they do not proactively address supplier problems they could end up spending another $70 billion to fix them.

Suppliers making key components could get rescued, but carmakers cannot afford too many bailouts, Wakefield said.

Evtec’s Parker said with an investor backing its transition, in the short term the company is looking to “plug the gaps” in revenue.

Earlier this year, when an Israeli supplier folded, Evtec took over some of its business. As suppliers struggle after two years of pandemic, supply shocks and inflation, Parker expects more such opportunities.

“If you can hang on long enough, others will potentially drop out,” Parker said. “Then you’ve got more chance of picking up business.”

($1 = 0.9070 pound)

(This story has been corrected to fix paragraph 27 and 28 to remove reference to third division )

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Reporting by Nick Carey in Kidderminster, England, and Christina Amann in Berlin
Additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume in Paris
Editing by Ben Klayman and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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An Israel-Lebanon Border Deal Could Increase Natural Gas Supplies

Israel and Lebanon have been at war since 1948, but the countries are close to an agreement that could increase production of natural gas, helping energy-starved Europe.

Officials from the two countries have said they are close to resolving long-running disputes over their maritime borders, which would allow energy companies to extract more fossil fuels from offshore fields in the Mediterranean Sea.

The increased production won’t make up for the gas that Europe is no longer getting from Russia. But energy experts say an Israel-Lebanon agreement should give a vital push to efforts to produce more gas in that part of the world. Over the last four years, energy production in the eastern Mediterranean has been growing as Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Cyprus have worked together to take advantage of oil and gas buried under the sea.

“This is a very important step for the region to come into its own,” said Charif Souki, the Lebanese-American executive chairman of Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas company based in Houston. “Players are finally realizing that it’s better to cooperate than to continuously fight.”

The Israel-Lebanon negotiations will most directly affect the Karish field, which is set to produce gas for Israel’s domestic use. That fuel is expected to displace gas produced from other fields, which can then be exported. The new field is also expected to produce a small amount of oil.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil and gas company, and several smaller businesses are already producing gas from two larger fields off Israel’s coast. That fuel has increasingly replaced coal in the country’s power plants and factories. Israel now has so much gas that it has become a net exporter of energy, sending fuel to neighbors like Jordan and Egypt. Some of that gas has also found its way to Europe and other parts of the world from L.N.G. export terminals in Egypt.

The U.S. government, across several administrations, has encouraged the growth of the gas trade in the region by helping to negotiate deals between countries that have long had tense relations. The Ukraine crisis has accelerated efforts to explore and produce natural gas because of the soaring cost of the fuel in Europe, where countries are desperate to end their dependence on Russian gas.

Chevron and its Israeli partners are discussing the possibility of building a floating liquefied natural gas platform in the Leviathan gas field, Israel’s largest. The companies are expected to make a decision on the project in a few months.

But getting the gas out of the region will not be easy. Floating export terminals are vulnerable to terrorist attack. And, even if they could be adequately secured, the terminals will not be able to process as much gas as the larger coastal facilities used in major gas producers like the United States, Qatar and Australia. Building terminals on land can take several years, if not often longer, because of opposition from environmental and other groups.

“Energy infrastructure offshore is very volatile and vulnerable,” said Gal Luft, a former Israeli military officer who is the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington. “You have to manage risk.”

Theoretically, transporting gas by pipelines would be easier than liquefying natural gas for export before converting it back into gas at its destination. But building long-distance pipelines is expensive and difficult. A long-running conflict between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece, for example, has made constructing a pipeline from Israel to southern Europe incredibly challenging, if not impossible.

Even an Israel-Lebanon border agreement faces risks. Hezbollah has threatened to attack the Karish field, and it sent unarmed drones over it in July; Israeli officials said they had shot down the ‌aircraft.

Still, Israeli and Lebanese officials have said in recent days that they are pressing on with the negotiations, with officials from the Biden administration acting as a go-between, and are close to a deal. The talks gathered momentum during the United Nations General Assembly last week.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon said on Thursday at the United Nations that he was confident about reaching an agreement with Israel. “Lebanon is well aware of the importance of the promising energy market in the eastern Mediterranean for the prosperity of all countries in the region,” he said, “but also to meet the needs of importing nations.”

U.S. and other Western oil companies have long shied away from Israel, in part because they do not want to alienate Arab countries. But, as relations between Israel and countries like Egypt, Jordan and, more recently, the United Arab Emirates have improved more companies have expressed interest in the eastern Mediterranean.

An agreement between Israel and Lebanon could accelerate that trend.

“I think it will appease many minds,” said Leslie Palti-Guzman, chief executive of Gas Vista, a consulting firm. “Companies that have been reluctant to invest could be more incentivized to develop additional projects.”

Gas fields in the Mediterranean are one of several new suppliers that Europe will need as it seeks a long-term replacement for Russian gas. Other suppliers include energy companies operating in the United States, Qatar, Africa, the Caspian Sea and the North Sea.

“There is no silver bullet,” said Paddy Blewer, spokesman for Energean, a London-based exploration company that hopes to begin producing gas in the Karish field. “The East Mediterranean is one of a series of marginal gains that Europe has to look at.”

Energean plans to begin production in the next few weeks, and has said it expects to produce up to 8 billion cubic meters of gas a year by 2025. If it is successful, the company could significantly add to Israel’s output. The country will produce roughly 22 billion cubic meters this year. Once an importer of almost all of its energy, Israel increased gas production by 22 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2021. It exported roughly 40 percent of its gas, earning the government royalties of $250 million.

The agreement between Israel and Lebanon will also open the way to drilling in Lebanese waters by a consortium led by Eni of Italy and TotalEnergies of France. Lebanese officials view natural gas as a critical financial tool in its attempts to revive the country’s depressed economy. The government has wanted to drill offshore since at least 2014, but disputes with Israel over the border have delayed exploration.

“It’s not for sure Lebanon will find gas,” said Chakib Khelil, a former president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. “But, if they do, Lebanon will get a big boost.”

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Hurricane Fiona Strengthens As It Heads To Bermuda

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
September 21, 2022

Fiona was a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph Wednesday morning and is expected to approach Bermuda late Thursday or Friday.

Hurricane Fiona strengthened into a Category 4 storm Wednesday after devastating Puerto Rico, then lashing the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It was forecast to squeeze past Bermuda later this week.

The storm has been blamed for directly causing at least four deaths in its march through the Caribbean, where winds and torrential rain in Puerto Rico left a majority of people on the U.S. territory without power or running water. Hundreds of thousands of people scraped mud out of their homes following what authorities described as “historic” flooding.

Power company officials initially said it would take a few days for electricity to be fully restored, but then appeared to backtrack late Tuesday night. Only 20% had power as of Wednesday morning., three days after it hit the island.

“Hurricane Fiona has severely impacted electrical infrastructure and generation facilities throughout the island. We want to make it very clear that efforts to restore and reenergize continue and are being affected by severe flooding, impassable roads, downed trees, deteriorating equipment, and downed lines,” said Luma, the company that operates power transmission and distribution.

The hum of generators could be heard across the territory as people became increasingly exasperated. Some were still trying to recover from Hurricane Maria, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm five years ago, causing the deaths of an estimated 2,975 people.

Luis Noguera, who was helping clear a landslide in the central mountain town of Cayey, said Maria left him without power for a year. Officials themselves didn’t declare full resumption of service until 11 months after Maria hit.

“We paid an electrician out of our own pocket to connect us,” he recalled, adding that he doesn’t think the government will be of much help again after Fiona.

Long lines were reported at several gas stations across Puerto Rico, and some pulled off a main highway to collect water from a stream.

“We thought we had a bad experience with Maria, but this was worse,” said Gerardo Rodríguez, who lives in the southern coastal town of Salinas.

Parts of the island had received more than 25 inches of rain and more had fallen on Tuesday.

By late Tuesday, authorities said they had restored power to some 350,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers. Piped water service remained out for half the island’s users early Wednesday due to power outages and turbid water at filtration plants.

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service in San Juan issued a heat advisory for several cities because a majority of people on the island of 3.2 million remain without power.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency traveled to Puerto Rico on Tuesday as the agency announced it was sending hundreds of additional personnel to boost local response efforts.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency on the island and deployed a couple of teams to the island.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials reported minimal damage and no deaths despite the storm’s eye passing close to Grand Turk, the small British territory’s capital island, on Tuesday morning.

The government had imposed a curfew and urged people to flee flood-prone areas.

“Turks and Caicos had a phenomenal experience over the past 24 hours,” said Deputy Gov. Anya Williams. “It certainly came with its share of challenges.”

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph on Wednesday morning and it was centered about 700 miles southwest of Bermuda, heading north at 8 mph.

It was likely to approach Bermuda late Thursday or Friday and then Canada’s Atlantic provinces on Saturday.

The storm killed a man in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe, another man in Puerto Rico who was swept away by a swollen river and two people in the Dominican Republic: one killed by a falling tree and the other by a falling electric post.

Two additional deaths were reported in Puerto Rico as a result of the blackout: A 70-year-old man burned to death after he tried to fill his generator with gasoline while it was running and a 78-year-old man police say inhaled toxic gases emitted from his generator.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Fiona Barrels Toward Turks And Caicos As Category 3 Hurricane

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
September 20, 2022

Forecasters said Fiona was expected to pass near Grand Turk, the British territory’s capital island, on Tuesday morning.

Hurricane Fiona barreled toward the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday as a Category 3 storm, prompting the government to impose a curfew.

Forecasters said Fiona was expected to pass near Grand Turk, the British territory’s capital island, on Tuesday morning.

“Storms are unpredictable,” Premier Washington Misick said in a statement from London, where he was attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. “You must therefore take every precaution to ensure your safety.”

Misick is scheduled to return home on Thursday.

Early Tuesday, Fiona was centered 20 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island. It had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and was moving north-northwest at 10 mph.

The intensifying storm kept dropping copious rain over the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, where a 58-year-old man died after police said he was swept away by a river in the central mountain town of Comerio.

Another death was linked to a power blackout — a 70-year-old man was burned to death after he tried to fill his generator with gasoline while it was running, officials said.

The National Guard has rescued more than 900 people as floodwaters continue to rush through towns in eastern and southern Puerto Rico with up to 30 inches of rain forecast for some areas. Multiple landslides also were reported.

The blow from Fiona was made more devastating because Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island are still covered by blue tarps.

Authorities said at least 1,300 people and some 250 pets remain in shelters across the island.

Fiona sparked a blackout when it hit Puerto Rico’s southwest corner on Sunday, the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, which slammed into the island in 1989 as a Category 3 storm.

By Tuesday morning, authorities said they had restored power to more than 260,000 customers on the island of 3.2 million people.

Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi has warned it could take days before everyone has electricity.

Water service was cut to more than 837,000 customers — two-thirds of the total on the island — because of turbid water at filtration plants or lack of power, officials said.

Fiona is not expected to threaten the U.S. mainland.

In the Dominican Republic, authorities reported one death: a man hit by a falling tree. The storm displaced more than 12,400 people and cut off at least two communities.

The hurricane left several highways blocked, and a tourist pier in the town of Miches was badly damaged by high waves. At least four international airports were closed, officials said.

The Dominican president, Luis Abinader, said authorities would need several days to assess the storm’s effects.

Fiona previously battered the eastern Caribbean, killing one man in the French territory of Guadeloupe when floodwaters washed his home away, officials said.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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How a Quebec Lithium Mine May Help Make Electric Cars Affordable

About 350 miles northwest of Montreal, amid a vast pine forest, is a deep mining pit with walls of mottled rock. The pit has changed hands repeatedly and been mired in bankruptcy, but now it could help determine the future of electric vehicles.

The mine contains lithium, an indispensable ingredient in electric car batteries that is in short supply. If it opens on schedule early next year, it will be the second North American source of that metal, offering hope that badly needed raw materials can be extracted and refined close to Canadian, U.S. and Mexican auto factories, in line with Biden administration policies that aim to break China’s dominance of the battery supply chain.

Having more mines will also help contain the price of lithium, which has soared fivefold since mid-2021, pushing the cost of electric vehicles so high that they are out of reach for many drivers. The average new electric car in the United States costs about $66,000, just a few thousand dollars short of the median household income last year.

lithium mines are in various stages of development in Canada and the United States. Canada has made it a mission to become a major source of raw materials and components for electric vehicles. But most of these projects are years away from production. Even if they are able to raise the billions of dollars needed to get going, there is no guarantee they will yield enough lithium to meet the continent’s needs.

eliminate this cap and extend the tax credit until 2032; used cars will also qualify for a credit of up to $4,000.

For many people in government and the auto industry, the main concern is whether there will be enough lithium to meet soaring demand for electric vehicles.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed in August, has raised the stakes for the auto industry. To qualify for several incentives and subsidies in the law, which go to car buyers and automakers and are worth a total of $10,000 or more per electric vehicle, battery makers must use raw materials from North America or a country with which the United States has a trade agreement.

rising fast.

California and other states move to ban internal combustion engines. “It’s going to take everything we can do and our competitors can do over the next five years to keep up,” Mr. Norris said.

One of the first things that Sayona had to do when it took over the La Corne mine was pump out water that had filled the pit, exposing terraced walls of dark and pale stone from previous excavations. Lighter rock contains lithium.

After being blasted loose and crushed, the rock is processed in several stages to remove waste material. A short drive from the mine, inside a large building with walls of corrugated blue metal, a laser scanner uses jets of compressed air to separate light-colored lithium ore. The ore is then refined in vats filled with detergent and water, where the lithium floats to the surface and is skimmed away.

The end product looks like fine white sand but it is still only about 6 percent lithium. The rest includes aluminum, silicon and other substances. The material is sent to refineries, most of them in China, to be further purified.

Yves Desrosiers, an engineer and a senior adviser at Sayona, began working at the La Corne mine in 2012. During a tour, he expressed satisfaction at what he said were improvements made by Sayona and Piedmont. Those include better control of dust, and a plan to restore the site once the lithium runs out in a few decades.

“The productivity will be a lot better because we are correcting everything,” Mr. Desrosiers said. In a few years, the company plans to upgrade the facility to produce lithium carbonate, which contains a much higher concentration of lithium than the raw metal extracted from the ground.

The operation will get its electricity from Quebec’s abundant hydropower plants, and will use only recycled water in the separation process, Mr. Desrosiers said. Still, environmental activists are watching the project warily.

Mining is a pillar of the Quebec economy, and the area around La Corne is populated with people whose livelihoods depend on extraction of iron, nickel, copper, zinc and other metals. There is an active gold mine near the largest city in the area, Val-d’Or, or Valley of Gold.

Mining “is our life,” said Sébastien D’Astous, a metallurgist turned politician who is the mayor of Amos, a small city north of La Corne. “Everybody knows, or has in the near family, people who work in mining or for contractors.”

Most people support the lithium mine, but a significant minority oppose it, Mr. D’Astous said. Opponents fear that another lithium mine being developed by Sayona in nearby La Motte, Quebec, could contaminate an underground river.

Rodrigue Turgeon, a local lawyer and program co-leader for MiningWatch Canada, a watchdog group, has pushed to make sure the Sayona mines undergo rigorous environmental reviews. Long Point First Nation, an Indigenous group that says the mines are on its ancestral territory, wants to conduct its own environmental impact study.

Sébastien Lemire, who represents the region around La Corne in the Canadian Parliament, said he wanted to make sure that the wealth created by lithium mining flowed to the people of Quebec rather than to outside investors.

Mr. Lemire praised activists for being “vigilant” about environmental standards, but he favors the mine and drives an electric car, a Chevrolet Bolt.

“If we don’t do it,” he said at a cafe in La Corne, “we’re missing the opportunity of the electrification of transport.”

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Carbon Farming Is A New Way For Farmers To Make Extra Money

By Alexa Liacko
September 19, 2022

Thousands of farms had to shut down last year due to low profits. Now there’s a new way for farmers to make money.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to survive as a family on a farm these days because the cost of doing business is just getting so high. But there’s a new, environmentally friendly way of farming that’s putting thousands of dollars back into farmers pockets. 

Since 1926, Todd Olander’s family has worked this land to make a living. 

“We grow corn, alfalfa, barley, wheat, rye. I am the last remaining farmer that’s left out of everyone,” said Olander. 

He’s trying to keep his family’s legacy alive, but, to do that, he’s had to embrace change. 

“I’m always open to trying different things,” he said. 

The corn fields that once provided a stable paycheck weren’t making as much of a profit, so he started a malting operation that works with Colorado breweries and distilleries. It’s called root shoot malting.

Mike Myers helps him run it. 

“We wanted to focus on quality more than anything. So that also kind of is why we’ve changed some of our farming practices is to make sure that our barley is the highest quality possible,” said Myers.  

The biggest change to their farming practices: becoming a carbon farming operation. 

What does that mean? When plants grow, they remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it. Now, there are companies making natural compounds to help crops do that better. The goal is to slow or reverse the impacts of climate change and grow crops better and faster. 

Todd is getting paid to try this carbon farming assistant on his crops. 

“It’s not going to replace actually growing the crops. It’s going to be just extra money to kind of offset maybe some of the extra fertilizer costs or fuel costs that we’re seeing,” said Olander. 

It’s earned him several thousand dollars, at a time when every penny counts. The company that he’s working with has paid family-owned farms across the country more than $1.5 million for carbon farming. 

“That’d be my hope is that farmers are going to see the incentive to actually earn a little bit of extra money and they’re going to take some of these steps towards regenerative farming,” he said. 

And Todd is taking his carbon farming one step further — he’s growing radishes as ground cover to keep the soil cool, moist and full of nutrients. 

TODD OLANDER: Once you get the cycle working together, you should be able to eliminate fertilizer. 

SCRIPPS’ ALEXA LIACKO: And that’s better for the planet, too.

OLANDER: It is. Exactly. 

These two know, every farmer that takes on these changes can help better feed our nation and better protect our environment. 

“I think we can reverse global warming. I mean, that’s that’s my hope,” said Olander.  

Source: newsy.com

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