In this issue, Reuters and Bloomberg cover the decline in European power trading. The Hill reports Ex-climate czar Browner predicts Obama will regulate existing power plants.The Atlantic’s May issue asks: What If We Never Run Out of Oil? The Financial Times says More US cities join push to sell off fossil fuel investments.

Quote of the Day:

“If we let these things collapse, you’re going to undercut emission reduction in the nations where we see the biggest growth today. There’s still a lot these markets can do.”

–Andrew Light, co-author of Center for American Progress’ report on carbon markets, covered in Bloomberg’s “Carbon Markets Drive China, India Climate Efforts, Center Says”

Lead Stories

Carbon Markets Drive China, India Climate Efforts, Center Says
Carbon markets are a key driver for investment in the biggest emerging nations’ greenhouse-gas reducing efforts, and allowing them to collapse would be a “disaster,” according to the Center for American Progress.
**RKB — The report’s recommendation: Countries should make a political commitment to increase demand for global carbon-market credits, either by setting up a market-stabilization fund or by pledging to purchase a minimum quantity of credits from developing nations. A linkable copy of the report was not immediately available.

European Power Trading Falls a Second Year as Banks Drop Out
Power trading in western Europe’s seven biggest markets shrank for a second year in 2012 as banks and utilities, including Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and EON SE, reduced trading activities.

European power trade volume outlook uncertain after 2012 drop
Trading volumes in Europe’s major wholesale power markets dropped 12 percent in 2012, and nearly four months into 2013 the direction of the market is too uncertain to predict, research company Prospex said on Friday.

Barroso urged to take a stand on EU carbon market fix
The chair of the European parliament’s environment committee has called on EU Commission president José Manuel Barroso to make a public statement of support for the EU’s bloodied plan to reform the carbon market, in a hard-hitting interview with EurActiv.

Slim prospect that backloading will be implemented
Thomson Reuters Point Carbon press release
Although the three main EU legislative bodies concerned with the backloading proposals; the Commission, the Parliament, and the Irish Presidency, are still considering the backloading file, the likelihood of a successful outcome of this process is slim, according to Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, the leading provider of market intelligence, news, analysis, forecasting and advisory services for the energy and environmental markets. Given this unlikelihood, Thomson Reuters Point Carbon has revised its price forecast from a ‘political action’ scenario to a ‘political inaction’ scenario, downward 45% on average over phase 3 – with an average price forecast of 3 euro/t in 2013 and an average phase 3 price of 6 euro/t, rising to 8 euro/t in 2020.
**Full release not linkable.

E.ON urges action to save European carbon trade: paper
Europe’s effort to protect the climate faces “a decade of stagnation” without quick action to save the EU carbon market, the chief executive of German utility E.ON said in a newspaper interview on Saturday.
**RKB — “European emissions trading is a patient on his deathbed; either we cure him quickly, or he dies,” Johannes Teyssen told Sueddeutsche Zeitung, covered here by Reuters. “And that would have unpredictable negative consequences, not only for climate protection.”

What If We Never Run Out of Oil?
The Atlantic
As the great research ship Chikyu left Shimizu in January to mine the explosive ice beneath the Philippine Sea, chances are good that not one of the scientists aboard realized they might be closing the door on Winston Churchill’s world. Their lack of knowledge is unsurprising; beyond the ranks of petroleum-industry historians, Churchill’s outsize role in the history of energy is insufficiently appreciated.

More US cities join push to sell off fossil fuel investments
Financial Times
A move to turn fossil fuels into the “new apartheid” has gathered pace as a further nine US cities join a push to sell any investments held in the coal, oil and gas industry blamed for climate change.

By 2023, a Changed World in Energy
The New York Times
IF you could close your eyes for just a moment like Rip Van Winkle, and blink them open in 2023, you might see a very different energy world.

Climate watchdog eyes tax reform
Financial Times
Countries such as the UK that have relatively tough rules on cutting carbon dioxide emissions might have to start taxing imported goods from countries with weaker environmental laws, the government’s official climate watchdog has warned.


World Environmental & Water Resources Congress
Cincinnati, Ohio
May 19-23


UN Delivers Last Carbon Offsets Eligible for EU Market’s Phase 2
The United Nations delivered the last set of Certified Emission Reduction credits eligible for use in the so-called second phase of Europe’s carbon trading market, the world’s largest.

Industrialized nations’ greenhouse gas emissions dipped in 2011
Industrialized nations’ greenhouse gas emissions dipped 0.7 percent in 2011, helped by a U.S. shift from high-polluting coal in power plants and by Europe’s economic slowdown, data compiled by Reuters showed on Friday.

Ex-climate czar Browner predicts Obama will regulate existing power plants
The Hill’s E2 Wire
President Obama’s former climate czar is confident that the administration will limit carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s existing coal-fired power plants.

California’s Cap-and-Trade Auction Investment Plan: Top 10 Reasons it’s a Winning Formula for California
Environmental Defense Fund blog
California’s clean economy is dominated by industries like clean transportation, energy generation, and energy efficiency. So it comes as no surprise these areas were targeted for cap-and-trade auction proceeds investments in the draft investment plan released by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) last week and discussed at today’s CARB hearing.

American Carbon Registry Recognizes GM’s Sustainability Efforts
Press Release
Thanks to its sustainability efforts that have seen a reduction in manufacturing emissions by 60 percent since 1990 and boosted its recycling rate of manufacturing waste to 90 percent, General Motors has been recognized by the American Carbon Registry, a leading carbon offset non-profit.

Natural Gas/Coal

Germany’s clean energy drive fails to curb dirty brown coal
Germany’s green energy drive is proving surprisingly good for dirty brown coal as utilities squeezed by rival renewables and low wholesale gas prices use more of it.

Survey may reveal vast underestimate of UK shale-gas reserves
Financial Times
George Osborne had wanted to herald in the Budget the dramatic findings of a British Geological Survey report – that the extent of shale gas reserves in the UK has been vastly underestimated – as part of a sweeping pro-shale announcement, according to Whitehall sources.

UK ministers consider offering communities fracking sweeteners
Financial Times
The government is proposing to bribe communities with cheaper energy bills in exchange for dropping opposition to local fracking projects as part of plans to push ahead with shale-gas extraction.


LDK Sells More Shares to Fulai as Founder Stake Shrinks
LDK Solar Co. (LDK), a Chinese solar manufacturer burdened with $2.8 billion in debt, agreed to sell more shares to investor Cheng Kin Ming’s Fulai Investments Ltd., boosting his stake in LDK to 25 percent and diluting that of its biggest holder, founder and chairman Peng Xiaofeng.

Chinese Solar Firm Sells Stake to Raise Cash
The Wall Street Journal
One of China’s largest solar companies has quietly sold more than one-third of itself since October as it struggles to raise cash to repay debt.

Electrawinds’ Serbian Wind Farm in Running for World Bank Loan
Electrawinds SE (EWI)’s Serbian wind farm is being considered by the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. for an award of 59.2 million euros ($77 million) of loans to help the nation curb power shortages and reliance on coal.

Clean Line Energy to buy New Mexico renewable power-line project
Clean Line Energy Partners LLC has signed an agreement to acquire Power Network New Mexico, a proposed 200-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line designed to transfer renewable power resources from New Mexico to Western U.S. states, Clean Line said on Thursday.

E.ON says reaches deal to keep Irsching plant open
Germany’s top utility E.ON said it reached a deal with regulators and grid operators to keep open its modern but unprofitable Irsching gas-fired power station in Bavaria, providing reserve power to stabilise the grid.

COLUMN-Solar power, like wind, requires grid cooperation: Wynn
Solar power, fast catching up with global wind capacity, presents its own problems for grid operators balancing increasingly variable supply from renewables with the demand fluctuations they were designed to handle.

Estonia in the lead to win 2020 renewable energy race
Estonia is on track to become the first nation to meet the EU’s target of providing 20% of its final energy use from renewable sources, according to new Eurostat figures released on 26 April.


Google, Cisco share first place on Greenpeace’s 2013 Cool IT list
That Google has reclaimed its position at the top of Greenpeace’s sixth annual Cool IT Leaderboard ranking should come as no surprise, but this year it isn’t alone — Cisco has bounced back into a leadership position in a tie for first place.

Saudi Arabia Approves $220 Million of Water, Sewage Works
Saudi Arabia has approved 824 million riyals ($220 million) of water and sanitation projects across the kingdom, state-owned Saudi Press Agency reported, citing Minister of Water and Electricity Abdullah Al-Hussayen.

Swiss Bank Pictet’s Water Fund Boosted by Mideast Shortage
Swiss bank Pictet & Cie.’s water fund is profiting from the Middle East’s need to buy the technology to make more seawater drinkable as companies such as Xylem Inc. (XYL) and Danaher Corp. (DHR) step up business in the region.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Surpasses Some of its Environmental Targets
Triple Pundit
Anheuser-Busch InBev‘s (ABI) 2012 Global Citizenship Report, released last week, shows that the brewing company made significant progress to meet its environmental targets. One of the targets the company met is reducing its water use 18.6 percent. The amount of water reduction achieved since 2009 is over 300 million hectoliters, or the amount of water needed to produce 25 billion cans of ABI products. Not bad for a company that relies so heavily on water to produce its products.
Clearing the Air: Reducing Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Natural Gas Systems (Posted April 8, 2013)
World Resources Institute

The State of Green Business 2013 (Posted February 12, 2013)

Can the US Get There from Here? (Posted February 6, 2013)

The Billion Euro Aviation Bonanza – Aviation’s Participation in the EU ETS (Posted January 22, 2013)

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