In today’s edition, more analyses on Australia’s historic move to repeal its carbon tax and consequently turn back from a market approach to fight climate change. And how China’s green revolution has difficulties making great leaps forwards, with delays on wind farms as well as on nuclear facilities.
Quote of the day
“Australia is falling behind other major industrialised nations in the growing global effort to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a clean and prosperous future”.
Former US vice president Al Gore, in theguardian.com’s story Australia’s carbon tax abolition draws international criticism
Australia Axing Pollution Levy Marks First U-Turn on Climate
Jason Scott and Mike Anderson, Bloomberg Businessweek
Australia’s decision to repeal its levy limiting fossil-fuel pollution makes it the first nation to turn back from a market approach to fighting global warming.
***LB: Also in this story “Australia’s participation in reducing the gases blamed for global warming is crucial for United Nations-led climate talks aimed at establishing a worldwide emissions-limiting pact by next year. China is considering its first absolute cap on carbon and creation of a national market for emissions.”
Australia’s carbon tax abolition draws international criticism
Oliver Milman, theguardian.com
Australia’s repeal of the carbon price has provoked a largely negative reaction overseas, with former US vice president Al Gore calling it a “disappointing step”.
Abbott bets house on coal, as price crashes. And Plan B is?
Giles Parkinson, REneweconomy
As Prime Minister Tony Abbott celebrated the promised axing of the carbon price and the re-focus of Australia’s economic future on the extraction of fossil fuels, the market price supporting his economic blueprint is in the process of collapsing.
Renewable Energy Investments in Australia Falls to its Lowest Since 2001
Reissa Su, International Business Times
Australia’s renewable energy investment has declined to its lowest in 13 years. According to reports, the country has invested only $40 million in the first six months of 2014.
NZ carbon falls further as emitters stay away
Spot permits in New Zealand’s carbon market fell for the third consecutive week, dropping to NZ$4 ($3.47) on Friday, as traders remained hesitant to take significant positions ahead of the September general election.
(UK) Davey renews calls for an end to “unhealthy low” carbon prices
James Murray, BusinessGreen
UK’s energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has this week reiterated his call for the EU to deliver comprehensive reform to its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), arguing that without urgent action to push up the price of emissions allowances, the overall cost of decarbonisation could rise.
China Three Years Late on Installing Offshore Wind Farms
China is three years behind schedule on a plan that would make it the world’s biggest market for offshore wind, a setback for the $15 billion industry that’s seeking to produce affordable electricity from the one of nature’s most reliable energy sources.
China says first Westinghouse reactor delayed until at least end-2015
David Stanway, Reuters
China’s state-owned reactor builder said the start-up of the country’s first advanced nuclear project based on designs by U.S.-based Westinghouse has been delayed further until at least end of 2015 due to tougher safety checks.
***LB: Also in this story “Originally set to start by end-2013, the project in Sanmen in eastern Zhejiang province was already delayed until December 2014.”
Russian Reliance on Chinese Loans May Blunt the Impact of U.S. Sanctions
Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times
With the latest round of sanctions against Russia, the United States Treasury Department said it had “increased the cost of economic isolation for key Russian firms,” like the state oil company Rosneft and the banking arm of the natural gas giant Gazprom.
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
FT European Gas Summit
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times.
23 October 2014
Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions
Michael Wines, The New York Times
When city leaders and state legislators agreed last year to fund roughly half the $1 billion cost of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, they attached the usual strings for such projects: It had to be architecturally iconic, employ steel made from Minnesota iron ore and offer at least a few cheap seats.
CF Industries Sells Carbon Credits to Chevrolet and Donates Proceeds to FFA
CF Industries Holdings, a global leader in nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing, has completed the sale of a large block of carbon reduction credits to Chevrolet. CF Industries will donate the net proceeds of $600,000 to the National FFA Foundation to support excellence in farmer education and fertilizer best management practices.
Meamina introduces Yacht Carbon Offset
Meamina is using Yacht Carbon Offset’s service to counteract the greenhouse gas impact of all fuel delivered to the yacht. This active 59m Benetti superyacht is exploring ways to improve environmental performance in all areas of operation.
Natural gas / coal
India Seeks Bankers to Help Sell $2.9 Billion Stake in ONGC
Rakteem Katakey, Bloomberg Businessweek
India is seeking bids from banks to help sell a stake valued at 177 billion rupees ($2.9 billion) in Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), the nation’s biggest energy explorer.
ONGC: Resolve subsidy issue before sale
Sudheer Pal Singh, Business Standard
State-owned petroleum explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has cautioned the government the proposed five per cent stake sale in the company might not generate investor interest unless key issues are resolved to enhance valuations.
India’s Oil and Gas Jewel Needs Polish
Abheek Bhattacharya, The Wall Street Journal.
India’s government calls Oil & Natural Gas Corp. one of its “nine jewels,” sparkling state-owned assets with brilliant potential.
North Carolina: Coal Ash Cleanup Ends
Duke Energy has completed the removal of large pockets of coal ash from the Dan River following a large spill at a North Carolina power plant, federal environmental officials said Thursday.
Ineos gets £230m UK loan guarantee to build shale gas facility at Grangemouth
Julia Kollewe, the Guardian
The owners of the petrochemicals plant in Grangemouth, whose future was in doubt last year, have won a £230m loan guarantee from the UK government to build a new facility to import shale gas.
In North Dakota’s oil bonanza, natural gas goes up in flames
Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times
Frank and Wanda Leppell once lived on a quiet cattle ranch in the middle of a rolling prairie, the lowing of cattle and the chirping of sparrows forming a pleasant soundtrack to their mornings. No more.
Colorado Governor Doesn’t Have Support for Fracking Bill
Jennifer Oldham, Bloomberg Businessweek
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and business leaders vowed to do “whatever it takes” to defeat initiatives proposed for the fall ballot that would restrict oil and gas drilling generating $30 billion a year for the state economy.
Politicians on attack after scientists call for more research into fracking
Peter O’Neil and Rob Shaw, Vancouver Sun
Deputy premier Rich Coleman challenged Thursday the conclusions of a scientific panel into the environmental effect of shale gas development using fracking.
TerraForm Power, Operator of Solar Plants, Prices I.P.O. at Top of Range
Michael J. de la Merced, The New York Times
TerraForm Power, an arm of the solar power company SunEdison that operates over 200 solar power projects in the Americas, said on Thursday that it had priced its initial public offering at $25 a share, the top end of an already raised price range.
Gulf Stream gold: Mining green energy from Atlantic currents
Patricia Sagastume, Al Jazeera America
The Gulf Stream meanders clockwise from the Gulf of Mexico, past the mid-Atlantic coast toward Europe. It is one of the most powerful currents in the world, and it is full of life.
AFC Energy inks latest South Korean fuel cell export deal
AFC Energy has announced a major new export deal to provide South Korean power plant operator Daniel Inc with its 1MW alkaline fuel cell system, representing the largest single order since the company launched in 2006.
Downing Street to get charging points in £5m electric car push
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The government is set to buy nearly 300 plug-in electric vehicles across Whitehall, the NHS, police forces and councils in a £5m programme that aims to curb fleet running costs and emissions.
Nearly 40% Of Luxury Car Owners In UK Interested In Electric Cars
Jake Richardson, Clean Technica
24,227 Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz owners in the UK were asked in an online survey about their perspective on electric cars, and nearly 40% indicated they had some interest in buying one or would consider it.
***LB: Also in this story “Their main condition was that an EV they would want would have to be able to go 300 miles on one charge.”
EPA awards $2.1 million for urban water projects
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it has given $2.1 million in grants to 37 organizations to protect and restore urban bodies of water and improve water quality.
Natural Capital Valuation Could Help Water Firms Achieve Sustainability Plans
James Richens, Environmental Leader
Natural capital valuation offers water companies a powerful tool to identify sustainability challenges, engage stakeholders such as the chief financial officer and drive innovation in low-carbon technologies, a recent meeting of water industry executives concluded.
Partnership to preserve thousands of acres of threatened SC wetlands
On Friday, July 11, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave approval to Boeing to preserve, through a comprehensive wetlands mitigation plan, approximately 4,000 acres of land, including more than 2,000 acres of wetlands, located on three separate tracts near the Francis Marion National Forest in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Delayed Monsoon Could Mean Water Cuts for More Than 300 Million People in India
Circle of Blue
India’s monsoon has so far delivered 36 percent less rain than average, and reservoir levels are below their 10-year averages, according to water officials.
Desert dust feeds deep ocean life
Tim Radford, Climate News Network
Marine scientists have a better answer for why the deep ocean is blue while coastal waters are usually green, as well as a better handle on the more complex questions about the ocean’s role in the absorbing all the carbon dioxide we’re pumping into the atmosphere.