In today’s edition, the focus is on Europe, as the Union is debating energy security and climate change. One idea is to shift from burning coal to cleaner natural gas by quadrupling the price that financial markets place on carbon dioxide emissions. Another is to create a common energy market, develop infrastructure and diversify supply. Proposals are being made, but no agreement has been reached so far.
Quote of the day
“A carbon price of 20 to 30 euros is the right level for switching from coal to gas.”
Ignacio Galan, chairman and chief executive officer of Iberdrola (IBE) SA, in the Bloomberg’s story EU Seen Curbing Coal Use by Quadrupling Carbon Price
EU Leaders to Pledge Focus on Cheaper Energy With Secure Supply
Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg
The European Union must make security of energy supply, reduction of costs and the fight against climate change a priority for the next five years, the 28-nation bloc’s leaders are set to declare.
***LB: Also in this story “The EU heads of state and government will back efforts to speed the creation of a common energy market, develop infrastructure and diversify supply, according to a draft strategic agenda to be signed at a summit in Brussels today.”
EU Seen Curbing Coal Use by Quadrupling Carbon Price
Nidaa Bakhsh, Bloomberg
Europe could coax utilities to shift from burning coal to cleaner natural gas by quadrupling the price that financial markets place on carbon dioxide emissions, the head of Spain’s biggest power generator said.
French proposal on 2030 EU energy goals could ease deadlock
Barbara Lewis, Reuters
A new French strategy on how to offset the economic impact of proposed 2030 climate and energy goals could help EU leaders to agree on them later this year, diplomats said on the sidelines of a meeting of European leaders in Brussels on Friday.
EU energy and climate talks – not Juncker – are the real show in Brussels
Fiona Harvey, theguardian.com
Drivers through the European quarter in central Brussels on Friday got a shock as giant banners were unfurled in front of the EU buildings showing political leaders speeding off the edge of a cliff.
***LB: Also in this story “Under discussion are the EU’s future targets on key energy issues: chiefly, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
Germany and EU row over energy subsidies
Alex Barker and Jeevan Vasagar, Financial Times
Brussels and Berlin traded barbs on Thursday amid a bitter row over EU competition rules allegedly scuppering reforms to Germany’s prized renewable energy programme.
***LB: Also in this story “The dispute relates to the billions of euros of German public subsidies deployed to promote the energiewende shift to renewables while at the same time shielding heavy industry from the costs.”
House passes bill to increase oil and gas exploration
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
House Energy Mania: On Thursday, the House passed 229-185 legislation that expands energy production offshore and on federal lands.
***LB: Also in this story “The bill, sponsored by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) mandates that the Interior Department hold offshore oil and gas lease sales that have been delayed.”
Vulnerable Senate Dems get hit on natural gas exports
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) are capitalizing on legislation the House approved this week in their Senate campaigns.
(Australia’s) Abbott ‘optimistic’ on carbon tax repeal despite crossbench senator’s concerns
Gabrielle Chan, theguardian.com
The carbon tax repeal looks set to pass the new senate after July 7 but the prime minister declared he would take nothing for granted.
(UK) Spending watchdog criticises ministers over £16bn renewable energy deals
Terry Macalister, The Guardian
A parliamentary spending watchdog warns today that the government may have handed benefits to corporate power providers at the expense of consumers by awarding £16.6bn of renewable energy contracts without putting them out to competitive tender.
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
Beijing emitters trade 1.6 mln carbon permits in first 7 mths of pilot programme
Kathy Chen and Fayen Wong, Reuters
Big emitters traded up to 1.6 million carbon permits on the Chinese capital’s pilot emissions market in its first seven months of operations, the exchange said on Friday.
Indonesia Seeks $5 Billion to Cut CO2 From Deforestation
Fitri Wulandari, Bloomberg
Indonesia needs about $5 billion in aid to hit its target for reducing emissions, according to the agency set up to protect rainforests and peatlands.
DOE project hits carbon-capture milestone
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Department of Energy (DOE) touted the carbon-capture technology it is funding Thursday, saying a project at a hydrogen production facility in Port Arthur, Texas, has now captured more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide.
***LB: Also in this story “The facility, operated in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals Inc., catches more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide released by the company’s hydrogen plant that would otherwise go into the atmosphere”
Does carbon capture and storage need a makeover?
Gerard Wynn, RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
Carbon capture and storage is a vital but unloved technology, disliked by green groups and unneeded by fossil fuel companies, and will need both to progress. http://jlne.ws/TDLQFI
Carbon tax repeal: Hydro Tasmania says it will cut nearly 100 jobs
Oliver Milman, the guardian.com
The state-owned renewable energy firm Hydro Tasmania has announced it will cut nearly 100 jobs, blaming the repeal of the carbon tax as a factor in its decision.
Natural gas / coal
Steel makers in India benefit from cheaper coal
Abhishek Shanker and Rajesh Kumar, Business Day
India’s steel makers are set for a rebound. Falling fuel costs just as a new government promises to revive demand growth from the slowest pace in five years, are burnishing their earnings outlook.
Encana Sells Bighorn Assets to Apollo for $1.8 Billion
Jim Polson, Bloomberg
Encana Corp., Canada’s largest natural gas producer, agreed to sell its Bighorn assets in Alberta to Apollo Global Management LLC for about $1.8 billion as the company continues its shift into oil production.
Japan trading firm Sojitz in talks to buy undeveloped Australia coal mine
Yuka Obayashi, Reuters
Japan’s Sojitz Corp is in talks with a coal mine developer in Australia to buy an undeveloped asset as the mid-sized trading house looks to replace its Minerva mine whose life is due to end in 2019, a company official said.
China’s Shanxi Coal sues firm in port scandal over payment guarantees
Fayen Wong and Chen Aizhu, Reuters
China’s Shanxi Coal International Energy Group said it was suing the company at the centre of the alleged metals financing fraud at Qingdao port and its parent for over $177 million in missed payments the two had guaranteed, a move that suggests the scandal is starting to affect other sectors in China.
Goldman’s Cash Drives Dong Hybrid Debt to Record: Nordic Credit
Peter Levring, Bloomberg
Since Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) bought a stake in Dong Energy A/S last year, the utility’s hybrid debt has soared to a record, boosting investor returns as the Danish firm uses the cash to rebuild its business.
Germany’s New Coal Plants Push Power Glut to 4-Year High
Julia Mengewein and Rachel Morison, Bloomberg
Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years.
Probe into energy firms’ £100 per home profits
Emily Gosden, The Telegraph
Britain’s Big Six energy companies face the threat of being broken up for ripping off customers after regulator Ofgem asked the top competition watchdog to investigate their profits and prices.
China boosts solar exports to developing countries as trade tension with US mounts
Danny Bradbury, BusinessGreen
Renewable energy sales are growing faster among developing countries than they are globally, it was revealed this week.
***LB: Also in this story “Developing countries have become net exporters of renewable energy goods, said the document, entitled South-South trade in renewable energy: a trade flow analysis of selected environmental goods.”
£8.5m handed out in first two weeks of Green Deal cashback scheme
Around £8.5m has been handed out in the first two weeks of a scheme offering households money back when they make energy efficiency improvements, according to industry estimates.
Detroit Electric re-emerges with UK production plant
Will Nichols, GreenBusiness
Detroit Electric, which promised to build the world’s fastest electric sports car in Michigan, is instead moving production to the UK.
***LB: Also in this story “The company’s global headquarters remains in Detroit’s iconic Fisher Building, which will oversee sales activities in North and South America, and eventually assume responsibility for developing, engineering and ultimately assembling new Detroit Electric models.”
‘Risky Business’ Report Says Two Things about Water — One Is Obvious, the Other Is Not
Circle of Blue
Water is largely ignored in a report about U.S. economic risks of climate change.
Environmental Agency Approves $511 Million Loan for Tappan Zee Replacement
Joseph Berger, New York Times
The New York State agency that lends federal money for sewer plants and other clean-water projects on Thursday approved a $511 million loan to the Thruway Authority for 17 projects that are part of the building of a twin-span replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River.
London commuters urged to turn to tap water to slash carbon emissions
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Commuters travelling on London’s swelteringly hot tube trains and buses during the summer months will be used to reminders to take a bottle of water on their journey.
Sinopec to boost energy efficiency, plans $1.5 bln spending in 2015
Asia’s top refiner Sinopec plans to spend some four billion yuan ($644.23 million) on more than 800 projects in 2014 as part of a strategy to double its energy efficiency in 10 years, local media reported on Friday.