In today’s edition, China encounters problems in addressing climate change, whether it is with its carbon scheme or because of its dependency to coal. China has also decided to break apart its largest energy company’s monopoly on natural-gas pipelines. In the U.S., Republicans have blocked the energy bill, scuttling vote on Keystone XL pipeline in the process.
Quote of the day
“There is no reason for companies to pay millions of yuan a year (for carbon permits) when environment and energy regulators already charge us other pollution fees”
An official at Guangdong’s provincial government-owned iron and steel producer SGIS Songshan, in the Reuters’ story Guangdong carbon scheme sparks China green vs growth dispute
Guangdong carbon scheme sparks China green vs growth dispute
Kathy Chen and Stian Reklev, Reuters
China’s campaign against pollution and greenhouse gases is hitting early resistance in Guangdong province, where more than 60 manufacturers are holding back from a carbon market launched last year, saying the scheme is unfair and too costly.
***LB: Also in this story “Despite strong backing from Beijing, Guangdong has limited power to force SGIS or other hold-outs – mostly cement and steel makers – to participate in its carbon market.”
China’s Coal Dependency Threatens Efforts to Curb Warming
Michael Forsythe, The New York Times
Projected increases in China’s coal consumption may render it “almost impossible” for the world to limit global temperature increases from greenhouse gases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) unless the country acts quickly to cap and then reduce its dependency on the fossil fuel, a new study has found.
Beijing Shakes Up Its Biggest Energy Company
Wayne Ma, The Wall Street Journal
China is shaking up its largest energy company by breaking apart its monopoly on natural-gas pipelines, which for years has discouraged the independent development of promising new supplies of the cleaner-burning fuel.
***LB: Also in this story “China is thought to have rich shale-gas resources, but the high cost of development and the dominance of its state-owned energy companies are among the factors that have discouraged small-scale development, which was key to the U.S. shale boom.”
GOP blocks energy bill, scuttling vote on Keystone XL pipeline
Alexander Bolton, The Hill
Senate Republicans on Monday blocked bipartisan-energy efficiency legislation and derailed a promised vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, striking a blow against two Democratic incumbents facing tough re-election races.
***LB: Also in this story “Monday’s impasse likely dooms a Senate vote on the pipeline, a high priority of Republicans and Democrats from energy rich states, for the rest of this year.”
Keystone and the Udall-Gardner race
Andrew Restuccia, Politico
For Democrats hoping to hold on to the Senate, the fault line in U.S. energy politics runs through communities like this rural enclave in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.
Mexico Oil Opening May Release Gusher for Foreigners
Adam Williams, Bloomberg
When Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto arrived at the March 18 rally, he was greeted like a rock star.
***LB: Also in this story “For foreign oil giants such as Chevron Corp. (CVX), Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), it means they’ll get access to untapped oil reserves that Pemex says could total 113 billion barrels, including 26.6 billion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.”
Report: Global renewable energy jobs count tops 6.5 million
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Approximately 6.5 million peopled were employed by the renewable energy industry worldwide last year, according to the latest figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
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Cutting carbon from world’s power plants would cost $44 trillion
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s power generation industry to levels that would limit global warming to safe levels through 2050 would cost $44 trillion, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.
Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power plants: Key Challenges
Kyle Aarons, C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
In coordination with states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces a number of policy challenges as it develops its guidelines for carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.
Investment in lowering carbon emissions could stimulate economic growth
Michael Molitor, Ockham’s Razor (ABC)
Most key decision-makers in government and business have come to believe that responding to climate change will be expensive.
Natural Gas / Coal
GAO: Feds fail to inspect high-priority gas wells
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Federal officials have not inspected more than half of the thousands of oil and gas wells designated as “high priority,” an investigation from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Monday.
Chile Green Tax on Coal Increases Cheap Shale Gas Gamble
Matt Craze, Bloomberg
Chile is gambling on overcoming a looming energy crisis in the biggest copper-producing country by generating more power with U.S. shale gas, just as prices of the fuel are rising.
COLUMN-Frack the future: Britain’s onshore oil, gas quest is on
John Kemp, Reuters
They were crazy dreamers who dared to believe that oil and gas could be produced from beneath England’s rolling green hills.
***LB: Also in this story “Small companies such as Alkane, Egdon, Cuadrilla, Dart, Island Gas, Newton and Star bid for and won Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) in Britain’s 13th onshore licensing round held back in 2008.”
Blackstone-Backed Generator Plans Solar IPO: Corporate India
Natalie Obiko Pearson, Businessweek
Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt., an Indian generator backed by Blackstone Group LP (BX:US), plans to sell shares in its solar unit as it prepares to double investment in photovoltaic projects to $2 billion by 2016.
Solar-powered roads: Coming to a highway near you?
Teo Kermeliotis, CNN
As a kid growing up in the mid-1960s, Scott Brusaw would spend hours setting up miniature speedways on the living room carpet so that he could race his favorite slot cars up and down the electric tracks.
6 electric utilities charging a new energy course
Garrett Hering, GreenBiz.com
America’s nearly 3,300 electric utilities increasingly are being portrayed as if they are on the proverbial Titanic, futilely rearranging the deck chairs of an ill-fated industry doomed to disappear beneath the powerful waves of 21st century innovation.
E.ON calls for plant compensation as sector crisis bites
Christoph Steitz, Reuters
Germany’s biggest utility E.ON on Tuesday called for compensation for its loss-making gas-fired power stations after posting a 12-percent fall in first-quarter earnings.
Subsidy review announcement threatens shake up for solar farms
James Murray, Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is expected to publish a major consultation on the level of financial support provided to solar farms this week, with government and industry sources indicating it could be released as early as today.
Green Investment Bank finances £15m London waste-to-energy plant
Food waste from London hotels, restaurants and retailers is to be turned into renewable energy and compost, after the government-backed Green Investment Bank (GIB) announced it is invest in a new £15m facility in Enfield.
Essar Energy panel backs Ruia family’s take-private offer
Andy Sharman, The Financial Times
The independent committee of Essar Energy has “reluctantly” recommended minority shareholders accept a hostile offer from the company’s biggest shareholder to take the power and refining group private.
***LB: Also in this story “India’s Ruia family hold 78 per cent of Essar, so need a small percentage of minority shareholders to back the bid.”
INSIGHT-From black to green: U.S. billionaire’s “Road to Damascus”
Richard Walmanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, Reuters
Billionaire Tom Steyer has rapidly become one of America’s most visible environmental advocates, vowing to punish lawmakers who don’t oppose climate change and pledging to spend up to $100 million to put the issue center stage in the Nov. 4 elections.
Looks Like Rain Again. And Again
Justin Gillis, The New York Times
The acid test of a scientific theory is whether it makes predictions that eventually come true.
How ‘Big Corn’ lost the ethanol battle to Philadelphia refiners
Cezary Podkul and Jeff Mason, Reuters
Six months ago the U.S. oil industry scored a surprise win against farm groups when the Obama administration proposed slashing the amount of ethanol refiners must blend into gasoline, a move that could save them billions of dollars.