Natural gas tops our Leads section, including a position from ExxonMobil, the globe’s largest oil and gas company, that nat gas will overtake coal as a global energy source in the middle of the next decade, in part because of the environmental benefits it offers. In the Carbon section, we feature the Union of Concerned Scientist’s blog series, where they highlight excerpts from a recently published article in the Electricity Journal showing that almost 60 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired generators could be candidates for closure based on their poor economic profile relative to competing cleaner options like natural gas and wind. The group also found that a modest carbon price of $20/ton of CO2 would more than double that figure to nearly 138 GW, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 745.7 million tons.

Quote of the Day:

“You can’t attack the whole correction factor but you can challenge part of it, around 5 percent of the 12 percent, which is a huge amount of money.”

–Axel Eggert, director of public affairs at the European steelmakers association Eurofer, in Reuters’ “Industry launches EU backloading challenge”

Lead Stories

Exxon forecasts natural gas to be world’s second most-used fuel
Financial Times
Natural gas will overtake coal as a global energy source in the middle of the next decade, in part because of the environmental benefits it offers, according to ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil and gas company.
http://jlne.ws/1e7gTCS

Fracking Boom Pushes U.S. Oil Output to 25-Year High
Bloomberg
U.S. crude production rose to the highest level in a quarter-century as a shale drilling boom in states such as Texas and North Dakota cut the need for foreign oil and pushed the country closer to energy independence.
http://jlne.ws/1f999fW

Industry launches EU backloading challenge
Reuters
Europe’s heavy industry is firing a barrage of legal challenges to cuts in the carbon permits they will get up to 2020 – subsidies worth over 4 billion euros ($US5.5 billion) – with at least nine firms opening the assault in a Dutch court.
http://jlne.ws/19jt1g5
**RKB — Based on a conservative estimate, European industry has been unjustifiably under-allocated 168 million permits in 2013 and around 800 million permits up to 2020, argues the Utility Support Group’s Vianney Schyns, a legal expert advising a consortium of chemical firms including SABIC, OCI Nitrogen, Ineos and Lanxess.

Cost savings fear if greenhouse gas targets are scaled back
Financial Times
Watering down the UK’s efforts to tackle global warming would risk wiping out at least 100bn sterling in cost savings even if shale gas production takes off, the government’s chief climate change advisers have calculated.
http://jlne.ws/1bGgeor

UK plan to halve carbon emissions affordable, adviser says
Bloomberg in Sydney Morning Herald
The U.K.’s ambition to cut carbon emissions by half is affordable and mustn’t be watered down, the government’s adviser on global warming said.
http://jlne.ws/1bzeTyI

This Week In V-Carbon: Is The COP Glass Half Full Or Half Empty?
Ecosystem Marketplace/V-Carbon
Is the COP glass half full or half empty? Depends on your perspective. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Warsaw in November, ended on a positive note for some observers when negotiators managed to reach a certain level of agreement on key issues. But the outcome of the 19th international climate conference (COP19) was not seen as a cause for celebration by several COP veterans, given the increasingly tense discussions between developed and developing countries over who should foot the climate bill and how.
http://jlne.ws/1bYdsMW

Report: Big U.S. Businesses Ready For A Carbon Price
Forbes
First came the news that a majority of the American public and many big investors are increasingly open to curbing the effect of global warming and supportive of mitigating carbon emissions by government action. Now comes a new report from the CDP revealing that many of the largest U.S. and global companies are ready for it too.
http://jlne.ws/1e7iPuY
**Forbes contributor Michael L. Krancer is Partner & Energy, Petrochemical and Natural Resources Practice Group Leader at Blank Rome LLP and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The report follows, below.

THE REPORT:
Use of internal carbon price by companies as incentive and strategic planning tool
CDP
http://jlne.ws/1dspD1J

2014 World Cup to nearly double carbon emissions over 2010
Grist.org/Think Progress
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will dump 2.72 million tons of carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere, according to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). To put that number into perspective, it’s equivalent to the CO2 produced by 560,000 cars in a year, or 136,000 American homes. And that’s over 1 million tons more CO2 than was emitted by the previous World Cup in 2010.
http://jlne.ws/J9e6e2

Events

Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA
climateleadershipconference.org/

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California
www.nacw2014.org

Carbon

Editorial: The new reality on carbon emissions
The Dallas Morning News
Exxon Mobil used to spend millions of dollars to lobby against efforts to tax or limit carbon emissions, and even denied the existence of man-made climate change. Now, the energy giant and several other businesses are factoring the likelihood of a carbon tax into their long-range plans.
http://jlne.ws/1bxxqYN

Modest Carbon Price Will Significantly Lower Power Sector Emissions
Union of Concerned Scientists’ The Equation blog
Last week some colleagues and I published an article in the Electricity Journal showing that almost 60 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired generators could be candidates for closure based on their poor economic profile relative to competing cleaner options like natural gas and wind. We also found that a modest carbon price of $20/ton of CO2 would more than double that figure to nearly 138 GW, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 745.7 million tons. You can read more about our analysis here and in blog posts by my colleagues Jeff Deyette and Steve Clemmer.
http://jlne.ws/18W5EuX
**Part 3 of 3; earlier blogs clickable from page.

Electricity bills to rise regardless of carbon tax, QCA shows
Brisbane Times
For the first time, the Queensland Competition Authority has released two draft prices for the next financial year.
One which includes the carbon tax. And one without.
http://jlne.ws/19DWPQI
**repeats in Power

Abbott’s nightmare is unfolding in WA
Business Spectator (Australia)
Federal politics in Australia, at present, is like watching a home-owner planting flowers in their front garden, knowing full well that their house is likely to be demolished for a new freeway. The flowers just aren’t that interesting until we know what’s happening with the freeway.
http://jlne.ws/1kC22hl

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

Energy: Forest fuels
Financial Times
Wood pellets sound harmless. In fact they are highly combustible, 100 times easier to ignite than coal. When a pile of them caught fire at a power station in Tilbury, Essex, last year, parts of the plant were knocked out for six months. “You have to treat this stuff like gunpowder,” says a spokesman for Drax, the British power company. “We’ve spent 10 years trying to work out how to handle it.”
http://jlne.ws/1hOdEAS

Editorial: Europe’s biomorass
Financial Times
Ask most people how the EU generates the growing proportion of its energy it has to produce from renewable sources and they would probably plump for wind turbines or solar panels. They would be wrong. The majority of Europe’s renewable energy comes from neither of these sources. It comes, in fact, from bits of wood.
http://jlne.ws/18W1Nhu

Plant in Court Case Moves to Comply With Law It Fought
Bloomberg
As lawyers argued in the U.S. Supreme Court over forcing power companies to install pollution scrubbers on power plants, the facility at the center of the case was busy doing something else: installing scrubbers.
http://jlne.ws/1cpStgU

Merkel Embraces Coal as Rookie SPD Lawmaker Makes Mark on Policy
Bloomberg
For a first-time lawmaker, coal promoter Ulrich Freese made the most of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pledge to counter rising power prices.
http://jlne.ws/1fmllLa

Important Test of Overseas Coal Funding Restrictions: Pakistan Coal Plant Set for Vote
NRDC posting on The Energy Collective Blog
The recent commitments to end public funding of overseas coal projects are set to come up for their first important test. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to vote on whether it will provide $900 million in funding for a new coal power plant in Pakistan – the Jamshoro Coal-Fired Power Plant. The proposed project is set to come for a vote before the ADB Board this Monday (Dec. 9). This project clearly violates the terms of those public commitments so the U.S., U.K., Nordic countries, and others must vote no on that project.
http://jlne.ws/1bzdR5S

Keystone Pipeline Seen Bigger for Suncor Than TransCanada
Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama’s ruling on Keystone XL is becoming more critical for oil-sands producers such as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ) than pipeline builder TransCanada Corp.
http://jlne.ws/1grjjfL

EPA Official Says Exceeding 10% Ethanol in Fuel Not Feasible
Bloomberg
The Environmental Protection Agency determined that it’s not feasible for gasoline refiners to use as much ethanol next year as had been mandated, which is why the agency proposed easing the requirement, an EPA official said.
http://jlne.ws/IH39QU

Power

Canadian Solar Surging on Sales of Power Projects
Bloomberg
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), this year’s second-best performer on the Nasdaq Stock Market, has surged more than sevenfold as a shift toward selling power plants led to its first profitable quarter in more than two years.
More than 41 percent of the Guelph, Ontario-based company’s third-quarter revenue came from developing solar farms, especially in Canada, up from 22 percent a year earlier. That led to net income of $27.7 million.
http://jlne.ws/18nnF4E

Electricity bills to rise regardless of carbon tax, QCA shows
Brisbane Times
For the first time, the Queensland Competition Authority has released two draft prices for the next financial year.
One which includes the carbon tax. And one without.
http://jlne.ws/19DWPQI
**repeats in Carbon

Reports

Use of internal carbon price by companies as incentive and strategic planning tool (Posted December 11, 2013)
CDP
http://jlne.ws/1dspD1J

OECD: Effective carbon prices (November 4, 2013)
http://jlne.ws/176gahP

Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (Posted September 12, 2013)
CDP
http://bit.ly/16mBo8p

The Future of China’s Power Sector (posted August 27, 2013)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
http://bit.ly/14Bk1k2

Sub-national involvement in NAMA development (posted August 7, 2013)
Ecofys’ International Climate Policies Unit
http://bit.ly/19LKChs

U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy
http://bit.ly/12z1YK5

Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
World Bank
http://bit.ly/14KrLza

Four energy policies can keep the 2 Degree C climate goal alive (Posted June 10, 2013)
IEA
http://bit.ly/12Bpk41

Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 (Posted June 10, 2013)
Ecosystem Marketplace
http://bit.ly/12Cyi0X

View all reports >

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