In this edition, day-two coverage of the European Parliament vote to cut carbon permit supply. Plus, Washington Post coverage of the EPA, in: Supreme Court to hear arguments Tuesday over EPA and New EPA chief visits China to talk air pollution in first trip abroad. And, in coverage of nat gas markets, Bloomberg has Keystone Foe Added to Obama Inner Circle With Podesta.
Quote of the Day:
“Today was extremely important to get the first emergency measures started. This shows the European Union cares about its emissions trading scheme.”
–Marcus Ferdinand, an analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, a market research firm in Oslo, in The New York Times’ “European Lawmakers Vote to Support Carbon Trading System”
UPDATE 2-European Parliament votes to cut carbon permit supply
The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to remove surplus permits from the carbon market from next year to prop up allowance prices on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), ending months of argument over the plan.
**RKB — Continuing coverage from yesterday’s announcement. Repeating the EU press release below.
ETS backloading: carbon market schemes at a turning point
European Parliament Release
Plans to freeze the auctioning of some CO2 permits, so as to raise their price and thus encourage firms to invest in low-carbon innovation, will be put to a final vote on Tuesday, after EU ministers endorsed Parliament’s July 2013 proposal setting stricter conditions for the freeze. The aim is to restore the incentive effect of the Emissions Trading System, which is designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.
European Lawmakers Vote to Support Carbon Trading System
The New York Times
The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a rescue plan for the European Union’s system for trading carbon-emission credits. The lawmakers hope to revive prices for carbon credits, which have been so low that the system is creating few incentives for smokestack industries to cut back on their emissions of greenhouse gases.
Supreme Court to hear arguments Tuesday over EPA pollution rules
The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether the Environmental Protection Agency can require Midwestern states to cut the smog and soot that travels from their power plants downwind to Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
New EPA chief visits China to talk air pollution in first trip abroad
The Washington Post
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy embarked on her first international trip this week, visiting China to talk about collaborating with that country to combat air pollution and climate change.
Local leaders planning for climate effects
When it comes to climate change, local officials have a message for Washington: Lead or get out of the way.
German Energy Policy Said to Switch to SPD
Germany’s Social Democrats are poised to assume control of the country’s energy overhaul in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s third term, party officials with knowledge of the matter said.
Opinion: Climate Change Capitalism
US News & World Report
Several leading energy companies and public utilities have quietly accepted the reality of climate change. They acknowledge that carbon will be taxed or a price added to it to discourage fossil fuel use and encourage renewable energy sources. In their long-term strategies, they now assume that the cost of carbon will rise significantly.
Newly discovered greenhouse gas ‘7,000 times more powerful than CO2’
A new greenhouse gas that is 7,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth has been discovered by researchers in Toronto.
Climate Leadership Conference
Association of Climate Change Officers
February 24-26, 2014
San Diego, CA
Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2014
March 26-28, 2014
San Francisco, California
9 states tighten carbon dioxide pollution rules
The Patrick administration has issued final amendments to a regulation it says will reduce up to 90 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution from power plants across nine New England and mid-Atlantic states during the next six years.
Economist champions carbon credits for ag lands
An agricultural economist advocates for farmers and ranchers to receive credits with a monetary value for the carbon their acres absorb.
State releases carbon footprint app
The Business Journal (California)
California has released a new app that businesses and families can use to calculate their impact on the environment.
Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels
EBRD Scraps Most Financing for Coal Power Plants
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will scrap most assistance for coal-fired power plants, joining the World Bank and the U.S. in a retreat from supporting the most polluting fossil fuel.
UPDATE 1-EIA sees 2014 U.S. natgas output up from 2013 record high
The U.S. Energy Information Administration raised its estimate on Tuesday for domestic natural gas production in 2014, expecting output next year to be up 1.4 percent from 2013’s estimated record-high levels.
Keystone Foe Added to Obama Inner Circle With Podesta
John Podesta’s return to the White House, aimed at bolstering President Barack Obama, places an opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline within his circle just as the administration weighs whether to approve the project.
BHP says U.S. shale business to generate cash by 2016
BHP Billiton, the world’s largest miner and a top investor in U.S. onshore oil and gas, said on Tuesday its U.S. shale business should generate cash from 2016, contributing almost $3 billion a year to the group by the end of the decade.
Turkey to increase its stake in TANAP gas pipeline project
Turkey is expected to increase its 20 percent stake in the multi-billion dollar Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP), designed to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, Azeri state energy company SOCAR said.
Solargiga of China Forms Venture to Develop Solar Farms in Ghana
Solargiga Energy Holdings Ltd. (757), a Chinese solar manufacturer, formed a joint venture to develop 200 megawatts of photovoltaic plants in Ghana. The company will own 90 percent of the venture with Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, which promotes green projects in the country’s north, Solargiga said in a statement.
UBS Buys 50 Percent Stake in Texas Wind Farm From EDF Renewables
UBS AG (UBSN)’s International Infrastructure Fund purchased a 50 percent stake in a 161-megawatt Texas wind farm owned by a unit of French utility Electricite de France SA. Construction began in June on Spinning Spur II, adjacent to EDF’s Spinning Spur I, and it’s expected to be operational by mid-2014, the companies said in a joint statement today. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed.
Pennon to Treat Wales’ Refuse at $367 Million Waste-Power Plant
Pennon Group Plc (PNN), the third-largest publicly traded water company in the U.K., won a contract to treat waste in Wales at a 223 million-pound ($367 million) plant that will generate power from burning the refuse. Pennon’s Viridor unit will handle waste from five local authorities in south Wales including Cardiff and Newport at its Trident Park energy-from-waste facility, Pennon said today in a statement.
Lloyds Bank Mulls Loan to Utility-Scale U.K. Biomass Power Plant
Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) is studying lending to a project to convert a power plant from burning coal to wood pellets next year as it expects growth in green energy.
RPT-Fitch EMEA Utilities Outlook: Energy Affordability Drives Risks
he risk of new taxes, levies or tariff controls on the European utilities sector will increase in 2014 as rising bills stretch affordability for end-users, Fitch Ratings says. This risk, together with low demand, high natural gas prices and weak wholesale electricity prices, drives our Negative Outlook for the EMEA utilities sector.
RPT-UPDATE 1-Macquarie-led investor group buys DONG gas plant in UK
An investor group led by Macquarie on Tuesday purchased the Severn gas-fired power station in Britain from Danish utility DONG Energy, adding to a trend as investors snap up power plant assets in Europe.
Can the U.S. compete with Germany on solar costs?
A recent Deutsche Bank report projects global newly installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity will reach 50 GW annually in 2014, a roughly 50 percent increase over anticipated new installed capacity during 2013. Germany has been the longtime undisputed champion of solar deployment, with 35.2 GW of installed capacity as of Nov. 1, although the installation pace lead has shifted in 2013 to Japan. But the U.S. is accelerating — and is expected to install 4.4 GW of solar this year, about the same absolute amount as the Japaneseand more than the Germans.
How a rare metals shortage is impacting the future of green tech
With the global push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it’s ironic that several energy- or resource-saving technologies aren’t being used to the fullest simply because we don’t have enough raw materials to make them. tried to make that switch in 2009, companies like General Electric cried foul: They wouldn’t be able to get hold of enough rare earths to make the new bulbs.
Saudis Plan $4 Billion in Water Storage Investments, Okaz Says
Saudi Arabia, straining to meet water demands from the kingdom’s oil and population needs, is planning 15 billion Saudi riyals ($4 billion) in water-storage projects, the Okaz news agency said, citing National Water Co.’s chief executive officer.
OECD: Effective carbon prices (November 4, 2013)
Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (Posted September 12, 2013)
The Future of China’s Power Sector (posted August 27, 2013)
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Sub-national involvement in NAMA development (posted August 7, 2013)
Ecofys’ International Climate Policies Unit
U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy
Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
Four energy policies can keep the 2 Degree C climate goal alive (Posted June 10, 2013)
Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 (Posted June 10, 2013)