In this issue, top stories include: The Globe and Mail’s “Global carbon market value reaches $176-billion” a surprisingly robust year for carbon trading despite challenges,  an interesting report about nuclear fusion technology in ‘Safer’ nuclear fusion power comes closer to reality from ANI and a report on RGGI called RGGI States Cut CO2 by 23 Percent in First Three Years.

Quote of the Day:

We are in a very difficult situation, where we don’t have any positive price signal coming from the international community.

-Pedro Moura Costa, executive president of Rio de Janeiro’s environmental commodity exchange, BVRio in The Global and Mail’s piece Global carbon market value reaches $176-billion.

Lead Stories

Global carbon market value reaches $176-billion
The Globe and Mail
Carbon market trading rose 11 per cent to a record value of $176-billion (U.S.) in 2011 as an increase in secondary trading volumes offset lower prices and slowing economies, the World Bank said on Wednesday.
**JK – The story also points out: “New Zealand’s carbon market value tripled to $351-million, while the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in North America fell by nearly half to $249-million.”

Deal or no deal, Morgan Stanley commodity trade shrinks
Morgan Stanley’s total U.S. power market transactions averaged about $3.1 billion per quarter, according to a Reuters review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports. But by the first quarter of this year it had slumped to about $570 million, the lowest in at least five years.
**JK – Interesting snapshot of the contracting commodities desks.

China Emissions Suggest Climate Change Could Be Faster than Thought
China’s carbon emissions could be nearly 20 percent higher than previously thought, a new analysis of official Chinese data showed on Sunday, suggesting the pace of global climate change could be even faster than currently predicted.

China-U.S. Trade Tensions Rise as Renewable Energy Sags
When solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC collapsed in September after winning a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, President Barack Obama’s administration blamed China’s even bigger aid for its renewable-energy industry.
The China Development Bank Corp. in 2010 provided Solyndra’s Chinese competitors more than $30 billion in credit, dwarfing U.S. support for solar manufacturers as the price of polysilicon, the main material in solar cells, plummeted, Jonathan Silver, the Energy Department’s loan-guarantee chief at the time, told a House committee.

‘Safer’ nuclear fusion power comes closer to reality
University of Tennessee engineers have made a giant step toward developing nuclear fusion power.
The researchers have successfully developed a key technology in developing an experimental reactor that can demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for the power grid
**JK – Interesting – is this the nuke breakthrough?

A degree of responsibility
Mr Dickinson is articulate and strident on the topic. “It’s my belief that some corporations have stopped governments acting on climate change,” he says. “What corporations are doing is stopping governments from ruling the world without taking responsibility themselves.”
**JK – Nice look at the pair behind the Carbon Disclosure Project.

RGGI States Cut CO2 by 23 Percent in First Three Years
Renewable Energy News
According to the program administrator of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — a nine-state cap-and-trade market established in the Northeast in 2008 — average annual CO2 emissions have fallen by 23 percent compared to emission levels before the start of the program.
**JK – And then this…

Can an Enviro Lawsuit Salvage Cap and Trade in New Jersey?
InsideClimate News
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Environment New Jersey filed a lawsuit Wednesday in a state court against Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The groups say Christie’s exit from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, was unlawful because it didn’t give the public any chance to weigh in.”

Banks Look to Burnish Their Images by Backing Green Technology Firms
NY Times
Bank of America officials said the initiative encompassed steps including underwriting initial public offerings for so-called green companies, making loans to consumers who buy hybrid vehicles and helping developers to retrofit old factories as well as investing in renewable energy.

Carbon tax and Europe to dominate IATA conference
The world’s airline bosses meet from Sunday in Beijing, with talks likely to be dominated by a bitterly opposed carbon tax, the European debt crisis and the perennial headache of high oil prices.”

Wishful thinking: If we only had a stable energy policy
I often hear the comment — “If we only had an energy policy” — but what does that really mean? In this column I will provide three examples — originating with both Democrats and Republicans.

Tweaking U.S. tax code could spur green energy: senator
Chris Coons introduced legislation on Thursday that would allow a broad range of renewable power generation and transmission projects to qualify for a tax structure used widely by pipeline and other energy-related companies.

Peter Gleick Reinstated at Pacific Institute
The water and climate expert Peter Gleick, a scientist who masqueraded as a board member of a conservative organization to gain access to its confidential financial information, has been reinstated as president of the Pacific Institute, the environmentally minded think tank that he founded.
**JK – The Heartland freak-out to this matter was at the least entertaining.

France warns Rio+20 environment summit may fail
French President Francois Hollande warned on Friday that a major international summit to be held this month in Brazil aimed at breaking years of deadlock on pressing environmental issues may fail.
**JK – I put the failure odds at 2-1.


Abbott won’t repeal carbon tax: Gillard
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she doesn’t expect the Liberal party to repeal the carbon tax if it wins the next federal election.

Australia not alone on carbon pricing: Combet
The Age
CLIMATE Change Minister Greg Combet will today counter claims that Australia is acting alone on carbon pricing with an analysis that finds more than 50 jurisdictions will have emissions trading schemes in 2013.

Cap-and-Trade for Electric Cars Gets Going in California
Sustainable Business
Nissan has credits to sell because it sells the electric Leaf there, and Tesla Motors has sold some $13 million worth of credits to Honda and at least one other automaker, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

EU Court Said to Dismiss Steel Producers’ Suit on Carbon
The European Court of Justice declared inadmissible two lawsuits brought by European steel producers contesting the European Union’s method for allocating free carbon permits, according to two EU officials.

EU Pledge ’Fair and Equal’ Access to CO2 Auction Proposal
European Union regulators pledged to guarantee “fair and equal” access for market participants to a planned proposal on delaying auctions of some carbon allowances to curb oversupply.

Natural Gas/Coal

Shell, TA Team up to Offer LNG
Shell and TravelCenters of America announced that starting in 2013, they plan to sell liquefied natural gas to on-highway customers through the existing network of full-service TA and Petro fueling centers. (LNG is viewed as a more suitable alternative fuel for long-haul operations because it has more range than compressed natural gas, or CNG.)

Exelon Intent on Changing with Power Market
Wind, solar and other renewable power will get a boost when natural gas and power prices eventually rise, Mr. Crane said. He predicted that prompt natural gas prices could rise to about $4 a million British thermal units by 2014, from about $2.30 currently, driven by rising consumption levels.

Power Industry Grapples with Natural Gas Markets
Over the past decade, the use of natural gas to generate electricity has expanded significantly as a result of market deregulation and the growth of merchant combined-cycle natural gas power plants, which are easy to site, finance and build compared to coal and nuclear power plants. Electric power demand for natural gas climbed from 5.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2000 to 6.8 Tcf in 2009 – the U.S. consumed a total of about 23 Tcf of natural gas in 2009.

Renewable Energy Could Fall Victim to Low Natural Gas Prices Warns IEA
Yahoo! Finance
The emergence of “fracking” has led to abundant supplies and low prices for natural gas. This has put pressure on the renewable energy industry which by comparison is more costly. When burnt, natural gas produces roughly 50 percent of the carbon emissions of coal. “Renewable energy may be the victim of cheap gas prices if governments do not stick to their renewable support schemes,” said Fatih Birol, chief economist for the IEA.

AEP enters natural-gas market
The Columbus Dispatch
Customers soon will be able to buy natural gas from an affiliate of a company known for electricity, American Electric Power.
Ohio utility regulators have certified BlueStar Energy Solutions, owned by AEP, to sell natural-gas contracts across the state. BlueStar will act as a natural-gas marketer, an alternative to utilities such as Columbia Gas of Ohio.

Honeywell in Blooming Natural Gas Market
Recently, Honeywell International Inc.’s (HON) group company, UOP LLC, opened a manufacturing and operations center in Penang, Malaysia for production of natural gas membrane elements.
This is part of the company’s initiative to support the flourishing natural gas market. Honeywell is engaged in development of technologies for production of clean sources of power supply.


Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation Makes $40 Million Available
Press release
The Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation is making $40 million in funding available for innovative renewable energy projects. Targeted areas of interest include wind generation, geothermal, runofriver and micro generation hydro, solar and biomass projects.

Gazprom leads the field in bids for EDF power station
Foreign bidders are heading the queue to buy a gas-fired power station being sold by EDF, the state-owned French utility.
Russian controlled Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas business, is understood to be among the front runners to buy Sutton Bridge, a 819 megawatt station, in south-east Lincolnshire.

U.S. House May Split Up Package of Expired Tax Breaks
During the hearing, Tiberi said lawmakers and backers of the production tax credit for wind energy agree that the break should be phased out over several years.
The credit, worth 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour, is scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.
“We had a lot of consensus from not just members but supporters on this issue of phasing out the tax credit,” Tiberi said.
Wind industry spending is slowing in anticipation of the tax break’s expiration, in part because facilities must begin producing energy by Dec. 31 to qualify for the credit.


Pacific Power seeks bidders to handle renewable options
Gazette Times
Pacific Power is seeking bidders to provide tradable Renewable Energy Credits, as well as retail marketing services for two of its Oregon green power options: Blue Sky Usage and Blue Sky Habitat.


Bloom Energy’s Latest Funding Round Spurs Clean Tech Data Centers
Sunnyvale, California based fuel cell maker, Bloom Energy, has raised another $150 million venture capital investment – making the clean tech firm one of the valued pure-play companies in the market.

Fuel Cells Inching into Power Generation Markets
As for fuel cells, they have an electrical efficiency rate of 47 percent compared to 30-35 percent for legacy combustion systems, says FuelCell Energy. In combined heat and power applications, where the heat is captured and used, the result is an overall energy efficiency of up to 80 percent, it adds.

Propel Fuels trying to transform auto industry
SF Gate
Last month, the chief executive officer of Propel Fuels in Redwood City opened the country’s first station where drivers can pump gasoline, ethanol and biodiesel, cyclists can get tuneups, and commuters can find public transit schedules.

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