It’s all about investments – and Brics – in today’s edition: India wants to open up its coal sector, while China is inviting private investors to look into a wide range of operations, including hydro power, solar energy, wind power and oil and gas pipelines. And, last but not least, Russia and China finally signed the much-awaited “Power of Siberia” deal, to transport Russian gas to China.
Quote of the day
“It is similar in many ways to China’s investments in Africa where they drive a hard bargain over the price of raw materials but then provide infrastructure for the economies they are doing business with.”
Rain Newton-Smith, head of emerging markets at Oxford Economics, in the BBC News’ story Russia’s Putin signs 30 year gas deal with China
Russia’s Putin signs 30 year gas deal with China
The deal between Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has been 10 years in the making. No official price has been given but it estimated to be worth over $400bn.
EU tells Putin Russia is responsible for ensuring European gas supplies
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a letter on Wednesday that it is up to Gazprom to ensure gas is supplied to Europe in contracted volumes, the European Commission said.
Modi exploring breakup of Coal India, opening up sector-sources
Krishna N Das, Reuters
Newly elected Indian premier Narendra Modi is exploring breaking up state behemoth Coal India Ltd and opening up the sector to foreign investment to boost output and cut imports, said two sources with knowledge of the matter.
***LB: Also in this story “The government will also explore international private-sector partnership in a significant way.”
China invites private investment in 80 major projects
China’s government is inviting private companies to participate in 80 major national projects, spanning energy, information and infrastructure, according to a list published by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
***LB: Also in this story “The move represents the latest step by Beijing to raise the role of the markets in areas of the economy previously monopolised by state conglomerates, including hydro power, solar energy, wind power, and oil and gas pipelines.”
Bond markets join the green revolution
The Financial Times
The corporate green bond market is forecast to reach $20bn this year, double the size of last years issuance, according to Standard & Poors.
Green groups to urge Clinton to take a side on Keystone pipeline
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
A coalition of 30 green groups will send a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday, pressing her to publicly oppose the Keystone XL oil pipeline. http://jlne.ws/1gka3LE
Trafigura seeks investors for Texas oil terminal shipping shale
Global trader Trafigura AG is seeking potential investors to buy a stake in its oil terminal and storage facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, a once-quiet port that has become a bustling hub for shipping Eagle Ford shale crude.
Shell hits back at ‘carbon bubble’ claims
John Vidal, theguardian.com
Shell has hit back at claims that its multi-billion dollar investments in tar sands, fracking and other unconventional oil and gas exploration will create a “carbon bubble” which may backfire catastrophically because of expected global climate change legislation.
Japan court rules against nuclear restart in rare ruling
A Japanese court ruled against allowing the restart of a nuclear power plant west of Tokyo on Wednesday, its operator said, a rare case in which anti-nuclear plaintiffs have successfully won a ruling to shut down reactors.
Insurer’s Climate Change Class Actions: More to Come?
Mica Rosenberg, Insurance Journal
A major insurance company is accusing dozens of localities in Illinois of failing to prepare for severe rains and flooding in lawsuits that are the first in what could be a wave of litigation over who should be liable for the possible costs of climate change.
Why climate change may ruin breakfast
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
A new report out Tuesday says climate change might increase the price of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes by 30 percent in the next 15 years.
Green Climate Fund edges closer to reality
Ed King, RTCC (Responding To Climate Change)
Full details are expected to emerge later on Wednesday, but the progress was hailed by observers in Songdo, South Korea, where a four-day meeting is taking place.
Climate change threatens 30 U.S. landmarks: science advocacy group
Curtis Skinner, PlanetArk
Climate change is threatening U.S. landmarks from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor to the César Chávez National Monument in Keene, California with floods, rising sea levels and fires, scientists said on Tuesday.
***LB: Also in this story “Jamestown, Virginia – the first permanent English colony – could be completely inundated due to rising sea levels”
Bangladesh seeks export privileges to US on climate vulnerability grounds
Syful Islam, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Citing its increasing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, Bangladesh has sought exemption from quotas and duty for all its exports to the United States. http://jlne.ws/1odQQLI
***LB: Also in this story “Such a rule change, if adopted, would make Bangladesh one of the first countries to receive duty reductions for “economic vulnerability” because of climate change.”
France may direct funds towards home companies – minister
France is considering steps that would direct the investments of financial institutions such as pension funds and insurance companies towards French companies, according to Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg.
***LB: Also in this story “”We need this money, these billions, these hundreds of billions invested in our companies,” he said during a hearing about engineering group Alstom’s plan to sell its power arm to General Electric of the United States.”
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British CO2 price floor compensation plan in line with EU rules
A British plan to compensate certain energy-intensive industries for higher energy costs resulting from its carbon price floor is in line with EU state aid rules, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
Oil and gas fields in UK could become CO2 dumps, say MPs
Roger Harrabin, BBC News
The UK’s exhausted oil and gas fields in the North Sea could be transformed into a lucrative dump for Europe’s CO2 emissions, MPs say.
UK carbon capture plants must get go-ahead within year, say MPs
Damian Carrington, theguardian.com
The UK’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants must be fast-tracked and get the go-ahead within a year, according to a report from MPs.
***LB: Also in this story “The MPs on the energy and climate change select committee (ECC) sharply criticised the government’s botched £1bn competition for the first plants, which launched in 2007 and had to be restarted in 2011, after the last competitor withdrew.”
Steel firms top carbon permit surplus list for 2013 – analyst
Three steelmakers had the biggest surplus of free carbon credits in the EU carbon market last year, an analyst report said on Monday, potentially netting the firms tens of millions of euros.
***LB: Also in this story “ArcelorMittal chalked up a surplus of 10 million EU Allowances (EUAs) in 2013 while Riva Group, which owns Italy ILVA, had a surplus of 8 million and Tata Steel a surplus of 4.7 million EUAs, said the report by France-based analysts at Carbon Market Data.”
Mining group runs ads attacking Obama’s climate regs
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
The National Mining Association is running online and radio ads in key states blasting the Obama administration’s rules aimed at curbing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Ohio Poised to Break From U.S. Push for Renewable Energy
Mark Niquette, Bloomberg
Ohio is debating the sharpest break from a three-decade campaign by 29 U.S. states to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by promoting power from renewable sources.
***LB: Also in this story “The measure has divided businesses, with companies such as United States Steel Corp. (X) seeking cost containment and firms including Honda Motor Co. (HMC) saying the standards are working”
Aussies To Slash 90% Of Global Warming Funding From Budget
The Daily Caller
Australia’s conservative coalition is set to cut more than 90 percent of the funding related to global warming from their budget, from $5.75 billion this year to $500 million, over the next four years.
In Sweden, Free Bikes To Commuters Who Promise To Drive Less
Even though more people are starting to commute by bike, few cities match up to ultra-bike-friendly Copenhagen, where around half of the population cycles to work.
Natural Gas / Coal
China’s Sinopec, Weatherford in oil services jv as shale in focus
Chen Aizhu, Reuters
Sinopec Group said it is forming a joint venture oilfield services company with U.S.-listed Weatherford International, a move that may give the Chinese state energy firm the lead in tapping the nation’s potentially vast shale resources.
China shares rise on coal plans, outlook for local software firms
China shares rose on Wednesday, led by coal stocks after a news report said the National Development and Reform Commission plans to establish two or three national markets for coal trading.
U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96%
Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national “black gold mine” of petroleum.
Turkmenistan eyes over $3 bln in oil investment this year
Turkmenistan, with the world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves, expects more than $3 billion in direct foreign investment from companies looking at its Caspian Sea oil reserves, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Santa Cruz becomes first California county to ban fracking
Santa Cruz on Tuesday became the first California county to ban fracking, the latest in a string of moves by local governments in the state to take a stand against the controversial oil and gas producing method.
Coal rules may derail second Obama nominee
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Norman Bay, is feeling the heat on the president’s coal plant rules during his confirmation process.
As gas flows, Exxon’s $19 bln PNG plant still faces risks
Matt Siegel, Reuters
ExxonMobil’s $19 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Papua New Guinea, which is shipping its first cargo, is set to dramatically transform one of Asia-Pacific’s most unstable countries, for better or for worse.
U.S. Gas Exports Follow The Money, Not Political Winds
Daniel J. Graeber, Oilprice.com
The recent decision by a French energy company to sign a deal to send liquefied natural gas from the United States to a utility company in Japan shows that, despite the rhetoric on Capitol Hill, the energy market is driven by commercial interests, not political winds.
Woodside backs out of $2.7b Israeli gas field deal
Woodside Petroleum, Australia’s top gas producer, has ditched long-awaited plans to buy a stake worth up to $2.7 billion in Israel’s Leviathan gas project, as the venture focuses on exporting by pipeline.
Australia’s Tinkler sells horse stud in coal comeback bid
Jane Wardell, Reuters
Nathan Tinkler, a former pit electrician who became Australia’s youngest billionaire by riding the country’s mining boom before losing it all, is narrowing his focus as he attempts a comeback.
Chile seeks investment in wind, solar energy
Stephen Kurczy, The Christian Science Monitor
President Michelle Bachelet announced late last week her 2014-18 energy program, pledging to expand a liquefied natural gas port and support renewable energy sources.
Ingenious wraps up £27m financing for three solar parks
Ingenious Clean Energy has completed the financing of a £27m portfolio of three solar parks in southwest England after securing a £15m loan from Barclays.
Green groups issue warning over EU biomass plans
Europe’s demand for biomass power is likely to exceed the amount of wood and land available to grow energy crops within its borders, researchers have warned.
Saudi Arabia in Policy Shift Seeking Solar Through Aramco
Wael Mahdi, Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company is planning to add more solar power, a move to limit domestic fossil-fuel consumption in the world’s biggest exporter of crude.
Nissan prices e-NV200 electric van at £13,400
Nissan has confirmed its new 100 per cent electric e-NV200 van will cost £13,393, in a move designed to accelerate the low carbon commercial vehicle and taxi market.
Japan’s Fukushima operator begins groundwater release to ocean
The operator of Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant began releasing groundwater that it said is within legal radiation safety limits into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, in a bid to manage huge amounts of radioactive water built up at the site.
House OKs bill to boost water infrastructure
Derek Wallbank / Bloomberg News
The House passed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday that lawmakers said would boost dredging to accommodate larger ships built to transit the expanding Panama Canal.
World’s ‘first’ community-owned tidal energy device powers up
The world’s first community-owned tidal power turbine has started producing electricity for the local grid.
***LB: Also in this story “The turbine will power up to 30 homes, a locally owned ice plant, and Cullivoe Harbour Industrial Estate on Yell, in the Shetland Islands.”
Global warming threatens more deadly Everest-like avalanches: report
Gopal Sharma, PlanetArk
Mountaineering tourism in Nepal faces a threat from global warming as melting glaciers feed the risk of more deadly disasters such as the avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 16 people last month, scientists said on Tuesday.
International Negotiations: Toward a 2015 Climate Agreement
C2ES (Center for climate and energy solutions)
Nations are working toward a new global climate change agreement, to be reached in late 2015 in Paris.
Climate change brings short-term benefits, long-term fears to California wine country
Bigad Shaban, CBS News
California’s warmest winter on record is now leading to an incredibly early wine season.
Congo to world: pay us $1bn to save our rainforests … or else
The Financial Times
The Democratic Republic of Congo has a message for the world: pay us to protect a section of rainforest nearly as big as England or watch it get cut down.
Energy Trader Turned Caribbean Surfer Watches for Waves
Rachel Morison, Bloomberg
Europe’s fivefold surge in wind and solar power generation in the past decade sent power prices to nine-year lows and Lars van der Laan to a new job as a kite-surfing instructor.