Today’s edition features the ongoing innovation revolution: transparent solar cells that would be used as windows and as solar panels or a carbon asset custody mechanism to be launched by Shenzhen’s carbon market. One nagging question remains, however: will world leaders agree to address climate change at the upcoming UN climate summit?
Quote of the day
“In many buildings, we are already installing films to reject infrared light to reduce [heating and cooling] costs. We aim to do something similar while also generating power.”
Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Michigan State University and co-founder of Ubiquitous Energy, in the Fast Company’s story Totally Transparent Solar Cells Could Turn Our Windows Into Solar Panels
US solar and wind start to outshine gas
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
Large wind farms and solar plants are now cost-competitive with gas-fired power in many parts of the US even without subsidy, according to Lazard, raising the prospect of a fundamental shift in the country’s energy market.
Totally Transparent Solar Cells Could Turn Our Windows Into Solar Panels
Ben Schiller, Fast Company
In the future, you’ll be able to charge your phone just by placing it in the sun, and you’ll generate electricity through your windows, not just from the panels on the roof.
***LB: Also in this story “Richard Lunt has co-founded a company, Ubiquitous Energy, to commercialize his team’s work. He reckons we could see the first applications within five years.”
Blue chips and chief execs rally behind New York Climate Summit
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Chief executives from hundreds of the world’s biggest corporations, including EDF, GDF Suez, McDonald’s and Marks & Spencer are ready to throw their weight behind the United Nations climate change leaders summit next week.
Zero net emissions: will leaders agree target at UN climate summit?
Ed King, RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon could lead calls for countries to agree a zero net emissions target at the close of his New York summit next week, RTCC understands.
Can the U.S. and China Find Harmony in Pursuing Climate Progress?
Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times
Jeff Goodell, who’s written fine books on “big coal” and the batch of climate-manipulating ideas known as geo-engineering, has written an invaluable feature on China’s energy and climate plans for Rolling Stone: “China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet.”
Figueres: “If we want to prevent conflicts, we have to address climate change now”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders from government, business and civil society to a Climate Summit in New York on 23 September. UN’s climate chief Christiana Figueres told DW what she expects.
Reports: EU to propose ‘billion euro’ sweetener in bid to win Polish support for 2030 carbon target
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
The EU is reportedly planning to offer a sweetener to Poland and other eastern member states to encourage them to back an ambitious 2030 carbon reduction target next month.
China : Shenzhen to launch carbon asset custody mechanism
Kun Yang, ICIS
A new carbon asset custody mechanism is expected to be launched in Shenzhen Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) by the end of 2014. It allows compliance entities to entrust professional agencies to manage their carbon assets to achieve better efficiency.
Is There A Right Price For Carbon?
Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Market Place
Eight corporations operating in China and South Korea are upping the ante in their preparations for national emissions trading systems (ETS) by incorporating a price on carbon in their business planning and risk management strategies, according to a new CDP report.
Why Exxon is betting on a higher carbon price than Google
Mat Hope, Climate Spectator
As carbon markets spring up across the world, companies are increasingly being made to pay to emit greenhouse gases. To keep one step ahead, many already factor a carbon price into their investment decisions.
Obama pushes energy efficiency, rural solar power
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Obama administration unveiled a slew of actions Thursday aimed at improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of solar power in homes and businesses, including $68 million in spending.
House GOP to vote on massive energy bill
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
A hail Mary: House Republicans on Thursday will vote on a laundry list of energy bills and send them to the Senate, wrapped and with a bow on top.
Senators back ‘technology-neutral’ energy taxes
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Senate’s top tax lawmaker Wednesday expressed support for moving toward a “technology-neutral” system of tax incentives for energy production.
***LB: Also in this story “Wyden, who has backed tax breaks for renewable energy including the wind production tax credit that expired last year, said that fossil fuels generally benefit from incentives that do not expire. But renewables have to deal with “stop-and-go” credits that have to be passed by Congress each year.”
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
FT European Gas Summit
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times.
23 October 2014
Billionaire Branson’s NGO Sees CO2-Fighting Ports Gain Fivefold
Naomi Christie, Bloomberg News
A nonprofit led by billionaire Richard Branson, the U.K.’s fourth-richest person, said the number of sea ports using ship-evaluation systems to combat carbon emissions will rise as much as fivefold next year as momentum gathers to improve the industry’s fuel efficiency.
***LB: Also in this story ” Rotterdam already discounts port fees to ships which emit low levels of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.”
Tesco software rollout aims to ensure every little energy-saving helps
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Managers at Tesco stores around the world will soon be able to tell immediately if a faulty chiller cabinet is using more energy than it should or if a loading bay has been left open, following the deployment of advanced energy management software systems at 3,000 of its stores.
Half Of Tropical Deforestation Comes From Illegal Activities
What do a hamburger, a chicken nugget, a tube of toothpaste, and a cardboard box have in common? They’re all products that are likely connected to tropical deforestation.
Natural gas / coal
Risky business: China dumps our dirty coal
Brian Robins, Peter Ker, The Sydney Morning Herald
Australian coal exporters are scrambling to clarify the fallout from changes to China’s coal import rules, which could expose the industry to billions of dollars in lost sales as China seeks to cut air pollution.
Will China’s great fracking leap help it wean off coal?
Jaeah Lee and James West for Mother Jones, part of the Guardian Environment Network, theguardian.com
On a hazy morning last September, 144 American and Chinese government officials and high-ranking oil executives filed into a vaulted meeting room in a cloistered campus in south Xi’an, a city famous for its terra-cotta warriors and lethal smog.
Fed study finds no water pollution from fracking
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
A final report of a major federal study found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing caused the contamination of drinking water in Pennsylvania.
Jordan Finds Energy Sources in Unlikely Places
Kate Galbraith, The New York Times
When the oil gusher lottery came to the Middle East, Jordan seemed to have drawn a losing ticket.
Russia’s Gazprom, Lukoil seek to invest in Mexico’s power sector
Russian energy giants Gazprom and Lukoil are interested in investing in the power generation sector in Mexico.
***LB: Also in this story “The country’s reforms in the energy sector will enable Russian companies to cooperate with the Mexican state-owned electric utility, CFE.”
New Studies Find Significant Declines in Price of Rooftop and Utility-Scale Solar
The price of solar energy in the United States continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports produced by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
Analysts: Global offshore wind market poised for fivefold growth
The global offshore wind market is set to grow 28 per cent a year through to 2020, delivering a fivefold increase in capacity by the end of the decade.
***LB: Also in this story “New markets such as China and the US are expected to join more established markets such as the UK and Germany in developing new offshore wind farms, while the core European market is also expected to deploy a host of new projects.”
Power grid groans, blackouts roll through L.A. area as heat wave nears peak
Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
Power outages linked to L.A.’s intense heat wave rolled across the city Tuesday. As temperatures approached dangerous highs, harried crews restored service to one area only to be sent to another blackout.
Why Americans are flocking to their sinking shores even as the risks mount
Deborah J. Nelson, Ryan McNeill and Duff Wilson, Reuters
Mike Huckabee bought a beachfront lot here in 2009, a year after his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
***LB: Also in this story “Despite laws intended to curb development where rising seas pose the greatest threat, Reuters finds that government is happy to help the nation indulge in its passion for beachfront living.”
Despite Delays and Billions in Overruns, Olmsted Locks and Dam Project Rolls On
Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue
Engineers constructing the mammoth Olmsted Locks and Dam spent the summer of 2014 lowering colossal concrete blocks in place on the bottom of the Ohio River.
Climate Council report predicts rising sea levels will cause $200 billion of damage to coastal infrastructure by 2100
The Gold Coast would lose its beaches. Sydney’s Opera House would flood every day instead of every 100 years. And 48,000 Victorian homes would be swallowed. All by the end of the century.
Making Water Stress a ‘Wedge’ Issue
Circle of Blue
A new approach puts people at the center of the water discussion.
40-Million-Year-Old Asian Monsoon is ‘Closely Linked to Global Climate’
Jayalakshmi K, International Business Times
Scientists say that the largest climate system in the world, the Asian monsoon that brings seasonal rains to the region is as much a result of global climate as topography.
***LB: Also in this story “This suggests that increasing atmospheric CO2 will increase the monsoonal precipitation significantly, as has already been experienced in the recent deluges that have flooded cities in the continent, including the recent Kashmir floods.”