Effective today, The ROBERT|CHARLESGroup is discontinuing our postings and links to content and news for investing in worldwide cap and trade and sustainable energy markets. This blog will be phased out in the coming days and weeks.
Power generation from coal is falling quickly. According to new figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal made up 36 percent of U.S. electricity in the first quarter of 2012 -- down from 44.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011. That stunning drop, which represented almost a 20 percent decline in coal generation over the last year, was primarily due to low natural gas prices. As EIA explains, natural gas generation will climb steadily this year, while coal will see a double-digit drop by the end of 2012.
How do power companies transition from dirty energy to renewable energy while keeping the lights as they do it? The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is finding out, as they work towards a clean, renewable energy future. What they are doing makes an instructive case study for other utilities, many of whom are mandated to do the same. The State of California says utilities must provide 33% renewable energy by 2020.
It may seem ironic, but solar thermal technology could provide a cheap and effective solution to make carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology a commercial viable option for the coal- and gas-fired generation industry. One of the principal hurdles of CCS technology is the extra energy required to capture the emissions – particularly in post-combustion capture technologies that will likely form the principal mechanism for coal plant retrofits. An enormous amount of heat is needed in the carbon capture process, equivalent to up to one quarter of a coal-fired plant, adding considerably to the costs and reducing the efficiency of the facility. A 600MW coal-fired plant, for instance, would be reduced in capacity to around 450MW. A new project being undertaken by the CSIRO and partly funded by the Australian Solar Institute is looking at the possibility of using heat produced from solar thermal technology for the carbon capture process.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) will look at Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK)’s assets in the Permian Basin and elsewhere. Anadarko may be interested in acquiring assets where it already has wells and stakes, Chief Executive Officer Al Walker told reporters after the company’s annual meeting today in The Woodlands, Texas. Anadarko is a partner with Chesapeake in some Permian operations now, he said.
EU nations should pledge that funds from paying for airline emissions will help poor countries deal with global warming, the bloc's climate chief said on Tuesday, after finance ministers stopped short of a firm commitment. Crisis in Greece and the euro-zone topped the agenda at the ministers' talks in Brussels, but they also agreed to text on climate funding, which only promised hard cash until the end of the year.
A solution for the longer term would be to "give this modest revenue back into climate financing," Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told Reuters' Global Energy and Environment Summit, referring to cash from the airlines' contribution to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). It could also deflect vehement international criticism of the EU's law, which requires all airlines using EU airports to buy allowances under the ETS.
Investing billions in new nuclear power stations would have forced a credit-rating downgrade on energy giant RWE, the company's chief executive has revealed. The head of another big six energy company, E.ON, blamed the abandonment of its nuclear plans on a lack of "financial firepower". Tuesday's developments are the latest to demonstrate that the huge cost and decades-long payback times of new nuclear power stations are making them difficult to fund in the current economic crisis.
The US investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy could be in danger of being repealed under a Mitt Romney administration, experts said. If Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, wins the presidential election in November, his administration is unlikely to be supportive of renewable energy incentives, which could cause more problems for the already struggling solar sector.
A proposed $5bn transmission line connecting wind farms off the East coast of the US to the mainland is on track to come online by 2017, after the Google-backed project cleared another regulatory hurdle. The Department of the Interior said on Monday there was "no overlapping competitive interest" in the areas earmarked for building the line (see map), which clears the way for an environmental review.
Business, which needs investment certainty, has been heaping pressure on the European Commission to come up with policy to replace goals that expire in 2020. Europe should focus on cutting carbon emissions, rather than just repeating an existing range of EU green policy targets that expire at the end of the decade, Britain's energy and climate chief said on Monday.
The EU law demanding all airlines participate in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme ETS.L has prompted outcry and threats of a trade war. A total of 10 Chinese and Indian commercial airlines have broken EU law requiring them to offset their carbon emissions, while all other international carriers flying to or from Europe have complied, the European Union's climate chief said on Tuesday.
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