In this edition: Bloomberg reports from China with coverage of the economic giant’s pollution tax plan and emission curb projections. Natural gas is also a leading subject, featured in “Strange Bedfellows Debate Exporting Natural Gas” and “Coal Plants’ Victory Over EPA Is Muted by Low Gas Prices.”
Quote of the Day:
“We will be, I believe before the end of this week, in New Mexico describing a comprehensive energy plan, particularly as it relates to fossil-based fuels.”
–Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney in Reuters’ “Romney says to lay out comprehensive energy plan”
China May Spend $373 Billion for Energy Savings, Emissions Curbs
China, the world’s biggest generator of greenhouse gases, estimated it may spend 2.37 trillion yuan ($373 billion) on projects for conserving energy and reducing emissions in the five years through 2015, spurring a surge in shares of environmental protection companies.
**RKB – Story of numbers. Here’s another one to ponder: The nation plans by 2015 to reduce the amount of energy it uses to produce every unit of gross domestic product by 16 percent from 2010 levels, the State Council said in a statement this week.
China Pollution Tax Plan Submitted to Cabinet, Daily Reports
China’s tax department has proposed a pollution levy to the cabinet, a move that may increase raw- material prices, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing an unidentified government official.
Shanghai is the Most Vulnerable Major City in the World To Serious Flooding
Timon Singh – Inhabitat
A joint report from University of Leed’s School of Civil Engineering and Dutch authorities reveals that in a new study of nine coastal cities around the world, Shanghai is the most vulnerable to serious flooding. In fact, according to a new method to calculate the flood vulnerability of cities, those in Europe top the leader board for their resilience.
A flood vulnerability index for coastal cities and its use in assessing climate change impacts
Oil Companies May Have Been Helping Combat Climate Change (A Little)
Here’s some good news about climate change: emissions of greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide have slowed and, in some cases, begun to decline. That means fewer molecules drifting in the atmosphere and blocking the escape of heat radiated by an Earth warmed by sunlight. The bad news is no one knows why.
**RKB – Makes the point that there’s still a heck of a lot of nuance to climate science. Article is a little on the wonky side but Scientific American, under the same umbrella as study originator Nature, does translate from journal-ese.
Strange Bedfellows Debate Exporting Natural Gas
Bloomberg Business Week
The shale gas revolution is starting to pay small dividends for U.S. consumers. As electrical utilities rush to switch from coal to gas, peak electricity rates have fallen in nearly every market. According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index, utility gas service for things like heating and cooking is now 13 percent cheaper than it was 12 months ago. That’s great and all, but taken together those savings don’t add up to much. Electricity and gas bills account for only about 4 percent of our total spending.
**RKB — Great connections here from pipeline to investor to consumer.
Coal Plants’ Victory Over EPA Is Muted by Low Gas Prices
Southern Co. (SO), Edison International (EIX) and rival power companies won a legal fight with the Environmental Protection Agency, gaining more time and leeway to cut pollution from burning coal. The bigger challenges from cheap natural gas may make it a muted victory.
Big emitters to pay more if Kyoto fails
Sydney Morning Herald
BIG greenhouse gas emitters could pay more under the Gillard’s carbon price if Australia refuses to sign up to a second round of the Kyoto Protocol, a leading climate think tank has said.
Romney says to lay out comprehensive energy plan
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney tapped oil executives for nearly $7 million on Tuesday and told them he will lay out a comprehensive energy proposal this week aimed at increasing U.S. energy production and creating jobs.
**RKB — More come Friday says the Governor.
Enviros want climate question at Obama-Romney debate
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Environmentalists are trying a new strategy to bring climate change into the 2012 White House race: Work the refs.
Singed by Solyndra
David Prend is one of the most respected investors in green technology – but even he picks some losers. Like the Department of Energy, Prend thought Solyndra, an innovative solar company, was a good bet. His venture capital firm, RockPort Capital, began investing in the company three years before the federal government gave the start-up a loan guarantee. RockPort eventually put more than $63.5 million into Solyndra.
ACCO & White House Council on Environmental Quality
September 24-25, 2012
Carbon Forum North America
October 1-2, 2012
Sustainability Summit – Innovation Challenge
October 9, 2012
EMA 2012 Fall Meeting
**Keynote speaker is Richard Sandor
October 24 – October 26, 2012
Santa Monica, CA
California CO2 market players eyeing nuclear plant woes
Reuters Point Carbon
Newly announced major layoffs and a prolonged outage at a major nuclear power plant have raised concerns that the price of carbon allowances for California’s forthcoming cap-and-trade program will rise sharply, market participants said Tuesday.
‘NZ falling behind Aust’ on climate action
The Emissions Trading Scheme amendment bill tabled by the Government yesterday will see New Zealand falling behind Australia in the low carbon race and shifting more costs onto young Kiwis in the future, says youth organisation Generation Zero. The amendments will prolong the current ‘transition period’ of the ETS, keeping the carbon price signal weak and giving more subsidies to polluters while removing any clear timeframe for phase-out.
Greater awareness needed to dispel REDD+ myths
Center for International Forestry Research blog
Many local communities know REDD+ is touted by international policymakers as the best way to protect carbon-packed forests, but recent studies indicate that communities do not fully understand the scheme’s broader goals or how they stand to benefit economically.
GE and Houweling’s Tomatoes Unveil the First Greenhouse Combined Heat and Power Project in the US with Carbon Dioxide Fertilization
First U.S. Installation of GE’s J624 Two-Stage Turbocharged Gas Engine Supplies Power and Heat for Cogen Project at California Greenhouse Providing both Lower Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Increased Overall Efficiency of Well over 90 Percent.
The Ten Reasons To Love Natural Gas
Here is the most promising development in the American economy. Period! The discovery of oceans of natural gas in North America means a vastly cheaper source of energy, the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs, a meaningful reduction in global warming, a much diminished balance of payments deficit, a far stronger dollar, a jump in the profits of the electric utilities, who will then raise their cash dividend payouts, which will benefit widows and orphans as well as giant pension funds, and cause the gold bugs lasting anguish.
GOP lawmaker calls on White House to push natural-gas exports
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) put more pressure Wednesday on the Obama administration to expedite approvals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities, calling it a “lay-up” for job creation.
French drillers fight back in defense of shale gas fracking
Natural gas and oil can be safely produced from shale rock in France without lasting consequences for the environment, according to a lobby backing the energy that has enraged opponents.
Vestas Cuts 1,400 Jobs After Forecasting Drop in Shipments
Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) is cutting an additional 1,400 jobs to lower costs by more than 250 million euros ($311 million) in preparation for a decline in wind turbines installations it expects next year.
Japan Citizens Favor Zero Nuclear in Debate Over Energy Options
Japan’s public wants the government to phase out nuclear power according to the results of town hall-like forums to give the public a say in the debate on the nation’s energy supply post-Fukushima.
Merkel Energy Switch Needs Fossil Plants to Be Built, Dena Says
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to exit nuclear-energy generation and switch to renewables means Germany will have to rely on fossil-fired plants to make sure the lights stay on, a state-owned energy researcher said.
US wind industry must target performance: Gerard Wynn
The looming expiry of a key U.S. wind tax credit presents an opportunity to strengthen policy to tackle stubborn costs and some reverses in performance highlighted in a U.S. Department of Energy report.
Colorado senators pin layoffs on wind energy tax credit uncertainty
The Hill’s E2 Wire
Colorado’s senators on Wednesday blamed congressional inaction on a tax credit benefiting wind power producers for a recent round of layoffs in their state.
Should Renewable Energy Be Afraid of Basel III Banking Standards?
Renewable Energy World
The Basel III Accords, the latest set of international banking standards from the Basel Committee on Banking and Supervision, are set to take effect in just a few short months. This new banking regime was designed to create a more resilient and robust international banking system with a suite of capital adequacy, leverage, and liquidity requirements. Basel III will have impacts across the broader commercial lending market, though the renewable energy (RE) sector, with its heavy reliance on project finance, will be particularly vulnerable to the new liquidity standards.
New York’s City Council Adds Climate Change Panels
The New York Times
The exodus of City Hall aides has already begun as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s term approaches its end next year, but climate change isn’t going anywhere. So in an attempt to continue Mr. Bloomberg’s environmental focus long after he’s gone, the City Council passed legislation on Wednesday that would make two panels advising the city on the threats of global warming a permanent fixture of government.
The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (Posted Aug. 21, 2012)
EPA REGULATIONS AND ELECTRICITY (Posted Aug. 16, 2012)
European Power & Renewables Deals: Quarterly M&A outlook (Posted August 15, 2012)
Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future (Posted August 6, 2012)
Benchmarking Air Emissions Of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States (Posted July 31, 2012)
Per capita CO2 emissions in China reached European level (July 18, 2012)
The Interim Regulation of Voluntary Greenhouse Gases Emission Trading in China (Posted July 10, 2012)
The Climate Group
Measure for Management: C40 Cities (July 9, 2012)
Carbon Disclosure Project