LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) – A new British carbon price floor
may increase gas demand as rapid price rises eat into profits
from burning coal, but the impact on power prices could affect
political will to implement the policy.
Margins from coal-fired power generation are currently far
more attractive than gas, reflecting the relative price of the
two fossil fuels and a very low European carbon price. The
result is a tilt towards burning coal in Europe.
LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Britain risks eroding support for
nuclear power if it buries long-term waste near an existing
processing facility without considering wider, potentially safer
UK authorities are edging towards one region for long-term
waste storage where planners have rejected sites twice partly on
doubts over geological security and safety.
LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) – The European Commission’s ambition
for a single energy market conflicts with aims in Britain and
other countries to boost their own national energy security by
paying investors to ensure gas-fired power capacity is available
several years ahead.
The EU wants to achieve a single, liberalised energy market
by 2014, to cut prices and carbon emissions while boosting
security of supply.
LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Britain’s prospective carbon
floor price, meant to motivate low-carbon investment,
illustrates some doubts about the environmental and economic
impacts of wider reforms to Europe’s emissions trading scheme.
The EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) has driven emissions
cuts partly by driving a shift to gas from higher carbon coal,
by forcing polluters to pay for their emissions in a measure
which also raises wholesale power prices.
LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Developed countries are
increasingly bold in planning to reduce nuclear power but
hesitant in announcing clear plans to cut greenhouse gas
emissions, leaving themselves wriggle room to replace low carbon
nuclear generation with fossil fuel gas.
It is particularly tempting to be vague about timetables for
cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as countries have failed
to explain how lost nuclear capacity could be matched by a
ramp-up in carbon capture and storage (CCS), which remains
untested on gas and coal-fired power.
LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – The European Commission’s
antitrust case against Gazprom will force the Russian company to
divest shares in gas infrastructure and shift towards shorter
term supply contracts, precedent from European energy companies
The case adds to structural shifts in the European gas
market to erode the pricing power of Gazprom, which is
more than 50 percent owned by the Russian state.
LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell’s
investment in a carbon capture plant at its tar sands facility
in Alberta shows the company recognises the threat of climate
policies targeting unconventional oil.
The project will help shield Shell against future penalties
on tar sands, as planned by California and the European Union,
while its commercial success will also depend on demand for the
CCS technology which it develops.
LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Developers have made big returns
from subsidies on renewable energy projects, raising the
question whether new tax increases are justified in a continuing
financial crisis or merely state opportunism.
Investors are arguing the latter, but the picture is more
The Czech Republic recently won court backing for a tax on
solar projects, which Bulgaria is considering emulating, while
Spain plans to raise an additional 6 billion euros ($7.38
billion) or so a year from new taxes on power generation.
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – An elusive dream of a single
European market in electricity will get a boost from growing
deployment of intermittent renewable energy, but will still
depend on some underwriting by already stretched consumers.
Vast differences in wholesale power prices remain across the
European Union, illustrating grid congestion.
LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – Natural gas has strong political
support in Britain, shown by a tax break choreographed this week
to balance support for wind power, but it is also on a collision
course with the country’s carbon emissions targets.
That pits the country’s energy and climate change ministry
against the Treasury, and ranges arguments for a green economy
against affordability, splitting the coalition government and
suggesting doubt will continue to cloud the fossil fuel’s