LONDON (Reuters) – European lawmakers have made emissions trading a scapegoat as they grapple to compete with far cheaper U.S. energy prices, yet taxes and other charges dwarf the impact a boost in carbon prices would have had.
A proposed reform knocked down last week was meant to raise record low carbon prices by temporarily withdrawing surplus emissions permits, a move which also would have hiked wholesale power prices by as much as 10 percent.
LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) – Rising electricity exports to
the Netherlands and France show how German households are
subsidising their neighbours’ fuel bills, but Germany is gaining
greater benefit from the resultant balancing of its own grid.
The Netherlands is now importing far more power from Germany
than it did two years ago, as rising German household charges to
pay for wind and solar power cut German wholesale power prices.
LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Global carbon emissions per
unit of energy supply have barely changed in more than two
decades, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday, but
other data show an even starker picture where world energy is
Either way, flat or rising carbon intensity in global energy
consumption shows how growing adoption of renewable energy in
some countries has so far failed to move the dial on the global
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – The European carbon market will
bounce back from the rejection by the European Parliament on
Tuesday of a proposal to skim off surplus allowances which have
smothered the market as a result of the financial crisis.
The market works by issuing factories and power plants a
fixed quota of EU allowances (EUAs). A surplus of these has cut
demand and seen carbon prices fall by more than 90 percent
compared with all-time highs.
LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – A recent slowdown in the rise
of the Earth’s surface temperatures has led some commentators to
question whether scientists have exaggerated the global warming
Scientific advances have removed any reasonable doubt that
carbon emissions are warming the planet, especially since 1970.
Most scientists agree that natural cycles of the sun and oceans
explain some variation in temperatures, but they cannot explain
much of the 0.7 degree Celsius warming since the beginning of
the 20th century.
LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) – Power prices diverged last year
across central Europe for the first time since as far back as
2006 in further signs of a possible conflict between European
Union goals for an internal energy market and more renewable
The European Commission wants an internal energy market
achieved through more cross-border gas and power
interconnections, liberalised prices and coupling of
LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has consistently over-estimated the prospects for production of advanced biofuels from non-food crops, adding to the impression of a biofuel policy that is out of step with reality.
The U.S. renewable fuel standard requires fuel producers to blend a certain portion of biofuels with gasoline; the standard originated under the Clean Air Act and was expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007.
LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – U.S. data suggests the
percentage of ethanol in the gasoline supply is nearing the
“blend wall” – the 10 percent level beyond which refiners fear
to go – but perhaps not close enough to explain a sudden jump in
the price of compliance credits.
Other explanations for the price rise could include new
expectations that the blend wall will be reached next year; a
lack of available product after a fall in U.S. ethanol output
last year; speculative buying of compliance credits; or a
combination of these.
LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) – Cutting vehicle weight may be
the next main advance in reducing the financial and
environmental cost of motoring.
Until now carmakers have met a trend towards tougher fuel
economy standards worldwide by reducing engine sizes and
introducing technology for example to cut motors when a car is
LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – The variable carbon tax that
Britain is introducing from April 1 to promote low-carbon
investment will cause problems due to some incompatibility with
the wider European emissions trading scheme.
The tax, called “carbon price support” by the British
government, is levied on suppliers of fossil fuels to power
plants and these will pass on the cost to electricity consumers.