LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) – The benefit of a significant
investment in a flat-lining British economy is likely to trump
cost concerns over plans to build a new nuclear power plant.
The government may announce as early as next week a power
purchase agreement with the French utility EDF,
coinciding with a Budget which will have little to cheer in a
country teetering on the edge of a third recession in six years.
LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) – The European Union has begun
the process of agreeing a new carbon cap for 2030, with early
signs that it could reinvigorate the emissions market and
simplify low-carbon policy.
The outcome will depend on horse-trading with sceptical
carbon-intensive countries such as Poland and the eventual
parcelling of the cap between industry sectors.
LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – The uncertainty over prospects
for the European Union emissions trading scheme is so great that
it justifies current low carbon permit prices – which may even
be a little high by one method of estimating underlying value.
The scheme faces a range of possible outcomes in this
decade. These range from a cancellation of up to 1,900 million
or so surplus EU allowances (EUAs) following on from reforms now
being planned and which would greatly boost confidence, to total
scrapping of the market, which is unlikely.
LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) – Recent extreme heat waves
reinforce concerns that the slow pace of action against climate
change is inadequate, raising interest in new fixes called
geoengineering, but this warrants caution.
Proposed geoengineering fixes fall broadly between
reflecting sunlight and heat back into space, or sucking carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere.
LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) – The European Commission is
backing a gradual shift away from renewable energy subsidies,
where it must tread a fine line between phasing out support and
It is significant that the European Union’s executive
Commission is signalling such a shift after European Union
countries already pared back subsidies.
LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – The battle over U.S. approval of
the Keystone oil pipeline shows the difficulty in regulating
carbon emissions through the supply of crude oil, barring an
unlikely global agreement to curb demand.
If approved by Washington later this year, the pipeline
would transport land-locked, high carbon Canadian tar sand crude
to Gulf Coast refineries and from there to world oil markets.
LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) – A stalled biofuel industry will
need to produce far more efficient fuels to avoid setting off
another bout of arguments over its contribution to boosting
energy security and cutting carbon emissions.
Biofuels had a difficult 2012.
In the United States, Energy Information Administration data
show production through November fell compared with the same
period the previous year, putting the industry on track for the
first annual drop since 1996. (See Chart 1)
LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has the world’s
second best solar resource after Chile’s Atacama Desert, making
investment in solar a no-brainer as an alternative to burning
its most precious resource.
The Kingdom has for several years been talking up its plans
to become a major player in solar power.
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Bulgarian street protests over
electricity prices illustrate the problems with a regulated
approach where several European countries are preparing to step
back from fully liberalised markets.
Protesters have complained about a lack of transparency in
the way Bulgarian power prices have been set, questioning the
logic of stinging rises in household electricity prices as coal
costs fall but power companies try to pay themselves more.
LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Roof-top solar power is
increasingly cost-competitive with retail power prices, with
far-reaching implications for solar manufacturers, utilities and
rival generation technologies.
Data gathered from U.S. installations by the Department of
Energy suggests it is cheaper to generate electricity from
roof-top solar panels than to purchase power from electric
utilities, if applied to European retail power prices.