LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – “If I work in your Beijing, I
would shorten my life at least five years,” Premier Zhu Rongji,
a career politician from Shanghai, quipped in 1999, referring to
the notorious air pollution in China’s northern capital.
Research has confirmed life expectancy in northern China is
5.5 years shorter than in the south owing to the worse air
pollution, and the shocking difference stems from a
well-intentioned government policy to keep the residents of
northern China warm in winter.
LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) – “China is our reliable friend,”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday in an interview
ahead of a conference in Shanghai. “To expand cooperation with
China is undoubtedly Russia’s diplomatic priority.”
Most evaluations of the bilateral relationship begin by
reciting the historical border disputes, rift between Mao Zedong
and Nikita Khrushchev, opening to China by Richard Nixon, and
the perennial problem of reaching an agreement on gas pricing.
LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) – Fossil fuel subsidies cost
governments in emerging markets more than $500 billion every
year and are a major contributor to climate change, according to
the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Monetary
The biggest subsidies are concentrated in the Middle East,
North Africa, Asia and parts of Latin America, according to the
IEA’s Fossil Fuel Subsidy Database (www.iea.org/subsidy/index.html).
LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. electricity consumption has
remained flat for the last six years, the first such prolonged
pause in growth, as recession and improvements in efficiency
have bitten deeply into demand.
Homes, schools, offices and factories consumed a total of
3,831 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2013, basically
unchanged from the 3,816 billion in 2006, and well down from the
record 3,890 billion in 2007, according to the Energy
Information Administration (EIA) (Chart 1).
LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) – They were crazy dreamers who
dared to believe that oil and gas could be produced from beneath
England’s rolling green hills.
Small companies such as Alkane, Egdon,
Cuadrilla, Dart, Island Gas, Newton and Star
bid for and won Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences
(PEDLs) in Britain’s 13th onshore licensing round held back in
LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – Central Oklahoma faces a
significantly increased risk of a damaging earthquake, and the
threat is probably related to oil and gas extraction, the U.S.
Geological Survey warned on Monday.
“As a result of the increased number of small and moderate
shocks, the likelihood of future, damaging earthquakes has
increased for central and north-central Oklahoma,” USGS said.
LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Asia is more at risk from any
disruption to Middle East oil supplies than Europe or the United
States but is less prepared to deal with such a scenario,
according to a new report from Britain’s Royal Institute of
The Chatham House study provides a wealth of detail on the
physical flow of oil from the Middle East to Asia and the threat
of an interruption.
LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) – Britain is abandoning its
market-based model for electricity and opting for much greater
state control, as politicians intervene more aggressively in
response to concern about rising bills, climate change and
For a brief period in the late 1990s and early 2000s,
Britain had the most liberalised and market-based electricity
system in the world, but now politicians, experts and many
voters seem to want a return to more central planning.
LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – Demand response programmes,
where customers are given a financial incentive to reduce power
consumption at times of peak demand, are playing an increasingly
important role in the U.S. power market.
In 2013 and 2014, grid operators called on record amounts of
demand response to cope with first the summer heat wave and then
the polar vortex.
LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Electrification was the
greatest achievement of the 20th century, according to the U.S.
Academy of Engineering.
For people in North America and Europe, the availability of
power at the flick of a switch has become so commonplace it is
no longer remarkable.