LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) – According to the popular
narrative, coal is locked in a fight to the death with natural
gas and renewables to supply clean electrical energy.
Promoters of gas, wind and solar often talk about coal as if
it were not just a rival but an enemy. Environmental campaigners
want to phase out coal-fired power plants and leave most of the
world’s coal reserves below ground.
LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) – Booming demand for food in
China’s southern and eastern cities is worsening water shortages
in arid northern provinces, adding to the country’s
environmental problems, new research shows.
“Consumption in highly developed coastal provinces is
largely relying on water resources in the water-scarce northern
provinces, such as Xinjiang, Hebei and Inner Mongolia, thus
significantly contributing to the water scarcity in these
regions,” an international group of researchers wrote in the
latest edition of the journal Environmental Science and
LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) – Exploring for oil and gas is like
gambling: it’s all about playing probabilities, and using
technology and skill to improve the odds.
Until a well is bored into the ground – possibly thousands
of feet below the surface, at a cost of millions or even tens of
millions of dollars – it is impossible to know for sure whether
it will find hydrocarbons in commercially producible quantities.
LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) – “Geopolitical risk” turns out to
have surprisingly little impact on the valuation of oil and most
Since the beginning of 2011, revolutions and
counter-revolutions have rocked the Arab world, sanctions have
slashed oil exports from Iran, and unrest has cut production in
South Sudan and Nigeria, and none of these events has had any
significant impact on oil prices.
LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – “Equality of opportunity as we
have known it no longer exists,” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
warned gloomily in September 1932. “Our industrial plant is
built; the problem just now is whether under existing conditions
it is not overbuilt.”
In a campaign speech to the Commonwealth Club of San
Francisco, the Democratic Party’s nominee for president of the
United States told his listeners that “opportunity in business
LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department’s
decision to allow two companies to begin exporting ultra-light
condensate after only minimal refining marks the beginning of
the end of the ban on American crude oil exports.
The ban, which applies to crude but not refined products,
has never made much sense economically or in terms of fuel
chemistry, but now the department’s rulings show it may be
impossible to enforce in practice.
LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – Two-thirds of the world’s
already discovered reserves of oil, coal and natural gas must
remain unburned if the rise in average global temperatures is to
be limited to 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, according to the
International Energy Agency.
But coal miners and oil and gas companies round the world
allocated $674 billion to finding even more reserves and new
ways of extracting them in 2012/13. Much of this investment
risks being wasted, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative,
which is campaigning to get investors to think again.
(“Unburnable carbon 2013: wasted assets and stranded capital”)
LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) – New air pollution standards on
emissions of mercury and other heavy metals from coal-fired
power plants will avert up to 11,000 premature deaths every year
in the United States.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the standards
will generate benefits worth between $37 billion and $90 billion
a year – with fewer heart attacks, asthma attacks and sick days
- at a cost to coal- and oil-fired power producers of less than
$10 billion (“Regulatory impact analysis for the final air
toxics standards”, December 2011).
LONDON (Reuters) – China’s power engineers have become world leaders in ultra-high-voltage transmission systems connecting far-off power sources with cities hungry for electricity.
China already has seven ultra-high-voltage (UHV) lines in operation, more than any other country, carrying power over thousands of kilometers at around 800,000 or even 1 million volts.
LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – China’s power engineers have
become world leaders in ultra-high-voltage transmission systems
connecting far-off power sources with cities hungry for
China already has seven ultra-high-voltage (UHV) lines in
operation, more than any other country, carrying power over
thousands of kilometres at around 800,000 or even 1 million