The Mongolian government is heading for an unusual listing of its vast Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit on three exchanges: London, Hong Kong and Ulan Bator. If it incorporates the company Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi in London, it will go straight into the FTSE 100. Goldman Sachs heads the cast of investment banks doing the deal.
Archive for August, 2011
The UK government has given up until after the election, in the face of strong lobbying by banks and the CBI, supposedly for fear of not freeing up lending.
A Peabody coal-mining acquisition leads a clutch of such coal deals that have subsequently tanked, Bloomberg notes. The rationale – hopes that costs will continue to rise from already high levels on Chinese steel demand – is not working.
The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) highlights the 20.8% share of power production in the first half of 2011. As Der Spiegel reports, there has been a steady increase from 5% in 2000 to 18% in 2010, with a target of at least 35% of production from renewables by 2020. The opposition claims 40% or even more is realistic. Wind and biomass are the pillars today but the main driver of the 2011 development has been photovoltaics.
Jim Hansen on the President’s forthcoming decision about the Keystone XL pipeline: “If he chooses the dirty needle it is game over [for the earth's climate] because it will confirm that Obama was just greenwashing, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians with no real intention of solving the addiction. Canada is going to sell its dope, if it can find a buyer. So if the United States is buying the dirtiest stuff, it also surely will be going after oil in the deepest ocean, the Arctic, and shale deposits; and harvesting coal via mountaintop removal and long-wall mining. Obama will have decided he is a hopeless addict.”
80% of UK farmers see renewables as a way to save money and 60% as a way to add revenue, a survey by Barclays shows.
ExxonMobil replaces BP in the deal that went sour on the UK giant earlier this year because of TNK-BP’s objections.
The FT’s Martin Wolf summarises the terrain in what some are calling “the second great contraction”. He doesn’t think we are living through a double dip-recession, because the first dip never really came to an end.
New EPA regulations could force up to 20 per cent of US coal plants to shut down, according to the coal industry. The American Legislative Exchange Council talks of an impending upheaval as a “train wreck” of lost jobs, higher prices and blackouts. The Congressional Research Office is more relaxed.
The Canadians will exploit the tar sands anyway, so there will be no increase in emissions as a result of the 1,700 mile 700,000 barrel a day pipeline, which will have minimal other environmental impacts, says a State Department official.
According to a Nielsen global survey of online consumers, the US has one of the steepest declines in concern. Fewer than half Americans worry about climate change and only 58% of Brits, less than in China and Russia. But 90 per cent of Latin Americans are concerned, up from 85 per cent in 2009, and 93 per cent of Thais. 69% in 51 nations are concerned: essentially unchanged over the last four years. The 48% of concerned Americans is down from compared to 51% in 2009 and 62% in 2007. In China concern fell from 77% in 2009 to 64% in 2011, nearer to 2007′s figure of 60%.
But many problems and barriers remain in these “distribution cursed” markets, Renewable Energy World reports.
Shell declares that it cannot meet its full commitment to export oil from Nigeria following hacksaw sabotage locals say is caused by the company withdrawing contracts to pay people to monitor and protect the pipeline.
China has “vastly increased” the risk of a nuclear accident by choosing cheap technology that will be 100 years old as a replacement for reactors reaching the end of their lifespans, diplomatic cables from the US embassy in Beijing assert.
China is now a bigger market than the US. Chinese consumers show little preference for green cars. While SUV sales surge, Toyota sold only one Prius last year. On these trends, there would be more cars in China in 2030 than in the whole world in 2000.
Fixing in the problems will require “great efforts” by the company, the regulator says in a letter. This after the company last month increased the estimated cost to €6bn (originally #3.3bn) and extended completion to 2016 (originally 2012). No reactor has been built in France for 15 years.
One of Wall Street’s most feared lawyers, Jake Zaminsky, warns that cases will snowball following a move by Goldman Sachs to hire one of America’s top criminal defence lawyers. “I consider this to be a very significant event. For Lloyd Blankfein to be hiring a top criminal lawyer indicates that there may be allegations of wrongdoing forthcoming from the Department of Justice [DoJ],” Zamansky says.
A magnitude 5.8 quake – the last such being over 100 years ago – shuts down both reactors at the North Anna plant. One of the five available back-up generators fails after it kicks in. “Unsual events” are triggered at nuclear plants as far away as Michigan.
CEO Lloyd Blankfein enlists help from Rein Weingarten over claims that the bank misled clients and Congress over its behaviour in the run up to, and after, the financial crisis. Weingarten in the past defended accused including Worldcom and Enron executives.
Anthony Day in The Actuary: Take an organisation with £100bn in assets. Now suppose that there are compelling reasons why only 20% of those assets can ever be utilised. What are those assets truly worth? This is the basic question behind the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s report, ‘Unburnable Carbon’…..With business as usual taking us over the 2ºC threshold in only 16 years, we are coming very close to the wire. Maybe we have identified a new class of toxic assets. Maybe this time someone will recognise the danger before it’s too late.”
The NYT opposes the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline citing two worries: spills in sensitive terrain en route to the Gulf, and greater greenhouse intensity than conventional oil production.
An ECB economist joins the trend of blaming both fundamentals and speculators: “some speculative and trend chasing behaviour may have been adding to oil prices” since 2004.
And it duly takes its first step past a Lower House Committee. The government wants its feed-in tariff scheme to boost capacity of five renewable energy types by more than 30 GW over a decade, adding more than 12 percent to Japan’s total pre-Fukushima generation capacity of 240,000 MW.