Martin Wolf in the FT: “The time has come to employ this nuclear option on a grand scale. The alternative is likely to be a lost decade. The waste is more than unnecessary; it is cruel.”
Archive for September, 2011
Writing in the FT, he suggests that first governments of the eurozone must agree in principle on a new treaty creating a common Treasury for the eurozone. Second, the main banks must be put under European Central Bank direction in return for a temporary guarantee and permanent recapitalisation. Third, the ECB would enable countries such as Italy and Spain to temporarily refinance themselves within limits at a very low cost.
China provided $30 billion in credit to its biggest solar manufacturers last year, about 20 times the US figure. After the Solyndra bankruptcy, politicians are crying foul. Thomas Conway, international vice president for the Pittsburgh-based United Steelworkers: “We should not sit back and say we are afraid to start a trade war. We are in a trade war, and we are losing.”
Germany’s guarantees increase to €123 to 211 bn. But the many critics wonder if it is enough to stop the rot. The European Financial Stability Facility has €440 bn available to it. The threat of Greek default is over for the time being.
The second quarter saw an all time high of 9.6 per cent of the UK’s grid mix. The 7.86TWh contributed by green energy generators represented a 50 per cent rise on the same time last year. Wind led, up 120 per cent year on year.
Six countries have notified the IAEA that they abandoned plans as a result of the disaster. The UK looks like being the largest western market in the decade ahead.
Fears for groundwater contamination have restricted access for the industry in some states. The EPA has said no company frack using diesel without a license.
The town of Galena has offered to take a 10MW prototype that could run for 30 years without refuelling, according to an FT review of fast changes acrosse the energy sector.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 and will take ten years.
“They’ve flushed away millions that could have gone into profitable clean energy businesses, and no doubt their investors will now be thinking twice about wasting any more money on their dangerous venture”, Greenpeace says.
The review of Renewable Obligation Certificates was supposed to be complete by October, for implementation 1 April 2013, so as to give investors certainty, but it now faces a delay of unknown duration.
The government delay, an outcome of the furore whipped up over Solyndra, has forced SunCity to go and look for higher cost private funding, which will mean the company will have to drop states with lower cost electricity. The original proposal would have doubled residential rooftop PV in the US.
Letters seen by the Guardian between the company, a former oil and gas engineer with experience of fracking, and officials in DECC, the Environment Agency, and the Health and Safety Executive, shows that no government body has overall responsibility for monitoring the nascent industry, and that inspectors from three agencies have made only two random and a handful of pre-arranged visits to Cuadrilla’s exploratory operations since work began 18 months ago.
There is potentially as much as 5.6m cubic metres (200tn cubic ft) of gas in the Bowland shale, they say. They will need to drill some six to eight holes per square mile, potentially running to hundreds or thousands of holes eventually. The battle with the locals is on. Based on two wells, they are saying their discovery would be the biggest single reserve in the world and equivalent to 20% of the whole of China’s shale gas resource, supposedly the biggest in the world.
The Big 6 player, saying it wishes to stick with what it knows best, pulls out of a nuclear consortium with Gaz de France and Iberdrola.
So says Larry Elliot in the Guardian. “First, policymakers have used up virtually all their ammunition. Interest rates are already at historically low levels and countries that once had the cushion of sound public finances are now running big budget deficits. Second, there was unanimity about what needed to be done in 2008 and the political will to stimulate demand and recapitalise shaky banks.”
This he tells the Canadian Parliament. He urges EU leaders to “stop kicking the can down the road” on a €440bn (£386bn) bailout mechanism, now known as the European Financial Stability Facility.
The financial crisis and weakening political will means global momentum has been lost on CCS, the IEA says at a CCS review meeting in Beijing. The IEA estimates the 2C goal requires 1,500 large-scale CCS projects around the world by 2035 (20% of the roadmap to 2C). Only 74 have been announced. China should have 270 by 2035. It has six at the planning stage. Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, says CCS is a “last resort” for China.
In the Observer: “Eighty years ago, faced with today’s economic events, nobody would have been in any doubt: we would obviously be living through a crisis in capitalism. Instead, there is a collective unwillingness to call a spade a spade. This is variously a crisis of the European Union, a crisis of the euro, a debt crisis or a crisis of political will. It is all those things, but they are subplots of a much bigger story: the way capitalism has been conceived and practised for the last 30 years has hit the buffers.”
The builder of all 17 German reactors says “the chapter is closed.” The CEO says he is backing the German government’s planned switch to renewables, calling it a “project of the century”. He says Berlin’s target of reaching 35% renewable energy by 2020 is achievable.
Around 500 people started gathering at Zhejiang Jinko Solar company in Haining city, Zhejiang province, 3 days ago and have stayed. Some have stormed the factory, overturning cars and destroying offices. A large number of river fish have died and the factory has failed waste control tests since April. JinkoSolar, listed on the NYSE, has not commented. The plnt is later shut. Solarcentury CEO Derry Newman says: “Solarcentury and the wider industry are aware of the particular pitfalls of manufacturing in Asia and are working to promote best practice. Solarcentury wouldn’t tolerate the behaviour reported in our supply chain. If a company persisted in ignoring pollution warnings, we’d try to persuade our peers to drop it from their supply chains.”
Republicans are arguing the latter. Grist: “Since October of 2008, the average price of solar modules has fallen from $4.20 per watt to around $1.20 to $1.50 per watt today. These are mind-boggling reductions.” And they are the cause.
“There will be oil”, the Wall Street Journal headline reads. The CERA professor is triumphant in his article. “For decades, advocates of ‘peak oil’ have been predicting a crisis in energy supplies. They’ve been wrong at every turn.” He predicts a plateau, beginning around 2050, with as much as 110 mbd produced by 2030. He adds a caveat: this is not a “done deal” because of geopolitics. Strong critiques by ASPO experts follow: by Jean Laharrere in Le Monde, by Kjell Aleklett on his own website, by Euan Mearns on The Oil Drum.