FT Alphaville suspects artificial scarcity in the oil markets.

June 20, 2013 Oil 

Izabella Kaminski in the FT joins other analysts wondering why have buyers of oil this year been paying a premium for prompt delivery when supply has far outstripped demand.

Australian coal industry warns of a “radical campaign” to scare off investors.

June 20, 2013 Climate, Coal 

SMH: “Concepts such as a “carbon price bubble” and “unburnable” fossil fuels are invalid slogans that are part of a “radical campaign” to scare off investors, according to a report commissioned by the Australian Coal Association.” Read more

UK Banking Commission recommends jailing bankers for recklessness.

June 19, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “George Osborne is facing pressure to radically overhaul Britain’s banks by introducing a new law to jail bankers for “reckless misconduct” and force bankers to wait up to 10 years to receive their bonuses.” Read more

Google’s energy “moonshot factory” zeros in on tethered windpower.

June 18, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “Google’s innovation unit Google X is working on a green energy project which its top executive Astro Teller believes could “have an important part to play in the future of the world energy production”.” Read more

Siemens to write off a billion euros in solar investment.

June 17, 2013 Clean Energy 

FT: Siemens can’t find a buyer for the loss-making solar unit it announced it would sell in October. It joins Bosch, which has lost €2.4 bn.

16 June: All Italy powered by renewables, German wholesale price negative.

June 16, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Sunday 16th of June: the first day in history when Germany experienced a negative cost of wholesale electricity, and the first day in history when all of Italy was powered by renewables (even if only between 2-3pm).

Australian government agency says coal must stay underground: a first.

June 16, 2013 Climate, Coal, Finance 

Sydney Morning Herald: “Most of Australia’s coal reserves will have to be left unburned if the world is to avoid catastrophic global warming, according to a major new report from the federal government’s Climate Commission.” Read more

Reforms fail in gas giant’s boardroom as institutionals investors fail to vote.

June 15, 2013 Finance, Gas 

FT: “Cheseapeake Energy, the gas and oil company that has been subject to investor concerns about corporate governance for years, has failed in attempts to improve its practices, because of lack of support from shareholders.” Read more

“Shale drillers squeeze costs as era of exploration ends”: Bloomberg.

June 14, 2013 Gas 

Bloomberg: “After spending $53 billion on a land binge to find hydrocarbons, the petroleum industry is counting on technological innovations — better imaging data, speedier and longer horizontal drilling, among them — to ramp up the flow of oil and gas from U.S. shale fields where they’re drilling more than 10,000 wells a year.” Read more

Pentagon & NSA bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks.

Nafeez Ahmed in the Guardian: “NSA Prism is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism. Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants.” Read more

100 GW global renewables capacity of 1,470 GW as of 2102 was solar PV.

June 13, 2013 Clean Energy, Finance 

SolarIndustryMag.com: “A United Nations agency and an international policy group have issued dual reports showing investments in renewable energy (excluding large hydropower) totaled $244 billion worldwide in 2012, with developing countries reaching near parity with developed ones.” Read more

Centrica tables £160m for Bowland shale fracking deal.

June 13, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “The British Gas owner, Centrica, will invest up to £160m in shale gas exploration and development in the north-west after agreeing a deal with Britain’s leading fracking company.” Read more

2.4 million quit UK banks in protest at lack of reforms.

June 13, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “An estimated 2.4 million customers quit the UK’s five biggest banks in 2012 as people “voted with their feet” in response to a string of scandals, according to latest figures.” Read more

Deaths from European coal air pollution on par with traffic accident deaths.

June 12, 2013 Coal 

Guardian: “Air pollution from Europe’s 300 largest coal power stations causes 22,300 premature deaths a year and costs companies and governments billions of pounds in disease treatment and lost working days, says a major study of the health impacts of burning coal to generate electricity.” Read more

IEA: carbon bubble means 60-80% of coal will need to stay in the ground.

June 10, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Finance, Gas, Oil 

The IEA publishes a special report ‘Redrawing the Energy Climate Map’. This includes consideration of the potential for stranded assets under their scenario.This confirmes that 60-80% of coal will need to stay in the ground. Read more

Oil pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey nears completion.

June 10, 2013 Oil 

Guardian: “With an estimated 45bn barrels of reserves – the fourth largest in the world – and a century’s worth of natural gas, the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) has become a big player in a geologically exciting but politically sensitive market.”  Read more

IEA: Wait for a climate agreement until 2020, and the world locks into 5˚C.

June 10, 2013 Climate 

Guardian: “The world cannot afford to wait for a new global climate change agreement to come into force in 2020, because doing so will mean an end to hopes of limiting global warming to moderate levels, one of the world’s foremost authorities on energy has warned.” Read more

CO2 equivalent now stands at 478 ppm, when 50 trace gases considered.

June 6, 2013 Climate 

Oceans at MIT: “The Keeling Curve record from the NOAA-operated Mauna Loa Observatory shows that the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration hovers around 400 ppm, a level not seen in more than 3 million years when sea levels were as much as 80 feet higher than today. Virtually every media outlet reported the passage of this climate milestone, but we suspect there’s more to the story.” Read more

US gas drillers buy out owners of polluted homes and gag them.

June 6, 2013 Gas 

Bloomberg: “Chris and Stephanie Hallowich were sure drilling for natural gas near their Pennsylvania home was to blame for the headaches, burning eyes and sore throats they suffered after the work began.” Read more

“Solar wars threaten climate fight”: Martin Khor in China Daily.

June 6, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate 

China Daily: “Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury and well-known solar energy advocate, uses the following analogy to illustrate the trade war: “A planet faces an asteroid strike. Its inhabitants manufacture rockets with which to head off the threat. But, as the rock nears, they descend into international bickering over who pockets what from rocket-making.”