Guardian, on why SolarAid is part of its Christmas appeal: “Chepnyaliliet school, with its rough concrete walls and tin roof at the end of a dusty lane lined with cacti and wild roses, seems an unlikely place find early adopters of technology. But that is exactly what Rhoda Sigei is. The determined nursery teacher was the first person in Bomet county, a verdant patch of Kenya‘s Great Rift valley, to buy into the potential of using solar lamps.” Read more
Carbon Tracker Quarterly: “The beginning of December saw Carbon Tracker announce our first CEO. Anthony Hobley will take the helm on February 1 2014 and Carbon Tracker founder, Mark Campanale, becomes Executive Deputy Chairman.” Read more
Houston Chronicle: “The stubborn rock that the energy industry breached to unleash a nationwide oil and gas rush remains a worthy foe, as producers must turn their drills ever faster to keep the boom’s lifeblood flowing. ….Behind the headlines boasting of a U.S. oil boom, producers have been grappling with rapid production declines at aging shale-play wells. The only answer: drill more and more wells.” Read more
Guardian: “….Sally Kayoni, the shopkeeper, stands on tiptoe to be seen over a counter lined with car batteries, radios and DVD players. Yet the prime retail space on the eye-level shelf behind her is given over to small solar lamps presented in a neat row. They get pride of place because they are among her bestsellers.” Read more
Eric Riguly in the Globe and Mail: “The “peak oil” theory has pretty much vanished, along with The Oil Drum, the bible of peak oil believers. Rest in peace.
Or turn in your grave, for the oil price charts tell a different story.” Read more
NYT: “JPMorganChase and federal authorities are nearing settlements over the bank’s ties to Bernard L. Madoff, striking tentative deals that would involve roughly $2 billion in penalties and a rare criminal action. The government will use a sizable portion of the money to compensate Mr. Madoff’s victims.” Read more
Philosophical Transactions of the the Royal Society: Introduction by Richard Miller and Steve Sorrell: “Abundant supplies of oil form the foundation of modern industrial economies, but the capacity to maintain and grow global supply is attracting increasing concern.” Read more
Climate Bonds Initiative: “It’s been a crazy month for “labelled”* green bonds. At the beginning of the month, there was approximately $10bn outstanding (just under $13bn has been issued but some matured) consisting of mostly of AAA multi-lateral development banks and (depending on how you count) a few municipalities. Now, as November closes, we’re looking at approximately $15bn outstanding with the first few corporate issuances released!” Read more
Chris Nelder on SmartPlanet: “In February, coverage of California’s Monterey Shale exploded in the mainstream press. ….As usual, the purveyors of this pablum were mainly interested in generating buzz, not investigating the reality. And as usual, it worked.” Read more
RTCC: “Governments have set the wrong target to limit climate change. The goal at present – to limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C higher than the average for most of human history – “would have consequences that can be described as disastrous”, say 18 scientists in a review paper in the journal PLOS One.” Read more
Guardian: “Reduced subsidies for onshore windfarms and solar power announced on Wednesday are “good news”, according to a leading renewable energy trade body, because it shows the costs of the technologies are coming down. The cuts set out by the energy secretary, Ed Davey, mean onshore windfarms will for the first time receive lower subsidies than future nuclear power stations.” Read more
Bloomberg: “A new study (PDF) examining the economics of Western Canada’s oil sands finds that even if the Keystone XL pipeline gets built, it’s unlikely that extracting the heavy, tar-like oil around Alberta will remain commercially viable over the next decade.” Read more
Letter to the Times: “Sir, The policies of the coalition Government on energy prices are contradictory to an almost unfathomable extent. At the same time as scrabbling around to find a way to cut £50 off bills, they are committing energy consumers to buy electricity at fully double today’s prices for decade after decade.” Read more
“I chair the financial think-tank Carbon Tracker, which first quantified the problem of the “carbon bubble”: the risk that carbon-fuel assets are in danger of being left in the ground because of climate policymaking that has essentially deemed most of them “unburnable” if we want to have a chance of keeping global temperature rises below 2°C.
In 2011, Carbon Tracker was the first to chart carbon exposures company by company and stock exchange by stock exchange. This year, we put numbers on the capital expenditure at risk of being wasted by the fossil-fuel industries.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to Norway and Sweden to talk about all this. The Norwegian state pension fund (often referred to as the oil fund) is the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world. At $800bn and growing, it is overweight in carbon-fuel investments, especially considering that its revenues come largely from Norwegian oil and gas.
Any recognition by this fund of carbon-fuel asset-stranding risk would send a huge signal to capital markets.
The Norwegian Labour Party, when in government, opposed any change to rules allowing fossil-fuel investments by the fund. In September’s election, Labour was replaced by a minority conservative coalition.
The environmental non-governmental organisation WWF arranged a day of Carbon Tracker briefings for ex-ministers, including former foreign affairs minister Jonas Gahr Støre. Three days later, he announced that Labour would support the pension fund’s complete withdrawal from coal, and look at oil and gas too.
Combined with support from the smaller parties, this would create a majority in parliament in favour of getting the oil fund out of coal.
A day later, the new prime minister spoke at a climate conference for the first time. Erna Solberg did not mention the oil fund in her speech, but asked about the Labour move, she said she would look at coal companies to check that they weren’t investing in renewables ahead of any support for withdrawal by the sovereign wealth fund. She won’t have to spend too long on that exercise, of course.”
REW.com: “An innovative Office of Naval Research (ONR) program is looking to Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard veterans for the cutting edge in alternative energy-and is highlighted this week in a new video released during the Navy’s Warrior Care Month.” Read more
Guardian: “Fracking is not going to reduce gas prices in the UK, according to the chairman of the UK’s leading shale gas company. The statement by Lord Browne, one of the most powerful energy figures in Britain, contradicts claims by David Cameron and George Osborne that shale gas exploration could help curb soaring energy bills.”
Oilprice.com: “Statoil, the state-owned oil company of Norway, has declared that large-scale drilling and exploration will not occur in the Arctic for a few decades due to the massive challenges of working in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world.” Read more