Concentrated cash pile puts recovery in hands of just a few corporations.

January 21, 2014 Finance 

FT: “The pile of unspent corporate cash that has built up since the start of the financial crisis is being held by an increasingly concentrated pool of companies that will be crucial to hopes of a pick-up in business investment to stimulate the world economy.”
Read more

2013 was 4th warmest year ever: 9 of 10 since 2000.

January 21, 2014 Climate 

Guardian: “Last year was tied for the fourth-warmest year on record around the world. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday released its global temperature figures for 2013. The average world temperature was 58.12F (14.52C) tying with 2003 for the fourth-warmest since 1880.”
Read more

Plans for a European solar PV super-fab.

January 21, 2014 Clean Energy “Reports came out this week that Germany, France, Switzerland, and possibly other European nations are mulling a plan to pool efforts and establish a combined massive-scale solar cell manufacturing operation, inspired by the aerospace consortium Airbus.” Read more

“The US shale boom is overhyped.” And China is watching?

January 20, 2014 Clean Energy, Climate, Commentaries, Gas, Oil 

Jeremy Leggett on China Dialogue: “A growing number of analysts familiar with the detailed state of the global oil and gas industry fear that the almost universally positive narrative about hydrocarbon supply from shale is deeply flawed, and that in fact a global oil crisis might be imminent.” Read more

al-Husseini: Global oil supply plateau unlikely to extend beyond 2020.

January 20, 2014 Oil 

ASPO USA: Sadad al-Husseini interviewed by Steve Andrews: “Since the autumn of 2011, a storyline of “oil revolution” and oil abundance–even “North American energy independence”—has taken the US media by storm.  ….What is your perspective on that storyline?  Should we be bracing for the notion of energy independence in the USA or do you feel the future will diverge from that optimistic scenario?”
Read more

‘Peak demand’ oil theory fails scrutiny test.

January 20, 2014 Oil 

Mark Lewis in the FT: “Oil market commentators increasingly dismiss the very idea of supply-side constraints on the oil market, pointing to the recent surge in light-tight oil production from US shale deposits and the existence of vast shale formations elsewhere in the world.” Read more

Financial crises average once every 7 years: one due therefore?

January 20, 2014 Finance 

Guardian: “Financial crises come round every seven years on average. There was the stock market crash of 1987, the emerging market meltdown in the mid-1990s, the popping of the dotcom bubble in 2001 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. If history is any guide, the next crisis should be coming along some time soon.”
Read more

85 richest people in the world are as wealthy as poorest half.

January 20, 2014 Finance 

Guardian: “The…. richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker.” Read more

UK’s Green Deal fails to create desired energy efficiency revolution.

January 18, 2014 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “It would be, the climate minister said, the “biggest home improvement programme since the second world war” and “a massive economic and job opportunity”. But the Green Deal, launched in January last year as the government’s main way of encouraging householders to make their homes more energy efficient, has been more of a whimper than the “transformational” scheme that Greg Barker promised.”
Read more

Shell profit warning wipes 6.5 billion pounds off of UK’s FTSE.

January 17, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Reuters: “Britain’s top share index underperformed major regional peers on Friday, knocked back by a dramatic fall in Shell, its most heavily weighted stock, after the oil major delivered a profit warning.” Read more

“Shell, bruised by big bets, warns of profit miss.”

January 17, 2014 Gas, Oil 

WSJ: “Ben van Beurden toiled in Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s chemical-making unit for years, supporting an unpopular idea at the oil and gas company. He said Shell should be wary of “elephant projects” that cost billions of dollars and dominated the company’s growth strategy. The steep costs of oil and gas development from Canada to Kazakhstan, sometimes with little to show for the giant investments, came back to haunt Shell on Friday when it announced its first profit warning in 10 years” Read more

Low-carbon scenario could cut coal asset value by 44%: HSBC.

January 17, 2014 Climate, Coal, Finance 
HSBC (no url): “Public focus on carbon risks to long- term coal demand is growing. We update our scenario analysis of the risks facing UK mining stocks. A low-carbon scenario could cut valuations of coal assets by 44% and the UK miners by 2-13%.”
Read more

UN climate report urges quicker switch to low-carbon global economy.

January 17, 2014 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Finance, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Delaying action on global warming will only increase the costs and reduce the options for dealing with its worst effects, according to a draft report by UN experts.”
Read more

US Army colonel: “world is sleepwalking to a global energy crisis.”

January 17, 2014 Commentaries, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “A conference sponsored by a US military official convened experts in Washington DC and London warning that continued dependence on fossil fuels puts the world at risk of an unprecedented energy crunch that could inflame financial crisis and exacerbate dangerous climate change.”
Read more

IEA boss: methane hydrates may be the next energy boom.

January 17, 2014 Gas 

FT: “Forget the shale gas revolution that has transformed North America’s energy landscape. The energy of the future could lie buried deep underneath the world’s oceans and the Arctic permafrost: giant reservoirs of gas trapped in ice crystals.”
Read more

RWE halves investment in renewables.

January 16, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “RWE, one of Britain’s biggest renewable energy investors, is planning to significantly scale back its spending in the UK and expects to sell off wind farms and a major biomass plant.”
Read more

WEF Global Risk 2014 report: energy crisis not in the 31 risks studied.

January 16, 2014 Climate, Finance 

WEF: “The chronic gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest citizens is seen as the risk that is most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade, according to over 700 global experts that contributed to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2014 report, released today. Other risks of significant concern include extreme weather events, unemployment and fiscal crises.” Read more

Australian heatwave shows man-made climate change, scientists say.

January 16, 2014 Climate 

FT: “The extreme heatwave gripping southern Australia forced the suspension of matches at the Australian Open tennis tournament on Thursday, as temperatures soared to 42C in Melbourne and officials warned of escalating risks of bush fires and power outages.”
Read more

“US still vulnerable to oil shocks, say generals.”

January 15, 2014 Gas, Oil 

FT: “The US remains vulnerable to oil price shocks caused by disruptions in the Middle East and other producing regions in spite of the North American shale boom, a commission of former generals and senior officials has warned.” Read more

Carbon bubble discussed at UN before investors managing $22 trillion.

UN Web TV: The biennual 2014 UN Investor Summit on Climate Risk Summit, hosted by the UN Foundation and CERES is the preeminent forum for global investors to discuss the implications of climate change for capital markets – investors representing $22 trillion of assets under management were in the room. Watch the carbon bubble discussion, with Carbon Tracker chairman Jeremy Leggett chairing the panel, starting 10 minutes in.