A few notes from day one of the Platts Crude Oil Markets-Americas conference in Houston.
Archive for the ‘emissions’ Category
By John Kingston | February 27, 2014 11:32 PM Comments (0)
By Ross McCracken | December 20, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (5)
Whether practical or not, the unstated implication behind current emissions abatement policies is that zero coal-fired generation is the ultimate ambition. However, the reality is that zero coal can only be contemplated from a privileged, developed world perspective, and even then no coal at all may prove to be a sub-optimal solution. Ross McCracken discusses that perspective in this offering taken from the pages of Platts Energy Economist.
By Ross McCracken | November 22, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (11)
Europe has taken renewable energy generation further and faster than any other region of the world in terms of system penetration, and now appears to be heading into a maelstrom. Where Europe falls, others will follow. Perversely, the impacts of the successful build out of low carbon generation could put at risk the consensus behind climate change mitigation policies. US utilities should take note: never before has the need for international comparison been so pressing. Ross McCracken discusses this issue in a story that appears in this month’s edition of Platts Energy Economist.
There has been talk in the United States of the utility “death spiral,” a process in which environmentally-targeted subsidy support enables consumers to disengage, partially if not wholly, from the electricity grid through demand-side management and distributed generation. Utilities, required to invest to incorporate renewables into a centralized system, are left in an unsustainable situation of higher embedded costs and fewer customers.
By John Kingston | November 19, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (3)
The University of California-Davis has a new study out about California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Once you get past the standard dry academic writing, much of it is fairly startling.
We care about the source of the report because the school’s Institute of Transportation Studies is essentially the intellectual center of the LCFS. And what it calls for in the study, released last month but published on an LCFS-centered Twitter feed just a few days ago would, if implemented, mark a significant change in the way the state’s LCFS is administered.
By John Kingston | October 28, 2013 03:22 PM Comments (0)
This is how the whole concept of a “war room” works in Washington.
The AAA — that’s now the formal name, but it used to be the American Automobile Association — sent out a press release today that landed in my mailbox at 12:05 pm Eastern time. The release said that the Environmental Protection Agency should reduce the 2014 renewable fuels mandate, which it has signaled it will do, because of concerns that the 10% blend wall would be hit, creating “a possible surge in gas prices or the increased use of potentially damaging E15 gasoline.”
The time of the response by the Renewable Fuels Association: 12:24 pm, just 19 minutes later. That’s what a “war room” does.
By John Kingston | October 15, 2013 05:43 PM Comments (1)
By Herman Wang | October 10, 2013 12:24 PM Comments (0)
The complicated politics of the Renewable Fuel Standard were on full display Wednesday, as an Iowa Republican — a member of a party generally favorable to the oil industry — vehemently defended the biofuels blending mandate, while a Vermont Democrat — from a party traditionally aligned with alternative fuels advocates — bashed it.
The differing opinions, presented at a forum hosted by National Journal in Washington, illustrate how tricky it could be to reform the law, which the oil industry has long sought to eliminate.
The issue does not neatly fall along political lines, but rather geographical.
By John Kingston | October 7, 2013 09:34 AM Comments (0)
There was a slightly wide-eyed story in The New York Times last week about a new venture to sell gas from landfills directly to the retail market for fueling natural gas vehicles. No doubt, the project by T. Boone Pickens-backed Clean Energy Fuels is unique, because the fuel is being given a brand name — Redeem — its ties to landfills are being openly touted, and now it has the publicity coup of a story in the country’s most respected newspaper.
But the story only briefly touched on what is clearly the primary reason for this venture: the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and the larger national Renewable Fuel Standard.
By Shailaja Nair | October 3, 2013 09:06 PM Comments (0)
The message from Reg Nelson, managing director of Australia’s Beach Energy, was clear: return to science and facts when evaluating whether to explore and exploit shale gas plays. Not, as he said at The Melbourne Mining Club’s monthly luncheon on Thursday, “consensus by Twitter.”
Talking about how new extraction technologies and global demand for gas as a viable fuel with low emissions offered the likelihood of a shale gas-led boom “on at least an equivalent scale to the (Australian) mining boom,” he urged the country to also commit to greater LNG exports. “This is Australia’s big opportunity and every state has the potential to join,” he said. “It’s actually domestic gas’ big hope — not its threat.”
By John Kingston | September 13, 2013 11:50 AM Comments (19)
We don’t want to keep picking on Vermont. (Maybe we do. The story sort of writes itself.)
But the latest developments there are more interesting chapters in a state that wants to be the greenest in the nation, but keeps running into what some people there might see as “unintended consequences.” But they are utterly predictable to anybody who understands energy tradeoffs.
So here’s a summary of the last few weeks in the Green Mountain State: