Archive for the ‘emissions’ Category

Ticket to ride: Energy outlooks and the few who benefit

If you’ve been involved in any conversations about energy in 2015, there’s very much a sense the industry is gritting its teeth and just trying to get through this period of sustained low prices. And if you’ve looked at any forecasts about prices, supply, demand and production into the near future, it’s clear why there’s a prevailing sense of grim determination.

The Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum was held today in New York, and while there was still a feeling of caution about what the future will bring, there were also glimmers of hope for growing energy consumption to support producers. Well, glimmers of hope for some countries, anyhow.

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India is looking for its economic rainbow through thick smog

Delhi is choking again. Levels of PM2.5 — fine particulate matter in the air known to cause heart and lung diseases — routinely swing between the “unhealthy” and “hazardous” ranges on the Air Quality Index, with the measurement spiking to an eye-popping 999 on November 27.

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Analysts, aluminum buyers mull impact of Chinese petcoke crackdown

China’s amended Air Pollution and Control Law includes a restriction on the import, sale or use of higher-sulfur petroleum coke, which is likely to tighten supply of anode-grade petcoke for the aluminum industry, according to analysts.

Petroleum coke is a byproduct of oil refining, and about 80% of global production is considered fuel-grade, used for generating electricity and in the cement industry. The remaining 20% is calcined, or further refined, and serves as a key ingredient in other manufacturing ─ in particular, aluminum production. Calcined pet coke (CPC) is used to make the anodes that provide the carbon for the electrolytic chemical reaction during aluminum smelting.

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How diesel became the new environmental “evil” in Europe

As news of the Volkswagen scandal broke in the US, it was only a matter of time before the storm hit Europe’s shores. The news was just one more log on the blaze of bad publicity the diesel industry has received in recent times. Moreover, in cultural terms, nitrogen oxide emissions seem to have overtaken carbon dioxide as the more “evil” of the two pollutants.

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Paris climate talks: What can be expected from COP21 (Part 3 of 3)

Europe, the US and China have all submitted their plans to the UN ahead of the Paris talks, detailing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and measures to achieve them.

While the big players are getting serious on emissions reductions, there are still potential sticking points in the negotiations.

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Paris climate talks: China and the US hold the keys (Part 2 of 3)

So what’s changed in the six years since Copenhagen? A lot, it turns out.

The world has moved on from outmoded country definitions of “developing” which grouped fast-developing economies like China alongside much poorer nations including many of those in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

There is now a much wider acceptance among governments that everyone has to pull their weight, while respecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Governments have crossed the battle lines and are looking for workable solutions, instead of fighting over who’s to blame, the World Bank said in May.

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Paris climate talks: Why this time is different (Part 1 of 3)

Heads of state and senior diplomats from almost 200 countries are set to gather in Paris in December to agree for the first time a fully comprehensive global climate protection deal. They have failed many times before, so why should they succeed this time?

The answer is because almost everything has changed: the climate science is more certain; governments are more confident on the need for action; climate denial is on the way out in most countries; the financial markets are paying attention to carbon risk; evidence is showing that emissions and economic growth can successfully be decoupled; the cost of renewable energy is falling; and several of the major oil and gas companies are calling for a global carbon price.

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I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more wind generation

The projected big winner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s pursuit of reduced carbon dioxide emissions by the power sector is wind generation.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, whose rules were unveiled Monday, is expected to trigger a boom in wind installations that could amount to a 63% increase in wind generation by the year 2020 over 2013 wind capacity totals, and an increase of 211% by 2030.

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WGC 2015: How gas hopes to fight back against coal

Visitors from around the world queue expectantly on the Paris streets, waiting to pass through bag searches and metal detectors to enter the show within. No, it’s not the French Open at Roland Garros, but the big event at the other end of town, the 26th edition of the World Gas Conference, taking place in the French capital all this week.

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Company surviving the ‘coaldrums’ by gasifying coal

Coal is being overwhelmed by regulation and supplanted by subsidized competitors. Patriot Coal is the latest US producer to come off the rails, and thousands of miles away in country that not so long ago was building a coal-fired plant a week, Chinese coal producer Shenhua has also reported poor financials. Yet one firm, SinoCoking Coal, has embraced coal gasification and, in the midst of the ‘coaldrums,’ has reported a huge rise in income. Ross McCracken has more from the most recent selection from Platts Energy Economist.

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