Archive for the ‘renewable energy’ Category

US Interior review will likely find ways to ‘fix’ federal coal

The US Interior Department announced January 15 that it is going to “review” the Bureau of Land Management’s leasing program of federal lands upon which an estimated 41% of all US coal is currently produced, and is putting a hold on all new lease applications while the three-year review is underway.

The announcement raised immediate suspicions in some quarters that the department was angling at more than a mere review of leasing procedures, a possible royalty fee hike and a benign moratorium on future leases. At the very least, the announcement was seen as a shot across the bow of coal production in the US.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping the hope for more offshore power afloat with wind turbines

The evolution of floating wind turbines mirrors almost exactly that of offshore oil exploration and production structures. Norwegian oil company Statoil’s decision to build the first floating wind farm represents a carbon risk hedge in an area in which it can deploy its considerable offshore expertise. If costs can be reduced, floating wind farms would hugely expand the exploitable wind resource. Ross McCracken, managing editor of Platts’ Energy Economist, explains.

Read the rest of this entry »

US data indicates power sector CO2 emissions down 15.6% since 2007

As it prepares for the November 30 start-up of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris, the US Department of Energy has been generating data that shows total US carbon dioxide emissions have declined and then flattened out in the past eight years, with emissions specifically from the US power sector part of the same trend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t lose your head over bad times — the oil markets will sort everything out

Back in the day six weeks ago, I used to tell this joke when I was explaining how Platts was sending me on the road for the rest of the year to get the pulse of the oil markets.

I hate to travel, and I don’t like people, so this is perfect for me.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Texas tale of two winds

It was a curious stretch of time for wind power generation in Texas.

From mid-August to mid-September, the availability of wind generation in the most heavily-stocked market did a virtual U-turn.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »