Latest Energydesk posts http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/feeds/newsdesk en Energydesk daily dispatch http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-22 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christine Ottery </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sorry for the tardiness, folks!&nbsp; On&nbsp;Energydesk&nbsp;&nbsp;We have two stories essentially explaining how dysfunctional the EU emissions trading scheme is. Firstly, billions of euros (part of an ETS financial mechanism) meant to&nbsp;tackle climate change and diversify the energy mix are&nbsp;at risk of being used by Poland to subsidise its coal industry. Also, we report on how the ETS and a bunch of other&nbsp;EU environmental policies&nbsp;could fail to limit coal-firing in Europe into the 2030s, according to modelling by Sandbag.&nbsp; Top 3 stories 1) UK renewable investment attractiveness&nbsp;down - and debate over whether independence would harm Scotland’s renewablesThe&nbsp;UK has fallen to 7th place in the renewable energy attractiveness index&nbsp;for the first time since December 2009 due to instability in government legislature and the emergence of more attractive, foreign markets - say EY.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Telegraph&nbsp;and other sites host a video from Bloomberg that seeks to answer the question: could independence harm Scotland's green energy?&nbsp; Plus, in case you didn’t catch it our yes/no debate between Tom Greatrex and Paul Wheelhouse on which way will be best for the climate is making waves, with a story on AP. 2)&nbsp;China tightens up coal import rules, affecting Australian exportsAustralian coal exporters are scrambling to clarify the fallout from changes to China's coal import rules, which will limit the import of high sulphur and ash coal. Meanwhile, China is moving to force power utilities to slash coal import volumes, also with the stated aim of improving air quality. This could expose the industry to billions of dollars in lost sales,&nbsp;the Sydney Morning Herald reports. ABC covers the story&nbsp;as a debate between&nbsp;the Australian coal industry and the Federal Government, disputing predictions that coal exports will be hurt by a crack down on pollution in China. In related news,&nbsp;AngloAmerican chief Mark Cutifani says he expects metallurgical coal mines (the firm is Australia's second-biggest producer of metallurgical coal) will be&nbsp;mothballed at a rate of one every two or three weeks&nbsp;until enough supply has fallen out of the beleaguered sector to drive a price recovery. 3) Some US solar and wind cost-competitive with gas - and senate finance committee supports renewables subsidies extensionLarge wind farms and solar plants are now cost-competitive with gas-fired power in many parts of the US even without subsidy raising the prospect of a fundamental shift in the country’s energy market,&nbsp;the FT reports. Meanwhile&nbsp;NPR says&nbsp;the cost of solar panels is falling rapidly in the United States - though they don’t yet help with fewer blackouts. Reuters reports that&nbsp;the US Senate's top Democratic and Republican tax law writers urged colleagues to renew a set of expired federal tax breaks to the tune of $85 bn, many of which support renewable energy, including aid for wind energy, biodiesel, and plug-in vehicles. Mark Ruffalo is at it again today with a&nbsp;comment piece in HuffPo&nbsp;on expounding the benefits of the American&nbsp;Clean Energy Success Story.&nbsp; In other news The NYT reports&nbsp;on Jordan’s huge 15-year deal to import gas from Israel - putting the country in politically problematic situation. It also reports&nbsp;France is pushing geothermal&nbsp;- and Paris already has the world’s second-largest concentration of geothermal wells after Iceland. Ban Ki Moon has announced&nbsp;he’s taking the unusual step of attending one of the many climate change marches taking place on Sunday around the world ahead of ‘his’ summit in New York. Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * // 40) return; mce_preload_checks++; try { var jqueryLoaded=jQuery; } catch(err) { setTimeout('mce_preload_check();', 250); return; } var script = document.createElement('script'); script.type = 'text/javascript'; script.src = 'http://downloads.mailchimp.com/js/jquery.form-n-validate.js'; head.appendChild(script); try { var validatorLoaded=jQuery("#fake-form").validate({}); } catch(err) { setTimeout('mce_preload_check();', 250); return; } mce_init_form(); } function mce_init_form(){ jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = $("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); $("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").unbind('submit');//remove the validator so we can get into beforeSubmit on the ajaxform, which then calls the validator options = { url: 'http://greenpeace.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json?u=4452917e2c852b5f073414858&id=ad1a620334&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; 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} else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = ' '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = $(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = $(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = $(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = $().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ $(f).append(html); $(input_id).focus(); } else { $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } // ]]> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-22#comments News energy Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:36:57 +0000 christine_ottery 364764 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk EU’s environmental policies could fail to limit coal-firing http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/eu%E2%80%99s-environmental-policies-could-fail-limit-coal-firing <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christine Ottery </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Coal burning in Europe into the 2030s is not going to be significantly constrained by a raft of European legislation and the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).This is according to a new analysis by emissions trading interest group Sandbag, who have modelled the rather limited impact of the ETS and a bunch of EU directives that relate to coal-firing.New build coal plants should be stopped and the retirement of old coal generation should be accelerated in high-income countries (Europe counts) to prevent catastrophic climate change, according to the New Climate Economy report co-authored by Lord Stern.But coal generation is only going to fall 23% between 2013 and 2030 in the Sandbag scenario.&nbsp;Carbon emissions from coal use have only dropped 2% in the past five years (2008-2013) - whereas CO2 emissions from rest of the power sector have shrunk 33% over the same time period - the figures reveal.Dysfunctional ETS fails to push coal off systemIn 2013 coal accounted for at least a fifth of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. And the tool that we rely on to drive coal to gas switching in the EU, the ETS, is going to fail at this task allowing high carbon investments could continue as a result, say Sandbag.They predict that the ETS will continue - in the absence of any current&nbsp;significant reforms to the system (the European Commission is recommending a Market Stability Reserve but it's not yet law)&nbsp;&nbsp;- to be flooded with a surplus of around 2.1 billion tonnes of carbon credits, even in 2030.Because of this, the mechanism won’t work to push the carbon price up to a level that will make coal burning relatively more expensive than gas and push coal off the system - it will be unlikely to top €10 per tonne of CO2 until 2030 and maybe beyond.Alongside a non-functional ETS, there are a host of other European policies that could impact on coal burning. The Sandbag analysis considered the Renewables Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive as well as a bunch legislation ruling air quality.On the demand side, energy consumption could actually go down in the future,&nbsp;Sandbag reports,&nbsp;instead of grow, as the European Commission predict. This would have an impact on coal but also mean the surplus in ETS would be even bigger than projected above. [Sandbag plans to publish more detail on this in their forthcoming annual report on the state of the ETS.]Renewables growth could have bigger impact on coal&nbsp;Sandbag’s modelling of the impact of the Renewables Directive on the power sector (using European Commision projections on electricity consumption) shows that though coal is projected to fall by 23% by 2030, gas also falls (by 34%) and there’s no sign of coal to gas switching.This is because only 25% of renewables growth will lead to a fall in coal generation in the Sandbag scenario rather than the ETS. If the ETS did its job of driving up the price of coal to more than gas then there would be a much larger drop in coal use by 2030.EU legislation meant to combat air pollution, which causes health problems, also has the potential to impact on coal burning.But this depends on how expensive plant upgrades would be to comply with the upcoming Industrial Emissions Directive and the regulations associated with it (large combustion plant BREF - Best Available Techniques document).The IED could mean up to about 40GW of coal plants out of 150GW in Europe could decide to retire by 2023 - the last chance saloon to comply with the law or come offline - according to a previous Sandbag report.Since the plants that make up the 40GW could go either way depending on policy conclusions - of the EU 2030 climate and energy package, BREF, ETS reform. It is unclear whether these policies will mean coal is taken off the system or not.&nbsp;The levels of certainty could also be influenced by a global climate deal and domestic policies - such as subsidies to fossil fuels paid through capacity payments in the UK. These unknowns also creates uncertainty for investors who might help finance upgrades.So far only one coal plant in Europe has announced they will definitely close due to the IED.Three EU countries generate two thirds of emission from coalThe UK, Germany and Poland were responsible for 64% of the EU’s coal emissions in 2013.The report assumes the UK sees reductions - from a high level - in coal generation thanks to the carbon floor price being more influential than the ETS here; that Poland do little to cut coal consumption; and that Germany only sees a small decrease in coal-firing. Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * // 40) return; mce_preload_checks++; try { var jqueryLoaded=jQuery; } catch(err) { setTimeout('mce_preload_check();', 250); return; } var script = document.createElement('script'); script.type = 'text/javascript'; script.src = 'http://downloads.mailchimp.com/js/jquery.form-n-validate.js'; head.appendChild(script); try { var validatorLoaded=jQuery("#fake-form").validate({}); } catch(err) { setTimeout('mce_preload_check();', 250); return; } mce_init_form(); } function mce_init_form(){ jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = $("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); $("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").unbind('submit');//remove the validator so we can get into beforeSubmit on the ajaxform, which then calls the validator options = { url: 'http://greenpeace.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json?u=4452917e2c852b5f073414858&id=ad1a620334&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; 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} else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = ' '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = $(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = $(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = $(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = $().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ $(f).append(html); $(input_id).focus(); } else { $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); $('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } // ]]> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/eu%E2%80%99s-environmental-policies-could-fail-limit-coal-firing#comments News energy Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:18:53 +0000 christine_ottery 364684 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Energydesk Daily Dispatch http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-21 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Zachary Davies Boren </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Subscribe to our mailing list &nbsp;The Scottish referendum is tomorrow, and it appears to&nbsp;have&nbsp;eaten up all the news leaving&nbsp;today's dispatch just a bit&nbsp;short one.From Energydesk&nbsp;We've drafted key government figures to debate the climate and energy arguments for and against Scottish independence.Tom Greatrex, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West and our&nbsp;Shadow Energy Minister,&nbsp;lays out the case for No. Invoking the green but irrelevant Paraguay, Greatrex says that the UK must stick together if it intends to be a player in the global energy debate. He also points out the question mark around&nbsp;green energy subsidies.Paul Wheelhouse, Energy and Environment Minister for the SNP,&nbsp;argues that Yes is the right decision&nbsp;from a climate policy perspective. He observes that Scotland has one of the most ambitious green agendas in the world, and is in fact being weighed down by resistance within the UK. Temporarily relying on North Sea oil reserves ala Norway, an independent&nbsp;Scotland would develop a vast renewables infrastructure.On a less Scottish note,&nbsp;Christine has written up a piece&nbsp;about whether fracking in the UK would cut coal use.&nbsp;Top storiesUK: People don't like big energy companiesThe Big 6 energy companies are among the most hated institutions in Britain, according to a new customer satisfaction study from the&nbsp;'Which?' website.&nbsp;All six companies reside in the bottom fifth, with nPower finishing dead last,&nbsp;writes the Press Association.And British Petroleum has been likened&nbsp;by a US Judge to a cheating college student,&nbsp;reports The Telegraph. &nbsp;Apparently, BP used line spacing tricks to make a report on the Deepwater Horizon disaster six pages longer than it actually was.On the good side of things, MeyGen have signed a 10-year deal to develop a tidal farm in the Pentland Firth round the Scottish isles,&nbsp;reports the BBC.&nbsp;A few months back&nbsp;Energydesk wrote a piece&nbsp;all about the tidal and wave energy sector, including an interactive map of sites.Also&nbsp;Cooperative Energy has kicked off a community energy fortnight in which it will support city and local initiatives,&nbsp;writes Click Green.&nbsp;ICYMI&nbsp;Energydesk has&nbsp;an articleabout city energy projects across the UK, and it also has an interactive map.USA: Energy industry in disarray&nbsp;Things aren't going so well for Obama's big climate change plan, with&nbsp;The Guardian reporting&nbsp;that its most critical component - rules for cutting power plant carbon pollution - is being slowed down following a combo of lobbying and excessive paperwork.But it's also not like the US coal business is spick and span, with&nbsp;Think Progress reporting&nbsp;that a new government report has found that more coal plants will close by 2025&nbsp;than previously thought.And what about fracking? Well, US Geological Survey scientists say they have found a link between earthquakes in the south west of the country and the wastewater injection part of the fracking process,&nbsp;courtesy of Think Progress&nbsp;(again).&nbsp;Next up,&nbsp;from the New York Times,&nbsp;how Washington DC may drown due to climate change floods.Celebrities: Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo get involvedAhead of next week's big climate summit, the UN has named Jack from Titanic as Messenger of Peace,&nbsp;says HuffPo.His fellow Hollywoodland activist&nbsp;The Hulk&nbsp;has called upon Barack Obama to ban fracking,&nbsp;reports The Guardian.And the rest:The Guardian has produced&nbsp;a breakdown of Lord Stern's New Climate Economy report.The Chinese press has addressed&nbsp;the country's recent anti-coal measures.&nbsp; </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-21#comments News energy Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:31:59 +0000 zacharyboren 364683 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Billions in EU climate allowances spent on coal http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/billions-eu-climate-allowances-spent-coal <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Damian Kahya </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The vast majority of the estimated 12bn euros of European allowances and transfers intended to tackle climate change and diversify the energy mix between 2013-19 will - instead - be spent on coal, according to a new report.The report, by WWF, CAN Europe and Greenpeace EU also found that most of the estimated 9bn euros expected in solidarity and Kyoto payments will not be spent on measures linked to climate change.The payments come from the sale of European carbon credits but their use is controversial. Poland, for example, plans to spend the 3bn euros it will receive to cut the budget deficit.The findings suggest that non-legally binding agreements to use the extra resources provided to lower income countries to diversify their energy sectors and invest in reducing emissions are not being followed.Instead EU support aimed at lowering emissions has effectively subsidised the coal industry.The report comes as EU leaders prepare to meet in October to agree the next round of climate and energy targets and decide the fate of the existing mechanisms.Free allowancesThe EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) works by making energy firms pay for allowances to emit carbon dioxide.Initially some firms were given allowances for free - but from 2013 the plan was, all power companies had to pay.But many of the EU’s newer members argued the scheme would impose unfair costs on their recovering economies, so a 2008 deal allowed billions of euros worth of free allowances for power companies in these member states.In exchange the ETS directive suggested member states would invest in diversifying the power sector,installing clean energy and upgrading infrastructure, outlining how they would do so in a “National Investment Plan”.By the end of 2012 the EU had granted allowances which should amount to around 12bn euro’s of corresponding investments, with almost 7.5bn of that allocated to Poland.But out of the 378 investments in Poland’s national plan only 27 related to renewable energy with 24 of those actually supporting biomass co-firing with coal. The vast majority of the investments were aimed at modernising Poland’s existing fleet of coal plants.Free cashIn addition to the free allowances a deal in 2009 agreed that some of the auctioned allowances (10%) would be used to promote growth in EU through the “solidarity and growth” mechanism instead of simply being distributed according to each member state’s emissions.A further 2% would be distributed to member states who had reduced emissions by a certain amount under the Kyoto protocol.All in between 2013 and 2020 this will add up to around 9bn euros in -what were effectively - cash transfers to lower income EU states such as Poland and Romania.The deal envisaged the money being used to tackle climate change - for example through promoting renewable energy or public transport.The report found that Poland plans to spend its 3bn euros on cutting the deficit with Romania so far saying that at least a third of the money would be spent on the state budget.New targetsThe analysis comes as the EU prepares to rubber stamp a new range of targets up until 2030 - which could include many of the same mechanisms.This introduces a problem - because most of the cheapest clean energy investments are in low-income countries where the current support schemes appear to do little to promote emissions reductions.Instead, free allowances and funds designed to support the diversification of their energy systems could be used once again to support the coal industry of Poland, Czech Republic and Romania.The report by the three NGO’s matched suggestions by a number of recent studies, including one by IPPR, that there should be an alternative financing mechanism to leverage investment in the EU’s lower income economies, which would have much more stringent conditions ensuring cash was not spent on further locking-into high-carbon infrastructure&nbsp;- and the abolition of the current structures.Such a move to reform the existing funding structures is, however, is likely to be fiercely opposed by some member states such as Poland where the coal industry is a dominant force.&nbsp; </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/billions-eu-climate-allowances-spent-coal#comments Analysis energy Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:50:45 +0000 damiankahya 364633 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Will fracking cut coal use in the UK? http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/will-fracking-cut-coal-use-uk <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christine Ottery </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> As the UK government continues to push for shale gas exploration and the Lib Dems have pledged to ban unabated coal in a future coalition, it might be tempting to imagine that gas from fracking can could replace more polluting coal in the UK's energy mix.&nbsp;UKOOG, the "voice of the UK onshore oil and gas industry" - which seemed to follow this logic - recently tweeted:Germany after shunning #shalegas now threatens EU CO2 targets by burning brown coal http://t.co/0KYKzZwaBX @guardian @GreenpeaceUK— UKOOG (@UKOOGroup) August 27, 2014Of course, no one can say with complete certainty what’s going to happen since shale gas production hasn’t started in the UK, but there are some problems.Shale gas would probably replace other gas, not coalThe first issue is that coal is a lot cheaper than gas. Low carbon prices and relatively high gas prices mean that the UK, like the rest of Europe, is burning more coal for power, largely at the expense of gas.As a result coal often accounts for more than 40% of the UK’s energy mix, especially in the winter, and around 36% of the power mix in 2013. Meanwhile government data shows the UK’s gas plants only ran around 30% of the time&nbsp;in 2012&nbsp;- mostly during times of peak demand.Unless the EU carbon market is radically reformed (pushing up the cost of coal power) fracking is unlikely to change the dynamic. UK and EU shale gas is forecast to be relatively expensive in comparison to conventional gas extraction and US shale gas, according to the&nbsp;IEA and Ernst and Young. And whilst in the US shale gas is currently only sold domestically - impacting on the price - the UK is part of a wider European gas market. That means it'd take a great deal of gas to move the price enough to compete with coal.&nbsp;The upshot of this is that shale gas in the UK is more likely to replace conventional or imported gas than coal, which often dominates the energy market as it's so cheap. If the gas price was cheap enough to rival coal - that may mean shale gas extraction didn't make economic sense.&nbsp;Instead, if we’re aiming for a two degrees world, it will be policies such as the Industrial Emissions Directive (in conjunction with other European and domestic policies), that would help push coal off the system. For instance the IED could mean some old coal stations in the UK could come off line by 2023 if they can’t afford to upgrade.All this is assuming CCS (carbon capture and storage) doesn’t makes great leaps and bounds forward.Too little gas from fracking to dent coal&nbsp;If we fail to limit climate change to two degrees, emissions policies don’t work, and the relative costs of coal and gas don’t behave in the ways they are expected to, there could be the rather large issue that that there probably won’t be enough shale gas generated in the UK to fully - or even partially - dislodge coal.Across Europe shale gas could make up&nbsp;around&nbsp;3-18% of EU gas demand&nbsp;by 2030 (or&nbsp;21% of UK only demand) -according to energy consultants Poyry.&nbsp;If all of that were used for power generation (21bcm or 231twh) it would be sufficient to meet current UK power demand from gas&nbsp;(DUKES) but little more.&nbsp;As mentioned before, coal has recently peaked at around 40% of UK’s energy mix.Of course, we could ge far more - or less.&nbsp;According to environmental think tank E3G we should be looking at the lower end&nbsp;of projections on European shale gas supply as a whole. They noted: "Even under the most optimistic scenarios, shale gas is projected to meet just 10% of European gas demand by 2030. Most commentators agree that 2-3% by 2030 is a more realistic estimate."Shale gas replaces coal - if we assume we allow run away climate changeBut even if we should be looking at the top end of that rather large range of how much shale gas we could have in the UK by 2030, there could be concerns around when the shale gas will come online.A 2013 study by energy consultants Poyry suggests shale gas would start to come onstream in Europe in around a decade.It also argues that a European shale gas boom could shift a significant amount of coal off the system by 2035, and says: “The production of shale gas in Europe does not affect the growth of renewables under either shale gas scenario, but it does reduce coal burn in electricity generation.”But their analysis assumes that there is still plenty of coal to push off the system by the first third and and middle of this century. This is in direct contrast to the advice of the UK government advisors on climate change (the Committee on Climate Change), who say we really need phase out coal quick smart - by the early 2020s &nbsp;- to stay within two degrees of global warming, after which the impacts become increasingly severe.Assumptions, assumptionsOf course, all of this is based on assumptions about shale gas production and economics from just a few wells. It could be the UK is indeed flooded with cheap gas over the next few years, overwhelming the European market and triggering a market led shift from coal to gas. It could happen - but based on the evidence that we currently have, it doesn't seem especially plausible. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/will-fracking-cut-coal-use-uk#comments Analysis energy Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:37:40 +0000 christine_ottery 364587 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Energydesk Daily Dispatch http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-20 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Damian Kahya </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From Energydesk&nbsp;The Climate case for - and against - Scottish independenceA report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance has suggested a "Yes" vote in Scotland would "slam the breaks on" renewable energy investment, at least in the short term whilst subsidy schemes, targets and the like were re-negotiated. Agree? Disagree? We happen to have &nbsp;a debate on the subject:The SNP's Paul Wheelhouse argues that voting for the climate means voting Yes whilst Labour's Tom Greatrix argued that voting for the climate actually means voting No. &nbsp;Top stories1. Climate change could boost economy - but means rapid end to coal, says major reportLeading economist&nbsp;Lord Stern suggests that&nbsp;"Reducing emissions is not onlycompatible with economic growth and development – if done well it can actually generate better growth than the old high-carbon model."His comments come alongside the release of a new report&nbsp;"The New Climate Economy"&nbsp;put&nbsp;together by a Global Commission on Economy and Climate&nbsp;chaired by former Mexican President,&nbsp;Felipe Calderón, and involving pretty much every global institution you can think of.But the report notes, the 'new economy' isn't possible with coal arguing that "High-income countries should commit now to end the building of new unabated coal-fired power generation and accelerate early retirement of existing unabated capacity, while middle-income countries should aim to limit new construction now and halt new builds by 2025."It comes as the the&nbsp;Carbon Disclosure Project&nbsp;reveals that around 150 big firms already use carbon pricing internally to make investment decisions and&nbsp;The Guardian reports that&nbsp;climate migration may already have begun.&nbsp;All of that said Indian premier Modi reportedly decided to skip the upcoming global summit on climate change because his officials advised him it was&nbsp;not important for the country&nbsp;which would face major challenges phasing out coal.&nbsp;Long read:&nbsp;How to talk about climate change so people will listen&nbsp;- The Atlantic reads everything so you don't have to.2. China bans high sulphur coal, hurts global miners (again)Speaking of banning coal.&nbsp;China has moved to ban&nbsp;sales&nbsp;and imports of coal with high ash or sulfur in a move to promote cleaner coal and improve the nation’s air quality.The FT reports that the move&nbsp;&nbsp;"would in effect bar the import of lower-quality&nbsp;coal from Australia, southern Africa and elsewhere, since the cities along the east coast are also the biggest consumers of imported coal."It's not clear now whether China actually has higher import standards for coal than the EU - we'll take a look at that for you shall we?In other news&nbsp;China Daily reports a boom in the installation of rooftop solar&nbsp;in China, with more solar panels installed so far this year than the whole of 2013.&nbsp;Long read:&nbsp;China, Climate and the fate of the planet, Rolling Stone reports from the&nbsp;slow, frustrating&nbsp;— and maybe even hopeful — struggle to find a new way forward away from coal in China.&nbsp;3. Finland Nuclear plans at risk amidst EDF problemsThe Green Party will exit Finland's five-party&nbsp;government if the coalition&nbsp;decides to support Fennovoima's Finnish-Russian nuclear project, the party's leader said on Monday.The news comes amidst reports that French state nuclear operator, EDF, is struggling to keep up with repairs on its reactors in France after it was forced to shut some of its UK reactors until Christmas.“There are delays and complications and some could affect safety,” Pierre-Franck Chevet, head of the&nbsp;Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, said in an interview in Paris.4. Shale gas drilling, not fracking, contaminates water suppliesSome confusion here as The Guardian reports&nbsp;"Drinking water contaminated by shale gas boom" to the Telegraph's&nbsp;"Fracking doesn't contaminate water supplies, faulty shale gas wells do",&nbsp;but it's quite simple really.&nbsp;A study has found that contamination of water supplies found in Texas and Pennsylvania came from leaks the wells rather than the fractures made in the rocks by water and chemicals pushed down the wells.&nbsp;Does this mean fracking is to blame? Well fracking needs far more wells and more water at higher pressure than conventional drilling, but on the other hand, it's not actually the fractures that cause the contamination so if the well's didn't leak you probably wouldn't have a problem but we don't know how realistic that is. Glad we could clear that up.&nbsp;5. Western sanctions hamper Russian arctic oil projects as FT warns on implicationsFresh US and EU sanctions imposed on Moscow will bring an abrupt halt to exploration of Russia's huge Arctic and shale oil reserves and complicate financing of existing Russian projects from the Caspian Sea to Iraq and Ghana -&nbsp;according to Euractiv.&nbsp;The report comes as the&nbsp;FT claims the&nbsp;world should prepare for "an era of oil price volatility" thanks to the conflicts going on from the Ukraine to Baghdad. The only problem? the oil price is resolutely un-volatile for now.&nbsp;In other newsEU plans energy and carbon market plans could lead to&nbsp;5bn euro windfall&nbsp;for polluters - claims report.&nbsp;Duke energy invests $500m in North Carolina Solar power as the US solar market grew by&nbsp;41% last year&nbsp;(and here are another 9 stats about solar if you are interested).All of&nbsp;Vermont capital's power now renewable as&nbsp;Vancouver's mayor explains&nbsp;how cities can lead clean energy push.&nbsp;Been forwarded this email? Sign up here.&nbsp; </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-20#comments News energy Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:41:52 +0000 damiankahya 364581 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Comment: Voting for the climate means voting Yes http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/comment-voting-climate-means-voting-yes <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paul Wheelhouse </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Scotland's world leading greenhouse gas emissions targets demand a 42% decrease in emissions by 2020, compared to a 1990 baseline. &nbsp;This compares to the UK target of 34% by 2020 and an EU target of just 20%.What’s more, unlike UK and EU targets, Scotland's target includes emissions from aviation and shipping –&nbsp;raising the bar even higher.Unlike the UK and EU, Scotland has set annual milestones en route to the 42% cut. &nbsp;Those have proved difficult to meet – and Scotland has narrowly missed them over the last three years. &nbsp;In each case we've missed them because we have improved our understanding of Scotland's actual emissions – so our knowledge of the scale of emissions from each sector of our economy has changed. As a consequence, we know now that the emissions in the baseline year (1990) were more than 8% higher than we originally understood when our fixed targets were set.Whilst that has been frustrating for Scottish ministers, clearly it is better to always use our best understanding of actual emissions – so it is the right thing to do, and we will continue doing it; although, in effect, we now need to cut our emissions by more than 42%, whilst many European neighbours have far less ambitious targets.Is it better to have set the most stretching targets on climate change in the world and narrowly miss them, or is it better to set lower targets and always meet them? &nbsp;I would always pick the former. &nbsp;In fact if we were meeting lower annual targets that did not match the science, yet congratulating ourselves on our success, it would surely be a sign that we weren’t stretching ourselves enough, as a nation, on this most crucial of global issues.Scotland has also set itself high climate change ambitions&nbsp;despite&nbsp;being a hydrocarbon producer&nbsp;– so no country in the world should shy away from the climate challenge because of its industrial interests. Aside from needing to demonstrate good stewardship of such a resource, we have set out in the white paper on independence,Scotland’s Future,&nbsp;that emissions from the offshore oil and gas sector –&nbsp;currently covered by the weaker UK climate change targets –&nbsp;will be brought under Scotland’s world-leading 42% cuts regime, in an independent Scotland.The First Minister has highlighted that the wealth and skills from the oil and gas industry can be used to accelerate Scotland's transition to a low carbon energy. &nbsp;This has been the Norwegian approach and something Scotland can emulate to further boost the huge progress we're making in renewable energy – with the latest figures showing that 46% of Scotland's gross annual electricity consumption now comes from renewables.But whilst reducing emissions in Scotland is crucial, and we must step up our efforts, it's also vitally important to tell Scotland’s story and give voice to Scotland’s ambition to help influence the global agenda. This will be much much easier with independence!With independence Scotland will have a much stronger voice on the global stage –&nbsp;something stakeholders tell us they want to see. &nbsp;With our own place in institutions such as the EU and the UN we'll have a louder voice and greater positive influence on global environmental policy –&nbsp;enabling us to call on others to share Scotland’s ambition, and to ally ourselves with other progressive nations in negotiations, and push for ambitious targets on climate change mitigation and renewables.But a stronger voice at the global level is just one of many green gains that arise from a Yes vote. We can place the environment and climate action at the heart of the nation, in a written constitution for Scotland –&nbsp;the highest and strongest of laws and a statement of the fundamental principles by which a country chooses to live regardless of the leanings of those in power. We have published the draft bill and it contains requirements that the Scottish Government and public authorities must promote the conservation of biodiversity and measures to tackle climate change.As I've stated previously to Parliament and stakeholders, funding is crucial in terms of climate action. &nbsp;Much of our environmental funding comes from pillar 2 of the EU Common Agricultural Policy – yet unbelievably the UK have negotiated Scotland right to the very bottom or the EU funding league tables for these funds – below every other single EU country. &nbsp;If Scotland could secure a deal on a similar basis to Ireland –&nbsp;one of 16 countries, unlike the UK, to negotiate for more Pillar 2 funds –&nbsp;we could have been allocated approximately €2.5 Billion, i.e. around 5 times what we'll get. &nbsp;Any such boost to our funding would allow Scotland to accelerate delivery on tackling climate change, perhaps via increased woodland planting and an enhanced programme of peatland restoration.Independent membership of the EU isn’t just important for funding – it would give Scotland the opportunity to drive the agenda. We would seek to use our influence and experience to promote environmental agendas such as the drive for clean energy production. Holding the six-monthly Presidency of the Council of the EU is one way in which smaller member states wield significant influence. We would also be able to nominate a European Commissoner and could potentially double Scotland's representation in the European Parliament. In these ways, Scotland can better drive greater EU ambition on climate change.Independence offers huge opportunities for positive action and leadership from Scotland on climate change. We can ensure Scotland has enhanced resources to deliver domestic targets and can be a progressive voice at the negotiating table. &nbsp;This vision will become reality if you help deliver a Yes vote this Thursday.For more information on independence and the environment see the publication “Scotland’s Future and the Environment”&nbsp;http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0045/00457321.pdf </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/comment-voting-climate-means-voting-yes#comments Analysis energy Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:52:01 +0000 habelvik 364576 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Comment: Voting for the climate means voting No http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/comment-voting-climate-means-voting-no <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tom Greatrex </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The most effective way of ensuring that Scotland is able to play a vibrant and active role in tackling climate change is for us to remain a part of the UK. One of the benefits of our shared history and past achievements together is that the world listens when we speak on behalf of four nations of&nbsp;63 million people. Tackling climate change is about meeting long term challenges with sustainable international policies, not short term frustrations with particular individuals and their views. Our ability to influence and persuade is one of the key strengths the UK, including Scotland, and to give that up will make the global challenge harder to meet. We owe it to ourselves, our children and the climate to recognise the fact that the whole of the UK is stronger than its constituent parts alone.As well as the diplomatic persuasion and international political influence that the UK has, the financial scale that comes with being part of a single and integrated energy market also helps us in Scotland to play our part in reducing carbon emissions. In Scotland, renewable energy adds 700MW of new capacity each year, saving more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2. Our UK-wide system of underwriting renewables through levies applied to bills means that nine tenths of the payments in Scotland come from other UK consumers. We benefit with the jobs and investment, and the rest of the UK benefits from the green power that is generated. Leaving the UK would jeopardise that shared support arrangement – why would consumers in a foreign country subsidise wind turbines through their household bills? As Doug Stewart, CEO of Green Energy, said this week, investors are spooked by the question “who is going to pay?” With National Grid confirming that England and Wales could meet targets without Scotland, the chance to maintain the pace of change here could be lost.Our voice is amplified, not diminished, by speaking as part of a nation of 63 million. Paraguay, whose population of 6.5 million is comparable to that of Scotland, is able to meet 153% of its electricity demand from renewables. The&nbsp;government&nbsp;has consistently expressed its commitment to tackling climate change. But few would argue that&nbsp;Paraguay&nbsp;will be central to achieving a global deal in Paris. The UK, which is acting as the chief negotiator for the European countries, provides the vehicle through which Scotland makes itself heard as an integral part of one of the world’s leading players.Exerting influence to secure a global deal is not just a question of size, but also of credibility. It was a UK Labour government, with support across parties and with NGOs such as Greenpeace, which enacted the Climate Change Act, enshrining the world’s first legally binding targets. It is a model which has since been replicated across the globe. Whilst the Scottish Parliament has followed this example in setting binding carbon emission targets, Audit Scotland’s review of progress made towards these 2020 goals was damning. Time and again, they found that the SNP administration had failed to deliver – coastal infrastructure was missing, heat demand had been underestimated, the impact for jobs and growth was delayed. Targets should be more than slogans for referendum campaigns. Achieving them requires the type of concerted and consistent action that the distraction of breaking up the UK would undermine.If Scotland votes to leave the UK, those of us who are concerned about climate change may wake to find ourselves in a country forced to reassess the affordability of its commitment to renewables, marginalised in the efforts to secure the type of global deal the world needs and establishing a new state where concerns about climate change would be marginalised. I believe Scotland can play an important part in meeting the challenge of global climate change, but that we are best placed to make a meaningful contribution as part of one of the world’s leaders and not as a follower. It is because climate change is so important a challenge for all of us that I believe a No vote is the right vote to keep that global challenge high on the agenda. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/comment-voting-climate-means-voting-no#comments Analysis energy Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:45:23 +0000 habelvik 364575 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Energydesk Daily Dispatch http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-19 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Damian Kahya </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Top stories1. Ex BP exec warns on Ukraine sanctionsAs the EU's latest wave of semi-sanctions&nbsp;against Russian energy firms comes into force former BP executive, Tony Haywood, has warned that they could create a global oil shortage. Hayward warned that cutting off funding for Russian investment will have a long-term impact on the oil price.“The world has been lulled into a false sense of security because of what’s going on in the US,” Mr Hayward said in an&nbsp;interview with the Financial Times, referring to the shale boom that has driven a 60 per cent increase in US crude output since 2008. But he asked: “When US supply peaks, where will the new supply come from?”Quartz had a somewhat different take on Mr Haywards interview. The oil man said without US shale oil the price of a barrel of the black stuff would be $150. Given it's actually a nudge under $100 Qz calculate fracking (for oil) could be saving the world $5bn a day.&nbsp;2. Oil firms seek to bring Fracking to ScotlandSpeaking of fracking Ineos is trying to bring fracked gas to Scotland - presumably irrespective&nbsp;of its sovereign state.&nbsp;“If Europe doesn't develop indigenous shale, then it will not have an energy-intensive industry in the next 20 years,” Tom Crotty, an Ineos director, told Bloomberg. “It’s that black and white. We will kill the industry.”The move comes as the outgoing head of Energy UK - Angela Knight - told the Mail on Sunday that energy firms had failed to convince the public of the merits of fracking adding:‘We have to close down old, but cheap,&nbsp;coal-fired power stations to replace them with green, renewable energy that uses gas-powered stations as back-ups,’ she said.3. China's president visits&nbsp;Maldives, promises co-operation on climate changeThe Chinese President XI is set to&nbsp;visit the low lying island state of the Maldieves where he will discuss how to work together to tackle climate change."China will continue to pursue close cooperation with [the Maldives] on climate change, human rights and other issues," Xi said in a signed article published in the Maldivian media just before his arrival, Xinhua reported.That said, he's also looking to increase the number of flights to the Island state in order to boost income from tourism.&nbsp;In other newsIn the UK a&nbsp;select committee of MP's has described the Green Deal as a 'disappointing failure' and called for stamp duty or council tax incentives to boost home insulation.Euractiv has had a look&nbsp;at the make up of the new European Commission and asks is Climate the biggest loser. The independent climate portfolio has gone and the new Energy and Climate commissioner isn't exactly known for his green credentials.The Telegraph reports that&nbsp;new wind-turbines&nbsp;being trialled by French firm EDF are 'even uglier' than existing ones, despite the fact they are designed to have a smaller visual impact. Worse stil - from the paper's point of view - the turbines were developed with EU money.MIT technology review notes&nbsp;that construction has finally begun on a carbon capture plant in Illenois, but the journal observes the plant is already threatened by a law suit and a deadline and may never be finished.The BBC's environment analyst, Roger Harrabin,&nbsp;writes for the Guardian on why Friends&nbsp;of the Earth's reported shift on nuclear should be celebrated, not, um, denied.&nbsp;And finally, it may not all be bad if the climate changes. Scientists have found that whilst most species would be unable to evolve to meet the new&nbsp;conditions one could. Algae. It's&nbsp;better news than it sounds.&nbsp;Been forwarded this email? Sign up here.&nbsp; </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-19#comments News energy Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:40:22 +0000 damiankahya 364446 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Energydesk daily dispatch http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-18 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><legend>Content</legend><div class="field field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Helle Abelvik-Lawson </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Subscribe to our mailing list Top stories1) New sanctions to hit Russian oil industry in ArcticIn a scoop,&nbsp;Bloomberg&nbsp;reports&nbsp;that planned (but as yet unapproved) Western sanctions over Ukraine are due to prohibit US and European cooperation in the exploitation of Arctic oil resources. &nbsp;The move would affect a number of companies' dealings with Russia including Exxon Mobil, Shell and BP. &nbsp;The sanctions&nbsp;would&nbsp;cut off Russian access to the technology&nbsp;required to drill its biggest new resource.A US official quoted in the&nbsp;WSJ&nbsp;says that this would certainly deny the Western companies some contracts, but would&nbsp;"hurt Russia a lot more".And Russia has just&nbsp;successfully tested its new intercontinental&nbsp;nuclear missile, with Quartz suggesting Putin is likely to continue&nbsp;ramping up the brinkmanship, even with such sanctions approved.2) India's privatisation programme targets state&nbsp;coal assetsMore coal news from India as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has&nbsp;agreed the sale of 10%&nbsp;of Coal India, hoping to raise about $3.8 billion at current market prices.The sale is expected to boost an estimated $10.5 billion privatisation programme in the country.India's coal woes (which&nbsp;we wrote about yesterday) are set to continue following this news, as fears of union action increase in opposition to the disinvestment.In India&nbsp;renewable news, Suzlon Energy, India's largest wind power company by sales, is pushing on with a&nbsp;$600 million London flotation&nbsp;of its German subsidiary. &nbsp;And India has&nbsp;dropped plans to impose an anti-dumping duty&nbsp;on solar panel imports.&nbsp;&nbsp;3) Japan approves new nuclear, closes old reactorsIn Japan, we learn, as well as the&nbsp;approval of the nuclear restart at Sendai, the government is pressing utilities to consider permanently&nbsp;closing the oldest of the country's 48 reactors.In renewables, developers have&nbsp;canceled or abandoned 1,820 megawatts of solar projects.Other newsIn the UK, the&nbsp;Big Six energy firms are telling customers to reclaim £153 million in owed money&nbsp;- because they were told to do so by Ofgem.And&nbsp;BP has claimed that a 'yes' vote in the Scottish independence referendum&nbsp;would harm business in the North Sea.Over the channel,&nbsp;France is aiming for "energy positive" public buildings.There's also some interesting&nbsp;build up commentary to the 23 September UN Climate Summit, with Carbon Brief listing six things to know about the one-off meet called by Ban Ki-moon, and the reporting that the summit should show that combatting climate change will be&nbsp;good business for nations, business and communities. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/news/energydesk-daily-dispatch-18#comments News energy Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:00:12 +0000 habelvik 364096 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk