Oh right, it's all a vast conspiracy run by the Illuminati.
-Adam Smith's unfettered avaricious hidden hand, actually.
Saud Family Arabia's production has been declining, despite what they and their friends say- So cheers to us for funding and supporting that bastion of liberty and democracy!
Free energy, perpetual motion, repeal the Laws of Physics and Thermodynamics... It's a Brave New World.
Obama's Christmas gift to America
A very pleasant surprise; I didn't think he had it in him. This should significantly reduce pollution, and piss off a lot of rich folks. Good for him to finally do something presidential.
BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - Big business will prove an unexpected ally of the European Commission in pushing for firm policy to cut carbon after existing 2020 targets expire, as companies draw up their own plans for a future of greener power.
Many business leaders, independent of official European Union policy, take the view that locking into fossil fuels creates the danger of stranded assets when a low-carbon grid looks more and more likely.
"We are starting to see corporates take longer-term decisions and drive ambitious policies around energy. It's getting to a stage where we can forget what the policy says, it can almost become irrelevant. Corporates will drive change for the long term," Ben Warren, energy and environmental finance leader at Ernst & Young, said.
With its visceral resistance to regulation, business has classically been the problem, not the solution.
Last week, for example, the powerful Polish coal lobby was blamed for Warsaw's refusal to endorse an EU low carbon road-map that outlined policy direction after 2020.
But Poland was alone in the 27-member bloc in its veto of milestones for emission cuts beyond 2020.
Most businesses in the bloc, especially in the energy sector, want clear direction beyond 2020 because of the length of time that major utility and other industrial projects typically require.
The EU took around six years to finalize its current set of 2020 green energy goals.
"We should have a clear line of sight through to 2030 now, not in three or four years. There is a hazy line of sight to 2030 now, it's not a clear line of sight," David Hone, climate change adviser at Royal Dutch Shell, said.
"A big power station can take anywhere between four and seven years, so decisions for the 2020s are starting to be formulated now," he added.
To help provide some of the answers, the Commission has drawn up a set of road-maps, including the one Poland refused to sign, to indicate its expected policy direction as the bloc aspires to 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050 from 1990 levels.
Part of the business craving for certainty is reflected in support from many big firms for a higher carbon price as the level of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has sunk far below that needed to inspire green investment.
The carbon intervention debate erupted in part because of EU efforts to pass a tougher law on the one 2020 goal it officially is not meeting - a 20 percent energy-saving target.
If it manages to finalize its draft energy efficiency rules, the surplus of emissions allowances already flooding the carbon market would grow.
An alliance of oil majors, including Shell, and green energy firms has written to the Commission urging action to support the ETS. [ID:nL6E7NE3Y5]
Shell's particular interest is in a carbon price sufficient to justify carbon capture and storage technology, which oil and gas firms are counting on to support long-term fossil fuel use.
The broad alliance of support is reflected in the European Parliament by backing from across the political divide for the EU's executive arm to intervene to support carbon prices.
German Christian Democrat Member of the European Parliament Peter Liese did not go as far as Green politicians, who put a number on the amount of allowances the market needs to lose.
But although less specific, he argued for a price able to spur green investment and give business a framework. Otherwise the risk is that nations will set a range of floor prices.
"If every member state introduces different national measures, there will be no level playing field in the European market, so we should try to solve the problem at EU level," he said.
Analysts say the carbon market has factored in the idea of intervention and would otherwise be even weaker than its current level of around 8 euros.
Business is still far from agreed on how much direction it wants, but a majority supported some kind of target in a preliminary stakeholder low-carbon consultation for the Commission, seen by Reuters.
It showed 38 percent from industry supported mandatory EU-wide targets and 20 percent favored non-binding goals.
Some in business complain that binding targets are too prescriptive, while the Commission says they are shown to work.
Part of the reason the energy savings target was not binding in the first place was the resistance from big utilities in past years.
But many energy firms and utilities are today backing the Commission on the need for more green goals.
In a letter late last month, eight big energy firms, including Britain's SSE, Acciona of Spain, Dong Energy of Denmark and Greece's Public Power Corporation, wrote to the Commission and EU national governments urging the EU to hurry up and deliver binding 2030 goals to help industry plan ahead.
(editing by Jane Baird)
(Reuters) - The national solar industry installed a record number of panels in 2011, more than double 2010, and is likely to see strong growth again this year, according to a new report.
Solar installers built 1,855 megawatts of photovoltaic projects in 2011 for a total of $8.4 billion, up from 887 MW in 2010, according to a report released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The growth in U.S. demand comes as the makers of the panels that turn light into electricity have struggled to earn profits amid a glut of supplies on the global market that eroded margins.
The WilderHill Clean Energy Index <.ECO>, which includes shares of industry heavyweights First Solar , Suntech Power Holdings , Yingli Green Energy and Trina Solar , tumbled 49 percent in 2011. So far this year it has rebounded about 12 percent.
A record level of fourth quarter installations totaling 776 MW easily beat the peak of 473 MW recorded in the third quarter of the year.
"The U.S. was a strong market in 2011 and we expect it to be strong again in 2012," said GTM Managing Director Shayle Kann.
Many industry analysts had reduced their forecasts last year to between 1,500 to 1,700 megawatts as incentives waned in the country's two biggest markets, California and New Jersey.
For 2012, GTM and SEIA said new construction would grow 35 to 50 percent, reaching 2,500 to 2,800 MW, as a backlog of large projects is completed.
The 2011 figures rank the United States as the fourth largest solar market in the world behind Germany, Italy and China, according to Kann.
The U.S. share of the global market was only about 7 percent last year, he said, but that share should double by 2016 as U.S. demand continues to grow and European demand starts to decline.
The large, utility-scale projects, which produce power for the wholesale electricity market, totaled 758 MW of the 2011 total. That is about the size of one natural gas-fired power plant.
Another 3,000 MW of utility-scale plants are currently under construction in the United States, and 6,000 MW is at an earlier stage of development, the report said.
Among those projects under construction are two 550-MW projects being built by First Solar and a 250-MW plant being built by SunPower Corp , which are among the largest in the world.
Installations on homes rose 11 percent in 2011 to 297 MW, while panels installed at non-residential sites rose 28 percent to 800 MW.
Despite declining prices for solar panels in recent years, the sector still relies on government subsidies to make the power projects competitive with coal and natural gas.
The average installed cost for solar declined by 20 percent last year to $4.08 per watt, largely because of reductions in costs for the largest plants, which saw costs drop to $3.20 per watt in the fourth quarter.
That overall decline did not fully reflect last year's 50 percent drop in wholesale panel prices, since most of the 2011 project costs were before that steep decline.
The 2011 panel price drop is likely to begin showing up in projects that will come on line later this year.
(Reporting By Matt Daily; Editing by Bernard Orr)
The number of asthma cases in the U.S. has doubled since 1980, and now affects 1 in 10 children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the major underlying causes -- emissions from coal-fired power plants, boilers and car tailpipes -- continues to flow mostly unabated, even as the Environmental Protection Agency struggles to regulate the fossil fuel industry and defend itself against right-wing critics who question the agency's agenda -- even its existence -- during this time of fiscal constraint.
Chevron sees pricey oil destroying demand
ReutersReuters – 5 hours ago
(Reuters) - Chevron Corp Chief Executive John Watson sees demand for oil being destroyed in the United States as a result of higher gasoline prices and an underperforming U.S. economy.
"We're seeing that right now," he said. "If you look at the peak in U.S. oil consumption it was about 21 million barrels a day as little as about three years ago. It's now down to about 19 barrels a day ... and high prices are partially contributing to that."
"The other component in the United States is a relatively weak economy," Watson added in an interview aired on CNBC on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Phil Berlo
VERONA, Italy (Reuters) - The world's solar power generating capacity will grow by between 200 and 400 percent over the next five years, with Asia and other emerging markets overtaking leadership from Europe, a European industry association said on Monday.
Global installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity, which turns sunlight into power, is expected to have risen to between 207.9 gigawatts and 342.8 GW in 2016, depending on the level of political support, from 69.7 GW in 2011, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) said.
This year, the world's total PV capacity is expected to rise
to between 90 and 110 GW, EPIA's Secretary General Reinhold Buttgereit told a PV conference in northern Italy.
"The growth will depend on the support of politicians. It's not only about money, it's also about reducing bureaucracy," Buttgereit told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.
Germany, the world's biggest PV market, is likely to be the main global driver this year, followed by China, the United States and Japan, while Italy which was the fastest growing solar market in 2011 will slow down the growth pace, he said.
Europe accounted for 75 percent of new PV installations last year when the added capacity spiked by 29.7 GW, the EPIA said in its global market outlook until 2016 distributed at the conference.
"Europe has dominated the global PV market for years but the rest of the world clearly has the biggest potential for growth," the report said.
The fastest PV capacity growth is expected in China and India, followed by the southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, the report said.
Depending on the policy support, global PV capacity may add between 20.6 GW and 41.4 GW in 2013 and keep rising by between 38.8 GW and 77.3 GW in 2016, the report said.
Germany and Italy, the two biggest solar markets in the world, have decided to cut production incentives to solar power generation this year to reduce the burden on consumers who pay for subsidies with their power bills.
Incentives such as feed-in tariffs are the industry's lifeblood as long as solar power is more expensive than conventional forms of energy. But prices of solar equipment plunged in 2012 and are falling this year, prompting governments to cut support.
Tiny Pacific nations which are most at threat from rising seas have vowed to dump diesel and other dirty expensive fuels blamed for causing global warming and replace them with clean sources.
Using coconut biofuel and solar panels, Tokelau -- which consists of three island dots half way between New Zealand and Hawaii -- plans to become self-sufficient in energy this year.
The leaders of other so-called small island states around the world made commitments at a meeting this week organized by the UN Development Program and the Barbados government.
The Cook Islands and Tuvalu in the Pacific are aiming to get all of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean is aiming for 60 percent from renewables by 2020.
And East Timor's government vowed that no family in its capital, Dili, would be using firewood for cooking by 2015 and said half the country's electricity would be from renewable sources by the end of the decade.
"I know we set ambitious targets, but it is actually exciting," Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna told AFP.
"We don't see those targets as being difficult. It is very inspiring and that is what is motivating us to get going."
great ideas you have here guys..
those suggestions are helpful and COOL!!
Saud Family Arabia starts to see the light
Oil-fired power costs around 12.5 halalas/kWh at the Saudi oil supply price of $4.40 a barrel, rising to 60 halalas/kWh with oil valued closer to world levels at $80 a barrel.
An average of 700,000 barrels a day of crude were used in Saudi power stations during the peak air-conditioning demand period from May to September last year, according to official data supplied to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI).
COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - Carbon market trading rose 11 percent to a record value of $176 billion in 2011 as an increase in secondary trading volumes offset lower prices and slowing economies, the World Bank said on Wednesday.
While European countries such as Denmark and Germany are increasingly moving to a renewables-based future, few North American utility and grid management companies are working to overcome the technical challenges involved in making that transition. Unless this changes, many regions are left with a choice between coal, gas and nuclear. The high greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuels provide the nuclear industry with an opportunity to promote itself and revive its flagging fortunes despite its prohibitively high price tags.
Replacing subsidies to non renewable energy with disincentives can benefit the economy- we have to switch eventually; sooner the better.
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