Daily Archives: May 13, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

On Energy Source:

$60 oil: Compare and contrast

The revival of nuclear power gathers pace in Europe, but will the free market finance it?

US energy regulator softens tone on renewables

Rand: Oil imports don’t threaten US security

The internet, energy and the Columbia River

California’s 19th century wave and tidal power inventions

Elsewhere:

‘Dirty tricks’ allegation in Ivory Coast case Oil trading company Trafigura in court over Abidjan toxic waste allegations (BBC)

Clarifying ‘cap and trade’ Only 24% of Americans know the phrase relates to the environment; 29% think it is about reforming Wall St (Powerlines/Platts)

Oil prices: How much should we subtract for the storage build? One ‘exceedingly smart oil analyst’ tells Steve LeVine it could be $5 – $10 per barrel (Oil and Glory/BusinessWeek)

More on Nabucco Hungary’s switch of gas purchasing company prompts Gazprom-related intrigue (Bit Tooth Energy)

Distributed solar power plants: Two US utilities plan to install and own solar panels on the roofs of hundreds of properties (GreenTech/CNet)

Kate Mackenzie

The IEA is unlikely to to revise its demand forecast downwards again when it publishes its monthly oil market report tomorrow. This is after nine months of consecutive downgrades. As Nauman Barakat at Macquarie Futures points out, the next step may be an increased demand:

“Leaving demand unchanged is supportive enough because it would tell us that the haemorrhaging has finally stopped but if the agency were to actually revise demand up, it will set this market on fire.”

However demand forecasts remain fairly dismal. On top of that, storage is at a 19-year high – not counting all those tankers. Even The Oil Drum is pointing out there’s a lot of oil around right now. So why is the price rising?

Kate Mackenzie

Last month Jon Wellinghoff, chair of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, caused a stir by saying the country may have already built its last coal and nuclear plants, because renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass would provide enough energy to meet future demand. He also said concerns about ‘baseload’ power supply – a concern with solar and wind as they do not yield consistent levels of power around the clock – would become an anachronism. Distributed power generation would be possible, and in many even better than fossil fuel or nuclear supplies because they could be more easily ‘ramped up or down’.

Ed Crooks

Monday’s deal for EDF to sell a 20 per cent stake in British Energy, the nuclear generator, to Centrica, which is Britain’s biggest domestic energy supplier, marked an important step forward in the revival of nuclear power in Europe.

While the US debates the controversial plan for a nuclear waste repositary at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, European countries including the UK, Italy and France are pressing ahead with plans for new plants, even though they often don’t know what they are going to do with their waste.

This progress in Europe has been welcomed by supporters of nuclear power as evidence that nuclear power is an investment opportunity that interests many profit-driven businesses, and that the commercial partnerships that the nuclear industry needs are coming together.

However, there is still a missing piece of the jigsaw.

- Oil hits $60 for first time in six months
Hopes of global recovery drive gains (FT)

- US set for compromise bill on emissions
Political climate increasingly hostile to cap-and-trade (FT)

- US environmental chief says carbon finding may not ‘mean regulation’
Comments are apparent about-face for Obama administration (WSJ)

- China calls for deeper emission cuts from developed world
Official says China committed to cuts in certain industries (Reuters)

- General Electric to build $100m battery factory
Batteries to power more energy-efficient grids (FT)

- London approves giant wind farm
Project to be world’s biggest offshore wind farm (FT)

- BG agrees deal with China’s CNOOC on Australia LNG
Deal is Chinese company’s second LNG investment in Asia (Reuters)

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