By Izabella Kaminska
On Thursday the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its latest monthly oil report, and in case you weren’t aware, the market was awaiting the forecast more than usual.
This was largely on account of expectations the IEA would finally put an end to its eight-month run of global demand cuts and in so doing confirm ‘green-shoot’ hopes that the economic crisis may be easing.
What’s more, the expectation itself was based on some pretty reliable sources: comments from IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka, no less.
Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, had some harsh things to say about solar power at an energy conference in La Jolla, California.
While he believes that solar power could and probably will pay off one day – he is on the record arguing that the second half of the 21st century will be the “solar century” – he does not expect the present generation technology ever to be commercially viable without subsidy. To reach the solar industry’s Holy Grail of “grid parity” – competing on level terms with fossil fuel generation – it will need a fundamental technological breakthrough, he argued.
Now the solar industry is hitting back.
On Energy Source today:
Clean technology: Riding the wave through the recession
Opec’s oil production rises: Is the cartel’s discipline crumbling?
British Columbia’s carbon tax survives (New York Times): The re-election of the architects of North America’s only genuine carbon tax suggests the policy may not necessarily represent electoral suicide.
The slavery of oil (Oil Drum): Analysis suggesting that an oil price of $200 a barrel may stall the global economy.
Cap-and-trade explained in fewer than four minutes (Treehugger): Video response to study that only 24 per cent of Americans can define cap-and-trade.
The next big thing in wind: Slow wind, huge turbines (Green Tech/CNet): Low-speed turbines are being developed to exploit less windy sites.
Cellphones, TVs undo efficiency gains: Study (Reuters): Demand for energy-thirsty gadgets, such as cell phones, iPods, PCs and plasma TVs, is undoing efficiency gains elsewhere, according to the International Energy Agency.
Global Warming Called Bigger Public-Health Threat Than Infectious Diseases (Bloomberg) Global warming is the biggest public health threat of the 21st century, eclipsing infectious diseases, water shortages and poverty, a team of medical and climate-change researchers have concluded.
At Opec’s latest meeting in March, oil ministers could not have been any clearer as they pledged to comply fully with their promised production cuts of 4.2m barrels per day, agreed last year.
But in the past two days Opec, and the IEA, the ‘Opec’ of oil-consuming countries, both came to the conclusion that the producers’ cartel had not kept its promise.
Instead, Opec compliance slipped by about 230,000 barrels a day, or two percentage points, to 78 per cent.
That’s still an impressive number…until you look at how that compliance is spread among members.
Wave power in the UK will overtake offshore wind power in five years, despite lagging far behind it today, the industry’s leaders have argued.
Martin McAdam, CEO of Aquamarine Power, predicts that his company can offer a commercially available device that will be competitive with offshore wind energy by 2014. In an interview with Reuters, he states that installations will be available up to 100 MW, enough to power around 100,000 homes.
- Oil retreats as Opec warns on fundamentals
Opec cuts 2009 global oil demand forecast to 84.03m b/d (FT)
- Bill Clinton urges ‘strong’ climate change bill
Former US president says move needed to sign up China and India (FT)
- Scientists fear for seas at climate talks
World Ocean Conference issues warning (FT)
- Sun sets on BP’s solar hopes
Chief further hints at shift away from renewables (FT)
- Orders to UK energy and mining suppliers hold up
John Wood, Amec and Weir give optimistic outlook (FT)
- Nigeria fuel marketers resume imports
Government agrees to pay subsidy arrears (FT)
- Kazakhs approve additional gas pipeline to Russia
Move boosts Gazprom’s control over Central Asian gas exports (FT)
- Lex: CNOOC