Guest post by Omar Abbosh
Europe has long been in the vanguard of the world’s response to climate change, as its 20/20/20 targets demonstrate. But as we head towards December’s Copenhagen climate talks, it is clear that Europe is not only failing to meet its own targets, but that its failure to introduce a true single energy market is undermining its ambitions to lead the post-Kyoto world.
Europe must generate well over 30 per cent of its electricity from renewables to meet its 2020 goals. That is more than triple today’s levels. Judging from the investment plans of Europe’s largest energy companies, we will undershoot that target by 40 per cent.
In a perfect single energy market, renewables investment should gravitate to the most cost effective locations, where most power can be generated at the lowest cost and with the least need for ‘base load’ back up from conventional fuel sources. These locations are where the sources are in greatest abundance. Solar power would be concentrated in the Mediterranean and wind would be turning more turbines in the UK than anywhere else. Read more
By Izabella Kaminska
US natural gas prices are refusing to budge higher with the rest of the energy complex:
This has led some to wonder why, especially since natgas rig counts are actually decreasing. According to Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling for natural gas has dropped 58 per cent from a peak of 1,606 on September 12, 2008.
Nevertheless, as Bloomberg reported on the wire earlier this week, the US energy department was still predicting stockpiles to reach a record 3,800bn cubic feet by November. Read more
With the global economic crisis pushing unemployment higher and an international climate change deadline looming, the old jobs-versus-the-environment dichotomy was bound to get a bit of a workout.
Despite the best efforts of many governments to link together economic stimuli, environmental measures and ‘green jobs’, those tensions are still welling up. Read more
As expected, Australia’s emissions trading scheme, or CPRS (carbon pollution reduction scheme) was voted down in the Senate, despite polls showing the measures were supported by the majority of voters. This comes as no surprise to observers, and has seen bitter accusations of cynical politicking levelled by all parties.
The government’s insistence on a showdown vote, even though it was clear it would lose, is seen as an attempt to use ‘wedge politics’ against the conservative opposition, rating poorly in the polls. The defeat has been talked about as a ‘double dissolution’ trigger: if a bill approved by the House of Representatives, where the governing Labor party has a clear majority, is twice rejected in the Senate, this provides the government of the day with a means to dissolve both houses of parliament – including the entire Senate, which has terms twice as long as the lower house. Read more
US natural gas industry fears damage from trading curbs
Worries that regulatory upheaval could dry up business (FT)
India plans green overhaul
Fresh impetus before key Copenhagen talks (FT) Read more