Daily Archives: August 19, 2009

Carola Hoyos

More than 70 per cent of global electric utilities are ill prepared to face the effects of climate change even though almost every one of them is aware of the risks they face.

Those stark findings come from a report by Acclimatise, the consultancy, which was financially backed by IBM.

The climate change risks utilities face include, sudden weather-related power outages and the more gradual damage that shifts in climate does, reducing efficiency of plants and availability of raw materials.

FT Energy Source

Gregor Macdonald writes:

The present reflation will do very little for individual Americans. If 11.6 per cent  unemployment in California during a time of $72 oil doesn’t make the point, then perhaps 15 per cent  unemployment and $100 oil will.

Higher equity prices alone, unless accompanied by organic growth that is both broad-based and real, will not be enough to offset the effects of higher interest rates, higher energy costs, stagnant job growth, falling wages in real terms, and a ravaged housing market. While these competing forces are at play in nearly all places in the United States, they are particularly acute in the golden state of California.

California has over 35m residents, and 22m of them live in the big, populated counties of the south. Known as “SoCal”, this is the part of the state where the single family, detached home is common and where most residents have to commute long distances by car. The five big counties of the south – Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and San Diego – were not built to handle $100 oil (the average price in 2008), let alone $150 oil. They were not even built to handle $75 oil.

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Organising vs astroturfing

Markets: Oil dips ahead of US inventories

Natural gas deal soothes Australia-China tensions

Further reading:

DNO yet to receive payment for Kurdistan oil exports (BBC)

Chile considers using its big tidal power resources (UPI)

How wind farms built on peat bogs can be worse than coal power stations (Guardian)

Ford says electric vehicles will know when to charge themselves (Sacramento Bee)

Renewable energy is safer for workers than fossil fuels (New Scientist)

Opec’s September meeting will begin after sundown, due to Ramadan (Scarce Whales)

Green energy and black skies: China’s renewable energy goals (Yale 360)

Warren Buffett’s Chinese electric car company BYD picks up a big contract (GreenSheet)

Kate Mackenzie

Where does organising end and astroturfing begin?

The ‘Energy Citizen’ rallies organised to protest the Waxman-Markey bill have been criticised as an attempt to conjure up a grass roots protest that is in fact supported primarily by energy companies – an allegation helped by the notorious secret memo sent out to members.

The American Petroleum Institute points out it is only one of about 60 organisations involved, but the memo gives a strong impression that the API is a key organiser, “providing upfront resources” and “contracting with a highly experienced events management company”. 

Oil prices dipped on Wednesday ahead of the latest US inventories data while base metals retreated after a sharp fall in the Chinese stock market.

In energy markets, Nymex September West Texas Intermediate dipped 35 cents to $68.85 a barrel. The September contract expires on Thursday and October WTI contract traded 55 cents lower at $70.55. ICE October Brent lost 44 cents at $71.93.

Crude oil prices staged a late rally in a volatile session on Tuesday after the American Petroleum Institute said crude oil inventories fell by a whopping 6.1m barrels last week, way above expectations.

China and Australia sign $41bn energy deal
PetroChina agrees to buy LNG for 20 years (FT)

Oil can be a curse on poor nations
Underdeveloped countries tend to be so because of resources (FT)

Brazil oil law to be introduced soon
Laws aim to regulate vast sub-salt oil reserves (Reuters)

Australia’s Origin Energy says 2010 growth may slow
Flags potential write-off in exploration expense (Reuters)

Angola’s oil exports set to rise to highest this year
Signal that country pumps more than Opec quota (Bloomberg)

Potential of the sun dawns on the US
Country is seen as ‘next big thing’ (FT)

Beijing’s tariffs ramp up domestic market
2GW is target for total installed capacity by end of 2011 (FT)

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