Daily Archives: September 2, 2009

Kate Mackenzie


Artist impression. Source: USEF

Bloomberg reports that Mitsubishi, IHI Corp and 14 other unspecified Japanese companies are joining a project to build a solar power generator in space. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Matthew Yglesias looks at last week’s report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, which floated some ideas including piping algae around buildings, artificial roofs, and the seemingly innocuous white roofs. He concludes:

That said, trying to get people to paint roofs white seems like a total no-brainer and given how solid the science behind this is I don’t really understand why there isn’t more momentum behind it. Manufacturers of white paint need to hire some better lobbysist [sic] or something. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Comment: Searching in vain for the oil shock effect Read more

Market regulators might not yet realise it, but it seems even the whiff of more regulation gets results these days. In the field of energy price speculation, nothing speaks as eloquently about the likelihood of impending new rules as the move by Deutsche Bank this week to scrap a product that lets investors bet on oil prices.

As the FT reported on Wednesday, Deutsche said it would redeem all its memorably-named PowerShares DB Crude Oil Double Long exchange-traded notes, which use leverage to double returns from price moves in crude oil. This makes it the first exchange-traded commodity product to go completely under –others so far have only suspended new share issues — as Wall Street braces for a potential regulatory crackdown on energy speculation. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

China wants the developed world to spend 0.5 – 1 per cent of GDP helping developing countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions. This would cost more than $300bn a year.  But now a new report from China estimates that reducing net emissions in China alone will cost some $438bn a year by 2030, just to begin curbing the country’s reductions from 2030 onwards. That would be 7.5 per cent of GDP (although the study used a higher inflation rate than other studies) – not a cost China is likely to agree bearing on its own.

Indeed the study, by the People’s University of Beijing, is thought likely to be used in Copenhagen negotiations to add weight to the argument that the developed world should contribute to the costs of reducing carbon emissions in China. Read more

FT Energy Source

By Neil Dennis

Oil prices nudged higher on Wednesday, striking a firmer footing after a three day sell off that drove the main crude contracts below $68 a barrel.

Recent falls in equity markets have been driven by concerns that the nascent global recovery may be stalling. These fears have fed through to commodity exchanges, and on Tuesday, the S&P GSCI, a closely-followed index of commodity prices, fell to its lowest level since late July. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

BP has trumpeted a ‘giant’ discovery in the Tiber Prospect, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Giant is a fairly dramatic term.

The IEA’s last World Energy Outlook defines ‘giant’ fields as 500m to 5bn proven and probable barrels. The BP announcement, however, was short on numbers:

“Tiber represents BP’s second material discovery in the emerging Lower Tertiary play in the Gulf of Mexico, following our earlier Kaskida discovery,” said Andy Inglis, chief executive, Exploration and Production. “These material discoveries together with our industry leading acreage position support the continuing growth of our deepwater Gulf of Mexico business into the second half of the next decade.”

So how big is it? Read more

Kate Mackenzie

So, geoengineering has had a good year so far. After some optimistic exhortations from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Copenhagen Consensus, and an encouraging mention from White House science advisor John Holdren, the idea of large scale interventions to offset the effects of climate change is having a good year.

However a year-long study by the Royal Society – the first comprehensive report by an influential science academy has not come up with such good news. Read more

China’s high price for emission cuts
Beijing to call for help at Copenhagen (FT)

Virtue of thrift helps convince consumers
China collecting data to cut household emissions (FT) Read more