Coal

UK electricity reform, Australian carbon pricing, Macarthur Coal

In this week’s podcast: We talk to former speaker of the California state assembly and founder of G24 Innovations, Bob Hertzberg, about the UK’s white paper on reforming the electricity market; we look at Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard’s announcement on carbon pricing; and, we discuss the possible takeover of mining company Macarthur Coal by US-based Peabody Energy. Read more

David Blair

Over the next decade, Britain is expected to spend some £200bn on overhauling its entire energy infrastructure. Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, tries to justify this colossal price tag by pointing to the future opportunities presented by “green growth”. He reckons the UK can reap a huge dividend by becoming a leader in renewable energy technologies, allowing us to penetrate new export markets in emerging economies. 

But an energy conference organised by the Financial Times in London threw several buckets of cold water over Huhne’s optimistic theory. Read more

Sheila McNulty

While the lack of a coherent national energy policy is nothing new for the US, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services says in a new report that Washington’s current inability to definitively establish long-lasting energy policies and regulations distinguishes today’s situation from earlier eras. Read more

Kiran Stacey

The UK has decided to put forward 12 projects for consideration by the European Investment Bank for its New Entrants Reserve, the €4.5bn pot to spend on CCS and “innovative renewable projects”. Read more

India’s hunger for coal is just as insatiable as China’s, and in the race with the Middle Kingdom for foreign acquisitions, it would appear that India is outpacing China. Read more

By Patricia de Leon of mergermarket

Thai companies are keeping up the pace with their overseas deals, boosted by a maturing domestic economy and and a stronger baht.

In the latest  deal announced this week, Ratchaburi Electricity, one of the country’s largest power generators, is paying Bhat6.7bn ($223m)  for 56 per cent in Australia’s Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund – a power and water company.

This will not be Ratchaburi’s last foray overseas, says Jirasee Kasuwan, energy sector banker at The Quant Group, a Bangkok-based independent investment bank. The company has “a very huge ambition to expand internationally,” he says, which began with  investing in a greenfield power plant in Laos a couple of years ago.

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Kiran Stacey

George Osborne reiterated today the UK government’s “determination to be the greenest government ever”. But given what we already knew, most of the new information contained in Wednesday’s Budget is set firmly against that agenda. Read more

Kiran Stacey

The debate about what might happen to spot natural gas prices as a result of the Japanese nuclear crisis rumbles on. The latest view comes from IHS Cera, and differentiates between what might happen in 2011 and in 2012-14. Read more

In this week’s podcast: We look at comments made by Frank Chapman, chief executive for gas and oil supplier BG Group, that the gas sector faces a “huge supply” challenge to bring online enough gas to meet demand Read more

Kiran Stacey

Will the glut of natural gas be a good thing for the environment? The gas industry insists it could be, if we invest in the infrastructure to use it, as it would displace coal, which produces more CO2 when burned.  Read more