U.S. Solar Tariffs Will ‘Fail to Generate Material Benefits and Cause Collateral Damage’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence:Most doubt the duties will be enough to support a big new wave of American cell and panel manufacturing.“Across the board, Trump’s solar tariffs fail to generate material benefits and cause collateral damage,” Varun Sivaram, a science and technology fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted on Jan. 23.Whatever political fallout Trump may face as a result of potential job losses could be compounded if tariffs trigger a broader trade fight. South Korea, China and Mexico said they would contest Trump’s decision, including with complaints to the World Trade Organization, or WTO.“The U.S. government took actions in consideration of its domestic political situation, rather than abiding by international regulations,” South Korea Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong said, according to The Korea Herald.WTO policy stipulates that safeguards only be used in response to unforeseen events. In December 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission said the recent surge of imported solar cells and panels was caused by China’s unexpected failure to implement agreed-to market reforms since becoming a WTO member, as well as efforts by Chinese and Taiwanese solar equipment manufacturers to evade previously-imposed tariffs.The WTO is notoriously slow-moving, however, and its opinion may not mean much to Trump. “There’s equal parts giving the finger to China and giving the finger to the WTO in this decision,” Book said of the solar tariffs. “I don’t think the Trump administration will be too sad about a WTO challenge. That’s the kind of confrontation they rhetorically and politically benefit from.”Outside of the WTO, China may try to pressure the U.S. in “invisible” ways, Height Securities LLC analyst Katie Bays said in a client note. For example, a plan by China Energy Investment Corp. Ltd. to invest $83.7 billion in shale gas development and chemical manufacturing in West Virginia could be “a powerful bargaining chip to informally pressure Trump to back off on solar tariffs,” Bays said.“The story is not over, and the next chapter may be even more dramatic,” she added.More: Solar tariffs, while restrained, offer little upside and create potential risk U.S. Solar Tariffs Will ‘Fail to Generate Material Benefits and Cause Collateral Damage’last_img read more

Market changes across Europe are undermining viability of traditional power plants

first_imgMarket changes across Europe are undermining viability of traditional power plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times:The upcoming privatization of a Dutch utility highlights the changing landscape of Europe’s power sector. Owned by more than 50 cities, analysts expect Eneco to fetch more than €3bn. However, the potential sale has sparked the interest of much larger rivals as Eneco has things many of them covet — a range of home energy services, from a smart thermostat to an electric car charging device that enables the utility to remotely decide when is the cheapest time to charge your vehicle. Europe’s power sector is under pressure as never before — from changes in government policy to technological advances and the explosive growth and falling costs of renewable — all of which are undermining the economics of traditional power plants. The model of sending electrons from a big gas or coal-powered plant through a central transmission grid to passive consumers is being left behind. In the new world order, energy services will play a big role and snapping up Eneco could give a traditional utility or even an oil and gas major a lucrative foothold. It would be just the latest deal in an industry that is having to reinvent itself or face extinction. Mark Lewis, head of research at not-for-profit group Carbon Tracker and previously head of European utilities research at Barclays, described what is driving the transformation in terms of “the three Ds”: decarbonization, digitalization and decentralization. All three, he said, “are disrupting the entire sector, there is no respite at all”. Sam Arie, utilities analyst at UBS, said: “The single most important trend we see is the plunging cost of wind and solar.” It is this trend, argued Mr Arie, that could change the structure of Europe’s industry “from a patchwork of regionally-focused utilities to one that will be dominated by larger, more global businesses that have the scale in renewables to achieve cost efficiencies”. The increasing digitization, continuing growth of renewables generation and advances in battery storage mean more consumers will start to generate their own energy — and rely less on a centralized transmission network. Benoit Laclau, global power and utilities leader at consultancy EY, said: “In the past consumers have always been recipients of energy. With the ever greater digitisation of the value chain, consumers are getting options as to how they want to consume energy in the future. The value chain is shifting towards the customer.” More deals are inevitable. In Portugal the country’s largest utility, Energias de Portugal, recently rejected a €9bn takeover offer from China Three Gorges. The winners, according to UBS, will be global players. By 2030, said UBS’s Mr Arie, the industry could come to look more like the oil and gas sector where companies are typically twice the size. New entrants are vying for market share. Royal Dutch Shell and Total have both recently bought businesses in the consumer energy market — and are tipped as potential buyers for Eneco, according to analysts. Major technology groups, which have so far held off investing in the provision of consumer energy, remain the big unknown. In an uncertain energy world what is certain is that in the future, the energy powering your home and your car will no longer have to come from an RWE or an EDF. It could come from a Google, a BMW or your own roof.More ($): Winds of change blow through Europe’s power sectorlast_img read more

IEA: Carbon emissions hit record high in 2018

first_imgIEA: Carbon emissions hit record high in 2018 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Global energy-related carbon emissions rose to a record high last year as energy demand and coal use increased, mainly in Asia, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.Energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33.1 billion tonnes from the previous year, the highest rate of growth since 2013, with the power sector accounting for almost two-thirds of this growth, according to IEA estimates.The United States’ CO2 emissions grew by 3.1 percent in 2018, reversing a decline a year earlier, while China’s emissions rose by 2.5 percent and India’s by 4.5 percent.Global energy demand grew by 2.3 percent in 2018, nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a strong global economy and higher heating and cooling demand in some parts of the world, the IEA said.Global gas demand increased at its fastest rate since 2010, up 4.6 percent from a year earlier, driven by higher demand as switching from gas to coal increased. “Coal-to-gas switching avoided almost 60 million tonnes of coal demand, with the transition to less carbon-intensive natural gas helping to avert 95 million tonnes of CO2 emissions,” the IEA said. “Without this coal-to-gas switch, the increase in emissions would have been more than 15 percent greater,” it added.More: Global carbon emissions hit record high in 2018: IEAlast_img read more

U.S. gas group predicts record production, demand for the coming winter

first_imgU.S. gas group predicts record production, demand for the coming winter FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):As record gas production keeps pace with historic demand, market dynamics may put continued downward pressure on gas prices this winter, according to the Natural Gas Supply Association.The group predicted record average demand of 109.3 Bcf/d, driven largely by LNG and pipeline exports and by growing use of gas in the power sector, where 7 GW of gas-fired generation is estimated to have come online this year, according to the association’s 2019-2020 winter outlook.Tempering that expected consumption increase, however, may be warmer weather and minimal industrial demand growth, slowed by trade uncertainties, the association, or NGSA, report projected.The association predicted 4% year-on-year production growth, compared with last winter’s 14% uptick. The outlook relies on published data and independent analysis and is prepared by Energy Ventures Analysis. Dry gas production is slated to average a record 92 Bcf/d this winter, and associated gas production from the Permian Basin should comprise the largest increase among supply areas, supported by new pipeline connections, the outlook said.The supply side should be supported by ample storage, with a start-of-winter inventory that is 2% above the five-year average, putting total supply at 109 Bcf/d, including 4.7 Bcf/d of imports from Canada, according to the report.Domestically, electricity demand is also on the rise, forecasted to be 27.0 Bcf/d — up from 25.7 Bcf/d last winter — according to the NGSA outlook. Low gas prices have encouraged dispatch of gas-fired generation and amid a structural shift to additional gas-fired plant.More ($): Record U.S. gas production to keep winter prices down, industry group outlook sayslast_img read more

French insurer AXA speeds coal industry exit plans

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:France’s AXA said it was strengthening its climate strategy by committing to exit coal more quickly across a greater number of countries, as policymakers seek a faster transition to a low-carbon economy.AXA said that as an investor it would exit completely from the coal industry across countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union by 2030, and the rest of the world by 2040.In other steps announced on Wednesday, the French insurer said it will put 12 billion euros ($13.23 billion) in “green investments” between 2020-2023.AXA added that as an insurer, it would restrict coal underwriting policy and stop selling insurance contracts, apart from employee benefits offers, to clients developing new coal projects that exceed 300 MW in capacity.The moves by AXA drew praise from some environmental groups. “AXA is leading the way by driving its portfolio of coal down to zero by 2030,” said Regine Richter, Energy Campaigner at Germany-based campaign group Urgewald.More: French insurer AXA to exit coal investments in OECD states by 2030 French insurer AXA speeds coal industry exit planslast_img read more

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui bank to stop making loans for new thermal coal plants—report

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Yomiuri Shimbun:Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. will suspend in principle new loans for coal-fired thermal power plants, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. The move is aimed at showing its consideration for the environment by limiting loans to such plants, which have come under fierce criticism both at home and abroad due to growing interest in climate change.The financial institution currently finances only coal-fired power plants that use highly efficient technologies. However, the bank will revise its lending policy to stipulate that loans to such power plants will be suspended in principle.Japanese financial institutions extend large loans to coal-fired power plants. It has been pointed out by a German environmental nongovernmental organization that the loans extended by Japan’s three megabanks — Sumitomo Mitsui, MUFG Bank and Mizuho Bank — to develop coal-fired power plants account for 40% of total lending by the world’s top 30 banks.There have also been moves to call on financial institutions to review lending policy. This month, an environmental non-profit organization based in Kyoto City made a shareholder proposal to Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. to disclose its management strategy in response to climate change, saying, “[Mizuho is] the world’s largest lender for coal-fired plants and faces enormous risks.”In 2019, MUFG Bank decided to abolish loans to coal-fired power plants in principle. Mizuho Bank is also expected to revise its existing lending policy to make it stricter.More: Sumitomo Mitsui to suspend new loans for coal-fired power plants Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui bank to stop making loans for new thermal coal plants—reportlast_img read more

Developers say Polish solar market is set to expand quickly in coming decade

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:After growing more than six-fold over the last two years, Poland’s solar energy market is only getting started as European climate goals force the country to speed up its exit from coal, a leading photovoltaic developer said.Photovoltaic power is set to dominate the country’s energy mix by 2040, according to the government’s prediction that sees the capacity growing to as much as 16 gigawatts by then from 2.5 gigawatt now.As ambitious as this goal appears, Poland’s target is “extremely conservative” and could be achieved 10 years earlier than envisaged, according to Deividas Varabauskas, the chief executive officer of Lithuania-based Sun Investment Group.Varabauskas said Poland’s PV market has potential for robust growth over the next two decades or longer as the expanding economy requires more energy at the same time as coal is phased out. Furthermore, solar projects are seeing increased interest from state-run power groups, which seek to transform themselves away from the dirty fossil fuel.This year, Poland overtook France to become the fourth-largest solar market in Europe, after Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. As the coal-reliant nation fell even more behind the bloc’s climate push over the last five years, it’s now making a U-turn in its clean energy effort, promoting photovoltaic, wind and biogas capacity. The share of coal is set to drop to just 11% in 2040 from 70% now, the government predicts.With the “massive change of heart” by banks toward PV financing in Poland that happened over the last two years, the company [Sun Investment Group] expects that as much as 400 megawatts of its projects could be commissioned by the end of 2022. The EU policy toward coal and rising cost of burning fossil fuels will also be a boon for renewables.[Maciej Martewicz]More: Solar energy boom gains momentum in Europe’s coal heartland Developers say Polish solar market is set to expand quickly in coming decadelast_img read more

Clips of the Week: May 10, 2013

first_imgOur favorite web videos from the week that was:French Overly BroadWe got some rain in the Southeast last week. Understatement. Here are a couple of brave, rowdy boaters running the French Broad at 23,000 cfs.French Broad 23,000 from Shaneslogic on Vimeo.Asheville Guns for IronmanAsheville, N.C. is gunning to host an Ironman Triathlon in September 2014. This is the proposal video they submitted.Brookies in the Blue RidgeBrook Trout in the Blue Ridge, Gordonsville BBQ Exchange, and Tenkara. Does it get any better?Does it Get Any Better? from My Leaky Waders on Vimeo.And Now, For Something Different…Extreme.last_img

Daily Dirt: National Parks Add Billions, Avalanche in Missoula, No Bags at Boston Marathon, Celebrity Athletes Promote Pro-Activity

first_imgThis week’s Daily Dirt for March 5th, the day the hula-hoop was first patented.National Parks Add Billions to EconomyA new report suggests that America’s national parks stimulate the economy far beyond the limits of their peaks and forests. On Monday, the National Park Service confirmed that recreational attendance at the 401 units of the National Park System in 2012 resulted in $14.7 billion in spending in “gateway” communities, those within 60 miles of a park. Park visits supported 243,000 jobs and contributed $26.8 billion to our national economy.“Our parks are economic engines for local communities,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “They support business ranging from motels and restaurants to gas stations and tour companies and, of course, the people who work in those businesses.”Last October affirmed the economic importance of our National Parks, as the 16-day government shutdown resulted in 8 million fewer visits and a loss of $414 million in visitor spending in gateway communities.“The sequester was a reminder of the parks’ importance to local economies,” said Jewell. “The shutdown cost the parks and nearby communities nearly half a billion dollars in visitor spending. Let’s hope we don’t ever have to go there again.”Avalanche in MissoulaPolice in Missoula, Montana have confirmed that a snowboarder triggered an avalanche last Friday that uprooted a home and left three buried in snow, later killing one. Mount Jumbo had reportedly experienced an unseasonably warm period, priming it for a slide. Sourced at the summit, the avalanche ripped through the Rattlesnake Valley Neighborhood, burying an eight-year-old boy and two adults. One of the adults, Michel Colville, died Monday morning due to injuries sustained during the avalanche.The avalanche, which struck at speeds well over 110 mph, buried eight-year-old Phoenix Coburn, who was playing in the street with his sister. After an hour, Phoenix was found under several feet of snow between a fence and one of the homes. He remains in fair condition at the hospital. Phoenix’s sister was also hit by the avalanche but able to free herself.Over an hour after the slide, 66-year-old Fred Allendorf, a retired professor from the University of Montana, was pulled out from his destroyed home. It was another three hours before Allendorf’s wife, Michel Colville, was discovered and rescued from a small air pocket in the debris. Unfortunately, Colville died Monday from her injuries.Surrounding neighbors, skiers, and snowboarders in the community grabbed shovels and probes immediately after and contributed to the search efforts. Officials interviewed and later rescued a group of snowboarders above the avalanche. One snowboarder was apparently stuck in the slide and able to escape before it gathered speed.No Bags at Boston Marathon This YearThe Boston Athletic Association has announced a “no bags policy” for the 2014 Boston Marathon to hasten security checks and promote overall safety in the wake of last year’s bombing.While runners are banned from brining their own bags to the race, they will be given the opportunity to place a change of clothes or other personal gear in a clear plastic bag B.A.A. will provide when they pick up their race numbers near the finish line on Boston Commons.This is just one of the new policies implemented after last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured 260.Celebrity Athletes to March on Capitol Hill Promoting Pro-Activity LegislationToday, one Heisman Trophy winner, Hershel Walker, and two U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists, softball pitcher Jennie Finch and swimmer Cullen Jones, will march at the 15th annual National Health Through Fitness Day in Washington D.C.Several other prominent athletes have also joined in for the event, which promotes face-to-face discussions with U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators about the importance of federal funding to support quality physical education in schools and encourage more physical activity for families by making it more affordable. PHIT America and SFIA will assemble a series of small groups featuring well known athletes, sporting goods and fitness manufacturers, physical educators, and association leaders for these discussions.last_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Summersville, West Virginia

first_imgWhen it comes to pure scenic value, few places east of the Mississippi River can outmatch the natural grandeur of Summersville.The 28,000-acre Summersville Lake is a popular flatwater paddling destination and scenic swimming spot, where sheer sandstone cliffs tower above crystal clear waters.Not surprisingly, Summersville is also a climbing mecca. Just below Summersville Dam is the roaring Gauley River, one of the most celebrated whitewater rivers in the country. Paddlers flock to the Gauley, especially in the fall, when dam releases attract the world’s top boaters and hundreds of recreational rafters. Nearby, the Cranberry Wilderness area is one of the most rugged and remote mountain wilderness areas in the East and a beloved backpacking oasis.Cudas_IB_0814_2DID YOU KNOW? At 47,815 acres, the Cranberry Wilderness is the largest federally designated wilderness area in Eastern United States. Bordered to the north by the Williams River and to the southwest by the South Fork of the Cranberry River, the area is home to some seventy miles of maintained hiking trails.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more