Category Archives: Energy

Solar bubble may not have burst – but it seems to be developing a serious leak

Solar Sales May Drop for First Time as Rates Cut, BNEF Says

Oct. 5 — Sales of solar panels may decline for the first time in 2012, leaving manufacturers with mounting inventories and excess capacity, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst.

“New capacity in 2012 is likely to be flat if not lower than this year after significant drops in subsidies in key European markets,” Martin Simonek, a solar analyst at the London-based research firm, said in an interview. “That demand during 2011 has been stronger than last year has helped many companies stay alive. Next year will be different.” (Bloomberg)

Sen. Inhofe: Obama’s EPA Waging War on Fossil Fuels

Sen. Inhofe: Obama’s EPA Waging War on Fossil Fuels
John Rossomando 10/03/2011

Job creation has been all over President Obama’s lips in the past few weeks, but GOP opponents say his Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on fossil fuels is costing the economy far more than the estimated $447 billion price tag of his jobs proposal.

“The President of the United States wants to destroy American energy,” said Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee. “His intention is to kill fossil fuels, which we rely on for 99% of the energy in America.

“All of this killing of our energy supply is not by accident. It’s on purpose.”

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The Obama administration gets a lot wrong, but it does seem to be getting more clear-headed about oil

Good For Canada And Us

Energy: Environmentalists are making a last stand against the Keystone XL pipeline with a scare campaign about groundwater. Time to review the facts and let the project proceed.

The Obama administration gets a lot wrong, but it does seem to be getting more clear-headed about oil.

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EUC dances to greenies’ anti-energy tune, UK likely to veto

EU Commission Agrees Specific CO2 Value For Oil Sands – Source
Alessandro Torello

BRUSSELS–The European Union executive body has agreed to propose that oil extracted from sands should be treated as a dirtier fuel when compared with conventional oil, in a move set to add to an ongoing spat with Canada, a major producer of oil extracted from sands in Alberta. (Dow Jones)

Britain May Veto Green Plans To Ban Tar Sands, Shale Gas
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 20:29 Fiona Harvey, The Guardian

Fuel from oil sands projects would face effective ban under EU proposals, but UK government likely to veto green plan

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UK should celebrate shale gas and France bans it (until after the looming election)

Shale Gas Discovery Should Be A Cause For Celebration In UK
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 11:51 Robin Mills, The National

The prize of European shale gas is in sight. The question is whether it will become the subject of further politicised, unwinnable ideological battles, or a driver of environmental, economic and geopolitical revival. (GWPF)

France to Keep Fracking Ban to Protect Environment, Sarkozy Says
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Omitted Costs, Inflated Benefits: Renewable Energy Policy in Ontario

Ontario’s Power Trip: The $4,000 electricity bill
Electricity rates will double, making them among the highest in the developed world
By Glenn Fox and Parker Gallant

While attending an Energy Probe board of directors meeting almost a year ago (we are both directors), several of us around the table — as might be expected — discussed the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act and wondered aloud about the hidden costs associated with the act. Some speculated that the act might lead to a doubling of Ontario’s power rates. Could that possibly be true? (Financial Post)

An albatross named Solyndra

GOP Aims to Taint Bluedog Dems With Solyndra Scandal

During the 2010 election cycle, Republicans earned a surprising amount of traction with an attack ad that hit Democratic incumbents for supporting stimulus spending that ended up funding windmill manufacturing in China.

In 2012, Solyndra could be the new Chinese windmills.

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Was this solar energy company absolution for George Kaiser’s oil money?

Solyndra and a Billionaire’s Guilt Trip
Was this solar energy company absolution for George Kaiser’s oil money?

On Wall Street this week protesters dressed as “corporate zombies” are lashing out against corporate greed. If the unfolding Solyndra scandal is any clue, however, maybe someone should ask about the high price we pay when corporate leaders indulge their feelings of guilt.

No one has spoken more frankly about guilt than billionaire George Kaiser, whose family nonprofit was Solyndra’s largest stakeholder. Mr. Kaiser first went public with his guilt in a Rotary Club speech two years ago. There he explained his charitable giving this way:

“It starts with a sense of guilt we should all feel,” he said. “We got to where we are by dumb luck.”

By dumb luck, Mr. Kaiser means that he was born to a caring father who founded an oil business, now known as Kaiser-Francis Oil. Mr. Kaiser took the company over in 1969 and also bought a bank that is now the BOK Financial Corporation. Together oil and banking have made him one of the world’s wealthiest men.

Now, you might suppose that a billionaire whose wealth comes from the progressive world’s two most villainous industries might find himself on the outs with an administration that routinely attacks billionaires, oil companies and bankers. You would, however, be wrong. In fact the record shows that Mr. Kaiser—a top Obama bundler during the last presidential campaign—was welcomed to the White House 16 times over the past two years.

That’s where the now-bankrupt Solyndra comes in. (WSJ)

Merkel suggests cutting solar subsidies further

Merkel suggests cutting solar subsidies further

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday solar energy subsidies should be reduced, and it could make more sense in the future to draw solar energy from places like Greece, where the sun shined longer. (Reuters)

Subsidy farmers seek more unaffordable largess

Renewable energy: Subsidy cuts cause crisis of confidence
By Peter Wise

A winning combination of natural advantages, powerful utilities and public policy has made Spain a world leader in renewable energy. But a government decision to make retroactive cuts in one of the guaranteed subsidies that have helped drive this green revolution raises serious questions for the future of Spanish energy policy.

The retroactive cuts in the subsidies paid to producers of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy announced last December came “at the worst possible moment, given the severe economic crisis affecting Spain”, says Miguel Salis, chief executive of N+1 Eolia, which manages Spain’s largest independent wind and solar PV operator. (Financial Times)

Government has no business mandating this nonsense in the first place

Certain biofuel mandates unlikely to be met by 2022; unless new technologies, policies developed

WASHINGTON — It is unlikely the United States will meet some specific biofuel mandates under the current Renewable Fuel Standard by 2022 unless innovative technologies are developed or policies change, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Research Council, which adds that the standard may be an ineffective policy for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving this standard would likely increase federal budget outlays as well as have mixed economic and environmental effects. (EurekAlert)

Ethanol Industry Reacts to NAS Report

Comment on this post Posted by Cindy Zimmerman – October 4th, 2011
The ethanol industry is challenging a new report from the National Academies of Science that questions the ability of the biofuels industry to meet current goals under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) and the ability of biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (DomesticFuel)

Demonstrating, once again, that consumers want vehicles and not bread boxes on wheels

September: SUV the Planet
October 4, 2011 5:30 P.M.
By Henry Payne

Under pressure from the White House, Ford removed an ad last month dissing the UAW bailout — an ad that had embarrassed an administration spinning the narrative that it had saved the industry. But with September’s sales numbers, there’s more egg on the White House face: The companies they rescued are prospering because they are selling giant, Obama-hated, gas-guzzling SUVs like hotcakes. (Planet Gore)

UK slowly coming to its carbon senses while neighboring North Sea oil barons increasingly deranged

George Osborne Vows UK Won’t Go It Alone On Carbon Targets
Monday, 03 October 2011 13:36 James Murray, The Guardian
Chancellor hints he could water down UK’s ambitious carbon targets

George Osborne has vowed that the UK will not lead the rest of Europe in its efforts to cut carbon emissions, raising the prospect that the country’s carbon targets could be watered down if the EU does not agree to more ambitious emission reduction goals.

In a potentially explosive intervention, Osborne insisted the government will only cut emissions in line with its neighbours in order to ensure British businesses are not put at a disadvantage. (GWPF)

Danish government aims to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2020

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We’re only a couple of centuries from going “carbon free”

Matt Ridley: Post-Carbon America
Monday, 03 October 2011 10:42 Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal

Forget about ‘peak oil’ and global warming. What about two centuries from now, when we’ll really need help?

Many environmentalists believe that carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels will cause a climate crisis toward the end of this century. Environmentalists also raise the alarm that we have reached “peak oil” and that fossil fuels will run out by the middle of the century. That both views cannot be true rarely seems to bother those who hold them. Either consequence, we’re told, makes the world’s conversion to a low-carbon energy system an urgent matter.

Robert Laughlin, who won a Nobel Prize for his work in quantum physics, takes a rather different view. He thinks that “one can’t find much actual global warming in present-day weather observations” and that “the final demise of carbon burning is so far away, perhaps ten generations, that it’s quite irrelevant to energy problems of today.” And so in “Powering the Future” he takes up the problem of energy use two centuries from now, on the assumption that it will take that long for us to run out of, or give up, fossil fuels.

The book is written with a cheerfully can-do brio and is full of fascinating calculations—he says that damming Canadian rivers and flooding 0.5% of its land surface, for instance, would provide hydro-power to meet all the world’s electricity needs for a month. As a physicist he brings useful insights to the solar, nuclear and even garbage-incineration debate. (GWPF)

NYT editorializes against the national interest [gasp!] with counterpoint from The Energy Tribune

Say No to the Keystone XL

Unless good sense intervenes, it looks increasingly likely that the State Department will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry a coarse, acidic crude oil from northern Alberta in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. That would be a mistake.

In August, the State Department, which has authority because the pipeline crosses an international boundary, released its final environmental impact statement on the project. It found that the Keystone XL would have “no significant impact” on land and water resources along its route. We, and many others, are skeptical. (NYT)

The Keystone Pipeline, Again in the News
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