Monday, September 17, 2012

From the Climate Policy Network


Britain’s Energy Policy Shifting
Greens Routed As Shale Gas Wins New Enthusiast


Wind farms are not the answer to solving the climate change problem, Owen Paterson, the new Environment Secretary, has suggested. In his first interview in the job, Mr Paterson has admitted being “sceptical” about climate change policies, such as wind farms that need large subsidies. The Conservative right-winger, who took over the role last week, acknowledged global warming exists but stopped short of saying it is an entirely man-made problem. His comments are likely to alarm green groups as part of his new department’s official role is to help prepare Britain for climate change. --Rowena Mason,  
The Daily Telegraph, 16 September 2012

In Britain, determined moves are at last being made to reverse the Government’s grudging negativity towards our own vast shale gas reserves, led by our new Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, who seems to be winning surprising support for his enthusiasm for shale gas from key officials in his own department and the Environment Agency, which has regulatory responsibility for this new industry. After years when our energy policy was being dictated by green wishful thinking, by the likes of Lord Deben and by state-subsidised pressure groups such as Friends of the Earth, reality is at long last breaking in. The green make-believe that has cast such a malign spell over our country for far too long is finally on the run. Truly, last week was history being made. --Christopher Booker,
The Sunday Telegraph, 16 September 2012

What makes all this even more significant, however, is that it is taking place against the background of a truly astonishing worldwide energy revolution. As can be seen from the website of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, country after country is now rushing to exploit the shale gas that, in the past four years, has more than halved gas prices in the US. China, Germany, France, Russia, South Africa and others all have immense reserves that promise to provide the world with cheap energy for centuries to come. --Christopher Booker,
The Sunday Telegraph, 16 September 2012

Central and Eastern Europe may be home to the next shale-gas bonanza.  Looking to reduce its dependence on Russia, the region is embracing joint ventures with Western companies. Oil and gas investment is flooding into the region in amounts not seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. --Benoît Faucon, The Wall Street Journal, 17 September 2012

 New gas discoveries have been so significant that they have already begun to transform global energy supply. Add in coal bed methane and now shale oil, and an era of abundance of both gas and eventually oil may be upon us. In Britain, denial – the classic reaction to change – is well entrenched: from claims that gas prices will remain linked to oil and that oil prices will keep rising; to the notion that shale gas will not be developed here; through to the surprising idea that the economic effects will remain within the US and will not be felt elsewhere. For wind and nuclear, any notion that they would become cost competitive against gas in the next decade now looks questionable. --Dieter Helm,
Power Engineering, 14 September 2012

China’s top wind turbine manufacturers, Goldwind and Sinovel, saw their earnings plummet by 83% and 96% respectively in the first half of 2012, year-on-year. Domestic wind farm operators Huaneng and Datang saw profits plunge 63% and 76%, respectively, due to low capacity utilization. China’s national electricity regulator, SERC, reported that 53% of the wind power generated in Inner Mongolia province in the first half of this year was wasted. Many in Washington have developed a serious case of China-envy, seeing it as an exemplar of how to run an economy. In fact, Beijing’s mandarins are no better at picking winners, and just as prone to blow money on boondoggles, as their Beltway counterparts. --Patrick Chovanec,
The Wall Street Journal, 11 September 2012

 Aerospace officials of the European countries where Airbus makes its planes will push for a suspension of the European Union’s Emission Trading System (ETS) for airlines to avert retaliation from China, an official said on Tuesday. The German government official in charge of aerospace policy, Peter Hintze, said after a meeting of the so-called Airbus ministers from Britain, France, Germany and Spain that they would propose to their national governments that payments under the ETS should be delayed beyond the planned April start. --
Reuters, 14 September 2012 

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