Saturday, September 22, 2012

From The Climate Policy Network

Shale Shocked

Gazprom Rethinks Shale As European Gas Prices Sink

Gazprom has admitted it might yet adjust its attitude towards shale gas, as Russian policy makers assess new dangers to the country’s petro-dollar economy. First, Russia’s Economic Ministry warned that the increasing supply of shale gas on world markets will start hurting Gazprom’s pipeline sales to Europe in 2014. And it seems Gazprom might now be weighing the pros and cons of jumping onto the shale gas bandwagon. Gazprom’s top managers have for years said that shale gas production would never threaten demand for Russian gas. Now, they’re not so sure. --Oil and Gas Eurasia, 20 September 2012

Ukraine could potentially double or even triple natural-gas production in a decade after it starts shale extraction, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Europe’s biggest energy producer is waiting for initial test results to assess how fast the deposit can be tapped, Tiley said in an interview last week. Ukraine plans to extract 21 billion cubic meters of natural gas domestically this year, Energy and Coal Minister Yuriy Boyko said in January. The country is seeking alternatives to Russian gas imports, which meet 70 percent of its energy needs. --Kateryna Choursina and Daryna Krasnolutska, Bloomberg, 19 September 2012

 India is poised to contend with China as the globe's top consumer of coal, with 455 power plants preparing to come online, a prominent environmental research group has concluded. The coal plants in India's pipeline -- almost 100 more than China is preparing to build -- would deliver 519,396 megawatts of installed generating capacity. Research by World Resources Institute (WRI) found 1,231 new coal plants with a total installed capacity of more than 1.4 million MW proposed worldwide. Environmentalists called the numbers alarming, but coal industry leaders said the plants are not enough to meet the world's energy needs. --Lisa Friedman, ClimateWire, 18 September 2012

 The momentum behind the shale gas revolution in Britain is beginning to look almost inexorable. The Institute of Directors has now come out with a report backing the large-scale exploitation of this resource. Is it now only Ed Davey and the environmentalist staff at DECC who stand in the way of wholesale change? -- Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 21 September 2012

Drilling for shale reserves could create 35,000 jobs in the UK and provide a tenth of the country’s gas supply for a century, claims the Institute of Directors (IoD). The Government is expected to give the green light for more fracking in the UK to access shale reserves within weeks as it publishes a new gas strategy, but energy secretary Ed Davey warned yesterday that it was no “silver bullet”. --Matthew Sparks, The Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2012

 Britain is missing a trick. We are sitting on a massive amount of untapped energy, in the form of shale gas trapped deep in sedimentary rocks, and yet are failing to make use of this semi-secret treasure trove. To add insult to injury, politicians have imposed ever higher energy costs on the public thanks to a combination of higher taxes and environmental rules, hitting the poor, contributing to declining disposable incomes, crippling manufacturing companies and exporting jobs to other jurisdictions. It is time to tear up our present, intellectually bankrupt energy policy and to begin exploiting the UK’s onshore shale gas reserves, which could deliver a vast amount of cheaper, cleaner energy. --Allister Heath, City A.M. 21 September 2012

The Japanese government backtracked Wednesday on its aspirations to go nuclear-free, refusing to give full cabinet approval to a plan to phase out nuclear energy by 2040 following sharp criticism from the pronuclear business lobby.
Japan’s Economy Minister Motohisa Furukawa told reporters that the cabinet has decided to take the nuclear-free plan unveiled last week “into consideration” when formulating the country’s long-term energy policy rather than giving the entire plan formal cabinet approval. –Eleanor Warnock, The Wall Street Journal, 19 September 2012

Nuclear power is set to grow over the next four decades even after Japan shuts down its reactor fleet, the International Atomic Energy Agency says. Global installed capacity is set to rise to at least 469 gigawatts of energy by 2050 from 370 GWe today, according to the IAEA's most pessimistic scenario. Nuclear capacity may reach as much as 1,137 GWe in a more favorable investment climate, the Vienna-based agency said. There are presently 435 nuclear reactors in 30 countries worldwide, according to the IAEA. Sixty-four additional nuclear power plants are under construction. --Jonathan Tirone, Bloomberg, 19 September 2012


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