China’s wind and solar developers are getting much less than they anticipated in handouts from the government because of a quirk in subsidy policies, threatening to stymie growth in the world’s biggest market for clean energy. —Bloomberg News, 21 August 2015
Shale oil is undergoing an unheralded productivity boom – the scale of which has not been seen since the early days of IT – that will depress oil prices for a generation. That is the stark view of Neptune head of research Chris Taylor. ‘A 321% productivity gain over four years is incredible. I have never seen an industry move like this since maybe very early IT at the beginning of the PC rollout and it hasn’t even finished yet,’ Taylor said. –James Phillipps, City Wire, 26 August 2015
Germany’s shift to renewable energy sources will have a greater impact on operators of traditional power plants than originally thought, according to new data from the country’s grid supervisor. Fifty-seven traditional gas and coal power plants are set to close in Germany as a consequence of Energiewende. “The situation for existing power plants is getting worse,” Müller said. “An ice age is looming for the construction of new plants too. Every second planned facility is hanging by a hair,” Hildegard Müller, head of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries said. —Deutsche Welle, 24 August 2015
Coal consumption in India, particularly in the electric power sector, is outpacing India’s domestic production. From 2005 to 2012, India’s coal production grew by only 4.7% per year to about 600 million metric tons while the country’s coal-fired electric power capacity grew by a much faster rate (about 9.4% per year), reaching 150 gigawatts. To help resolve the shortfall in coal supply and to support expanded coal-fired generation, India has set a coal production target of 1.5 billion metric tons by 2020. —U.S. Energy Information Administration, 25 August 2015
India will not announce its peaking (peak emission) year, unlike China, in its ‘climate action plan’ which is to be submitted by the country to the UN body on climate change in September. –Vishwa Mohan, The Times of India, 25 August 2015
Half a century after the founding of the North Sea industry, its biggest oil fields are mostly dried up. What remains is the crumbs that are not worth the time or investment of the biggest players. The North Sea was once the biggest single contributor to the exchequer, but this year it will hand over little more than £1bn, compared with more than £11.5bn just three years ago, according to the specialist adviser Hannon Westwood. The Office for Budget Responsibility reckons that the Treasury’s take between 2020 and 2040 will dwindle to a total of just £2bn, a 94% reduction on previous forecasts. The day when the North Sea goes from asset to liability is not as far away as one might think, not least because the taxpayer is on the hook for roughly 60% of the estimated £30bn decommissioning bill. –Danny Fortson, The Sunday Times, 23 August 2015
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