Viewing posts tagged: "Policy"

China Blows by the UK on Strength of Wind Sector, Central Planning

Daniel Englander: August 20, 2008, 7:40 AM
Planners for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London must have looked on in horror as 2008 drummers banged their way in synchronicity through the opening minutes of the Beijing games two weeks ago. The ensuing four hours sent them searching for the long knives. An Ernst & Young report released this week probably had the same effect on the UK's renewables planners. The consulting group's periodic Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices had China moving up from sixth place to fourth and into a tie with Spain, though still behind the U.S., Germany, and India. The UK dropped back to sixth place on the strength of China's growing renewables manufacturing base and its own inability to...

RGGI: How Not to Design a Carbon Market

Daniel Englander: August 19, 2008, 5:39 AM
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative marked the start of operations Friday, trading 70 futures and options contracts on the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange. The contracts, which represent 70,000 emissions credits, were the first traded in the U.S. under a regulated cap-and-trade scheme. Many believe RGGI, which comprises 10 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, will set the tone for a future federal emissions reduction scheme that is likely to be implemented under the next presidential administration. Let's hope not. While investor interest in the pre-sale - RGGI opens officially on January 1, 2009 - is heartening, the market itself suffers from serious design flaws. Most of...

Aquanomics Update: UK Consumer Distress a Boon for Investors

Daniel Englander: August 12, 2008, 12:00 AM
British consumers may soon feel the pinch of higher water rates. Between 2010 and 2015, British water utilities claim they will need to make £27 billion in infrastructure investments to comply with the EU-wide Water Framework Directive, which requires water utilities to comply with new water conservation and pollution standards aimed at adapting to climate change-related water shortages. Ofwat, the UK's water regulator, received the proposals Monday amid criticism from British consumer groups who claim ratepayers are having trouble coping with similar rate increases for gas and electricity service. British Gas, for example, raised its service rate 44 percent this month. The rate...

Has Green Building Found its White Knight in Ikea?

Michael Kanellos: August 7, 2008, 11:04 AM
Green homes represent one of the most promising markets in green tech today, in my opinion. The modular homes coming from companies such as Michelle Kaufmann Design (see snazzy video here) and Living Homes can be built at close to the same cost as regular homes but save their owners massive amounts of money over time in lower electricity and water bills. More importantly, they are cool. (see picture of a Living Homes home here. A Kaufmann home is pictured below). They are open, airy and nostalgically modern. If you grew up in Northern California, it's like living in the birdhouse at the Nut Tree. That's a stark contrast to most green products. Bioplastic cups pretty much work like...

Citing Shrinking Margins, ADM Ships Off for Brazil

Daniel Englander: August 6, 2008, 2:37 AM
Archer Daniels Midland will begin work on sugarcane ethanol production in Brazil, a company spokesman said this week. The world's largest grain producer cited margin compressing corn prices and construction costs as the main driver, though the slowly shifting U.S. policy climate has given a number of the major ethanol players reason to look elsewhere. An unconfirmed report has ADM taking stakes in two joint ventures to open mills capable of crushing 3 million to 4 millions tons of sugarcane annually. Though ADM has looked for years to enter the Brazilian market, the collapse of the company's fundamentals in the U.S. are likely the primary driver. That and the growing demand for...

A Huge Day for the U.S. Energy Future

Michael Kanellos: August 2, 2008, 5:12 AM
The end of the week probably set the stage for U.S. energy policy for the coming decades. Here's the summary: While Congress partisans fought bitterly over oil drilling, a group of ten moderates in the Senate (five Dems, five Republicans) came up with compromise plan. It would allow more drilling on the East Coast. In turn, oil companies would lose about $30 billion in tax breaks. Those breaks would go to fun investment tax credits for the renewable industry. The plan also includes tax breaks for electric cars. So almost everyone gets something. The Republicans claim a victory on drilling and the Democrats and ethanol and solar state representatives get money for new...

Senate Republicans (Mostly) Vote Against ITC

Daniel Englander: July 30, 2008, 6:46 AM
Shame on you, Harry Reid. At 11:50 a.m. today the bill containing extensions for the production and investment tax credits was voted down in the Senate. Democrats failed to gain the 60 votes necessary to invoke cloture and start floor debate on S. 3335, the Jobs, Energy, Family, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008, picking up only 51 votes in favor compared to 43 against the motion. Senators McCain and Obama abstained, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) voted against the motion. This is the fourth time this summer the Senate has failed to move ahead with debate on production and investment tax credits, dampening hopes that the tax credits will be extended past 2008. The...