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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

24.10.10. UK utilities warn that a carbon floor price is not enough for them to build new nuclear. FT: “Britain’s “big six” energy companies will this week warn Chris Huhne, secretary of state for energy, that the government’s proposed “floor price” for carbon emission permits is not enough of an incentive for them to invest in new nuclear power stations. Executives from the companies, including Centrica, EDF Energy and Scottish Power, now owned by Iberdrola, are due to make their views clear at a dinner with Mr Huhne on Wednesday.The industry has reached a consensus position with all companies agreeing that some form of additional incentive is required. Options range from a feed-in tariff to guarantee the price for low-carbon electricity to payments to companies as reward for having available generation capacity. The government has already said it is seeking to put a floor under the price of carbon dioxide permits under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme. But executives believe if that were to be the only incentive the floor would have to be set at a pretty high level, with estimates ranging between €80 and €90 a tonne of carbon. The companies argue any floor price should start at a relatively low level and then gradually step up towards a level of about €35 a tonne of carbon. Prices are currently hovering at around €15 a tonne.” RWE wants a low-carbon obligation like the renewables obligation, to include nuclear.970

Tea Party climate-change deniers funded by BP and other major polluters. Guardian: “BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama's energy agenda, the Guardian has learned. An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change.”971

25.10.10. Coal India pricing reflects keen demand and possibility that India’s economy could “decouple.” FT: “Coal India’s $3.5bn initial public offering will be the country’s biggest after the Indian government decided to list the state-run company at Rs245 a share. The decision to price the shares at the top of the range on Monday night reflects the strong demand for the miner’s stock. The issue was 15 times subscribed as global investors seeking greater exposure to India’s fast growing economy bought the stock. At the price set by the Indian government, Coal India – which floated only 10 per cent of its shares – will be valued at about $35bn, making it the country’s seventh-largest listed company. Investors fleeing slow growing developed economies have been investing heavily into emerging economies such as India, which has attracted a record $34bn in overseas capital this year. Since the start of this year the Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex index has risen more than 16 per cent to 20,303 …. “India can decouple (from western economies), in our view,” said Ridham Desai, chief India strategist for Morgan Stanley. “This view is supported by a balanced and superior growth economy, a corporate sector that is delivering strong earnings with low cyclicality, balance sheet discipline . . . and policymakers that are willing to take risks.”972

Aberdeen plans to expand on oil and gas know-how with a full role in renewables. FT: “The area has 40,000 people directly employed by 900 energy companies – 400 of which are internationally owned – with an even larger number of people engaged in the supply chain. Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future, a private-public partnership that promotes economic development in the region, has identified a 30-mile corridor – dubbed Energetica – between Aberdeen and Peterhead, which it hopes will host a concentration of energy technology companies, housing and leisure facilities.”973

– the US government may have to step in. We'll be keeping an eye on the story as it develops.”974

CBI delegates ask Bob Diamond why banks won't lend to them as anti-bank feeling pervades conference. Guardian: “The bosses of businesses large and small nodded as the prime minister defended the cuts. And they kept nodding when the former prime minister of Canada, who presided over huge cuts in his own country, was wheeled out to make the case for the axe. If the economy tanks over the coming months and unemployment rises, it was clear that British business will not be pointing the finger at Downing Street. If growth falters, businesses will blame the banks. …Anti-bank feeling pervaded the hall. One businessman, who asked to remain anonymous, said there was little competition among the banks.975

High energy costs prompt UK householders to cut back on winter heating. Guardian: “More than six out of 10 households are worried about the cost of theirenergy bills this winter and 20% of consumers are already struggling to pay their energy bills, according to a survey published today. Research from uSwitch.com also revealed that almost three-quarters (73%) or 19m households have already cut back on their energy usage or intend to do so in an attempt to cut their bills. … Under the Cert (Carbon Emission Reduction Target) scheme, energy suppliers have a pot of money allocated to boosting energy efficiency. According to the research, one-fifth of households have been contacted by their supplier offering help in making their homes energy efficient. Consumers can also ask their supplier for help under the Cert scheme – but less than one in 10 (9%) have done so and over half of consumers (51%) are unaware that they can ask their supplier for help with grants and special offers.”976

US approves world's biggest solar energy project. AFP: “The United States approved on Monday a permit for the largest solar energy project in the world -- four massive plants at the cost of one billion dollars each in southern California. "The Blythe solar power plant will consist of four, 250-Megawatt plants, built on public lands in the sun-drenched Mojave desert," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. "When completed the project is expected to generate up to 1,000 Megawatts of energy... That's enough electricity to power up to 750,000 average American homes and to make Blythe the largest solar power plant facility in the world." … Solar Millennium plans to begin construction on Blythe this year, the company says on its website. At the height of construction, the project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.”977

South Africa unveils plans for 'world's biggest' solar power plant. Guardian: “Giant mirrors and solar panels in Northern Cape would reduce carbon emissions and generate one-tenth of the country's energy needs. … The project, expected to cost up to 200bn rand (£18.42bn), would aim by the end of its first decade to achieve an annual output of five gigawatts (GW) of electricity - currently one-tenth of South Africa's energy needs.  …. the park, costing 150-200bn rand, would aim to be contributing to the national grid by the end of 2012. In the initial phase it would produce 1,000 megawatts, or 1GW, using a mix of the latest solar technologies. An initial 9,000 hectares of state-owned land have been earmarked for the park, with further sites in the "solar corridor" being explored.”978

Dudley hits out at Gulf spill fear-mongering in very first speech as CEO, to the CBI. FT: “He said

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