|The upcoming Paris Climate Conference (COP21) is just less than a month away. And, while we've seen little progress in reaching even the 2°C maximum global warming temperature boundary—already about 0.5°C too high to avoid serious climate problems—some optimism about the problem is being heard that have changed the views of many political and business leaders.
That change is a swerve away from regarding climate change mitigation as a retardation of growth to one where climate change represents a business opportunity. Ben Willis reports on one aspect of that change of heart in OP21: Political support growing for global clean energy R&D push, says UK climate envoy:
The UK government's special representative on climate change has spoken of his optimism that plans for a concerted international push on clean energy research will be given additional impetus by the climate talks in Paris in December.
Speaking to PV Tech, Sir David King, one of the co-promoters of a so-called "Global Apollo Programme" on clean energy R&D, said he believed the plan was gaining political traction and would be accelerated in the run-up to COP21 at the end of the year.
Launched in June, the Apollo programme set out plans for a 10-year, US$150 billion international R&D initiative aimed at making clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels worldwide by 2025.
The programme boasts an impressive list of co-authors, including the UK's former cabinet secretary Gus O'Donnell, the London School of Economics' climate economist Nicholas Stern and the former President of the Royal Society Martin Rees. It has also gained the backing of host of luminaries including the naturalist Sir David Attenborough and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Sir David, the UK's former chief scientific advisor and now the UK foreign secretary's special representative on climate change, told PV Tech the initiative was now also coming to the attention of energy ministers in the G7 group of industrialised countries and beyond, referring to a communiqué issued after a G7 meeting in June, in which leaders committed to decarbonising the global economy this century. "The second part of the statement was a major thrust in R&D demonstration in renewable energy technology so that we can roll out cheap energy around the world," he said. "So that's got the blessing of the G7 heads of government — they've asked for their energy ministers to report back to the next meeting of the G7, which will be next year... So it's rolling. And it's rolling in another sense because of Paris. And so there's a useful means of accelerating the process because everyone's trying to get things in before Paris."
Sir David added: "It's already with the right people — it's got the attention of the heads of government; that was the whole point of taking it through the G7. I think that all I can say at this stage is watch out for announcements. The IEA [International Energy Agency] has an energy ministerial meeting coming up in November, there's a G20 meeting in late November; these are all opportunities for heads of government and ministers of energy to develop the elements of the programme into something before Paris."
Sir David has already publicly stated his belief that solar offers perhaps the most realistic solution to the climate change problem.
In the interview with PV Tech, he added that storage technology should be a key beneficiary of the proposed R&D programme as it has not enjoyed the same support as PV from public subsidies. "The sun doesn't shine anywhere in the world at night, so energy storage and smart grids have become a part of rolling out base-load electricity from that source. And energy storage and smart grids got no benefits from feed-in tariffs," he said.
Asked what he felt would happen at the COP21 talks, Sir David said he believed a deal would be reached, but that issues such as the flow of funds from the developed to developing worlds to fund climate mitigation and adaptation activities would be a big issue for negotiators to overcome.
Concluding, Sir David said the global shift to clean energy was not a possibility but a necessity: "It's going to happen — we have to do it. So when the G7 heads of government announced they are going to decarbonise the world's economy by the end of the century, they mean it. And I believe we have, frankly, no option."
For the complete interview, click here.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Thursday, October 29, 2015
|#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Bonds broke a key trendline, but remain near a seasonal low in price.|
|The Prince of Wales weighed in on the Carbon Bubble yesterday in a video address to leading figures from international finance in London, just weeks before the Paris climate talks begin.
Prince Charles said that climate change is an increasing source of risk to the finance community. He said that business leaders should divest from a fossil fuel industry increasingly on the skids:
There are therefore two factors to consider: firstly, whether to divest from sectors, especially those directly involved in fossil fuels, which will be severely impacted by any agreement to limit global temperatures to a two-degree rise. Secondly, whether to invest in sectors which support the low carbon economy and are therefore better positioned in terms of risk and opportunities.
Some investors, such as philanthropic trusts and foundations, will also have to consider whether continuing to invest in high carbon assets represents a significant conflict to their overall mission and objectives.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
|#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. A market that's in the home stretch and it's key.|
Weakest economic recovery in seven decades gets weaker |
By Elliott Wave International
Most people extrapolate present trends into the future. But yesterday's trend can look like day vs. night when tomorrow arrives.
Almost no one expected deflation when the December 2007 Elliott Wave Theorist said:
Inflation has raged, but deflation is next.
What followed was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the weakest economic recovery since World War II.
The American economy remains weak. Growth is at the lowest level in more than three decades. ... Wages have been rising at the slowest pace since the 1980s. ... This is the weakest recovery since World War II ... . (U.S. News & World Report, August 23)
A co-founder of AOL and the chairman of Quicken Loans just graded the U.S. economy: They scored its performance near the bottom of the class.
Grading the U.S. economy, the rosiest scores from two billionaires on [October 23] would average about 68, equal to a D+ on a report card. (CNBC, October 23)
Deflationary pressures are increasingly evident.
U.S. consumer prices fell 0.1% in August. Producer prices have been even weaker. The nation's PPI fell 2.9% in August, and it's declined every month since December 2014.
These charts are from our new report, Deflation and the Devaluation Derby:
The graphs show several key economic measures that reflect years of broad-based distress, despite historic monetary and fiscal stimulus.
The chart above of real mean and median U.S. personal income shows another long-term reversal that is hitting most Americans in their pocketbook. While the mean measure shows, on average, that personal income peaked with the real estate boom in 2006, the median measure shows that half of all U.S. citizens are earning less money in real terms than they were in 2000. The five-wave form of the rise in mean income is further Elliott wave evidence that the decline is about to accelerate.
Our July Elliott Wave Financial Forecast said, "Deflation is just getting started." The October Financial Forecast provided a reminder of that warning and added that deflation "is already deeply entrenched in many flagship quarters of the global economy."
Get the full picture of what we see as a worldwide deflationary trend in our new report, Deflation and the Devaluation Derby.
Here's what you will learn:
Just recall how swiftly the 2007-2009 financial crisis unfolded. We anticipate that the next global financial crisis could be even more sudden and severe.
Bursting the Carbon Bubble: Fossil fuel companies risk plague of 'asbestos' lawsuits as tide turns on climate change
|Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes in Fossil fuel companies risk plague of 'asbestos' lawsuits as tide turns on climate change:
Oil, gas and coal companies face the mounting risk of legal damages for alleged climate abuse as global leaders signal an end to business-as-usual and draw up sweeping plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Bank of America has warned.
Investors in the City are increasingly concerned that fossil fuel groups and their insurers are on the wrong side of a powerful historical shift and could be swamped with exhorbitant class-action lawsuits along the lines of tobacco and asbestos litigation in the US. "It is setting off alarm bells that there could be these long tail risks," said Abyd Karmali, Bank of America's head of climate finance.
Fossil fuel companies have known for decades of the risk that their underground reserves were being overvalued.
Now, it seems the movement to keep those resources in the ground is unstoppable.
While the exact contours are still unclear, Paris is likely to sketch a way towards zero net emissions later this century. It implies that most fossil fuel reserves booked by major oil, gas and coal companies can never be burned.
A deal would also send a moral signal with legal ramifications. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank England, warned last month that by those who had suffered losses from climate change may try to bring claims on third-party liability insurance.
He specifically mentioned the parallel of asbestos claims in US courts, which have mounted over the years to $85bn and devastated some Lloyd's syndicates.
Mr Carney said it would be "premature to draw too close an analogy with climate risks" and acknowledged that previous carbon lawsuits have failed, but he warned that the risk is "significant, uncertain and non-linear". The UN has already floated ideas on compensation.
This is a far bigger problem for the fossil fuel companies than asbestos and tobacco ever were.
It's the bursting of the biggest financial bubble in history, the bursting of the Carbon Bubble.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Austin, Texas just might become the most solar powered city in America. About two weeks ago, it approved the development of a new round of 288 MW of solar power projects. Even more recently, it approved an additional 162 MW, bringing the total to 450 MW, and that is just for new projects. If these new…
Monday, October 26, 2015
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
|#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Big reversal today could upset some portfolios if they aren't using stop orders.|
|The Carbon Bubble came about because much of the fossil fuels in the ground can never be burned because doing so would doom our civilization. Yet, the stock market valuation of public fossil fuel companies reflect that investors think that all fossil fuels can be ultimately extracted and burned. Thus, we have yet another stock market bubble in the stocks of fossil fuel companies that will crater at some point in the future.
Kenny Ausubel writes in Epic Change -- Part 1:
In 1979 Exxon intern Steve Knisely was tasked with analyzing how global warming might affect future fuel use. Knisely projected that by 2010 there would be 400ppm of CO₂ in the atmosphere and "noticeable temperature changes." He foresaw the fossil fuel industry might need to leave 80% of its recoverable reserves in the ground.
By 1981 Exxon scientists and researchers had concluded that rising CO₂ levels could create catastrophic impacts within the first half of the 21st century. Yet starting in 1989, the same year as the Exxon Valdez spill, the company began arguing that the uncertainty inherent in computer models makes them useless for important policy decisions.
Exxon knowingly ramped up the fossil fuel industry despite the calamitous probabilities. Call it racket science. This is criminal behavior on the scale of a psychopathic James Bond cartoon villain.
In 2013, Richard Heede, a scientist at the Climate Accountability Institute, gathered a group of lawyers. He showed them that nearly 2/3 of the world's CO₂ and methane emissions dating back to the birth of the industrial era were the responsibility of just 90 companies.
The resulting lawsuits against these "carbon majors" are radical because they shift the culpability from developed countries to corporations. The lawsuits assign blame and name names. Big Carbon is taking it very seriously because a federal appeals court found that US cities and individuals suffering economic and other damages have standing to sue under the National Environmental Policy Act. The companies are also vulnerable to fraud and civil conspiracy charges for funding climate-deniers while internally acknowledging the science.
But isn't it time for a sentence of corporate death — capital punishment for crimes of capital?
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Monday, October 19, 2015
Sunday, October 18, 2015
|Kent Moors covers the energy field and writes in Why 2015 Is the Year of the Battery, and How You Can Profit From It:
Renewable power is on the rise. U.S. wind power capacity grew by 8.3% in 2014, and total renewable electric power will grow by 5.5% in 2016.
Utility-scale solar power capacity alone is expected to increase by 100% over 2015 and 2016. And in Europe, renewable power generation increased by 84% from 2003 to 2013.
But the great stumbling block for solar energy, as well as wind power and electric vehicles, has always been storage. The sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow. And we don't always need power when they do.
Batteries can bridge this gap by storing renewable power for when its needed, but conventional batteries, even the most high-tech ones, are inefficient and expensive, and don't last more than a few years.
But in 2015, that's all changing.
Recently, researchers at Ohio State University announced a breakthrough battery that's 20% more efficient and 25% cheaper than anything else on the market.
That's just one of the battery breakthroughs that could transform the energy industry and create some of the most exciting opportunities I've seen.
Because whoever figures out the "holy grail" of energy storage is going to make an absolute fortune, and not just in the energy industry. The implications are far-reaching across almost every industry you can imagine (and some you can't)....(more)
Saturday, October 17, 2015
|Despite the massive loss in value of fossil fuel companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil over the last 14 months, these stocks are still in bubble valuation territory. Many are headed for eventual bankruptcy. Thus there is a fossil fuel stock market bubble.
This is because true costs of carbon dioxide in intensifying global warming are not taken into account in a company's stock market valuation. Currently the price of fossil fuels companies shares is calculated under the assumption that all fossil fuel reserves will be consumed. An estimate made by Citi puts the loss in value of the fossil fuel companies due to the impact of the growing renewables industry at $100 trillion. According to the UK's Committee on Climate Change, overvaluing companies that produce fossil fuels and greenhouse gases poses a serious threat to the economy. The committee warned the British government and Bank of England of the risks of the carbon bubble in 2014.
The stranding of carbon assets will come about because of the free market. Of course, many fossil fuel companies will lobby government to avoid this outcome, but that's a rear guard action which will ultimate fail to prevent fossil fuels from being phased out. Already, many renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, are more economical than fossil fuels. In 2014, for the first time, wind and solar were cheaper than coal and gas in the USA, Australia and China. Switching to electricity based transportation like electrical vehicles from fossil fuel based transportation will reduce and eliminate the demand for fossil fuels, particularly petroleum.
Once the investment world realizes that fossil fuels are becoming obselete, the value of those companies will trend toward zero. Thus, those who are buying those stocks with the expectation that fossil fuels will rebound as they have in the past are subjecting themselves to severe financial risk.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
|#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Bearish investors big put premiums to a new all-time high despite today's rally.|
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015
|Paul Craig Roberts recognizes Obama has come to his senses:|
|We've written about the huge opportunity of marrying storage to solar power. When the sun isn't shining, storage kicks in and fills the gap. This allows energy storage during the day to be utilized during the night hours. And, it avoids drawing power from the grid, which can be a big power savings.
Enphase says Asia-Pacific is going to be one place where it's going to profit hugely from storage:
The company plans to sell the products, which combine solar power, storage and energy management technologies, in Australia in the second quarter of 2016, Chief Executive Officer Paul Nahi said in an interview in Sydney. Enphase said on Oct. 6 that it's joining with SA Power Networks in South Australia and Genesis Energy Ltd. in New Zealand to test the systems.
Enphase expects Asia-Pacific to become a "multi-hundred-million-dollar-a-year" market for the company in the coming years and aims to get half of its revenue from outside the U.S., according to Nahi. Tesla Motors Inc. and Panasonic Corp. are among companies jumping into an Australian storage market that Morgan Stanley estimates could be worth A$24 billion ($17 billion) after a surge in the use of solar power in the country. "The fact that Australia is leading the global charge for storage has really reinforced our decision to invest heavily in this area," Nahi said.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Monday, October 05, 2015
Sunday, October 04, 2015
Friday, October 02, 2015
|Ion Yadigaroglu makes a good case for a different kind of punishment for Volkswagen in the Guardian today: To punish Volkswagen for its emissions scandal, make it build electric cars:
The EPA should mandate that Volkswagen exclusively produce electric vehicles within five years for the US market. This would remove the emissions from millions of cars, not only health pollutants like nitrous oxide but also more essentially the other greenhouse gases that threaten our whole planet. The company is well on its way to commercializing electric vehicles, and the $10bn fine could be put to better use by building a battery factory in the US to supply those electric models, creating jobs along the way. Add in an obligation for VW to equip US highways with electric charging stations and we'll have changed the transportation landscape of this country for the better.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
|#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The Monthly Employment Report will set the tone for trading on Friday morning.|