MonitorsPublished on Jan 06, 2010
Energy News Monitor I Volume VI, Issue 30
Energy Injustice in India: Hiding Behind Poor

Continued from Volume VI, Issue No. 25…


A Survey on electricity discrimination - Is rural India getting its due share of electricity?

Whereas the rural-Urban divide in electricity supply has been known due to various media reports and govt. reports, the extent of the same needed some verification. It is in this context that Greenpeace India conducted a survey.

To compare the electricity supply scenario in rural and urban populations, relevant data were sought from 5 different states from four regions of the country; 2 in the East (Orissa and Bihar), one each in South (Karnataka), North (Uttar Pradesh) and West (Maharashtra). In each of theses states one tier A city, one tier B city, and three villages were chosen for survey in this regard.

Table 2: Data collection locations


Tier A location

Tier B location





Anekal (Bangalore Rural district), Salgame (Hassan district), Nagarle (Mysore district)




Ganeshpur Ratnagiri district), Kochargaon (Nashik district), Brahmanpada (Thane district)

Uttar Pradesh



Rametpura (Jalauan district), Haisalpura (Jalauan district), Galimpur (Jalauan district)




Rupra (Kalahandi district), Athanga (Cuttak District), Muskidih  (Kalahandi district)




Dumri (Buxar district),Bakri (Bhojpur district), Ekauna (Bhojpur district)

Data was sought to be collected for the last 10 years to compare on the assumption that there were improvements in electricity supply system during this period. Data such as peak power demand and annual energy demand; deficits; average number of supply hours, scheduled and unscheduled power cuts; house holds electrified; price of electricity were sought to understand the rural-urban divide.

While it was relatively easy to collect the required data in tier A and tier B cities, such data was not available readily for villages, which clearly reflected the neglect of those villages.  Some of the data had to be calculated based on the available data and in consultation with village elders and supply company staff. To collect such data the electricity supply companies were requested to provide the relevant information; the concerned staff of the electricity supply companies were consulted; discussions were held with them where needed; the villages were visited; the facilities and quality of life in each villages was observed; and discussions were held with the village elders and the maintenance staff of the electricity supply companies.  For the sake of comparison either relative prosperity of the villages or the human development index were also sought.

Indicators like per capita electricity consumption for the locations in each state were calculated on the basis of total electrical energy consumed and the population.  Human Development Index for tier A and B locations were taken from the published statistics, and were taken on the basis of various developmental parameters of the villages where information was not readily available.

Survey Data Analysis - Confirmation of rural neglect

Analysis of the survey data of five states for the period 2000 – 2008 provided a dismal picture of the neglected rural areas.  One result that was evident was the clear urban - rural divide.  Whereas the urban population has been getting a much better quality and quantity of electricity supply the rural population has been clearly a neglected lot.  All the villages covered in the survey had power supply for durations less than 12 hours a day on an average, whereas the tier A and tier B locations had supply for durations between 22 and 24 hours. The state capitals, Bangalore, Mumbai and Lucknow generally had much better quality of supply with almost uninterrupted supply.  Bhubaneshwar had generally no problem in meeting its peak demand but had 10 to 15% deficit in annual energy during last few years. Patna has been facing deficits of both peak power and annual energy for few years now; probably as a consequence of separation of Jharkhand as a state.

Between 1999 and 2009 there has been a continuous increase in the power availability to each of the states through addition of state’s own installed capacity and increase in the central sector shares.  At the same time it can be said that most of the additional power available in each state seem to have gone to the cities and towns to meet their insatiable demands (as exemplified by the increase in per capita consumption), whereas the villages continue to suffer with inadequate amount of electrical energy even for basic needs.     

Indian Electricity Scenario

Such a neglect of rural India can be seen in a better perspective if we analyse the electricity scenario in the country. 

The electricity scenario in the country since independence has been a sad story of power cuts, both scheduled and unscheduled; low voltages; frequent collapse of the grid either locally or at state level or at regional level; unsatisfactory customer service; high tariffs; poor operational & financial performance; never ending subsidies; electricity injustice between rich and poor and between urban and rural populations etc.. Even if we leave out the first decade after independence as a point in our learning curve in managing our own affairs, one cannot look back at the performance of the sector during last five decades with any pride, except that there has been massive spending in the power sector resulting in phenomenal increase in the installed generating capacity, transmission & distribution network, and demand for electricity. 

The installed generating capacity has gone up from few hundred MW at the time of independence to a level of hundred and fifty thousand MW, with thermal power providing about 65% of the capacity, hydro providing 25% and the remaining in the form of new & renewable energy sources with a very small contribution of 2.9% from nuclear power.

Table 3:  Sector-wise Installed Capacity (as on 31.8.09)




State Sector



Central Sector



Private Sector






Source: Central Electricity Authority, CEA

Table 4: Fuel-wise Installed Capacity (as on 31.8.09)




























Source: Central Electricity Authority, CEA

Though there have been deficits in electricity supply both during peak demand hours and in annual energy requirement, the problem generally has been acute in meeting the peak hour demand. The deficits have varied from a figure of less than 1% to as high as 25% in some cases.   Power supply position indicated in the table for the period April – August 2009, covering a part of summer and rainy seasons, can be viewed as typical for the entire country during recent years.

Table 5: Power Supply Position (April to August 2009)


Peak Demand


Peak Met


Deficit / Surplus

(MW)            %

Annual Energy Demand (MU)

Annual Energy Supplied (MU)

Deficit / Surplus

 (MU)            %

Northern Region



- 4,493






Western Region



- 5,472






Southern Region









Eastern Region



- 988






North Eastern Region









All India









Source: Central Electricity Authority, CEA

The problems besetting the sector have been so many and so serious that the sector has been identified as one of the main hurdles in the adequate development of our society.  Except for few states during few years in the last 62 years a highly unsatisfactory electricity supply has been the feature of our economy.

If we look at just the economics alone of the sector, the massive budgetary support year after year and the colossal losses incurred by the sector has been a major cause of concerns.  The combined loss of electricity supply companies is reported to be about Rs. 25,000 crores a year, which cannot be sustained for much longer.

Urban - Rural Divide

India is probably one of very few countries to have neglected its villages, although we continue to say that India lives in villages. About 40% of the entire populations, almost all of which in rural areas, are still without access to any commercial form of energy, including electricity. Even those households having electricity connection get power supply only during some parts of the day, mostly during those parts of the day when electricity is not of good value to them. A huge majority of rural areas seem to get no power supply during most of the morning hours, and during evening hours when the need for electricity is maximum.

Table 6:  Electrification (as on 29.02.2008)


Number of unelectrified villages

Electrified households







Uttar Pradesh









Source: Question of 21.4.2008 in Rajyasabha & Planning Commission

Whereas the demand and supply of electricity to towns and cities have been increasing at a tremendous rate, the rural areas are unable to meet even their basic needs for lighting and agriculture. The profligacy being incurred in the urban areas of each state is known to be so high that if it can be reduced by 50%, probably all the households in each village can get life line supply of 30 units a month. 

The total installed generating capacity in the country has gone up from 58,012 MW in 1989 to 1,52,148  MW in 2009, a whopping 162% increase.

Total monthly generation from conventional sources has increased from 43,596 MU in March 2000 to 65,057 MU in March 2008, an increase of about 50%.

National per capita electricity consumption has gone up from 283 kWH in 1992-93 to 429 in 2005-06, an increase of 52%.

But 40% of the households, mostly in rural areas, have no access to electricity even in 2009.

Table 7: Growth of Per Capita Electricity consumption in selected states





















































































Source: Central Electricity Authority

The reason given by the successive administrations for the failure in 100% electrification, even after 62 years of independence, has been the high cost of extending the electricity network to villages.  While huge sums have been spent since independence in adding to the installed generating capacity and expanding the transmission & distribution network to cater to the needs of the urban areas and industries, the fund constraint seem to have come in the way of only the rural electrification.

to be continued…

Views are those of the author

Author can be contacted at [email protected]


Climate and the Clash between the Diversely Developed (part – VIII)

Lydia Powell, Observer Research Foundation


Continued from Volume VI, Issue No. 28…


The Comfort of Technology


n the 1960s, Rachel Carson’s  powerful book ‘The Silent Spring’ on environmental degradation and its impact on human lives convinced people that ‘the control of nature was a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man’.  It was scarcely coincidental that the environmental movement that followed the release of Carson’s book and the energy crisis occurred at the same time. They had common origins in rapidly increasing energy demand and even more rapid depletion of oil and natural gas. On the production side, depletion of oil & gas reserves necessitated renewed reliance on coal, as well as oil & gas exploration in offshore and wilderness areas.  

To combat rising production costs, technologies of scale were increasingly applied. The immense scale of the energy systems, their drain on energy resources, and the cumulative effects of their effluents evoked widespread academic debate over the possible limits to growth by the Club of Rome study published in 1972xlv. The accident of the nuclear reactor in Three Mile Island in 1979 and numerous oil spills between 1970 and 1980 were sufficient to convince the public that ‘technology’ was in fact the main cause of environmental degradation. The environmental movement that was sustained in this period sought radical social change in the form of increased self determination, decentralisation of energy production and use and decentralisation of decision making.  This movement which appeared to threaten existing economic, institutional and social order has since been labelled ‘eco-fundamentalism’ and marginalised to the fringes of society. 

The climate movement of today is less radical and more practical and policy oriented. Rather than finding alternatives for society it is seeking to find alternatives within society in the form of technology to solve the problem of environmental degradation. The origin of this perspective can be traced to the report, ‘Our Common Future,’ also referred to as the Brundtland Report released in 1987. It concluded that economic growth and environmental protection have to be made more compatible for humanity to have a positive future.  ‘Sustainable development’ was the label attached to this compromise between the economy and the environment and since then humanity has looked upon technology to deliver this ideal state of affairs.  This was projected as the logical choice given the difficulty in changing human behaviour to change the course of population (P) and Affluence (A).  Technological ‘fixes’, even if only temporary, were seen by the dominant environmental and climate groups  as the only source of comfort and hope to take on the gloom that was forecast by climate studies.






Population (Billion)



* 6

GDP per person (PPP trillion 1990 USD)



* 70

Primary Energy (EJ)



* 35

CO2 Emissions  (GtC)



* 20

Source: Naki’ncenovi’c et al 2007.  

Technology has in fact played a key role in facilitating a 70 fold increase in global income (Gross Domestic Product) between 1800 and 2000 without a proportional increase in energy consumption and carbon emissions [Table 7]. In this period global energy use increased 35 fold, carbon emissions increased 20 fold and the world’s population grew 20 foldxlvi. The sharp growth in population was overshadowed by the positive feed back loop of capital creating more capital and thus causing super-exponential growth in industrial output.  Substantial improvement in energy use efficiency was achieved through the systematic application of technology and knowledge.   

Cultural historian Leo Marx argues that our inadequate understanding of the part played by ideological, moral, religious and aesthetic factors in shaping a response to environmental problems makes us lean more on science and technology.  The faith in scientific knowledge and technology is so strongly embedded in society that environmental problems are named after their biophysical symptoms such as ‘soil erosion’ or ‘acid rain’ and scientists and technologists are expected to provide solutionsxlvii. Marx points out that if we as a society, were less technology friendly, might have avoided the term ‘Greenhouse effect’ in favour of ‘the problem of global dumpsites’. Social justice would have set the terms of the climate debate rather than economic and technological efficiency if ‘colonisation of the atmosphere’ had been the chosen term rather than ‘climate change’. 

The technology-friendly environmental movement has facilitated the cross over of hard core environmentalists of the 70s to become counter-experts who borrow from the same industrial structure that created a polluted and divided world. They project science, technology and expert led process as solutions to the environmental conflict while marginalising inherent social contradictions. A new course of scientific inquiry known as ‘industrial ecology’ has been designed to marry industry and ecology so as to minimise the intensity of resource use in production and consumption. Under this course, the use of technology to reduce environmental impact can, in theory, not only compensate for more people but also the impact of more affluent people. 

The expectation from technology is that it will double the supply of energy and halve the level of emissions by 2050. In other words, ‘technology’ is expected to ensure that the current emissions track which would see energy-related emission increasing to around 62 Gt CO2 in 2050 is reduced to half the level by 2050xlviii. Energy-related emissions alone must be reduced to just 14 Gt CO2 per year. The problem here is that most of the gains in emission reduction must come from developing rather than developed countries. More than 75 percent of the global growth in CO2 emissions will originate from developing countries, with more than 50 percent from China and India alone. Halving emissions in OECD countries alone will yield only around 10 Gt CO2 emission reductions needed.

Even if OECD emissions are reduced to zero this would still only deliver up to 38 percent of the 48 Gt CO2 emissions reductions needed.  Key issues in this context are whether the optimism over technology is justified and how developing nations would pay for technologies which are owned predominantly by the private sector in developed nations.   

The answers to these questions expose some inconvenient truths. Energy technologies in use today such as the internal combustion engine and the steam turbine were invented in the 1880s while nuclear power generation and gas turbines were invented in the 1930s. No technology under development today is expected to rival these technologies in the next two to three decades unless their natural course of progress is interrupted with massive investment in alternative technologies. The cost estimates for dramatic interventions for technological shift varies widely. The 2007 IPCC report suggests that a 20-38 percent reduction in emissions can be achieved at a cost of $ 50 per tonne of CO2. The Stern report gives an even more optimistic projection of a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 at the same cost. Empirical economic literature suggests that using current technology, the average abatement cost for a 70 percent reduction in carbon in the energy sector would be about $ 400 per tonne of carbonxlix. 

Assuming that marginal costs of mitigation do not fall, the cost of emission reduction programmes is estimated at around $800 billion to $ 1.2 trillion per year. This figure is almost equal to the Gross Domestic Product of India and an order of magnitude more than the current Overseas Development Assistance from OECD (less than $ 90 billion!).


Present value in billions of 1990 USD







United States






Canada & Western Europe


















Source: Butraw and Toman, Ringius and others, and Rose 1992 quoted in Marine Cazarola & Michael Toman 2000. International Equity & Climate. Refer to Table 4 for a description of the different regimes. 

Table [8] illustrates the large range of net cost outcomes for a given country or region under different regimes. Under the egalitarian principle large amounts of wealth are transferred from developed nations to developing nations. Under the vertical regime there are large burdens for developed nations and much smaller burdens for developing nations but no wealth transfer. The other two regimes produce roughly similar regimes. It is clear that the straightforward application of the equity principle will necessarily create winners and losers. Moreover even when a country makes a case for the equity principle, it will be difficult to discern between the country’s concern with equitable burden sharing and its informed calculation of ‘national interest’. 

Constructing a single formula that embraces the self-interest of both developed and developing nations is impossible.  Dynamic graduation formulae on the other hand offer a degree of flexibility for balancing the growth concerns of developing countries against the concern of developed countries to expand participation and reduce leakage. In the near future, it is very likely that both developed and developing nations agree on a graded burden sharing formula for what is essentially a technocratic response to climate change. This will postpone but not eliminate the need for a social and political response to the environmental problem. Technology which appears to be rational and efficient has often been short sighted as it has a tendency to betray the future for the sake of the present.  


In developed countries, the action on climate change is being led by the citizens and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and governments are responding to their demand for an appropriate policy. In developing countries the issue is led by Governments for whom the main concern is the discrepancy between the share of causal responsibility for climate change and the share of climate impact burdens. While equity is often put on the agenda by developing country negotiators, the scope of the agenda itself, namely emission mitigation is firmly set by developed nations. 

For developing nations, equity is a redistributive justice issue and they emphasise human impacts and adaptation costs which are disproportionate to their historic responsibility in causing climate change. The rights based per capita emission targets proposed by these nations stems from the treatment of the atmosphere as a ‘global commons’ to which all are equally entitled. This frames emission mitigation as a resource sharing problem rather than one of cost minimisation and cost sharing. However by positioning climate change as a justice issue and consistently opposing ‘meaningful participation’, high growth developing countries such as India and China appear to have weakened their negotiating position in the UNFCC and facilitated the creation of a division within the developing world pitting low growth, small and poor developing countries against large, high growth developing countries. Their reactive rather than a proactive negotiating strategy has also prevented the formation of strong coalition and allowed the affluent world to use a divide and rule bargaining tactics.

While the ‘development’ regime framed the ‘problem’ in terms of the inequality between people, societies and economies and pursued a ‘solution’ that would essentially make people, societies and economies more equal, the climate change mitigation regime is framing the problem in terms of artificial and aspirational ‘equality’ between people, societies and economies using statistical generalisation, aggregation and extrapolation to make its case. This has enabled the democratisation of climate guilt and the re-distribution of the economic burden of climate change. While this may lower the cost of combating climate change, it will sustain and broaden the inequality between people, economies and societies.   

Climate change is often featured as a global challenge, a threat beyond borders, the current discourse is constructed on parcelling the world into diverse political, economic and territorial units. In this construction, big is pitted against small, livelihoods are pitted against lifestyles and the present is pitted against the past and future. Despite clauses which base proposed reductions on individual entitlements, justice in this clash as it stands today is unlikely to favour the ‘wrong’ side which is big and poor over the ‘right side’ which is small and rich. 


   xlv.    The Club of Rome was founded in April 1968 by Aurelio Peccei, an Italian industrialist, and Alexander King, a Scottish scientist. ‘Limits to Growth’ is one of the land mark publications by the Club of Rome that modelled the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies.

  xlvi.    N Naki´cenovi´c, B. Fisher, K. Alfsen, J. Corfee Morlot, F. De la Chesnaye, J.-C. Hourcade, K. Jiang, M. Kainuma, E.L. LaRovere, A. Rana, K. Riahi, R. Richels, D.P. vanVuuren, and R. Warren. 2007. “Issues related to mitigation in the long-term context.” Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by B. Meta, O. Davidson, P. Bosch, R. Dave, and L. Meyer. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  xlvii.    Leo Marx, 1994. “The Environment & the Two Cultures Divide” in Science, Technology and Environment. Edited by J R Flemming et al and H A Gemery. The University of Akron Press.  

 xlviii.    IEA baseline scenario in Energy Technologies Perspective (ETP)

   xlix.    Robert Mendelsohn. “Climate Change and Economic Growth” Commission on Growth & Development. 2009. Working Paper No 60.



Views are those of the author

You can reach the author at [email protected]

Note: Some parts of this paper have been re-organised.

Energy in India’s Future: Insights (part –XV)

Jacques Lesourne and William C. Ramsay*


Continued from Volume VI, Issue No. 29…


Global environment and economy tradeoffs


ndia’s energy needs are predominantly met by coal, which is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Combined with the need to address the energy mix modernization for more than 70% of its population, India by any standard faces a much bigger challenge than any other country at this time. In absolute terms India is the fourth largest emitter after the United States, Australia and China respectively.

We lack space here to describe the full debate in India, but we believe coal is the paradox that forces the elite of the urban class to “twist the debate.” It is increasingly heard in India that India should be expected to emit more CO2 as a legitimate right. This argument is promoted in front of western proponents of India’s moral duty to self restrain even though greater rural access to modern energy services is key to India’s growth and economic sustainability. It is incorrect to believe that the current trend is a saving grace. If we disaggregate average figures, then the current scenario favors an urban elite that consumes amounts of energy per capita comparable to those in any average developed country.                  

Let us examine this with further data. In per capita terms India ranks lowest among the countries listed in Table 22.

In order to have an idea of the extent to which a country/region is responsible for existing level of CO2 on earth’s atmosphere, Table 23 presents cumulative emissions from year 1900 to 2002 (the 20th century).

Table 22. Per capita CO2 emissions (tons per person per year)

Source: UN Statistics Division.

Table 23. Cumulative CO2 emissions, 1900 to 2002

Source: World Resource Institute,

Industrially advanced nations are largely responsible for the stock and existing emissions levels. However, it would not suffice even if these countries were successful in arresting their future CO2 emissions. Large developing countries like India and China need to significantly change their mode (technology) of production for long term sustainability of this earth (Pachauri 2004); e.g., greater use of RETs in rural areas to provide modern energy services will offset India’s disadvantage on the environmental front. This disadvantage is primarily caused by the predominant use of coal and poor rural access to modern energy services. If a significant amount of India’s energy requirement is sourced from renewable resources it may continue to depend on not-so-environmentally friendly domestic coal reserves. The dividends that will be reaped from a massive use of renewables on the environmental front can be used to compensate for the damage that will be done due to the use of coal. This would mean an India that would depend less on international crude, leading to stabilization of energy price at home and in the world. The massive role that RETs can play in rural areas for lighting, cooking and irrigation, would heavily reduce the demand for conventional power from coal/gas plants and LPG and diesel. In quantity terms one can imagine that 30% (173.3 Mtoe in 2007) of the total primary energy consumption in India is sourced from noncommercial energy sources to meet the rural requirements —at 60% of efficiency, total noncommercial energy consumption requirement of 2007 would reduce to 46.21 Mtoe, implying a saving of 127 Mtoe assuming 16% as current level of effciency. The efficiency of these noncommercial energy sources varies from 8% to 16%. Replacing noncommercial energy use with renewable sources that have efficient utilization factors will provide an immense leverage to India to be able to use coal as an important source of energy in the longer term. This is very crucial so as not to offset the efforts of industrially advanced nations to curb their emissions. Conversely, here we do not imply that the entire burden of greenhouse gases reduction should be on rural populations. However, the (fortunately) growing outlook on greater urban efficiency, or the technological ideas to move toward an ultrasupercritical coal plant in combined heat plant (CHP) configuration should not overlook the issue of the rural poor. The future lays in putting the burden on the monetized economy, but also on providing the poor with the tools, systems, and micro-institutions of renewable energy; the former will sooner or later see private actors emerging at the micro level, at the residential colony and factory energetic optimization level, but the developmental state and the public aid should not neglect the latter. It will need to be a collective, cooperative game, or there will be no game at all.

Poverty and climate change

If big emerging countries like India and China do not change their mode of production now, the economic growth that is gradually lifting people from the shackles of poverty may cause still more poverty in the future; for instance, climatic catastrophes are expected to affect the poor disproportionately. This is in part because the poor population in India is dependent on the monsoons for their agricultural output. Erratic and concentrated rains can cause flooding and drought with higher frequency. Although there has been much focus in the media and in the National Action Plan on Climate Change (GoI 2008) about sea-level rise and coastal populations being displaced, the interior of the country will also see its share of water refugees as climate and environments change.

Last year’s prolonged drought in the Bundelkhand region and catastrophic flood of the Kosi river in Nepal and Bihar led to a massive dislocation of people in the affected areas. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that sub-Saharan Africa will be the biggest loser in agricultural productivity due to climate change followed by Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia respectively. On the other hand, Industrial countries in the aggregate stand to gain in agriculture productivity because of climate change (IPCC 2007). In addition to this, climatic catastrophes like storms and flood are only going to increase in future with dire consequences for the asset bases of the most vulnerable populations. Floods caused by erratic monsoon rains and storms in South Asia during 2007 season displaced more than 14 million people in India and 7 million in Bangladesh (UNDP 2007 Ch. 2). The cyclones of Myanmar in 2008 with 100,000 deaths18 and Orissa (India) in 1999 with 10,000 deaths are constant reminders of this reality. Therefore, simplistic views of growth and poverty relationship can be dangerously misleading.

India also faces massive problem of emissions and wastes that affect the local environments in both rural and urban areas. In rural areas emissions are mainly due to very inefficient burning of bio-fuel for cooking. In Urban area the problems are emissions from transport and industrial wastes. Water and air pollution impose heavy health costs, with a disproportionate bias against poor women and children. Most of the time, and as indicated earlier, providing them with modern energy services increasingly through renewable energy sources turns out to be the most cost effective tool. This approach provides a triple dividend:

·          It leads to low emissions,

·          No network facility is required, so it avoids the problem of complex web of institutional cost (corruption and theft) which is why grid facilities have not been able to reach most poor population of India yet.

·          It directly affects the human development aspects of most poor populations living in villages in India.




* Editors




to be continued…



Note: Part V of the article on Oil & Gas Discovery & Production in India: Historical Milestones, part XIII of the article on Gas in India – Issues, Opportunities and Challenges will be published in Volume VI, Issue 31






Reliance raises $763 mn in block deal

January 11, 2010. Energy major Reliance Industries Ltd raised $763 million through a block sale of 33 million shares. Reliance, which is bidding for bankrupt LyondellBasell Industries, had previously sold treasury shares to state-owned insurer Life Insurance Corp of India raising $577 million. Reliance had sweetened its offer to buy a controlling stake that valued LyondellBasell at $13.5 billion.

Reliance to drill 6 new wells in KG-D6 block this year

January 7, 2010. Reliance Industries, which has proposed to invest US $1.5 billion more in developing satellite gas finds in India's prolific KG-D6 block, will drill six wells this year. RIL has until date made 19 discoveries -- 18 gas and one oil -- in deep-sea block KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6. Of these, it developed Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields in the first phase at an investment of US $8.836 billion. It has now proposed to invest another US $1.5 billion in bringing to production four satellite finds in the block. Dhirubhai-1 and 3 fields, which began gas production in April last year, hold 10.03 Tcf of reserves and are currently producing about 60 million standard cubic meters per day. The peak output of 80 mmscmd likely this year, would double gas availability in the country.


IOC to increase Haldia refinery capacity by 25 pc

January 12, 2010. State-run Indian Oil Corporation will raise the capacity of its Haldia refinery by 25 per cent to 7.5 million tonnes in one month. The company will expand its 12 million tonnes a year Panipat refinery to 15 million tonnes by August.

IOC's Haldia refinery currently has a capacity of processing 6 million tonnes a year of crude oil. After the expansion, the unit would produce Euro-III and Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel. The company operates 10 refineries with a total capacity of over 60 million tonnes a year. Haldia is its only coastal refinery and caters to the demand of eastern India.

Fire near Indian Oil Corporations's Guwahati Refinery

January 11, 2010. A devastating fire broke out near the Indian Oil Corporation's Guwahati Refinery, official sources said. Seven fire tenders were pressed into service to control the fire which was finally contained after two hours though thick smoke still enveloped the area. The fire was suspected to have been caused following by a spark in a leaking crude oil carrying pipeline. 

Transportation / Trade

SHV Group acquires Chevron's India subsidiary

January 12, 2010. SHV Group, a Dutch MNC, has acquired 100 per cent shares of Caltex Gas India Pvt Ltd (CGIPL), the wholly-owned Indian subsidiary of US-based Chevron Group.  Caltex Gas is engaged in import, storage, bottling and marketing of LPG with a turnover of about Rs 3.5 bn. SHV India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dutch Group, is present in India since 1996 and is known by its brand `Super Gas'. Through this buyout, SHV has acquired a LPG import terminal facility at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu with an annual throughput capacity of 180,000 MT which will strengthen its LPG supplies in the country.

Policy / Performance

Govt's revenue won’t be hit if RIL sells gas at $2.34 a unit

January 12, 2010. Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) told the Supreme Court that there will be no impact on the government’s share of revenue, if contractor Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) is allowed to supply gas from KG basin at the agreed price of $2.34 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). On the other hand, if it is denied gas at such price, the company will become a shell company, said RNRL. In its written submission, RNRL said that under the production-sharing contract (PSC) with RIL, the government is entitled to a share of gas on the basis of valuation determined.

Oil firms to supply Euro-IV grade fuel to 13 cities from Apr 1

January 12, 2010. State-run oil firms will supply Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel in 13 big cities and Euro-III complaint petrol in rest of the country from April 1 but supply of the cleaner diesel to rest of the country may be delayed by three to six months. As per fuel specifications committed to the Supreme Court, oil firms are to sell petrol and diesel meeting the stringent Euro-IV specifications in 13 major cities from April 1 while Euro-III grade fuel is to be supplied in rest of the country. Efforts are being made to ensure Euro-III petrol to be supplied in rest of the country and some deferment sought for beginning sale of diesel of same grade.

ONGC seeks restoration of tax holiday on gas

January 11, 2010. State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has asked for restoration of seven-year income tax holiday on production of natural gas, and inclusion of the environment-friendly fuel in the proposed GST regime. In its pre-Budget memorandum, ONGC said sub-section (9) of section 80-IB of Income Tax Act allowed a seven-year exemption from payment of income tax to an undertaking engaged in production of mineral oil -- crude as well as gas. ONGC said subsequent changes, however, "virtually overturned the already-decided cases" where it was upheld that mineral oil includes gas. The company added that the Finance Bill for 2009 made retrospective legal amendments to re-write the law from 1999-2000 and pre-judging the matters pending before courts and tribunals.

Oil Ministry may seek free pricing of petrol

January 11, 2010. The Petroleum Ministry is likely to seek decontrol of petrol pricing and a gradual increase in diesel price during its meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. This is expected to be part of the presentation to be made to the Prime Minister on the petroleum sector. The financial health of the public sector oil companies will also be discussed. The Ministry is likely to seek free pricing of petrol and suggest a gradual increase in diesel prices as well as pitch for a hike in cooking fuels – domestic LPG and kerosene – prices.

Reliance gas helps save Rs 47.6 bn in fertilizer subsidy

January 11, 2010. Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 gas has helped fertilizer companies bring down cost of urea production by 18 per cent and has helped save about Rs 47.6 bn in fertilizer subsidy. According to the Fertilizer Industry Coordination Committee (FICC), the average provisional cost for urea production in 2009 has come down from Rs 13,509 per tonne to Rs 11,084 per tonne after KG-D6 gas replaced costlier alternative fuels like naphtha. FICC informed Fertilizer Ministry that the energy cost has reduced as a result of use of RIL gas replacing costlier alternative, sources said.

Gazprom granted more time to complete exploration work

January 9, 2010. The government allowed Russia's Gazprom to carry out exploration work over 18 months to make up for delays in work already allotted. Gazprom was an operator under the NELP-1 round of auction of oil and gas blocks in the north east coast, but its work had run into delays. The decision to grant special dispensation for Gazprom, instead of slapping a fine, was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

FinMin keen on ONGC, Indian Oil follow-on offers

January 8, 2010. The finance ministry is keen on selling stakes in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation but follow-on public offers in the two bluechip PSUs are unlikely as unresolved issues are affecting their valuations. The oil ministry, however, was of the view that raising funds from the capital market was not prudent till issues like fuel pricing and subsidies were resolved which were affecting share price of ONGC and IOC. While Government has not allowed IOC and other retailers Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum to raise petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene price in line with the cost, they have not been given the promised compensation.

Court dismisses landowners' plea for retail dealership of petro products

January 7, 2010. The Madras High Court has rejected the plea for allotment of retail outlets/dealership of public sector oil companies – Hindustan Petroleum Corpn and IBP Co Ltd – on ‘land owners category' as in the case of Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum. None of the petitioners whose writ petitions challenging the orders of 6-9-2006 of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and of 13-10-2006 of Indian Oil Corporation, announcing a new policy for the appointment of dealers, was granted retail outlets by the oil companies and there was no vested right accrued to them.

Oilcos to submit fitness report

January 7, 2010. All the 14 state-owned oil companies will present a health report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following concerns raised about their performance. The government forces public sector oil companies—IOC , BPCL and HPCL—to sell petrol, diesel, kerosene and diesel often below cost and the resulting revenue losses are split between the government, stateowned retailers, and upstream companies ONGC and OIL. In 2008-09, three PSUs incurred a combined revenue loss of over Rs 1030 bn and ONGC alone had to share a burden of Rs 320 bn. The government had, however, spared the three fuel retailers from sharing the subsidy burden in the financial year as they were on the verge of posting a net loss for the year.



Sterlite to set up power plant at Tuticorin

January 12, 2010. Sterlite Industries, a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, is planning to invest around Rs 6.5 bn to set up a power plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. One of the major challenges for the company at its Tuticorin unit, which manufactures copper smelter, was power.

The proposed 2X60 mega watt coal-based plant would not only help the company reduce the dependency but would also bring down the consumption cost. At present, of the total production, 40 per cent is exported while the remaining is for domestic markets. Once the expansion plan is complete, 1,200 tonnes per day will be for the domestic market.

Villagers oppose Itchapuram thermal power project

January 11, 2010. The fisherfolk from Sompeta expressed their protest against the proposed thermal power plant (2,640 MW) to be set up by the NCC group in the district at a meeting presided over by the Joint Collector.

The meeting was held in the aftermath of an agitation lagainst the power plant by surrounding villages, apprehending damage to fisheries resources and widespread ecological damage.

Ideal Energy looking to rope in private equity partner

January 6, 2010. Ideal Energy Projects, which is setting up a 540-MW plant near Nagpur, is hoping to rope in a private equity partner to pick up a 30 per cent stake in the company.  To be implemented in two phases of 270 MW each, the first phase is expected to be completed by 2011 and the second in 2012.

Capex requirement for the 540-MW project is about Rs 28 bn. The company is in possession of 200 acres required for the project. Further, it has tied up for coal linkages with the Western Coalfields, besides water supply from the Wadgaon Dam, near Wardha.

Orders have been placed with BHEL for boilers, turbines and generators, while balance of plant would be undertaken by McNally Bharat Engineering.  Also, a power purchase agreement has been signed with Reliance Power for 200 MW, while 70 MW power would be traded on merchant basis.

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Plants shift coal import from Haldia

January 11, 2010. The worsening of the navigable condition of the Hooghly, lowering the average parcel loads of bulk carriers calling at Haldia dock, has set in motion a chain of developments hitting not only the dock but also various other sectors of the economy such as the trade, i.e., importers and exporters, the railways and others. Several industrial units, particularly power houses and steel plants in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand who were dependent on Haldia for importing coal, have now opted for Paradip to meet their requirements at least partially. Some have even opted for far-off Gangavaram and Visakhapatnam.

OHPC fails to operationalise power unit

January 7, 2010. Even as the damaged valve house of the Balimela hydro electricity project has been restored, the orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is facing a problem of another kind.  The State-owned corporation is unable to operationalise the hydro power station as the debris in the intake water tunnel could not be cleaned due to non-availability of divers.  Divers from the Vizag Port who were scheduled to take the underwater cleaning operation in the Balimela reservoir in the first week of january are reluctant to venture into the naxal-infested area for fear of their lives.

Policy / Performance

India to supply 250 MW power to Bangladesh

January 12, 2010. In another goodwill gesture, India said it would stop work on the Tipaimukh dam project which had caused resentment in Bangladesh. India had earlier announced construction of a 1,500MW hydroelectric dam on the Barak river in the north-east. The river flows into Bangladesh before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Apart from that, India will also supply 250MW of electricity to Bangladesh over and above the 100MW agreed to last year.

MDI-Gurgaon launches Smart Grid course

January 12, 2010. With a vision to cut down the losses as well as disruptions in the power grid, and to meet the future challenges facing the power sector, the Ministry of Power, MDI and the private sector decided to come together to start a Smart Grid course at MDI, School of Energy management. MDI becomes the first B-School in the world to start a course on Smart Grid. Devender Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India inaugurated the course as a part of curriculum of energy.

Assam to sign power deal

January 12, 2010. Assam agreed to sign the Bulk Power Transmission Agreement at the Northeastern Regional Power Committee meeting. The transmission agreement is a pact with the Power Grid Corporation to be signed by all the states of the region — Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Assam — to upgrade the transmission system associated with evacuation of power from Tripura’s Pallatana gas-based power plant and Assam’s Bongaigaon thermal power project to other parts of the Northeast. While all the other states have already signed the agreement in toto, the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) signed the agreement excluding four clauses expressing reservations about the high rate of transmission tariff.

Government targets 59.5 GW n-power by 2032

January 12, 2010. The union government has set an ambitious target to generate 35,000 MW nuclear energy by 2020 and 59,500 MW by 2032. These parks will be set up at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Mithivindhi in Gujarat, Haripur in West Bengal and Kovada in Andhra Pradesh.  Land acquisition for the Jaitapur project was on. Russia and France were providing the nuclear reactors for the nuclear units in Koodankulam and Jaitapur.

India plans 20 GW through solar power by 2022

January 11. 2010. India's ambitious solar energy mission, the centrepiece of its activities to combat climate change, will aim to generate 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022, prime minister Manmohan Singh announced. Launching the mission, the prime minister said: "The target of 20,000 MW of solar generating capacity by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan (2018-2022) is no doubt an ambitious target. But I do sincerely believe that the target is doable and that we should work single-mindedly to achieve it as a priority national endeavour." 

AP to expand rural electrification

January 11, 2010. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah reiterated the Government resolve to provide quality power and plans electrification of new areas.  Following a review of the power sector here, Mr Rosaiah mentioned that it is proposed to electrify 14,334 un-electrified habitations and about 37.99 lakh rural households at a cost of Rs 8.1 bn under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. According to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office un-electrified habitations and 26.70 lakh rural households including below poverty line rural households have been electrified with an outlay of Rs. 6.71 bn.  Of the 1,72,835 applications registered as on December last, 1,70,912 urban households have been electrified under the Indiramma scheme.  During December 2009, the State's average energy consumption was 195.6 million units per day as against 177.25 mu during the same period previous year, registering an increase of 10.3 per cent.

Tribunal sets aside electricity regulator's order

January 11, 2010. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity has set aside an order of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) not allowing the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to collect Infrastructure Development Charges (IDC) from wind energy generators.  The tribunal's order paves way for the TNEB to collect an IDC of Rs 28.75 lakh a MW from wind energy generators.  The order by the Appellate Tribunal passed on January 8 follows an appeal by the TNEB challenging TNERC's order dated September 19, 2008, ruling that the TNEB has no jurisdiction to issue the circular imposing the IDC on generators of wind energy when it had not sought the State Commission's approval. 

RRVUPN bags mega power status for its projects

January 11, 2010. Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (RRVUPN) has bagged the mega power project status for its four critical power units coming up at Chhabra and Suratgarh. These consist of four units each of 660 MW at Chhabra and Banswara with a combined investment of Rs 158.4 bn. As per the mega project policy, the import of capital equipment would be free of customs duty for these projects.  In order to ensure that domestic bidders are not adversely affected, price preference of 15% would be given for the projects under public sector, while deemed export benefits as per the EXIM policy would be given to domestic bidders for projects both under public and private sector. The state government would also exempt supplies made to mega power plants from sales tax and local levies. In addition, the income-tax holiday regime would be continued with the provision that the tax holiday period of 10 years can be claimed by a promoter in any block of 10 years, within the first 15 years.

NTPC follow-on public issue likely in March

January 11, 2010. State-run power utility NTPC Ltd's follow-on public issue is likely to be launched in the first week of March, Power Secretary H.S. Brahma said. The dates have not been decided, but most likely it will be launched in the first week of March.

NTPC arm to bundle thermal, solar power to lower cost

January 11, 2010. To make solar power competitive vis-à-vis other sources of energy, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission – Solar India envisages an investor friendly mechanism which reduces risk and provides an attractive as well as sufficiently extended tariff for solar power offtake. The Mission, formally launched by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has designated the trading arm of NTPC, NVVN (NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam), as the nodal agency to procure solar power, at a tariff fixed by the regulator, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for the first three years, the Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Mr Farooq Abdullah, said.

Solar Energy Centre gets 3 new R&D units

January 10, 2010. The Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, laid the foundation stone for three more technical facilities in the research and development campus of the Solar Energy Centre here in the National Capital.  The Centre is located on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road on the outskirts of Delhi.  One of the three new facilities will be the Solar Thermal Testing, Research and Simulation unit being developed by a consortium led by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. The unit will have a grid-connected solar thermal power plant of 1 MW capacity, an official release said.

UPA to meet power target

January 9, 2010. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had examined the causes for large scale slippages in meeting the power generation targets during eighth, ninth and tenth plans and taken remedial steps to ensure that the target set for eleventh and twelfth plans were met, union power minister Sushilkumar Shinde said.  Shinde said that while there would be slippages in meeting the eleventh five year plan capacity addition target of 78,500 MW, it would be compensated by addition of 7,000 MW extra. He expressed hope that captive power producers would add another 10,000 MW while 14,000 MW would be available from renewable sources.

Athirapally power project 'crucial' for Kerala: Chandy

January 8, 2010. Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy said the much-delayed Athirapally hydro-electric power project is 'crucial' for the state. He said the project, which has been hanging for more than a decade now, is expected to generate 163 MW power. The proposed project is to come up across the Chalakudy river in Thrissur district. It was in 1998 that this project got the first clearance from the central government and soon this issue was caught in a legal battle with environmentalists. In 2005 following a fresh environment impact study, it got the clearance again. But soon the Kerala High Court intervened and asked Kerala State Electricity Board for a fresh clearance. For the third time, the project got the clearance in 2007.

SC judge Chauhan withdraws from R-Power's Dadri land case

January 8, 2010. One of the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court withdrew himself from hearing the plea of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power on its proposed Dadri power plant in Uttar Pradesh, alleging that proxy litigations were filed by its business rivals in Allahabad High Court on land acquisitions for the project. Justice BS Chauhan recused himself from the case on the ground that he had partly heard the case in the Allahabad HC.

Advance against depreciation can't get 'reserve', rules SC

January 7, 2010. In a reprieve to the power generation companies, the Supreme Court has ruled that the advance against depreciation (AAD) collected by way of tariff to mobilise additional cash by such companies is not income for the purpose of determination of their net profit. AAD is not a ‘reserve’ as the power generation companies are under an obligation right from the collection of such amount to adjust it in future, said apex court setting aside order of Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR).

APTransco's alternative tariff options

January 7, 2010. APTransco has submitted a proposal with the State Government for tariff hike for the next financial year or in the alternative bridge the gap by providing a subsidy of nearly Rs 12 bn. The revenue gap has gone up due to increasing power purchase from central generating stations and shortfall in hydel generation.  APTransco, which had sought additional time to submit its annual revenue returns for the next financial year due to ongoing agitation, has provided the State Government with three options which include power tariff hike across all categories of users high tension, low tension industrial consumers and domestic users. The other option is to hike tariff structure only for the industrial consumers. The last option is to retain the same tariff for all the categories for the next fiscal with the State Government providing a subsidy of Rs 12 bn.

Centre gives environment clearance to 19 power projects

January 7, 2010. Union Environment and Forest Ministry said it has given clearance to 19 power projects during the last five years in North-Eastern Region. The highest number of 16 hydroelectric projects were given environment clearance in Sikkim. The ministry has accorded environment clearance to two hydroelectric projects in Arunachal Pradesh and two thermal power plants in Assam.  While a thermal power project was given clearance in Tripura and two hydroelectric projects were cleared in Meghalaya.

Reliability charge of Rs 7/unit for HT users

January 6, 2010. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission has cleared the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board's proposal to levy a reliability charge on HT power consumers seeking exemption from power restriction and control measures. Through an order passed recently, the TNERC said the enhanced tariff applies only to those HT consumers who opt for it. Based on the State Advisory Committee meeting and the public hearing held on December 30, 2009, the TNERC has ordered that the TNEB shall address all HT industrial consumers, who are currently subjected to the restriction measures to ascertain their willingness to pay the total energy cost of Rs 7 a unit for the additional power. The consumers may indicate their requirement of additional power.




Natural Gas find may spur interest in shallow Gulf waters

January 12, 2010. Mostly left for dead years ago by Big Oil and scoured by smaller firms since, the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico are likely to get a second look by companies of all sizes after what may be one of the largest discoveries in the area in decades. A small group led by New Orleans' McMoRan Exploration Co. said it found significant quantities of natural gas in a 5-mile-deep well it drilled in about 20 feet of water at McMoRan's Davy Jones prospect just 10 miles off the Louisiana coast.  Estimates of the size of the discovery range from 2 trillion to 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, rivaling the largest gas finds ever made in the Gulf.

Shell halts output at Norway's Ormen Lange

January 11, 2010. According to a report, Royal Dutch Shell has shut-in production from its massive Ormen Lange gas development due to adverse weather conditions.  Located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in water depths ranging from 800 to 1,100 meters, Ormen Lange is the Europe's third-largest gas field with estimated recoverable reserves of 14 Tcf (397 Bcm) of natural gas.  The field was discovered in 1997, and has a maximum production capacity of 70 million cubic meters of gas per day. Gas is transported through Langeled, the world's longest subsea gas pipeline.

Saudi Aramco maintains February oil volumes to Asia

January 11, 2010. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest producer, will supply full volumes of crude to refiners in China, South Korea and Taiwan for February. Saudi Aramco, as the company is known, will provide 100 percent of cargoes sold under long-term contracts next month. Aramco’s decision to provide full exports comes amid an agreement at the last Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting on Dec. 22 to keep production quotas unchanged. Statements from OPEC leaders at the meeting called for compliance with the cuts of between 75 percent and 80 percent.

Saudi Arabia to maintain investments to keep oil prices stable

January 10, 2010.  Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil supplier, will continue to invest in its oil industry to help maintain stable prices at a level acceptable to producers and consumers Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said. Saudi Arabia started to expand and upgrade its oil and gas production and refining business at a cost of $100 billion to tap rising demand in Asia. The kingdom increased its crude oil output capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day in June last year.

Statoil cuts output as weather hits processing unit

January 10, 2010.  Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer was forced to reduce offshore gas output after weather-related problems cut capacity at the Kaarstoe processing facility by more than 50 percent. Norway is the largest foreign supplier of gas into the U.K., much of the supply shipped via the Langeled pipeline linking Norway’s North Sea fields to the east coast of England. 


Essar mulls stake purchase in Zambian Refinery

January 11, 2010. India's Essar Group plans to acquire a majority stake in Zambia's state-owned Indeni Refinery, which has a capacity to refine around 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of crude. South Africa's Sasol Ltd is among the companies vying for the same stake.  Essar plans to enter the fuel retailing business in Zambia and supply petroleum products to countries in the vicinity by acquiring the refinery, located in Ndola, 420km north of the capital Lusaka. Total SA of France had a 50% stake in the refinery which was recently acquired by the Zambian government.

SK Engineering seeks Ecuador Refinery project

January 7, 2010. South Korea's SK Engineering & Construction Co. said that it is pushing ahead with a project to build a refinery in Ecuador. Earlier reports said SK Engineering is to build a US$12.5 billion refinery on Ecuador's Pacific coast as part of a joint project with Venezuela. The project, launched in July 2008, is expected to be completed in 2013, the reports said.

PetroVietnam sets refinery investment threshold

January 6, 2010. The president of Vietnam's State-owned Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) announced a decision not to invest in oil refineries with an annual capacity of 6.5 million tonnes or less. The decision was drawn from a lesson learned regarding the nation's first oil refinery Dung Quat in the central province of Quang Ngai. As a result, the two oil refinery projects, Nghi Son in the central province of Thanh Hoa and Long Son in the southern oil-rich province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, will have an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes each.

Transportation / Trade

Attack on pipeline further strains Nigeria

January 11, 2010. An attack on a crude-oil pipeline operated by U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. is the latest in a series of political and security setbacks for this embattled West African nation. The Nigerian military Joint Task Force, which patrols the Niger Delta, said the task force and Chevron "have confirmed that indeed there was sabotage at a Chevron pipeline between Makaraba and Otunana," which it called an isolated incident.  Since 2006, armed militants have frequently disrupted oil production and kidnapped more than 200 foreign oil workers in the Niger Delta region, where hundreds of oil pipelines crisscross each other through mangrove-lined creeks.

Turkmenistan resumes gas deliveries to Russia

January 9, 2010.  Turkmenistan resumed gas supplies to Russia after a break of nine months, Russian state gas firm Gazprom said, ending a dispute that prompted Ashgabat to develop new markets in China and Iran. Turkmenistan, long dependent on Russian gas purchases, accused Moscow in April of suspending gas imports at a time when demand for gas nosedived in Europe, and stepped up diplomacy to clinch alternative gas export routes elsewhere. Gazprom initially blamed an explosion on a key pipeline for the halt, but later said Ashgabat should understand that it cannot sell the same volumes when demand in Europe is falling. Turkmenistan in December agreed on a long-term deal to restart supplies to Russia of up to 30 billion cubic metres, less than half the volumes agreed in deals before the dispute.

Belarus, Russia to renew talks on oil stalemate

January 8, 2010.  Belarus and Russia will renew attempts to settle a dispute over oil pricing that has raised concerns of potential supply cuts to Europe and helped push crude prices to a 15-month high.  Europe, mindful of a dispute in 2007 that cut Russian oil supplies via Belarus, are keen that the ex-Soviet states resolve their differences. The Belarussian spur of the Druzhba pipeline supplies about one-tenth of Europe's supplies from West Siberia. The latest dispute, which centres on the tariffs Belarus must pay for Russian oil, has yet to affect supplies to Europe, but it was a contributing factor to oil's push CLc1 this week to a 15-month high above $83 a barrel.

Nippon to Construct Hachinohe LNG Terminal in Japan

January 7, 2010. Nippon has made a final decision to construct an LNG importing terminal in Port Island, Kawaragi District, Port of Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan.  Nippon has supplied natural gas and LNG in the northern part of the Tohoku region (Aomori, Iwate and Akita Prefectures) since March 2007 when the existing Hachinohe LNG Satellite Terminal was completed. The new terminal will be built in order to comply with the demand growth particularly in industrial sector and to expand the company's supply areas. Nippon will begin the construction work during FY 2010 and aims to start the operation in April 2015.

Inpex introduces regasified NG into Japan pipeline network

January 7, 2010. INPEX Corp. announced that it has started to introduce LNG-source natural gas, as planned, from Shizuoka Gas Co. into its natural gas pipeline network in order to enhance its medium- to long-term supply capability of natural gas for its customers.  Through a wide-spanning pipeline network extending approximately 1,400 km, INPEX currently supplies the natural gas produced in the Minami-Nagaoka Gas Field located in Niigata Prefecture and other gas fields in Japan, mainly to the city gas enterprises and commercial/industrial customers in the Tokyo metropolitan area and seven other prefectures spreading in the center of Honshu Island, Japan.

Chevron, Nippon sign 15 year Gorgon deal

January 7, 2010. Chevron Corp. announced that its Australian subsidiaries and Nippon Oil Corporation have signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) for the delivery of 0.3 million metric tons per year (MTPY) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 15 years from the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project in Western Australia. Chevron is the operator of the Gorgon Project and holds an approximate 47 percent interest. The initial Gorgon Project development, in northwestern Australia, will include a three-train, 15

Policy / Performance

OPEC won't act unless oil exceeds $100 - Kuwait SPC

January 12, 2010. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries won't act in its upcoming March meeting in Vienna unless crude oil prices exceed $100 a barrel, a member of Kuwait's Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) said. Even if crude hits $100 a barrel, prices will have to demonstrate they are being driven by a real trend rather than volatility. 

BP Eclipses Shell in market value for first time in three years

January 12, 2010. BP Plc unseated Royal Dutch Shell Plc as Europe’s largest oil company by market value for the first time in more than three years after reviving output growth and cutting costs at a faster pace. More than two years into a turnaround program BP has reversed a decline in output by ramping up operations in the Gulf of Mexico and doubled a cost-savings target. It’s the first time BP has been worth more than Shell since October 2006.

Russia's output of crude oil up, gas down in 2009

January 12, 2010. During the past year, Russia's crude oil output increased while gas output plunged, said the state enterprise Central Dispatching Department of Fuel Energy Complex. Statistics showed that the crude oil output climbed 1.2 percent year-on-year to 494.2 million metric tons, while the natural gas output slashed by 12.4 percent to 582.4 billion cubic meters.

Uzbekistan President lends support to Tethys' E&P activities

January 11, 2010. Tethys reported that the President of Uzbekistan, his Excellency President Karimov, has issued an Order that includes instructions to provide support to the oil and gas activities of Tethys in Uzbekistan. The Order instructs NHC Uzbekneftegaz, the Uzbek state oil and gas company, to evaluate further expansion of cooperation with Tethys in carrying out exploration works on perspective areas and increasing oil production on existing fields.

Gas boom helps Western Australia to top rank of state economies

January 11, 2010.  Western Australia is the nation’s best-performing state economy, driven by booming demand for natural gas and iron ore that has boosted business investment and construction, a ranking of regional economies shows.  Capital spending in Western Australia during the third quarter of last year was more than double the average of the past decade, boosted by companies such as Chevron Corp., which is expanding liquefied natural gas ventures in the state to meet rising global demand for energy, according to a Commonwealth Bank of Australia report.

Merrill says crude oil may trade above $100 in 2011

January 11, 2010.  Oil may rise to more than $100 a barrel next year as the global economy improves, Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch said. Oil prices have gained for four straight weeks, reaching a 15-month high, partly as demand for heating fuel rises amid the cold snap in Europe and the U.S. Cold weather could continue to support prices in the short term, the report said. While demand for distillate fuels such as diesel is growing in countries including China and Thailand, other emerging markets including Mexico and Brazil have yet to recover, the report said.

Total to trap carbon gas from power plant in Pyrenees

January 11, 2010. Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, plans to start a pilot project to capture carbon dioxide exhaust from a power plant in the French Pyrenees and inject it into a depleted natural-gas field. The 60 million-euro ($87 million) venture, aimed at reducing emissions that add to global warming, will begin trapping CO2 in the coming days from a steam boiler at the plant in Lacq, southwestern France, Total said. The greenhouse gas will then be transported through an existing 27-kilometer (17-mile) pipeline to the depleted Rousse deposit, from which natural gas was exported for three decades, and injected through an existing well into a rock formation 4,500 meters (2 1/2 miles) underground. The estimated cost of capturing and storing the CO2 is 60 euros a metric ton.

Norse unveils Brazilian subsidiary's production results

January 8, 2010. Norse Energy has announced production volumes for its Brazilian subsidiary in Q4 2009.  Natural gas production from the Manati field (Norse Energy do Brasil 10% working interest) averaged 5.85 MMm3/day (3,678 boe/day net to Norse) in the fourth quarter 2009. This represents an increase of approximately 7% compared to the third quarter 2009. Reported sales volumes in the Company's financial statements will be adjusted for retainage (usage, line loss and stripping of condensate), which has historically been approximately 6% below produced volumes.

Canada's oil sands industry weighs new technology

January 8, 2010. Greenhouse-gas emissions from Canada's oil sands industry are growing even faster than the flow of crude to the U.S., but experts say the only technology able to cut emissions directly is too costly.  Canada's government wants to keep a step ahead of regulations that could penalize high emission rates by promoting and funding carbon capture and storage technology as a way to expand the oil sands while also cutting emissions. But experts say oil sands CCS projects are far too expensive, and money would be better spent cutting emissions from other sectors of Canada's economy, such as from coal-fired electric generation and through more efficient transportation. 

Turkmen, Iranian leaders launch new gas pipeline link

January 7, 2010. Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a new gas pipeline link to the Islamic Republic. The 30.5 km-long pipeline, which is the second gas route linking Turkmenistan and Iran, will boost Turkmen natural gas supplies to Iran from the current eight billion cubic meters to 14 billion cu m and subsequently to 20 billion cu m annually.

Pakistan: No guarantee for Iran gas flows to India

January 6, 2010. Pakistan has decided not to give any guarantee for gas flows to India through the multi-billion-dollar Iran gas pipeline. Pakistan and Iran had resolved almost all other issues pertaining to the pipeline project, including pricing, project details and quantity of gas to be purchased. They said that work on the project could be undertaken immediately if Iran did not press Pakistan too much on the guarantee that it had sought to ensure unhindered gas supplies to India through the pipeline.

Four firms bid on private Saudi refinery project

January 6, 2010. Saudi Arabia has received two bids from four firms to build, own and operate a new export-oriented refinery in Jizan with a capacity of up to 400,000 barrels per day. One of the bidders is Corral Petroleum Holdings AB, Swedish-registered and owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi, industry. Corral Petroleum owns Sweden-based oil company Preem AB, Sweden's fourth largest exporter with two oil refineries in Sweden. It is also the largest shareholder in Morocco's only oil refinery Samir. Also a consortium formed by Saudi industrial group Tasnee Saudi Nama Chemicals Group and Saudi Advanced Refineries and Petrochemicals Co (ARPC) are fighting for the contract. The Jizan refinery would have a capacity of 250,000 to 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil. It's the first Saudi oil refinery to be fully privately owned.



Eskom to sell stake in new S.Africa power plant

January 12, 2010. South African power utility Eskom plans to adopt a new financing model by selling off 30 percent of its Kusile power station to partly pay for expansion of power generation to meet fast growing demand. The firm would issue requests for proposals by the end of next month, which could see private investors taking a stake in one of its power stations for the first time. Eskom has previously said Kusile could be commissioned later than the original 2013 start date due to delays in signing some contracts for the power station.  Kusile and another 4,800 MW coal-fired power plant, Medupi, are Eskom's first new base-load plants in more than two decades. Medupi is scheduled to come onstream earlier than Kusile.

Siddhirganj 300 MW Power Plant Uncertain

January 12, 2010. When the government is giving utmost emphasis on quick implementation of power projects to tackle the exigencies of growing electricity shortages, a gross negligence allegedly on the part of the project officials in following a World Bank guideline could put the 300-MW Siddhirganj peaking power plant into a grave problem. According to sources, the World Bank in July 2009 issued a letter to the government and all other agencies communicating its decision that it has imposed a ban on participation of Germany-based Siemens AG in any bidding for any project in Bangladesh where the multilateral donor agency or its affiliated bodies'' financing is involved.  World Bank sources said this embargo on the German company in Bangladesh has come as part of global embargo on the Siemens following litigation in Russia between the two. 

Datang Int'l Power's electricity output up 11.98 pc in 2009

January 12, 2010. Datang International Power Generation, China's second-largest publicly-traded electricity producer, announced that it generated 141.9 billion megawatt-hours of electricity last year, up 11.98% from 126.7 billion MWh a year earlier, market sources reported.  In a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the mainland power producer said its on-grid electricity output in 2009 was 133.36 billion MWh, up 12.13% compared with 2008. Datang power reaped RMB 1.03 billion in net profit in the first nine months of last year, whereas it suffered RMB 13.94 million in losses in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Japan nuclear plant usage rises to 3-year high

January 8, 2010.  The nuclear power plant utilization rate at Japan's 10 nuclear power companies rose to its highest in more than three years in December as many companies boosted output for peak winter demand, helping cut the need for thermal fuel. The average run rate rose to 74.0 percent in December, from 62.5 percent in December 2008, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said. That was the highest since 75.9 percent in August 2006 and compared with 66.6 percent in November.

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Power crisis intensifies across Pakistan 

January 12, 2010. No sigh of relief for people of Pakistan as the ongoing power impasse has intensified even further, surging the 11 to 18 hours-long load-shedding in many parts of state located in four provinces with no exception whatsoever including the federal capital Islamabad.

 According to details, most of the small factories have been shut down due to unavailability of electricity and low gas pressure. The thermal powerhouses have testified abject cut in electricity generation after decline in hydel generation, worsening the already torturing electricity shortfall to 4000 megawatt per day.

Tanzania: Zanzibar to switch to sea cable for the supply of electricity

January 10, 2010. Pemba and Unguja Islands are set to attract foreign investors and cut power generation costs once a submarine power cable is fully installed.  Already, a 70 km cable has been laid across the Pemba channel while Unguja Island is awaiting a replacement for its cable that currently sources power from Tanzania's mainland grid through diesel generators. Norway is sponsoring the venture, which is part of the Zanzibar Rural Electrification project, at a cost of $45 million.

Policy / Performance

Venezuela expanding electricity rationing to include scheduled power outages nationwide

January 12, 2010. The Venezuelan government, already facing power and water problems and a shaky economy, is including scheduled power outages nationwide as part of its ongoing electricity rationing efforts, the state-run news agency reported. Venezuela started the year with new government restrictions on power consumption, including a limit on the hours commercial centers may use the electricity grid.

Dubai eyes privatising power, water sectors

January 12, 2010. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said that it was aiming to attract advisors for its plan to privatise the emirate's power generation and water desalination sectors. Both national and foreign companies would be encouraged to invest in the industries, while strict legislation would control future pricing and regulations relating to emissions.

EDF to launch formal sale of EDF Energy in weeks

January 11, 2010.  French power company EDF is set to launch the sale of its British distribution arm at the end of January once new chief executive Henri Proglio completes a management team, sources close to the deal told Reuters.  The sale timeline for EDF Energy has slipped due to management changes at EDF and a ruling by the British regulator in December that revalued the multi-billion euro unit. 

Poland to back Enea power price hike, reject others

January 7, 2010.  Polish energy regulator URE is willing to approve electricity price hike for Enea but will reject motions from other power companies, seeing them as too high. Only Enea asked for a price increase of about 9 percent, a level earlier declared by the watchdog as acceptable, while other utilities' asked for double-digit hikes. The end-user tariff set by the regulator is a combination of the wholesale price and the distribution fee charged by power companies.  Poland regulates electricity prices for individuals and not businesses, which, in line with European Union law, were freed up earlier.

Renewable Energy / Climate Change Trends


India, Bangladesh hail initiatives taken at Copenhagen climate summit

January 12, 2010. India and Bangladesh have welcomed the initiatives taken at the Climate Change Summit at Copenhagen in December 2009. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina welcomed the initiatives taken at the Climate Change Summit at Copenhagen in December 2009. They underlined that climate change was one of the most important global challenges. Both the Prime Ministers reaffirmed the provisions and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including that of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and underscored the importance of its full, effective and sustained implementation, giving due consideration to the needs of those which are most vulnerable, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Africa.

Suzlon bags wind energy project from GACL

January 11, 2010. Wind power major Suzlon Energy said it has bagged an order from Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd (GACL) for setting up a wind energy project in Gujarat. The company has bagged a repeat order from GACL to set up, operate and maintain a 21 MW wind energy project in Rajkot district of Gujarat, Suzlon Energy said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE). The project would comprise Suzlon's 14 units of 1.5 MW wind turbines, the filing said.  The company, however, did not disclose any financial detail about the contract.

US Company offers to set up solar plants in Bihar

January 11, 2010. Officials of the US-based Lighting House, a power company, met with Bihar Energy Minister Ramashray Prasad Singh and proposed to set up solar power plants in Bihar. Sudhir Singh and Apoorva Agrawal  of Lighting House said that Bihar was the perfect candidate for solar plants that are not only cheap to set up but also effective and environmental-friendly that would allow power to even small villages where electricity is yet not available.  Singh asked the company officials to submit their proposal to the Industry department after which a final decision would be taken during a meeting with the Chief Minister.  Once approved, the first solar power plant would be set up in Patna that would also sport new LED lights to replace the existing conventional lights on Patna streets, Agrawal said.

Copenhagen summit showed importance of India: EU

January 8, 2010. The UN climate change summit in Copenhagen 'has reminded us of the importance of the emerging countries, like India and Brazil', the European Union's first President Herman Van Rompuy has said.  Van Rompuy said the EU is now better equipped to speak with one voice in the world, EuAsiaNews reported. Van Rompuy, an ex-Belgian Prime Minister, was appointed in November as the first permanent President of the European Council for two-and-a-half years. He took up his post on 1 January.

Lanco Infra has big plans for solar power biz

January 7, 2010. Lanco Infratech Ltd is all set to enter the solar power business early next fiscal with not just generation but also manufacture and supply of equipment, including panels, for solar power industry. Its special purpose vehicle (SPV) Lanco Solar was recently cleared by the Board of Approval of Special Economic Zones for a solar photovoltaic project in Cuttack, Orissa. It was also allotted land by the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (APIIC) for a solar project at Kadiri Solar City near Anantapur. 

India, Japan to jointly develop solar city

January 6, 2010. India and Japan have decided to jointly develop one city in India as ‘solar city'.  The project aims to reduce a minimum of 10 per cent of its projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years through energy efficiency measures and generation from renewable energy installations, according to an official statement.

The Government has, so far, given in-principle approval to 34 cities in the country to be developed as solar cities.  According to the statement, the two sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation in research and development for promoting renewable energy. As part of the exchange programme, a 10-member delegation from India will participate in the Japan-India New and Renewable Energy Seminar in Tokyo later this month.

BHEL bags order to set up solar plant in Karnataka

January 6, 2010. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has bagged a Rs 420 mn contract from the Karnatka Power Corporation Limited for setting up of an eco-friendly grid-interactive solar plant of three mw capacity, on a turnkey basis in the state. The contract is for setting up of a solar photovoltaic power plant at Yapalaniddi Vilalge in Raichur District of North Karnataka, a release said. BHEL's would be responsible for engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of the plant, apart from operation and maintenance of the plant for three years thereafter. The plant is scheduled to be completed in eight months time.


China drops ’70 pc home-made’ rule for wind turbines

January 11, 2010. China, the world’s third-biggest producer of wind power, has dropped a rule stipulating that more than 70 percent of the wind turbines used in the country must be made domestically, whether by foreign or local companies. The policy has been scrapped recently and there is no longer a quota. Overseas companies have lost out on wind-energy projects as bidding criteria make it impossible for them to compete with domestic developers, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said last year. Still, China relies on foreign expertise for wind-turbine design and development and locally made components haven’t met global standards yet.

UK emissions cuts 'meaningless' without global deal, warn MPs

January 11, 2010. Action in the UK to cut greenhouse gas emissions could be rendered "meaningless" if a global deal on tackling climate change is not secured, a committee of MPs warned. But the Environmental audit committee urged the government to cut emissions more quickly at home – to prove to other countries Britain was serious about backing up its attempts to get an international agreement with action. 

A report by the committee examined the progress the UK was making in meeting its "carbon budgets", targets for cutting emissions over five-year periods set down in the Climate Change Act.  It warned the government was only on track to meet the first budget (2008-12) because of the recession, and urged ministers to deliver the promised reductions and bring forward new measures to increase the rate of progress.

U.S. solar thermal firm in deal for China power project

January 11, 2010. U.S. solar thermal power company eSolar said it has reached a deal to license its technology to a Chinese power equipment maker that plans to build a 2,000 megawatt (MW) solar thermal power project in China over the next 10 years.

The deal comes as the Chinese government aims to boost renewable energy generating capacity in the country, with plans to produce at least 10,000 MW of solar energy and 20,000 MW of wind power by 2020.

The solar thermal company's plans are matched only by solar industry bellwether First Solar Inc, which in September announced plans to develop a huge photovoltaic solar plant in China in a separate deal that marked the first major foray by a U.S. company into the Asian nation's fast growing alternative energy sector.

China explores ‘concentrating solar power’

January 10, 2010. As it moves rapidly to become the world’s leader in nuclear power, wind energy and photovoltaic solar panels, China is taking tentative steps to master another alternative energy industry: using mirrors to capture sunlight, produce steam and generate electricity.

The technology, which is potentially cheaper that most types of renewable power, has captivated many engineers and financiers in the last two years, with an abrupt surge in new patents and plans for large power operations in Europe and the United States.

This year may be China’s turn. China is starting to build its own concentrating solar power plants, a technology more associated with California deserts than China’s countryside. And Chinese manufacturers are starting to think about exports, part of China’s effort to become the world’s main provider of alternative energy power equipment.

China is on course to meet energy reduction targets, Xie says

January 9, 2010. China, the biggest producer of greenhouse gases, is on course to meet a 2010 target of cutting energy use per unit of gross domestic product, said Xie Zhenhua, the country’s top climate negotiator. The country has reduced energy use per unit of GDP by 16 percent at the end of 2009 from the base level in 2005, Xie, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said.

Novozymes gets $28.4 mn tax credit for U.S. plant

January 9, 2010. Danish industrial enzymes group Novozymes has been awarded a $28.4 million U.S. tax credit to support a new Nebraska plant to produce enzymes for the biofuel industry. The tax credit was granted as part of a $2.3 billion scheme by the Obama Administration to support clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States. Novozymes, the world's biggest producer of industrial enzymes, has pinned big hopes on supplying enzymes to the biofuel industry, particularly for "second-generation" biofuels made from plant waste rather than food crops. 

China's Solarfun to increase capacity in 2010

January 8, 2010. Chinese photovoltaic cell maker Solarfun Power Holdings Co Ltd said it would increase its production capacity this year, anticipating higher demand. The company said it would increase its photovoltaic (PV) module production capacity to 700 megawatts (MW) from 550 MW by April and its PV cell production capacity to 480 MW from 360 MW by July. Demand for solar power products has rebounded after a difficult 2009, when the global credit crisis dried up available financing for new projects and panel prices plummeted.

Citi, BlueNext auction 400k Kyoto carbon offsets

January 8, 2010. U.N. panel rejects China windfarms, lifts suspension Investment bank Citi and French emissions exchange BlueNext sold at auction 400,000 Kyoto Protocol carbon offsets for 11.21 euros ($16.05) each, auction hosts BlueNext said. Under Kyoto's Joint Implementation scheme, companies can invest in clean energy projects in countries with greenhouse gas reduction targets under the global climate pact, and in return receive offsets called Emissions Reduction Units, or ERUs. 

£75bn for UK's biggest offshore wind programme signals new era for renewables

January 8, 2010. The UK government announced a £75bn programme to build thousands of offshore wind turbines that will kickstart the next phase of renewable power generation in Britain. The nine winning bidders are: Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd, SeaGreen Wind Energy Ltd, the Forewind Consortium equally owned by each of SSE Renewables, RWE Npower Renewables, Statoil and Statkraft, Siemens Project Ventures and Mainstream Renewable Power, East Anglia Offshore Wind Ltd equally owned by Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall Vindkraft, Eon Climate and Renewables UK, Eneco New Energy, RWE Npower Renewables and Centrica Renewable Energy and involving RES Group.

Clean-energy investment in Asia exceeds Americas for first year

January 8, 2010. Clean-energy investment in Asia rose during the global recession in 2009, surpassing the Americas for the first time as China installed wind turbines and solar panels to replace coal-burning power plants.  Energy systems using the sun, wind and biofuels in the Asia-Pacific region attracted $37.3 billion, up 25 percent from 2008. Spending fell by the same rate in North and South America to $32 billion.

Frustrated carbon traders try other commodities

 January 7, 2010.  Some carbon emissions trading desks are expanding or diversifying into other commodities as continued low carbon prices and a weak U.N. climate deal have dulled the market.  Several large banks in the European Union's emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) already operate in other energy or commodities markets. Some smaller participants are seeking to diversify as well.  Paris-based COER2 Commodities will start trading crude oil futures, natural gas, gold and base metals from mid-January, adding to its existing carbon emissions trade.

EDP Renewables expects to win UK wind project

January 6, 2010. Portugal's EDP Renewables (EDPR) expects to be awarded a 1.3 gigawatts development project in the third offshore wind farm leasing round in the United Kingdom, the company said. Based on the information the company has received from British authorities, EDPR expects to receive a development agreement for an offshore wind   farm located in the northeast of Scotland, it said in a statement.  EDPR, the wind energy unit of Energias de Portugal, is the world's fourth-largest wind energy company in terms of installed capacity.

Europe, China clean energy investment gains on U.S., Groups say

January 6, 2010. Europe and China increased their share of global clean energy investment over the U.S. last year as total venture capital spending declined 33 percent to about $5.6 billion, according to Cleantech Group and Deloitte LLP. More than 557 venture capital investments were completed in 2009 even as the dollar amount fell because of the recession, Cleantech and Deloitte said today in a statement. The total invested will be as much as 10 percent higher than today’s $5.6 billion preliminary figure.

Four Nations notify support for climate accord; Cuba is opposed

January 6, 2010.  Australia was the first of four countries to notify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of its support for the Copenhagen accord.  Cuba is the only nation so far to say it doesn’t want to be associated with the climate plan struck last month in the Danish capital. Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives have “notified the UN that they wish to be associated with the Copenhagen accord.

AMSC & Dongfang to develop 5 MW offshore wind turbines

January 6, 2010. American Superconductor Corporation's AMSC Windtec subsidiary has signed a follow-on contract with Dongfang Turbine Co. Ltd. to design and jointly develop 5-megawatt (MW) full conversion wind turbines for the offshore wind power market.

Dongfang entered the wind power market in 2004 and shipped more than 800 wind turbines with a 1.5 MW power rating in 2008, making it China's third largest wind turbine manufacturer. Dongfang has exclusive rights to the 5 MW full conversion wind turbine designs in China and plans to begin supplying the wind turbines for the worldwide offshore market in 2012. AMSC has the right of first refusal to supply the core electrical components for Dongfang’s 5 MW wind turbines.

Most money managers ignore climate risk, survey finds

January 6, 2010.  Most money managers don’t consider risks to profit posed by climate change when deciding whether to invest in companies, according to a coalition of investors and environmental groups. 

In a survey of asset managers, almost three quarters said they don’t take into account global warming when analyzing a company. Almost half said climate change isn’t relevant to their investment decisions.

Morocco to invite bids for solar station in Feb

January 6, 2010.  Morocco will invite bids for construction of its first solar power station at the end of next month as part of a $9 billion solar energy project, its energy minister said. The 500-megawatt plant will be in the southern town of Ouarzazate, the site where Morocco's ruler, King Mohammed, announced the launch of the nationwide solar project last year.  Morocco's solar plan involves building five stations which will account for 38 percent of its installed power generation by 2020.

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