Energy

  • Federal subsidies mask the real cost of wind power.

    The Real Cost of Wind Power

    As consumers, we pay for electricity twice: once through our monthly electricity bill and a second time through taxes that finance massive subsidies for inefficient wind and other energy producers.

    Most cost estimates for wind power disregard the heavy burden of these subsidies on US taxpayers. But if Americans realized the full cost of generating energy from wind power, they would be less willing to foot the bill – because it’s more than most people think.

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  • Junk debt and now junk equity are crushing energy sector investors.

    Low Oil Prices Spillover Effect Hits Energy Sector Debt and Equity Hard

    Oil companies continue to get burned by low oil prices, but the pain is bleeding over into the financial industry. Major banks are suffering huge losses from both directly backing some struggling oil companies, but also from buying high-yield debt that is now going sour.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that tens of millions of dollars have gone up in smoke on loans made to the energy industry by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and UBS. Loans issued to oil and gas companies have looked increasingly unappetizing, making it difficult for the banks to sell them on the market.

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  • How many places can one store oil anyway?

    Oil Storage is Getting Creative and, in Some Cases, Expensive

    Oil prices fell from the middle of last year through mid- to late-January.  They have been broadly sideways since.  The April light sweet futures contract has been in a $48-$55 range.  The April Brent contract traded in a $55-$60 range in the first half of February and moved into a slightly higher range $58-$63. 

     

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  • Japan's LDP must include all energy sources in its policies, not just nuclear.

    Japan's Abe Commits to Changing His Party's Relationship with Deeply Unpopular Power Utilities

    Japanese politics was dominated by energy in the wake of the disaster of 11 March, 2011. The decision to shut-down all the remaining 48 nuclear units introduced real concerns of brownouts, previously unthinkable in Japan’s gold-plated power system. The parliament commissioned the first independent inquiry in Japan’s postwar history, and gave it the task of finding out what happened, and how a similar event can be avoided.

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  • Roman Abramovich invests in Texas fracking.

    Russian Investment in 'Clean' Fracking Technology

    Are the Russians coming to Texas riding the tailwinds of fracking? That depends on whom you ask, as some believe Russian forces were behind the anti-fracking vote in Denton, while a $15 million investment in new Texas fracking technology by Roman Abramovich perhaps tells another story. 

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  • China's dam problem is spilling into other countries.

    China's Big Dam Problem

    As China shifts its focus to curbing carbon emissions, hydropower is becoming central to its alternative energy plan. But while the potential for renewable power generation cannot be ignored, the potential for costly environmental degradation is also high.

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  • Though difficult to imagine now, oil prices will climb.

    Factors that Explain a Future of Expensive Oil

    It may be difficult to look beyond the current pricing environment for oil, but the depletion of low-cost reserves and the increasing inability to find major new discoveries ensures a future of expensive oil. 

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  • The financial sector should embrace green investment.

    Will the Financial Sector Help or Hinder the Green Transformation?

    Many Asian countries have set ambitious targets for climate change mitigation. Governments all over the region are devising green growth strategies, aiming to reconcile economic growth with low carbon emissions as well as trying to limit other forms of environmental degradation such as soil, water, and air pollution. What is needed is no less than a “green transformation” to put green growth at the heart of development (OECD 2013).

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