Policy & Enforcement Briefing: EU ETS Risks, Hormuz Blockade Impact, UK Solar Tariffs
Energy analysts say that the risk of the aviation sector exiting the EU cap-and-trade scheme is being priced into the market, and the impact could affect carbon prices by 2 euros or more. The carbon market is already oversupplied with hundreds of millions of permits and hindered by lower demand. Benchmark EU carbon prices have shed around 20 percent since the start of the month, Reuters reports.
The chairman of EON’s management board, Johannes Teyssen, said that the EU ETS is mortally ill, and that the EU should adopt a target to cut GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2030, which would boost investment in CO2–reducing power stations and factories and rescue the region’s carbon market. The EU could also adopt a floor price for allowances, or introduce a tax on CO2 emissions, Teyssen said, according to a Bloomberg report.
If Iran were to disrupt global oil supplies for as long as three months in early 2013 by laying mines along the Strait of Hormuz, where 17 million barrels of oil a day pass through, U.S. gasoline prices could double. The move could reduce global economic growth, currently forecast at 3.6 percent, down to 2.6 percent, USA Today reports.
The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change has lost its appeal to the country’s supreme court over its plans to cut subsidies for solar panels. Some 31,000 homeowners and businesses that installed the panels after a December 12 cut-off date and before March 3 will be eligible for the previous, higher feed-in tariff that DECC attempted to cut in half, The Guardian said.
A U.S. intelligence assessment of fresh water supplies finds an inability to keep pace with global demand by 2040, impacting political stability, economic growth and world food markets. The report by the office of the Director of National Intelligence said three key drivers of coming crisis are population growth, economic development, and climate change.
The EPA said an early 2012 timeframe remains in effect for proposing GHG standards for new and modified power plants that run on coal, oil and natural gas. The White House Office of Management and Budget has been reviewing the proposal since November, The Hill said.
The Danish parliament has agreed a plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent by 2020, from 1990 levels, and cut energy consumption by over 12 percent compared to 2006, as a way of reaching its aim of 100 percent fossil fuel independence by 2050, the Guardian reports. The government is also proposing an extension of tax exemption status through 2015 for fuel cell vehicles, and the establishment of a country-wide hydrogen refueling network by 2015, Hydrogen Link Denmark said.
The Ontario Ministry of Energy has completed a scheduled two-year review of the province’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program, and plans to phase out all of its remaining coal by 2014. Ontario also foresees a need to replace 25.62 TWh of power from aging nuclear reactors by 2016. The next phase of its FIT will target 15 percent price reductions for wind projects, and 20 percent reductions in costs for solar projects, North American Windpower writes.
A Connecticut legislative committee backed a measure that would require producers to label genetically modified food. Connecticut is among about 20 states considering a requirement, with supporters saying genetically engineered foods pose allergy and other health risks, Business Week said.
US Ecology Idaho failed to report the on-site disposal of 20 chemicals and chemical categories in 2009 as required by the Toxics Release Inventory program. The company has submitted the required reports to the EPA and the State of Idaho to resolve the violations and agreed to pay a penalty of $184,400, the EPA said.
The House Natural Resources Committee is expected to subpoena the Interior Department for documents about a 2010 report that implied outside engineers had endorsed a freeze on deepwater drilling following the BP oil spill. The committee, at a meeting Wednesday, will also vote on whether to subpoena documents about plans to toughen regulations on mountaintop-removal coal mining, The Hill said.
The Department of Energy – in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Itron, and Gridwise Alliance – has launched a new Apps for Energy competition offering $100,000 to software developers and designers that submit the best apps using data from the Green Button access program for commercial and residential utility data. Submissions can include apps for the web, personal computers and mobile devices.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy and Subcommittee on Oversight have a joint hearing tomorrow titled “Oversight Hearing on EPA’s Work with Other Federal Entities to Reduce Pollution and Improve Environmental Performance.” Witnesses include the EPA, and the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.
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