Global coal usage fell steeply for the second year running in 2016, in what BP hailed as a “decisive break from the past”.Spencer Dale, the oil giant’s chief economist, highlighted the “stark” reversal in fortunes of the fuel source, which has been driven by declines in China and the US, as arguably the most striking feature in its annual statistical review of world energy, published yesterday. Britain recorded a 52.5 per cent drop in consumption as coal power plants were forced out of the energy mix. That took UK coal consumption back to levels not seen in almost two centuries, since the industrial revolution. Coal usage worldwide grew steadily from 2009 to 2013, driven by rising energy demand in Asia. Just four years ago it still accounted for the largest share of growth in global energy consumption. After plateauing in 2014, however, coal has declined steeply over the past two years, falling by 1.7 per cent in 2016.
Times 14th June 2017 read more »
FT 13th June 2017 read more »
Guardian 13th June 2017 read more »
On June 1, people all over the world were united in their condemnation of Donald Trump’s xenophobic, anti-science and jobs-destroying decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Yet, at almost the exact same time, banks were deciding how many more billions they were going to pour into an outdated and regressive fossil fuel infrastructure – projects designed to ship one of the dirtiest of oils, tar sands oil, across North America. Where is the condemnation of these disastrous decisions? Right now, energy group Kinder Morgan is piecing together the financing to support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project – and it’s not going well. Last month, they launched a shambolic IPO, starting at a steeply discounted $17 per share. Now, they’re looking for a massive C$5.5bn ($4.1bn) credit facility – C$5bn of which is earmarked for this Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. TD, RBC and 12 other banks underwrote the IPO, and appear ready to chip in for this credit facility as well. Kinder Morgan is selling this pipeline as crucial for getting tar sands oil to China and India. But it is wildly overestimating demand, especially for expensive tar sands oil, as renewables grow exponentially in those countries. Tar sands production is so costly that bets on infrastructure take decades to pay off. With China and India redoubling their commitment to the Paris climate agreement after the Trump Administration announcement, and continuing their massive investments in renewables, Trans Mountain boosters are gambling big on shaky fundamentals. In the simplest of terms, this project is a disaster – an environmental, indigenous rights, climate change disaster. And it will be a public relations disaster for these banks as well. Kinder Morgan’s prospectus for its IPO admits that the pipeline will stir public opposition, including “blockades, injunctions, and judicial reviews”. That’s because it would wreak environmental havoc on its proposed route.
FT 13th June 2017 read more »
The unveiling of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy is an annual ritual. This year it tells us that a profound rupture has occurred as technology advances by leaps and bounds, and humanity finds alternatives to fossil fuels faster than almost anybody thought possible. Global carbon emissions were flat for the third year in a row, even though the global economy grew by 3pc. Coal is the chief casualty. Whether the oil industry can keep the great changes at bay for another quarter century has become a hot question. Honda is the latest of the car giants to pirouette, and bet its future on electric veh icles (EV). The Japanese, German, and US car industries are now in locked in a cut-throat struggle for survival in the 2020s. All now suspect that the winners will not require much diesel or petrol. Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, expects EV penetration of 100 million vehicles by 2035. “It could easily be 200 million or 300 million, but it could also be less,” he said. “Our central case is that oil demand will not peak over the next twenty years. Two billion people are being lifted out of low incomes and into middle incomes, and that will underpin oil,” he said.
Telegraph 13th June 2017 read more »