21 stories this week. I kick off with the revelation that Warren Buffet is more interested in tax avoidance than saving the planet.
Congress failed to renew the production tax credit in 2013 and the installation of new windmills plummeted from 8,385 megawatts in the 4th quarter of 2012 to 1.6 in the first quarter of 2013.
And I end with an echo from across the pond provided by Master Resource:
The long list of market distorting policy includes subsidies, mandates, mispricing, costly but ineffective regulations, entry restrictions, political vs. evidence based decision-making, social vs. market emphasis, and just plain anti-market bias.
Buffet: Tax avoidance not wind that makes sense: Wind Construction Collapses Without Tax Subsidy
“I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Warren Buffett told Fortune recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
Animated catastrophe: Antarctic glaciers melting ‘passed point of no return
The vast glaciers of western Antarctica are rapidly melting and losing ice to the sea and almost certainly have “passed the point of no return,” according to new work by two separate teams of scientists.
West Libyan oil heading for market: Libya Oil Output May Double as Western Protests End
Libya’s daily oil output may double to 500,000 barrels today after protesters agreed to reopen pipelines carrying crude from fields in the country’s western region, according to officials.
OPEC to be called by IEA: Energy agency predicts oil shortage unless supply boosted
Industrialised countries could be facing the prospect of an oil supply squeeze and higher prices later this year unless production is lifted, according to a report just released by the International Energy Agency.
Solar subsidies: UK Scraps Subsidies To Solar Farms ‘Blighting’ The Countryside
Britons have had enough of solar panels ruining their idyllic countryside. The UK government is planning to eliminate subsidies in a bid to keep solar farms from continually sprouting up across the countryside.
Wind can replace coal – official: Wind energy is vital, as new report shows fossil fuels dwindle
RenewableUK says a new report which warns that this country’s reserves of oil, coal and gas will run out in just over five years shows the need for investment in wind, wave and tidal energy to fill the gap.
Researchers at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University found the UK has 5.2 years of oil, 4.5 years of coal and 3 years of gas left.
ROP ratios are meaningless like this report: UK “needs more home-grown energy”
In just over five years Britain will have run out of oil, coal and gas, researchers have warned.
A report by the Global Sustainability Institute said shortages would increase dependency on Norway, Qatar and Russia.
Mis-sold energy: E.On energy supplier to pay record £12m for mis-selling
Energy giant E.On is to pay out £12m to some of its customers following an investigation into mis-selling by the industry regulator.
Ofgem said it was the largest penalty paid to date by a UK energy supplier.
The taming of the crude: Safety debate eyes taming Bakken crude before it hits rails
But that is starting to change. A potentially more effective approach, which would remove the most volatile elements from the crude before it is being loaded onto rail cars, is now beginning to get attention, both from regulators considering safety enhancements and some lawmakers, industry executives say.
Companies to pay the price of policy failure: Energy firms face higher charges for power shortfalls
Energy companies face significantly higher charges if they fail to buy enough power to meet customers’ needs, under new Ofgem rules intended to reduce the risk of blackouts.
The measures, due to be published on Thursday, are the latest attempt to encourage companies to build new power plants to help avert a looming energy crunch as old plants close.
Solar to compete with renewables: Government to slash subsidies for large scale solar farms
The government has unveiled proposals to limit the subsidies paid to large solar farms from next April.
Owners of installations bigger than 5 megawatts (MW) will have to compete with other renewables for financing.
Lib Dems place environment ahead of voters: Renewable energy capacity has more than doubled since 2010
Britain’s renewable electricity capacity has doubled since 2010, according to statistics released today.
Liberal Democrats in government have fought to ensure that the environment is a priority for the coalition.
A report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) shows that 15% of British electricity is now coming from renewables, enough to power over 10 million homes.
Wind subsidies needed to crush Putin: Ukraine crisis underlines importance of UK renewable energy
Guy Hands, one of the City’s most flamboyant deal-makers, warns on Monday that the Ukraine crisis has underlined the importance of the UK’s renewable energy sector, and attacks those wanting to phase out onshore wind subsidies.
My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis looks at the evolving energy scene.
Bailing out Ukraine: Ukraine to use EU and IMF money to pay for Russian gas
Ukraine plans to use EU and IMF money to pay for Russian gas, but will not pay a cent unless Moscow agrees a market price, its authorities say.
Oil companies struggle with high energy costs: Oil Producer Pleas Snubbed by Norway as Offshore Costs Surge
Oil and gas companies can expect little help from Norway on tackling surging costs as the government of western Europe’s biggest crude producer tones down plans for measures that producers hope will boost earnings.
Geologists worried: The Status of U.S. Oil and Gas Production (Spring 2014)
I find it interesting that many of the individuals expressing the greatest concerns about oil and natural gas supplies are petroleum geologists. The list includes, but is not limited to, Jean LaHerrere, Colin Campbell, Art Berman, Jeremy Leggett, David Hughes and Jeffrey Brown.
Libya hits bottom line: Libyan oil operations closed since March, OMV says
Operations in Libya for Austrian energy company OMV were curtailed sharply by security issues, CEO Gerhard Roiss said Tuesday.
OMV said its production for first quarter 2014 was 311,000 barrels oil equivalent higher year-on-year. Roiss said in a statement production from his company’s portfolio in Norway helped offset losses from North Africa.
Negative energy prices: Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy
On Sunday, Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International.
The last week on Master Resource:
Negative Greens: Greens Going Gas (emissions data, economics speak for themselves)
The safety and importance of hydraulic fracturing are not just industry talking points. They are conclusions embraced by virtually everyone, outside of a narrow subset of political activists who refuse to let science and facts get in the way of their extreme agenda.
Pennsylvania was the birthplace of the oil and natural gas industry in the 1800s. A century and a half later, the Marcellus shale play has once again put Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the energy headlines.
This time the focus is on natural gas more than oil–and with wells that are at least one hundred times deeper than the first oil well drilled in 1859. The rapid growth in supplies in an area exceptionally close to major demand markets has been a benefit to regional economic growth and has helped reduce U.S. dependence on imported energy. It has also increased the need for enhanced downstream infrastructure.
US learns how to screw things up the European way: Electric Reform Needs a Pro-Market Voice (unopposed politicization must cease)
The electricity regulatory framework is broken.
The long list of market distorting policy includes subsidies, mandates, mispricing, costly but ineffective regulations, entry restrictions, political vs. evidence based decision-making, social vs. market emphasis, and just plain anti-market bias. Add to this a gaggle of well-financed crony capitalists that can attend endless meetings to advocate for more of these misguided efforts.