10 November 2010

Future energy prices, life-cycle analysis pilot, ethanol expansion worries food industry and other green news for business

Top Stories--IEA 2010 World Energy Outlook

"Oil demand to rise for 25 years despite green push: IEA"reliability high.
The International Energy Agency predicts that oil demand and price will rise substantially over the next 25 years, in spite of policies to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency. "The IEA concluded that this 'rising demand for fossil fuels would continue to drive up energy-related carbon dioxide emissions ... (and) make it all but impossible to achieve the two degree C goal...'" At Yahoo from AFP.

"Charting China’s Energy Explosion"reliability medium.
The IEA's 2010 Global Energy Report says China will be the driver of increased energy use, prices and emissions over the next 25 years. "The agency predicted that Chinese energy demand will soar 75 percent by 2035, accounting for more than a third of total global consumption growth." This growth will put pressure on global fossil fuel supplies. See New York Times Green blog.

"World should eradicate fossil fuel subsidies: IEA"reliability high.
"Eradicating subsidies to fossil fuels would enhance energy security, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution, and bring economic benefits," says the IEA in its latest World Energy Outlook report. "The report estimated such subsidies at $312 billion in 2009, mostly in developing countries, compared with $57 billion in subsidies for renewable energy." Reuters story.

2010 World Energy Outlook report access and related info here. PDF of press release accompanying report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

"GE ploughs $2bn into China clean tech push"reliability high.
General Electric will GE will spend $500m on R&D in China, and more than $1.5bn on technology and financial services joint ventures there between now and the end of 2012, mainly in low-carbon technologies. "The company said it has signed four new joint venture agreements – two with the state-owned energy grid operators and two with state-owned rail firms." More details of JVs. See BusinessGreen.

"Spain's Gamesa May be Acquired as China Firms Target Clean Energy Takeover"reliability high.
Speculation about consolidation in the wind and solar industries as some firms' valuations fall due to overcapacity in some markets. China's Shanghai Electric Group Co., Trina Solar Ltd. and Dongfang Electric Corp. mentioned as potential buyers. From Bloomberg.

"Private equity sees 'buckets of money' in water buys"reliability high.
"Water scarcity will generate big returns for the irrigation sector once climate change and population growth take their toll on farming, private equity managers said on Tuesday" at an agricultural investing conference. "Irrigation is a big industry and it is growing. I think it's going to grow dramatically,'" said Judson Hill of NGP Global Adaptation Partners, "estimating the sector at $3.5 billion today." See Reuters.

"Walmart, Seventh Gen Give Free LCA Tool a Trial Run"reliability high.
Seventh Generation, Walmart and Tetra Pak are testing a new open source life-cycle-assessment tool, Earthster 2 Turbo and its companion open source database. "The tool highlights supply chain hot spots and gives users recommendations for improving environmental impacts. The Software-as-a-Service platform combines with the Earthster Open Commons, a wiki that expands with the addition of data from new users in order to fill in the gaps that plague some LCA databases." More about the pilot program. From GreenBiz.

"Food groups sue U.S. for ethanol boost in gasoline"reliability high.
"The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Meat Association and other groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying regulators overstepped their authority when they ruled last month that gasoline retailers could sell fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol." From Reuters. [The plaintiffs are concerned that increasing conversion of maize to ethanol could increase costs of raising poultry and livestock, and thus the prices of food products. Higher corn prices are good for farmers, and don't bother ethanol producers because they receive subsidies and can pass on costs to refiners. But the other major users of corn are squeezed by higher costs.]