“The best case scenario shows this project would be several years late and 75 percent more than originally planned,” Santee Cooper President and CEO Lonnie Carter said in a statement. “We simply cannot ask our customers to pay for a project that has become uneconomical.”
Australia's business leaders have pleaded for politicians to fall in behind a market-based energy policy built on the Finkel Review's clean energy target to underwrite investment certainty and scathingly dismissed proposals for government to fund a coal fired power station as an answer to high energy prices.
Two of the most powerful figures in Australia's energy sector - former Origin Energy boss Grant King and Energy Australia managing director Catherine Tanna - have said no one in politics has clean hands on past energy policy.
During the BCA's roundtable discussion with the Australian Financial Review, Ms Tanna said that "nobody has a licence to go around and say that the market is working for customers as intended", because energy prices were so high.
But with a push underway within the federal government to provide support for the coal industry, and for government direct investment in a coal-fired power station, the BCA board was asked where coal should fit in to energy policy.
"The first thing I would say about that is coal is a legacy technology," Ms Tanna said.
"I'm not saying that it can't be part of the future mix. I'm just saying that it's a solution that my grandfather would have built.
"I think it is very, very unlikely to find a market participant that will fund such a new investment."
Had Exxon Mobil reported its reserves differently in 2016, investors might have taken a another view of the company’s future trajectory. The company reported its Kearl oil sands as reserves, and in 2016 was ordered to debook them by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An important shift in its disclosures ensued in March 2017, with proved reserves cut by 3.3bn oil-equivalent barrels.
In October 2016 the company admitted that, under the SEC definition of proven reserves, certain quantities of oil, such as those associated with the Kearl oil sands operation in Canada, would not qualify as proven reserves at the end of the year.
According to Tarek Soliman, senior analyst at the CDP, a non-governmental organisation based in the UK, the systematic practice of considering climate-related risk would have resulted in a different disclosure. It would transform investor perceptions if replicated across the whole oil and gas sector. “If the company were to integrate climate risk into its assessments, it would highlight that these assets show a high propensity to become impaired. They would have been downgraded to a resource rather than a reserve, and this problem would have been foreseen,” says Soliman.
Tail risks have an unfortunate habit of becoming reality. That was one of the clearest lessons of the 2008 financial crisis – an event that I lived through and had to deal with, as a senior figure in the Bank of England’s markets department.
The financial sector is all about risk. Taking it. Avoiding it. Monitoring, measuring, and limiting it. And, crucially, making money from it. When the improbable actually happened, ‘safe’ AAA-rated assets became junk, liquid markets dried up, the trust that oiled the financial system evaporated and we had to take the most extraordinary measures in response.
But new risks are emerging around climate change that are poorly understood, hard to manage and, at the extreme, pose threats to the financial system not unlike those we faced in 2008.
The Finkel Review was a valiant attempt to find a path towards a 21st century energy market model for Australia. But political infighting and powerful interests have blocked one of its core proposals, a Clean Energy Target (CET). Despite the creation of a new Energy Security Board to try to hold regulators and policy makers to account, the ability of the present structure to deliver is uncertain.
State energy ministers, who have gathered today for the COAG Energy Council meeting, are now threatening to go it alone if the Commonwealth government does not commit to a CET. But the problem and opportunity is much broader. It’s time to step back and rethink energy policy.
In the United States, people who refuse to accept even some of the basic tenets of climate science are calling for a heated debate.
“Who better to do that than a group of scientists … getting together and having a robust discussion for all the world to see,” the boss of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, told Reuters.
And, of course, Pruitt thinks it should be on the telly.
“You want this to be on full display,” he said. “I think the American people would be very interested in consuming that. I think they deserve it.”
That’s right. Pruitt’s respect for climate science would see it reduced to a bastard TV love child of Jerry Springer and Judge Judy.
Australia’s push-me pull-you approach to electric vehicle adoption is again on display, after claims that the federal government was proposing nation-wide emissions standards for new cars sparked a furious reaction from industry and the press.
In the same week that Elon Musk claimed the first Model 3 “mass market” electric vehicle to come off the new Tesla production line, and when he unveiled what will be the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery storage array, the push back from incumbent industries in Australia was in full flight.
In its 10th annual corporate sustainability report, which assesses the level of sustainability disclosure by ASX200 companies, ACSI found 86% of banks were rated as "leading" or "detailed" in their reporting, while five out of seven banks reported on three key indicators: emissions, a policy and a target.
Fossils fuels are no longer the largest recipient of investment in the energy sector, the latest report from the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.
Investment in the electricity sector received the largest level of investment for the first time ever, growing its share by 12 percentage points to 43 percent between 2014 and 2016. In comparison, over the same period, investments in upstream (exploration and production) oil and gas fell 44 percent.
"The key finding is that (the) global energy industry spent last year 12 percent less than the previous year," Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, told CNBC on Tuesday. "A big decline," he described.
There’s been a lot of discussion about the Tesla big battery since the company announced last Friday that it would build a 100MW/129MWh lithium-ion battery storage installation – the world’s biggest – after winning the state government tender.
The battery will be owned and operated by French renewable energy developer Neoen (which stands for “new energy”), and will be located right next to the 309MW Hornsdale wind farm currently being completed near Jamestown.
But what exactly is it? And what can it do? And how much will it cost? We try to answer some of the main questions, and dispel some of the myths.
There are 6.5 billion reasons to be disappointed by President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. Like the $6.5 billion in estimated U.S. health care costs from worsening air pollution that we are all paying for through higher insurance premiums and higher taxes.
If you have not made the connection between the current Washington, D.C., battles over health care on the one hand and the Paris Agreement on the other, you’re not alone. Though they are inextricably linked, the connection is often overlooked. The biggest impact of climate change will be on our health. Think of climate change as one big pre-existing condition that we will all have.