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  • Editor’s Picks / 15 August 2016 at 5:49 GMT

    A perspective on the Australia-China relationship

    East Asia Forum
    The Australian Treasurer’s decision to block Chinese and Hong Kong bidders leasing 50.4% of a NSW electricity provider, Ausgrid, because of unspecified ‘national security concerns’ is a costly wildcard. The Chinese government-owned State Grid Corp and Hong Kong-listed Cheung Kong Infrastructure were both bidding for a 99-year lease of Ausgrid, which supplies power to parts of Sydney, Wollongong and the Hunter region. Bids had been open to both over a long period with no previous warning that their bids were unwelcome.
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  • Editor’s Picks / 21 April 2016 at 11:38 GMT

    US can reach emissions goals without Supreme Court, Mr Bloomberg says

    Bloomberg
    As world leaders gather on Friday in New York to sign the Paris agreement on climate change, some are worried that the US Supreme Court has put on hold the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, a roadmap for greenhouse emissions cuts. But the federal government is not the primary force in the US fight against climate change, and the US will meet and probably exceed its commitment to reduce emissions by 26-28% by 2025 even if the court strikes down parts of the plan, said US businessman and former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, in a column for Bloomberg Views. "It was a modest goal," Bloomberg said, adding that by 2015 the US had already cut emissions by 11% from 2005 levels. "Many of us believed that President Obama should have set a more ambitious target. Even now, with the Clean Power Plan on hold, a more ambitious goal is achievable," said Bloomberg, who is the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for cities and climate change.
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  • Article / 14 April 2016 at 16:34 GMT

    Norway excludes 52 coal companies from giant oil fund

    Consulting editor / TradingFloor
    Norway
    Norway excludes 52 coal companies from giant oil fund
    Norway's $863 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest, has excluded 52 coal-mining companies and coal-fired power producers from its investment portfolio under new criteria that spotlight coal as an environmental and climate problem. The divestments are of shares in companies in the US, China, India, Japan, the UK and eight other countries.
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    3y
    seas seas
    As if sucking the blood from the earth is not a problem.
  • Editor’s Picks / 11 December 2015 at 2:50 GMT

    Copenhagen villain reinvented as Paris talks climate hero

    South China Morning Post
    It’s ironic. On Monday, Beijing issued a red alert for its foul air, with the city under shutdown. Meanwhile in Paris, who does the world expect to take the lead on climate change? China. At the 2009 Copenhagen conference, China was the villain. Now China is on a journey to climate leadership. If Paris is a game, China is here to play – fairly this time. China was one of the first big emerging countries to submit its post-2020 commitments, before the Paris talks. But old habits die hard. China’s climate “makeover” is far from complete. While it has ambitious climate goals, it has its own interests in mind, with trouble toeing the line between GDP growth and the environment.
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  • Editor’s Picks / 10 December 2015 at 4:33 GMT

    High grade coal offers India low emissions benefits: minister

    The Sydney Morning Herald
    Supplying Australian coal to India will result in lower carbon emissions than if the sub-continent turned to alternate sources of supply such as Indonesia, says Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said. “It is their choice, not ours,” Hunt said of India's desire to source rising volumes of coal from Australia. “As a developing country, they are saying 'we want to bring people out of poverty, but if we have higher efficiency fuels that can allow us to go to super-critical or ultra-super critical [coal-fired power station] production which in net terms means we will have lower emissions than if we go to Indonesia with high sulphur, low efficiency fuels',” Hunt said.
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  • Editor’s Picks / 19 October 2015 at 22:22 GMT

    Li's index beats official China data for reliability

    Nikkei Asian Review
    Suspicion persists that Chinese officials manipulate data to generate a lofty growth rate divorced from reality. Even Premier Li Keqiang is said to have called the official data “manmade” years ago as a regional Party chief, citing railway cargo volume, electricity consumption and bank lending as better indicators. Those three indicators now make up the so-called Li Keqiang index, which the Japan Centre for Economic Research uses to compute its own estimate of China's growth. The centre sees real GDP growth at 5% for the quarter ended June, significantly short of Beijing's official 7%. The National Bureau of Statistics has been busy trying to dispel doubts about official data.
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  • Editor’s Picks / 04 May 2015 at 23:36 GMT

    Solar energy's time in the sun may be at hand

    Reuters
    According to Deutsche Bank’s recent bullish report on solar power, unsubsidised rooftop solar power costs $0.08 – $0.13 per kilowatt hour (kWh) globally, which can be as much as 40% below retail electricity prices. Australia’s rate for solar power is $0.15/kWh, less than one-third of electricity’s average price there, making the country an exemplar of grid parity. In oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, solar is still more expensive than the overall electricity price and in the United States, the levelised cost of solar energy is $0.17 per kWh, a penny cheaper than electricity’s average price. Deutsche Bank says: “In markets heavily dependent on coal for electricity generation, the ratio of coal-based wholesale electricity to solar electricity cost was 7:1 four years ago. This ratio is now less than 2:1 and could likely approach 1:1 over the next 12-18 months.”
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    4y
    Solar-Power-Now Solar-Power-Now
    The cost for residential solar power in American is only $0.08/kWh spread over the life of a system. This is one of the main reasons why there...
  • Article / 28 April 2015 at 4:49 GMT

    Uranium powers on, whether we like it or not

    Business writer and editor
    Australia
    Uranium powers on, whether we like it or not
    Nobody talks much about uranium prices for obvious reasons –there us still plenty of ethical talk around the production and investment in the nuclear material. But prices are coming back, as China and India show their keenness to make U308 part of their energy mix and and the Japanese reactors come back on line.
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