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The EU carbon market is expected to stay liquid as participants grapple with the introduction of sweeping new financial regulations.
Australia’s entrance into the international carbon market could be blocked over opposition from a powerful right-wing faction within the ruling Coalition government.
Buyers failed to push carbon back above €8 on Wednesday but EUAs stemmed further losses following the previous session’s 4.5% drop, as some observers suggested the market could stabilise.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
A cleaner Britain – For the first time in 2017, more than half of the electricity generated in the UK came from low-carbon sources. Within this total, wind alone generated more than twice as much electricity as coal, supplying more power in every month except January. Nevertheless, power sector emissions remain far above what will be needed to meet legally-binding UK carbon targets, while progress in decarbonising the rest of the economy is limited. (Carbon Brief)
A cleaner Empire State – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday unveiled a “comprehensive agenda to combat climate change” that calls for aggressive increases in energy storage, development of at least 800 MW of offshore wind resources and new energy efficiency targets to be set later this year. The state will also work to expand RGGI, extending the voluntary compact beyond the current nine states and broadening regulations to include smaller, less-efficient peaking plants. Cuomo’s plan also calls for adopting regulations that phase out coal-fired power plants in New York by 2020. The governor previously called for such a step in his 2016 State of the State address. (Utility Dive)
But some work to do in California – California’s residential and commercial buildings today are responsible for similar levels of climate pollution as all in-state power plants, mostly from natural gas used in furnaces and water heaters, according to think-tank NRDC. “Policy-makers in California took some encouraging steps to address these emissions in 2017, but there’s much more to be done so that buildings don’t hold California back from achieving its climate and clean air goals,” they said in a blog post. From the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest, from New York City to Boulder and Sacramento, several cities, states and regions are starting to blaze a trail in reducing fossil fuel use in buildings.
California capping – California’s carbon cap is not really in jeopardy due to its massive pre-2020 allowance surplus, argue Severin Borenstein and Jim Bushnell of the Haas Energy Institute. They say that the cap-and-trade system’s effective price corridor ensures the market remains effective, but point out that the debated cancellation of the surplus would make it more likely that prices would trade at the ceiling rather than the floor. This could deliver an extra 42 mt of abatement over the next decade.
Spinning off is so in right now – German utility RWE has reorganised its power generation business by spinning off its lignite and nuclear power operations into a separate company, the company said in a press release. The move was intended to “make our electricity generation companies more flexible, while aligning them more closely to their respective energy sources”, said RWE CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz. The utility’s gas, hard coal, hydroelectric power, and biomass generation businesses will now be pooled within RWE Generation, while RWE Power will run the company’s lignite-fired generation and manage nuclear energy. (Clean Energy Wire)
And finally… Discontinued models – China has suspended the production of 553 car models that have failed to meet the government’s fuel consumption standards. Expected to cover just 1% of the country’s 28 million-plus car market, the ban includes products from several major domestic producers such as Chery and joint ventures such as FAW-Volkswagen and Beijing Benz Automotive. (New York Times)
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