**CP Daily will not be published between Dec. 24 and Jan. 3. Carbon Pulse will file stories and send out CP Alerts on merit during that period. Regular coverage will resume Jan. 4.**
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US President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet and executive office nominees are likely to initially focus on undoing environmental rollbacks from the prior administration, along with advancing ambitious climate policies through regulatory or executive actions in the face of resistance from Republicans, experts told Carbon Pulse.
Governments have committed $1.37 billion towards international emissions trading pilot programmes to help meet Paris Agreement goals, according to a report that charts a fourfold rise in finance inside 18 months.
China’s biggest grid operator expects the country’s electricity consumption will rise next year, a move likely to result in CO2 output from coal power plants rising by some 100 Mt, according to analysts.
New Zealand will opt for a technical reserve price at its NZU auctions after all, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has said, a move intended to ensure government sale prices don’t drop far below secondary market levels.
EUAs climbed back above €31 on Tuesday as colder weather prospects dragged up power and fuel prices, with the announcement of a date for the resumption of auctions in 2021 lending support.
Ukraine should have an ETS set up by 2023 to address EU pressure to act on climate change, according to the head of the country’s biggest private energy producer, reflecting government plans that will see emissions auditing start next year.
Emitters in the Northeast US RGGI cap-and-trade programme markedly increased their allowance holdings in the third quarter of the year as prices climbed, according to a report published Tuesday.
BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Arctic drilling – Norway’s supreme court has approved government plans for Arctic oil exploration, dismissing a lawsuit by campaigners including Greenpeace, who claimed the scheme violated people’s right to a healthy environment. The verdict concerned whether a 2015-16 oil licensing round giving awards to Equinor and others had breached Norway’s constitution. (Reuters)
Atomic age – Nuclear power capacity able to supply roughly 60 mln homes is scheduled to close this decade as utilities struggle to replace northwest Europe’s ageing reactors, raising the risk of higher carbon emissions as fossil fuels plug the gap. Nuclear power provides around a quarter of the EU’s electricity generation, with 15 of the 27 nations hosting 107 reactors that provide total capacity of around 100 GW. Ninety of Europe’s reactors are at least 31 years old as of this month, with consultancy Timera estimating that around 21 GW will be taken offline by 2030. (Reuters)
Banker’s draft – The Bankers for Net Zero alliance, a new framework to guide UK banks’ decarbonisation efforts, has been launched in the lead up to next November’s COP26 UN climate conference, focusing on fossil fuel divestment, climate-responsible advocacy, and net zero targets. Its draft framework out this week has been dubbed the most ambitious set of climate change commitments for bankers to date. (BusinessGreen)
Prairie price – Saskatchewan will raise its carbon price for large emitters to C$40/tonne from C$30 this year in lockstep with the federal ‘backstop’ CO2 pricing mandate. The prairie province last year implemented an Emissions Performance Standard for large industrial facilities to avoid coverage under Ottawa’s output-based pricing system (OBPS), although the province declined to regulate electricity generation and natural gas transmission pipelines, which as a result became subject to the federal programme. A Saskatchewan environment ministry official also repeated news from this summer that the province’s offset system launch will be pushed back by one year to 2022 due to problems with carrying out stakeholder consultations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (CBC)
Virginia wind – Utility Dominion Energy has filed the construction and operations plan for its 2.64GW offshore wind project, with construction expected to start off the coast of Virginia in 2024. The anticipated filing with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was made after Dominion completed construction of a 12MW pilot offshore wind project in Virginia – the first offshore wind turbines approved by regulators in federal waters. The company expects the BOEM review process for the largest offshore wind farm in the country announced to date to take about two years, and will help meet Virginia’s rigid decarbonisation standards in the Clean Economy Act passed earlier in 2020. (Utility Dive)
OCFP electricity rules – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on Tuesday released proposed rule changes to the Oregon Clean Fuels Program (OCFP) for public comment. The amendments build off an executive order from Governor Kate Brown (D) in March that directed state agencies to advance methods accelerating the generation and aggregation of clean fuels credits by utilities in order to advance transportation electrification. The DEQ will hold public hearing on the proposal Jan. 28, and comments are accepted through Jan. 29.
And finally… Renewables radio – Germany is making a radio network available to the energy sector that could be used to control solar power systems and other feed-in and load management systems. A consortium of utilities is now bidding for the frequencies as part of a tendering process that would enable the connection of intelligent metering systems and the further digitalisation of Germany’s energy system. (PV Magazine, Clean Energy Wire)
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