CP Daily: Tuesday January 16, 2018

Published 21:48 on January 16, 2018  /  Last updated at 21:48 on January 16, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

A daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world.

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TOP STORIES

China’s Hubei expands ETS coverage while keeping CO2 cap flat

The government of China’s Hubei province has released the 2017 allocation plan for its pilot emissions trading scheme, showing a small 1.6% increase in allowances despite bringing in around 40% more emitters, though observers doubt it will be sufficient to absorb the market’s permit glut.

China solar boom lifts 2017 global clean energy investment -analysts

World clean energy investment totalled $333.5 billion in 2017, up 3% from 2016 and the second highest annual figure ever, analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said on Tuesday.

AMERICAS

First RGGI auction of 2018 set for Mar. 14 as analysts predict higher prices

RGGI will hold its first allowance auction of the year on Mar. 14, with analysts forecasting that prices will rise from the previous sale.

Quebec starts handing out free allowances for 2018

Quebec’s environment ministry on Monday handed out 13.506 million free allowances to big emitters against their 2018 output, marking a 1.3% year-on-year decline.

ASIA PACIFIC

NZ Market: NZUs chase record highs as concerns rise over supply

New Zealand carbon permits traded near all-time highs again on Wednesday as concerns emerge that supply might prove insufficient over time due to the emissions trading scheme’s tighter settings.

EMEA

EU Market: EUAs climb 3.2% to two-week high above €8

EU carbon climbed above €8 on Tuesday for the first time since the opening session of 2018, as prices continued to defy predictions of a January sell-off.

COMMENT

Next steps for Ontario cap-and-trade participants

In the run-up to the 2nd Annual Ontario Cap and Trade Forum on April 18-19 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, Canadian Clean Energy Conferences is producing a series of articles featuring the key topics concerning regulated entities under Ontario’s program. (This article is available to anyone who has had a free trial of Carbon Pulse, as well as our subscribers. Simply login to your Carbon Pulse account to read it.)

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

You can try, but… – Alberta’s opposition United Conservative Party could kill the provincial carbon tax if elected next year, but Albertans would still have to live with the proposed federal carbon price, said a constitutional law expert. According to the CBC, University of Alberta constitutional law expert Eric Adams said a provincial carbon tax can be removed with “the stroke of a pen,” but eliminating the federal system within Alberta would be another challenge entirely. The only way for a province to stop Ottawa from imposing a price on carbon would be to successfully argue that the federal legislation was unconstitutional, Adams said. “That may make good politics for their constituents, but the realities are that most experts who look at this issue think the federal government very likely does have that constitutional authority.”

Efficiency questioned – The EU’s proposed 2030 energy efficiency targets could be counter-productive if the aim is to effectively and cost-efficiently decarbonise Europe’s economy, says a study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. It said sectors covered by the EU ETS should not be forced to use additional energy efficiency instruments that would add to the cost burden for companies without helping the decarbonisation efforts.  Instead, include all relevant economic sectors should be in the EU ETS and additional policies should only be to remedy market imperfections. (Clean Energy Wire)

Wood wouldn’t – EU efforts to allow fuel from felled trees to qualify as renewable energy could accelerate climate change, according to Germany’s Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. It says that while it makes sense to count woody debris as regenerative biomass, using tree trunks creates an incentive to clear complete forests, and the argument that forests absorb a sufficient amount of CO₂ emissions during their growth has been proven wrong in several scientific studies. Trees need decades to absorb sizeable amounts of CO2, and wood that is burned emits more CO2 than coal per generated kWh of electricity. (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Clean Energy Wire)

Long-termers – The Czech Republic has become the 7th nation to submit to the UNFCCC a long-term low-emission strategy, following Benin, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and the (pre-Trump) US. The Paris Agreement requires that all countries aim to submit their strategies by 2020.

And finally… Some real fixer-uppers – More than half of all US coal plants are, or will soon be, shuttered. Collaboration and compromise by some are beginning to reveal ways to reclaim the sites for new purposes. Some are being converted to burn gas – a move opposed by environmental groups who prefer renewable energy – while others being converted into solar power demo sites or data centres. However, two significant barriers may block access including the thorny economics of transitioning a power station and what to do with decades of accumulated toxic coal ash. (Utility Dive)

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