US shale gas revolution sparks EU coal boom


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EU: North America’s fracking revolution pushed down US natural gas prices to 10-year lows last spring, prompting electricity generators to switch to gas from coal. Unwanted at home, US coal increasingly found its way on to European markets, where it has displaced more expensive gas as a feedstock for power stations. (Financial Times)

USA: Energy Secretary Steven Chu will step down soon, possibly by the end of the month, he said in a statement on Friday, ending a four-year tenure in which he concentrated on fostering research and development of clean energy technologies, and opponents pilloried him over stimulus loans that went bad. (New York Times)

UK: The total lifetime cost of dealing with nuclear waste in the UK has continued to rise each year and has now reached £67.5bn. A new report – Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Managing Risk at Sellafield, points out that about £1.6bn is being spent annually at the site, where a variety of hazardous materials – including 82 tonnes of plutonium – are kept. (Guardian)

Science: A new meta-analysis, published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the presence of earthworms appears to increase soils’ output of CO2 by 33 percent and of nitrous oxide by 42 percent. (Climate Central)

Germany: Deutsche Bank is understood to have pulled the plug on its carbon trading desk. The decision to quit carbon trading is thought to be as a result of the depressed state of the carbon markets rather than as a result of the fraud investigation that caused the bank to close its German emissions trading desk some two years ago. (Carbon Finance)

Fossil fuels: Oil and gas multinationals could lose up to 60% of their market value if the world cuts its carbon emissions to limit climate change, according to the world’s second-largest bank. (RTCC)

USA: US emissions from the energy sector fell 13% between 2007 and 2012, according to a new report, meaning they are at their lowest levels since 1994 (RTCC)

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