Report: Dash for gas with caution or risk UK climate goals

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UK: Shale gas must be part of the UK’s short term climate change strategy according to a new report by the Grantham Institute on Climate Change.

The report warns that assumptions about the scale of new resources from fracking and the likelihood it can cut prices must be tempered. It’s recommendations for a “smart dash to gas” also call for carbon capture storage to be used on gas power plants at the earliest opportunity.

The US shale gas boom combined with Obama’s new regulations on coal plants has seen coal power generation swapped for cleaner, cheaper gas. The report warns that this will be difficult to replicate and a long-term switch to gas could put climate change targets at risk. (The Scotsman)

Shale gas drilling in North America has helped cut emissions by swapping cleaner gas power for coal (Source: Nexen)

USA: Clean energy investment in the US is more important for fighting climate change than the decisions over whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, according to a spokesperson for President Obama. Josh Earnest was asked if renewables had a greater influence on combatting US emissions. “There’s no question about that. Truth is, what we need to do is we need to take an all-of-the-above approach to our energy challenges,” he said. (USA Today)

EU: Tough new fuel efficiency standards for cars in the EU could create 443,000 new jobs and save people €3,800 during the lifetime of their vehicles. A report by AEA-Ricardo and Cambridge Econometrics said it was possible that a 2020 target of 95g CO2 per km could be exceeded given that the many manufacturers had already hit 2015 goals. (BBC/EurActiv)

UAE: The first major solar power installation in the UAE was inaugurated at the weekend. The $600m Shams 1 solar. The Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant will produce enough electricity for 20,000 homes. (The National)

UK: Confidence among renewable energy firms in UK is falling with just 4% of those surveyed confident that the government’s subsidy regime will work. Two thirds of those surveyed by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said they felt the UK would miss its target of generating 15% of its electricity from renewables by 2015. (Financial Times)

Germany: The German insurance group Allianz has announced that it achieved carbon neutral status for the first time last year. The company reduced its own footprint as well as investing directly into a forest consevration project in Kenya and energy efficient lighting in India. The combined result is the equivalent to taking a million cars off the road in Germany. (Financial Channel)

UAE: Middle East researchers are investigating the potential for “blue carbon” storage along coastlines in the Gulf. Mangroves, sea grasses and salt water marches grow very quickly and could sequester carbon faster than tropical rainforests. (Gulf News)


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