CrisisWatch

Energy & climate change

Hydrocarbon exploration heats up in the Med

The “Nordic Explorer” vessel of Petroleum Geo-Services has set off on surveys in order to explore potential oil and gas reserves in the western and southern part of Greece, covering a total surface area of 225,000 s.km., in a zone extending between 100-400km off the coastline. Seismic surveys will be completed in early 2013, while reliable estimations of existence of reserves are expected in 2-3 years (provided no obstacles occur due to the...
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Crisis bloats electricity sector debt in the Med

Following the path of Italy, Spain and Portugal, the Greek Transmission System Operator is also entering a phase of crisis, after years of profitable operation. In March 2011, the Greek Operator reported a deficit of €100 mi., which more than doubled within only one year, and is expected to reach €400mi by the end of 2012.  This so-called “black hole”, that is putting at risk Greece’s ability to afford fuel imports, has been attribute...
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Greece cuts support to solar energy

Claiming to aim at restoring liquidity in the electricity market, the Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change halted the approval procedure for all solar power projects, excluding only those large investments that are promoted under fast-track procedures and roof-mounted PV installations - the latter having already suffered, however, a 46% reduction in support tariffs....
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Europe burns more coal?

As US coal producers increased exports to Europe, prices have dropped by 26% in a year and demand has risen by 3.3 %. Over the same period, demand for natural gas fell by 2.1%, the sharpest decrease since the beginning of the economic crisis in the Eurozone. ...
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Spain's miners march on Madrid over subsidy cuts

The decision of the Rajoy Government to reduce the subsidies to the energy sector (renewables included), in an effort to curb public spending, has caused a heated reaction by the approx. 4,000 miners (less than 1/10th of the 42,800 coal miners in the early 90’s) working in the coal mines of Northern Spain....
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IMF: Carbon pricing is pro-growth

Could the International Monetary Fund become a strong voice for carbon pricing? Yes, if the statement of its managing director, Christine Lagarde, on the occasion of Rio+20 is to be included in the IMF’s main financial and monetary policy agenda. “Getting the prices right means using fiscal policy to make sure that the harm we do is reflected in the prices we pay. I am thinking about environmental taxes or emissions trading systems under whi...
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Italy bows to pressure from oil giants?

NGOs, including WWF Italy, Legambiente and Greenpeace Italy, issued a joint statement saying that the Italian Government is yielding to pressure from oil companies and aims to free the drilling exclusion area of 12 miles of coastal marine protected areas for offshore oil drilling.   The abolition of the no-drill coastal zone would critically threaten coastal habitats, settlements and important economic sectors important for Italy, such as touri...
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