Economists are struggling to figure out exactly what consumers are doing with the extra disposable income available to them as a result of the steep decline in energy prices. “They have not gone on a shopping spree at the mall or online. Results at many retail chains have been mixed, and some stores that are… Keep reading →
The way we power our homes is changing. Previously, we relied heavily on non-renewable sources for electricity and heating in our homes. While these fuels still play an important role, we’re continuing to look for greener alternatives. One popular option is solar panels. In the past, solar panels were expensive to buy and install, which… Keep reading →
The tides are an enormous and consistent renewable energy resource, but taking advantage of them has proven frustrating. Newfangled minimal-impact in-stream devices have been slow to demonstrate their commercial viability; earlier “barrage” projects – dams on estuaries, essentially – have delivered energy as promised, but at the cost of degraded ecosystems. Now a potential solution… Keep reading →
Energy News Roundup: Total CEO Dies in Plane Crash, Amsterdam Airport Tesla Taxis & MPs Pension Fund Fossil Fuel DivestmentBy Jared Anderson
Christophe de Margerie, CEO of major French oil company Total, was killed Monday night when his corporate jet crashed into a snow removal vehicle on the runway of an airport near Moscow. The company reportedly has no succession plant in place, but has strong corporate governance led by a long-standing board of directors. “Barclays France… Keep reading →
The Department of Energy and Climate Change published a Consultation on 6 August 2014 seeking views on its proposals to introduce new criminal offences for insider dealing in and the manipulation of the wholesale energy markets. This forms part of the UK Government’s continued efforts to ensure the proper functioning of the wholesale energy markets and to strengthen the UK enforcement regime in line with the EU Regulation on Wholesale Energy Markets Integrity and Transparency (“REMIT”), prohibiting insider dealing and market manipulation in respect of the wholesale energy markets.
REMIT refers to the wholesale energy markets as encompassing both commodity and derivative markets, including regulated markets, multilateral trading facilities, over-the-counter transactions and bilateral contracts. As a result, certain trading activity in the wholesale energy markets does not relate to qualifying investments admitted to trading on a prescribed market and therefore does not come within the scope of market abuse in the financial sector.
The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) regulates commodity derivatives, but not the underlying physical markets and has the power to bring enforcement action (both civil and criminal) against traders who breach the regulation on energy derivatives in an FCA regulated market. The majority of trading regarding gas and electricity does not take place on markets regulated by the FCA. If a similar derivative was traded on a platform coming within the scope of REMIT, only the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (“Ofgem”) currently has the power to enforce civil penalties. The absence of criminal penalties in the energy markets for behaviours almost identical to those subject to criminal penalties in the financial markets creates a risk that wrongdoing is directed towards the energy sector. The Government’s proposals are aimed at addressing the gap between the regulation of the financial and wholesale energy markets.
Energy News Roundup: EPA Chief Expects Earful, NY Nuke Plant Summer Shutdown Debate & UK Upholds Carbon TargetBy Jared Anderson
EPA Chief Gina McCarthy goes before the Senate today for the first hearing about the agency’s proposed carbon emissions regulations covering existing power plants and she is “expected to get an earful from Republicans.” Monday night a group of business interests sent a letter to McCarthy calling for EPA to extend the comment period, alter… Keep reading →
By Arjun Kharpal U.K. regulator Ofgem has called for a full investigation into the country’s energy market, to “clear the air” over competition and whether the public is being ripped off. The move comes amid rising anger towards the so-called “Big Six” energy companies which have been accused of hiking energy bills to boost their… Keep reading →
Quick Take: Berg Insight is out with its latest “Smart Metering in Europe” research report. I’ve listed 12 highlights below. I found item #12 the most intriguing. Until recently, Europe has been a wireless holdout. But once its system is fully deployed, the UK will become the world’s largest wireless smart meter deployment to date.… Keep reading →
GE CEO Jeff Immelt said the company is researching technology that could use carbon dioxide instead of water for hydraulic fracturing operations. GE is reportedly putting an additional $10 billion through 2020 into its “ecoimagination” budget, which focuses on energy solutions including high efficiency natural gas turbines, “CNG In a Box,” wind turbine manufacture and… Keep reading →
A group of fracking protesters in England were arrested Monday when they reportedly glued and chained themselves to gasoline pumps at a retail station they thought was owned by French oil major Total. The group was protesting against the oil company’s regional gas develop operations, but embarrassingly Total no longer owns the station. The service… Keep reading →