Oil Drops To $96 A Barrel As Energy Prices Decline 1.4 Percent In April

Here’s an interesting look at the continuing trend of big banks unwinding their trading operations amid increased regulatory oversight and proprietary trading prohibitions. Many of the big players have left the space that’s increasingly being filled by new entrants like major trading houses. ‘“Today’s markets are ‘boring,’ said Thomas Thees, a former head of North… Keep reading →

IntercontinentalExchange Purchases The New York Stock Exchange For Over 8 Billion

As Wall Street retreats from the energy trading business new players like major oil companies, utilities and other corporate enterprises are taking large chunks of the energy derivative and price hedging market. “With Wall Street hamstrung by growing regulatory restrictions, a recently finalized ban on proprietary trading and increased capital requirements, these corporate behemoths are… Keep reading →

Offshore wind energy has been challenging to develop in the US despite significant promise and comparative access on the East Coast to major load centers. Finding financing is a perennial challenge for renewable energy projects of all kinds, making Cape Wind‘s recent announcement it had finalized an agreement with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to lead its commercial bank financing marks a more significant step in developing the planned 468 MW wind farm than it at first appears.

Barclays remains the project’s financial advisor, and Ted Roosevelt IV, the managing director there, called the agreement with the Japanese bank a “significant step toward achieving financial close.” Keep reading →

If the sky isn’t falling when it comes to energy availability, what does that mean for your portfolio?

After years of forecasts – part of a long tradition – that oil supplies were close to running out with the potential for immense supply shocks for the global economy, Wall Street analysts are beginning to build a new consensus around the potential for an unexpected and still-emerging demand-side shock. Keep reading →

The bureaucrats in Beijing and the businessmen in Shanghai have been busy in recent weeks, negotiating a series of headline deals that sync into broader themes of Chinese access to global energy and commodities markets.

Bankers at Wall Street and City of London banks have spent much of the past week telling financial reporters that the impending sale of the remaining 80% of the Asian arm of French bank Credit Agricole represented an old finance industry meme: an out-of-towner overpaying for access to the premier league of global banking. Keep reading →

Position limits on energy futures could be here sooner than Wall Street thinks. Legislators are pushing regulators to cap the speculative fervor in crude oil futures as gasoline prices in the U.S. climb higher. While regulators have dragged their heels in pushing this issue forward, election year politics could pressure them to speed up their timetable if gasoline prices continue to rise, catching the big speculators — namely the large U.S. banks — by surprise. The much-maligned Dodd-Frank financial reform act called on regulators, in this case, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to impose and enforce position limits to calm volatility in the commodity markets. This would limit the amount of options or futures contracts speculators could hold in a commodity. Many in the industry believe that too much speculation by certain large entities, mainly the big investment firms, have pushed prices up and distorted the market for a whole host of commodities — most importantly, the crude oil market.

Renewable energy’s future is now in the developing world, analysts at accounting giant Ernst & Young claim, as cost-conscious and indebted industrial economies focus on investments like smart grid that can slow demand and cut costs.

After a robust decade driven first by concerns about climate change and eventually-foiled expectations that a global price on greenhouse gas emissions would emerge followed by heavy central-government subsidies for renewable energy projects seen as promoting energy security and job growth, the renewable energy sector is moving into a “revolutionary” new phase, a new E&Y report indexing renewable energy country attractiveness says. Keep reading →

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been committed to solar and wind projects in recent weeks, and while the end of the year often brings with it a spate of deals to avoid upcoming changes in tax policy, this time the money is coming from a new and different source.

The rush of dealmaking in the final weeks of 2011 has been striking after a relatively slow year in fundraising for energy deals of any kind, but even more surprising have been the players: private equity firms and hedge funds. Keep reading →

It is no secret that the US electricity infrastructure is in large part outdated, often inefficient and hampered by continuing confusion over energy policy direction.

Despite its challenges, the power sector remains a perennial hive of financial activity as development costs remain high, quality assets remain elusive and the mix of financial products required to conduct business grow progressively more complex. Keep reading →