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OBAMA COMMITTED TO ‘GREEN’ ECONOMY (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

by Xinhua

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

LOS ANGELES: The Obama administration is pushing forward with plans to aggressively limit greenhouse gas emissions PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMAand fight global warming, US media reported.

The plans would include a cap-and-trade initiative to limit greenhouse gases and raise the cost of pumping more carbon into the atmosphere, the Los Angeles Times said Sunday (Monday in Manila).

Under the initiative, the government would set limits on carbon emissions by power plants, factories and other installations, but allow those who emit more to buy or trade permits with companies and facilities that emitted less than the prescribed limit, according to the newspaper.

But the move would amount to a tax, raising energy costs. And several independent studies have suggested that emissions limits would only increase energy price and be a drag on economic growth, at least in the short term.

Despite such fears, the Obama government believed that a “clean energy economy” move would spur competition and promote investment in renewable alternatives to imported oil.

Two-pronged plan

The administration is expected to move forward with a two-pronged effort to stimulate renewable energy supplies and ensure demand for the megawatts they would produce, the newspaper reported.

The first part is to invest heavily in wind power, solar power and biofuels through the massive stimulus bill, while the second is to help those forms of energy compete with cheaper fossil fuels by pumping up fossil fuel costs to reflect the potential economic damage from global warming, according to the paper.

“If we don’t put a price on carbon,” said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “We’ll never get these clean energy sources on line.”

Instead of dragging the economy, the plan to limit greenhouse emissions would stimulate the economy and “allow polluters to transition from a high-polluting environment to a low-polluting environment,” said Andy Stevenson, a former hedge fund manager who is now a finance advisor for the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York City.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA TIMES’ (Philippines)

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Posted in AEOLIC, AGRICULTURE, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, ETHANOL, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, GLOBAL WARMING, HEALTH SAFETY, HYDROELECTRIC ENERGY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, MACROECONOMY, NATURAL GAS, POLLUTION, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, RESTRUCTURING OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, STATE TARIFFS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA | Leave a Comment »

PETROBRAS QUER CONSTRUIR USINA DE ÁLCOOL NA COLÔMBIA (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 27, 2009

26/01/2009 17:37

FolhaNews

PUBLISHED BY ‘CORREIO BRAZILIENSE’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CORREIO BRAZILIENSE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, BRASIL, COLOMBIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ETANOL, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, POLÍTICA EXTERNA - BRASIL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RELAÇÕES DIPLOMÁTICAS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

VERENIUM PLAN CELLULOSIC ETHANOL FACILITY IN FLORIDA (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 20, 2009

1/19/2009 6:37:10 PM GMT

EnergyCurrent

PUBLISHED BY ‘EnergyCurrent News Digest’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘EnergyCurrent News Digest’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, BIOFUELS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ETHANOL, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | 1 Comment »

ITOCHU AND BUNGE TEAM FOR BRAZILIAN ETHANOL PROJECT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 31, 2008

12/29/2008 9:29:18 PM GMT

Energy Current

PUBLISHED BY ‘ENERGY CURRENT’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ENERGY CURRENT’

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, AGRICULTURA, AGRONEGÓCIOS, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ETANOL, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

VENDA DE ÁLCOOL SUPERA A DE GASOLINA EM 10 MESES (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 30, 2008

30/12/2008

Tribuna do Norte

PUBLISHED BY ‘TRIBUNA DO NORTE’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘TRIBUNA DO NORTE’ (Brazil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, BRASIL, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ETANOL, ETHANOL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PANORAMA FUTURO – SETOR SUCROENERGÉTICO DO BRASIL MANTERÁ O CRESCIMENTO EM 2009, AVALIA UNICA – Mesmo em ritmo mais lento, setor sucroenergético continuará a crescer no próximo ano, projeta UNICA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 23, 2008

18/12/2008 às 09:26

Da Redação com UNICA

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CANAL DA CANA’ (Brazil)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ETANOL, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, SUGAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

EMBRAPA DISCUTE BIOCOMBUSTÍVEIS COM O PARAGUAI (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 23, 2008

19/12/2008 às 09:21

Da Redação com Embrapa Agropecuária Oeste

PUBLISHED BY ‘CANAL DA CANA’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CANAL DA CANA’ (Brazil)

Posted in BIOCOMBUSTÍVEIS, BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, BRASIL, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, ETANOL, ETHANOL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, O BIODIESEL, PARAGUAY, POLÍTICA EXTERNA - BRASIL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES DIPLOMÁTICAS - BRASIL, RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL | Leave a Comment »

CDI APROVA INSTALAÇÃO EM MS DE PROJETOS DE R$ 492 MILHÕES EM BIOCOMBUSTÍVEIS (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 23, 2008

19/12/2008 às 09:07

por Anderson Viegas – Da Redação

PUBLISHED BY ‘CANAL DA CANA’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CANAL DA CANA’ (Brazil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, BIOCOMBUSTÍVEIS, BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, ETANOL, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INTERNATIONAL, O BIODIESEL | Leave a Comment »

CANA-DE-AÇÚCAR: MINAS GERAIS DEVE SUPERAR PR TAMBÉM NA PRODUÇÃO DE ETANOL (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19/12/2008 – 19:00

por F.R. – SIAMIG

PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SAFRAS & MERCADO’ (Brazil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, AGRICULTURA, AGRICULTURE, BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ETANOL, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MG, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, PR, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO ESTADUAL, RECESSION, SUGAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | 1 Comment »

SETOR DE COMBUSTÍVEIS FECHA 2008 COM RECORDE DE VENDAS (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 18, 2008

Terça-feira, 16 de Dezembro de 2008 13:11

Nielmar de Oliveira – da Agência Brasil

PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CAMPO GRANDE NEWS’ (Brazil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, BRASIL, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ETHANOL, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FUELS, GASOLINE, INTERNATIONAL | Leave a Comment »

ENDING AUSTRALIA’S OIL ADDICTION – AS AUSTRALIAN OIL PRODUCTION SLOWS AND CONSUMPTION GROWS, OUR ECONOMIC, ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY DEPENDS ON URGENTLY DEVELOPING FOSSIL FUEL ALTERNATIVES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

Last Updated – December 04th 2008

by John Mathews

PUBLISHED BY ‘CORPORATE CITIZEN’ (Australia)

Suddenly Australia is having the debate on energy and the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions that we should have been having years ago. But now we are actually talking – in the press, on radio, in boardrooms. And it’s not a faux debate, with nuclear power posing as a ‘green alternative’ – it’s a real debate over renewable sources, energy efficiency and how to effect a transition to a low-carbon economy.

With the debate about to move on to the specifics, the obvious place to start is with transport, because that’s where poor leadership in the past has saddled Australia with a 99.9 per cent dependence on oil.

Corporates in Australia are the prime users of the private transport system, and can take the initiative in weaning the country off its fossil fuel addiction. This is where good corporate citizenship can be tested.

To its great credit, the NRMA has taken up the challenge, and brought together a group of energy and transport experts known as the Jamison Group to draw up a roadmap to take Australia beyond oil dependence in transport. The group has now issued its first report and it deserves close scrutiny.

Today Australia consumes just over 38 billion litres of fuel annually for road and off-road vehicles – of which 19.3 billion litres comes from petrol, 2.3 billion litres from LPG (some of which comes from natural gas, and counts as an alternative), and 17 billion litres from diesel. A tiny amount – just 0.3 billion litres of E10 blend – can be counted as an alternative from biological sources. This, then, is less than 1 per cent of fuel sales (and with the ethanol itself accounting for only a tenth of this, or 0.1 per cent of total road transport fuel sales). This is the situation of total dependence on fossil fuels that successive governments have allowed to come to pass. The time for a fresh start has arrived – a start that is driven by three principal imperatives of economic security, energy security and environmental security.

Economic security means taking seriously the impending costs of remaining wedded to oil as our prime transport fuel at a time when imports of oil along with the price of oil relentlessly rising – a double whammy that makes the present cries of pain over fuel costs a mere whimper to what we can expect. So to enhance our economic security we must make a commitment to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and to rebuilding our industrial base, both to produce green and renewable energy and to use such energy sources preferentially – principally as a means of transport. Imported oil should carry a health warning: toxic to local economies!

Energy security means taking seriously the prospect of world oil supplies peaking (they may already be doing so) and thus highlighting the necessity of moving to an economy that is less and less dependent on oil as its driving force. Transport is in the front line here, because it starts with such near-total oil dependence. So moving away from oil dependence to relying increasingly on renewable and other low-carbon energy sources should be the guiding light in fashioning public policy. For transport options, that means supporting a new generation of electric-powered vehicles and new electric public transport systems for our cities, backed up with new industries for growing our own fuels (biomass, biooils, biogas, and first generation biofuels) and for making use of Australian-produced cleaner fuels such as natural gas.

Environmental security means taking the threats to our environment from the burning of fossil fuels seriously – from the planetary effects that are captured by the phrase ‘global warming’, to the local effects that are measured in terms of smog and air pollution in our cities, causing high levels of avoidable respiratory disease, cancer and other serious public health impacts. The immediate and short-term way to reduce such impacts is to insist that fuels sold in Australia meet the highest standards of fuel economy and health standards; while the longer term means of meeting the environmental threat involves again finding ways to rebuild our economy on a low-carbon footing. Geoscience Australia predicts that Australian production of crude oil plus condensate will hold at around 550,000 barrels per day until 2009 and then decline steadily, reaching a mid-range estimate of 224,000 barrels per day by 2025 (that is, a 50 per cent reduction) – as depicted in Figure 1. That means that oil production has already peaked in Australia.

As our domestic production peaks, so our imports of oil rise to keep up with relentlessly rising demand. The level of imports has risen by no less than 30 per cent in just four years – from 33.5 GL to 43.6 GL – a trend that commentators like Geosciences Australia see as continuing and getting worse.

Further, as the level of imports rises, so the balance of trade in petroleum products worsens. From a surplus in 2003 it has deteriorated rapidly, moving to a deficit in 2004 and reaching a huge deficit of nearly $10 billion in the current year.

So what is to be done?

First, we suggest the federal government announce a national goal of reducing oil dependence in Australia by 20 per cent by 2020; by 30 per cent by 2030; and by 50 per cent by 2050. A roadmap to reducing oil dependence should start with realistic goals that would seize public imagination in Australia and provide a benchmark against which all government policies could be measured. These goals would be subject to scrutiny by a panel of experts appointed by the government and required to report by 2009 on the feasibility of the goals and steps that could and should be taken to achieve them.

Secondly, promote and develop alternative fuels. The goal to reduce oil dependence should translate into a commitment to develop alternative fuels in Australia as well as to reduce consumption and improve energy efficiency generally. We need to encourage the development of three major alternatives to oil-based fossil fuels:

– Natural gas (CNG, LNG, LPG derived from natural gas);

– Biofuels (first generation ethanol and biodiesel; second generation lignocellulosic biofuels; bio-oils and biogas); and

– Electric vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids and eventually all-electric vehicles).

These alternatives all provide opportunities to develop new industries in Australia, (subject to the most stringent environmental precautions, certification and development of national standards) that are on par with best international standards. There are vast opportunities for Australian businesses in such an approach.

Natural gas can be sourced from Australian reserves (some of which should be reserved for domestic use) and thus meet concerns over economic and energy security. Although natural gas burns more cleanly than petroleum, it is still a fossil fuel and contributes greenhouse gas emissions. As the national emissions trading scheme starts to bite, we see natural gas becoming the fuel of choice in power stations, thus competing as an end use with natural gas used in transport.

Biofuels are a natural candidate for expansion in Australia, but only in such a way that they are seen to be sustainable and deliver real greenhouse gas emissions improvements. This means expanding biofuels activities in such a way that they do not compete with food production and minimize fossil fuel inputs into the production process. Biofuels production should of course meet stringent environmental standards and be certified as such.

Electric vehicles are a promising automotive alternative, with zero tailpipe emissions, but they would not deliver real greenhouse gas gains at the moment because generation of electricity in Australia remains tied to the burning of coal. To the extent that power production responds to fresh policy initiatives (such as the national ETS) and renewable sources of electric power become available, so the electric car option will become more attractive.

Thirdly, we need compulsory fuel consumption standards. The best way to reduce oil dependence is to reduce the consumption of oil-based fuels in transport, through improvements in consumption standards and/or their equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions standards. This will be the single biggest saving on fuel costs that the government can offer to working families in Australia, no less than to the corporate sector.

Fourth, an alternative fuel market mandate. The best way to promote fuel alternatives is to set mandates for increasing market shares of alternatives. Alternative fuel industries will be built in Australia only to the extent that market mandates that break the grip of the petroleum industry on our fuels market are promulgated. Voluntary targets will not work, and urgent action is needed now to avoid the looming catastrophe of a balance of payments crisis caused by the costs of oil imports. We propose an alternative fuels mandate of 5 per cent by 2010, 10 per cent by 2015 and 20 per cent by 2020.

Such fuel market mandates can be found throughout the world where governments are serious about switching the fuel mix away from dependence on oil – in the EU, in the US, in Japan, and of course in Brazil where the feasibility of a non-oil transport fuel mix was first demonstrated. They should now be found in Australia as well. There are huge opportunities for Australian companies in such an approach.

Fifth, we need tax incentives to stimulate demand for vehicles running on alternative fuels or propulsion systems (for example EVs). The entire tax system, which is at present focused on raising revenue, should be refocused to accomplish a swing in the vehicle fleet towards flex-fuel vehicles running on both petroleum-based and alternative fuels; and towards vehicles that depart radically from oil dependence, particularly electric vehicles and hybrids. Vehicles and fuels that perform better would attract tax benefits, and vehicles that perform at current standards or worse would be penalized. In such an approach, corporates that modernise their vehicle fleets with fuel-efficient and low-emissions engines would attract tax incentives.

Six, we need tax incentives to grow new alternative fuels and to build the infrastructure needed. On the supply side, government can play a significant role in providing tax incentives to firms that are making investments in green energy. In transport terms this means offering incentives to automotive firms to shift to fuel efficient vehicles utilising new fuel efficient technologies (such as clean diesel); incentives to fuel distributors to offer a range of fuel dispensing systems including diesel, biofuels such as E10 and B5, and CNG; incentives to new biofuel producers building biorefineries to produce a range of first and second generation biogas, biooils and biofuels; and incentives to farmers to invest in new crops for producing energy without sacrificing our food production and export of food crops. The seventh suggestion is to identify the subsidies paid to reinforce current oil dependence and then wind them back. There exists a raft of explicit (as well as hidden) subsidies provided to fossil fuel industries in Australia, and one of the easiest ways for government to level the playing field is to dismantle these subsidies, explaining at the same time why it is doing so. The subsidies and incentives include tax benefits for cars provided by employers (but perversely excluding non-polluting forms of transport such as bicycles and public transport); import duty inequities for SUVs; non-recovery of public agency costs (such as the heavy industry support provided for the oil exploration industry); explicit fossil fuel tax concessions; fossil fuel energy R&D (such as massive expenditure in Australia on so-called ‘clean coal’ while winding back support for renewable energy R&D); the diesel fuel rebate scheme; and subsidies for road use and car parking.

Eight, we should use the proposed Emissions Trading System as a means of building alternative fuels industries. The proposed national emissions trading system is going to have to cover as many greenhouse gas emitting industries as possible if it is to function effectively. The fossil fuels industry, (with its mining and refining activities both intense emitters of greenhouse gases), cannot be allowed to be an exception. Already there is skirmishing underway, with claims that the transport sector should not be covered unless some other sector is also covered. These claims must not be allowed to progress. The counterpart to a compulsory emissions permit system is a system for allocating carbon credits to activities not covered by the ETS that reduce carbon emissions, or preferably sequester carbon already present in the atmosphere – as is done by carbon negative biofuels. As a complement to the proposed national ETS, the government could create a national mechanism for recognizing and certifying carbon credits (probably under the AGO) that would act in concert with, but across a broader range of activities, than the UN Clean Development Mechanism. Such certifiable credits could then be traded on carbon markets in Australia – giving a further financial incentive to farmers and producers of biofuels and other alternative fuels businesses (such as conversion kits suppliers) that could make a case to the AGO that they are creating carbon credits.

Finally, we need to drastically improve public transport, alternative modes of sustainable mobility and energy efficiency generally. The entire transport system in Australia has been weighted towards private mobility at the expense of public transport and sustainable mobility options such as cycling. A shift towards alternative fuels as a way of enhancing economic security, energy security and environmental security should be accompanied and complemented by a revitalization of public transport systems (inter-city rail; urban fast metros; light rail systems; mixed mode transport) and a new seriousness in promoting sustainable mobility alternatives such as cycling (cycle lanes and pathways; cycle rental and exchange depots).

(*) – The Jamison Group was established by the NRMA following the company’s Alternative Fuel Summit in 2006 and comprises four eminent scholars in the fields of energy and transport – David Lamb, Mark Diesendorf, John Mathews and Graeme Pearman

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CORPORATE CITIZEN’ (Australia)

Posted in AEOLIC, AGRICULTURE, AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, BIOMASS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, ENVIRONMENT, ETHANOL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, HYDROGEN - FUEL CELLS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, NATURAL GAS, RECESSION, SOLAR, SOLAR CELLS INDUSTRIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET | Leave a Comment »

USDA: MORE ACRES TO CORN IN 2009 (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Published Wednesday – December 3, 2008

BLOOMBERG NEWS

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Farmers will increase corn planting by 4.8 percent to about 90 million acres next year as demand rises and lower costs make the grain more profitable, said Joe Glauber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top economist.

“We’re going to go into next year tighter than we did this year,” Glauber said Tuesday at an agricultural conference in Washington.

Inventories are expected to drop 31 percent to 1.124 billion bushels by Aug. 31 of next year, he said.

He did not offer 2009 planting forecasts for other crops.

Corn futures in Chicago have fallen 56 percent from a record earlier this year. Soybeans are down 48 percent and wheat 61 percent from all-time highs. Global recession and larger crops have fueled the drop, which will keep prices next year lower than this year, Glauber said.

Rabobank Group analyst Luke Chandler said he expects slumping grain prices to rebound next year because of smaller world crops and economic stability that will boost demand for food, animal feed and biofuels.

His outlook for grains:

– Corn may rise to average $4.50 a bushel in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with $3.80 this quarter.

– Soybeans may gain 13 percent to an average $10.20 a bushel in the fourth quarter next year from $9 this quarter.

– Wheat prices may rise 9.1 percent to an average of $6 a bushel in Chicago in the fourth quarter next year, compared with $5.50 in the current quarter.

“South American production and exports also appear under pressure with a combination of seasonal and financial influences expected to lower production expectations in coming months,” Chandler said in a report to clients. “Short-term price direction over the next six to 12 months will remain heavily influenced by the broader financial, currency and energy market situation.”

Smaller crops in Australia and Argentina should lead to a cyclical low early in the first quarter of 2009, he said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL FOOD, BIOFUELS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CORN, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ETHANOL, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

CREDIT CRUNCH SNARES CLEAN-TECH INVESTORS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 12, 2008

Last updated November 11, 2008 5:21 p.m. PT

The Economist

Earlier this year, with the oil price at record heights, T. Boone Pickens, a celebrated Texas oilman, seemed to confirm the unstoppable growth of the clean-technology industry when he announced plans not only to build the world’s biggest wind farm, but also to spend $58 million of his personal fortune promoting the cause of wind power.

On Oct. 30, with oil prices having fallen by more than half, he told a television reporter that the boom he had foreseen in wind would be “put off,” due to the unexpected fall in the price of fossil fuels and the sudden difficulty of borrowing money.

Pickens is not the only clean-tech investor caught out by the credit crunch. New Energy Finance, a research firm, calculates that the amount of project finance devoted to clean-energy projects around the world fell by almost 25 percent in the third quarter, to $18 billion.

The firm expects it to fall further before the end of the year. It also expects firms to raise less money on stock markets, due to the financial turmoil. NEX, an index that tracks clean-tech stocks globally, has tumbled even faster than the market as a whole.

Big American utilities are slashing their investments in alternative energy. Florida Power & Light has cut its planned investment in wind power next year by 400 megawatts. Duke Energy of North Carolina has lopped $50 million off its budget for solar power.

And on Oct. 31 VeraSun Energy, one of America’s biggest ethanol producers, caught out by gyrations in the prices of corn and gasoline, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In the European Union the price of carbon permits has fallen from a high of almost 30 euros in July to around 20 euros, making clean-tech investments less attractive.

But Michael Liebreich, the boss of New Energy Finance, expects total investments in clean energy to fall only slightly in 2008, thanks to a strong performance in the first part of the year.

Venture-capital and private-equity investments actually rose slightly in the third quarter. The price of oil aside, he says, the issues that stoked interest in clean tech, including global warming and energy security, are as prominent as ever.

A few customers for wind turbines, says Steve Bolze of GE Energy, are delaying their orders, but the firm has no doubts about the industry’s long-term prospects.

The world still needs energy, argues Steve Sawyer, the head of the Global Wind Energy Council, an industry group, and even if banks are slower to lend, utilities can often afford to pay for new generation out of their own revenues. Investing in dirtier sources of power carries risks of its own, he adds, as illustrated by the recent seesawing in the price of fossil fuels.

Moreover, a new rationale for promoting green investments is beginning to emerge. Many luminaries, from the head of the United Nations Environment Program to Barack Obama, America’s president-elect, tout the industry as a means both to address global warming and stimulate flagging Western economies.

Reports enumerating the economic benefits of state support for clean technology, in the form of industries fostered and jobs created, abound (although few of them examine the potential costs of such schemes, in the form of increased government debt and misallocated capital).

American lawmakers, at any rate, seem convinced: they slipped an extension of all-important subsidies for renewable energy into the recent bailout for financial services.

Clean-tech firms with strong business models can still raise money. EDF Energies Nouvelles, the renewable-energy firm controlled by Europe’s biggest utility, recently raised $734 million from a secondary share issue.

GridPoint, an American start-up that sells technology to improve the efficiency of electrical grids, raised $120 million in venture capital in September; Silver Spring Networks, another smart-grid firm, raised $75 million last month.

In general, firms selling technology that will earn a quick return, in fields such as energy efficiency, are proving most resilient. Capital-intensive businesses such as ethanol distilleries are struggling — especially Brazilian ones whose debts are in dollars while their revenues come in depreciating reais.

Makers of wind turbines and solar panels still have long waiting lists for their wares, so a slowdown is not as alarming as it sounds, Liebreich points out. Smaller manufacturers with weaker balance sheets will be snapped up by bigger, more efficient firms, he predicts, and shortages that have crimped the industry’s growth will ease.

The price of silicon, the chief component of photovoltaic cells, is already falling. Cheaper steel and copper should help reduce the cost of making wind turbines. A shortage of capital may become a new bottleneck, he says, but it will not kill off the industry any more than the previous ones did.

From The Economist magazine. Copyright 2008 Economist Newspaper Ltd.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER’ (USA)

Posted in BIODIESEL, BIOFUELS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, ETHANOL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, HYDROGEN - FUEL CELLS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL GAS, SOLAR CELLS INDUSTRIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

DEFINIDAS REGRAS DO ZONEAMENTO AGROECOLÓGICO DA CANA-DE-AÇÚCAR (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 4, 2008

Segunda-feira, Novembro 03, 2008

Canal Rural, em 03/11/2008

O ministro da Agricultura afirmou na sexta, dia 31, que não será permitido o plantio de cana-de-açúcar em novas áreas na Amazônia. O documento que determina as regras para o zoneamento agroecológico da cultura, deve ser lançado pelo presidente Lula no próximo dia 17, durante a abertura da Conferência Internacional de Biocombustíveis, em São Paulo. A proposta ainda está em análise na Casa Civil.

Os ministros do Meio Ambiente, do Desenvolvimento Agrário, da Agricultura e representantes do Ministério de Minas e Energia se reuniram nesta sexta no Palácio do Planalto, a portas fechadas, para analisar o documento que determina as regras para o aumento da produção de cana-de-açúcar no país. O que está em análise é um estudo que sugere restrições para garantir a segurança alimentar e a preservação do meio ambiente. De acordo com a proposta ficam proibidos o cultivo na Bacia do Alto Paraguai, a abertura de novas áreas para o plantio de cana na Amazônia e no Pantanal, a retirada de qualquer vegetação nativa para plantar cana e as freqüentes queimadas como forma de preparar a colheita nas áreas mecanizadas.

O ministro Reinhold Stephanes confirmou algumas medidas que estarão no texto final do zoneamento. As restrições ao plantio da cana devem ser limitadas à produção de açúcar e álcool. A expansão da área será permitida quando a produção for destinada a agroindústrias de ração animal, rapadura, açúcar mascavo e cachaça.

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