NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: WIND WHEELING AND DEALING WAS UP AND DOWN IN Q3

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: The Economic Opportunity In The Climate Fight
  • Weekend Video: The Future Of Energy
  • Weekend Video: Advances In BioEnergy
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-CLIMATE CHANGE – IT GETS WORSE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-WHERE AND HOW WIND IS GROWING IN THE WORLD
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-CHINA TO LEAD SOLAR MARKET GROWTH DESPITE OBSTACLES
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE ENORMOUS POTENTIAL OF WORLD GEOTHERMAL
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 28:

  • TTTA Thursday-PRESIDENT TO TAKE ACTION ON CLIMATE
  • TTTA Thursday-BIRDS AND ENERGY, THE BIGGER STORY
  • TTTA Thursday-NEW CA LAW STREAMLINES SOLAR PERMITTING
  • TTTA Thursday-DATA CENTER EFFICIENCIES CAN SAVE U.S. $3.8BIL/YR
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THE RISKIEST ENERGY IN THE WORLD
  • QUICK NEWS, August 27: VERIZON’S $40MIL SOLAR BUY; WIND PRICES HIT RECORD LOWS; NUKE INSPECTOR SAYS DIABLO CYN IS UNSAFE
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: U.S. WIND RIGHT NOW
  • QUICK NEWS, August 26: CLIMATE MODELS PROVE RIGHT AGAIN; ABOUT INVESTING IN SOLAR; GM VS TESLA IN THE 200 MILE RACE

    THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • THE STUDY: NEW CALMER WINDS AHEAD FOR EUROPE
  • QUICK NEWS, August 25: JULY’S U.S. ENERGY BUILD WAS ALL NEW ENERGY; CLIMATE CHANGE FOR ENERGY INVESTORS; WIND CAN GROW FASTER THAN NUCLEAR
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

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    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    TODAY’S STUDY: WIND WHEELING AND DEALING WAS UP AND DOWN IN Q3

    Wind Funding and Merger and Acquisition for the wind sector, Q3 2012 Report

    October 2012 (Mercom Capital Group)

    Introduction

    Venture Capital (VC) funding in the third quarter of 2012 amounted to $57 million in six deals compared to a weak second quarter where $17 million went into three deals. Disclosed VC deals this quarter included $21.5 million raised by Mainstream Renewable Power and $15.3 million raised by Trishe Developers—both wind project developers. Announced large-scale project funding in Q3 2012 totaled $1.1 billion in 11 deals, all going to onshore projects.

    Top large-scale project funding deals announced in the third quarter included $350 million raised by Nareva Renouvelables and Kharabel FZE for its 300 MW Tarfaya Wind Project in Morocco, $165 million raised by Alto Holding for its 120 MW Karaburun Wind Farm in Turkey, and $141 million raised by NuPower Renewables for its 150 MW onshore wind farm in India. Other top deals were $86 million raised by InfraVest and wpd for its 53 MW Tongyuan Wind Project in Taiwan and the $85 million loan to Newcom for its 50 MW Salkhit Wind Farm in Mongolia. Out of 18 large-scale project funding investors, only KfW IPEX-Bank was involved in multiple deals in Q3 2012. KfW IPEX-Bank was also involved in multiple deals in Q2 2012.

    Corporate Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity in Q3 2012 amounted to $53 million in 11 transactions compared to $93 million in five transactions in Q2 2012. Disclosed M&A transactions this quarter were the $33.2 million acquisition of Shear Wind, a company engaged in the exploration and development of wind energy properties in Canada by Sprott Power Corp, and the $20 million purchase of certain assets of Otter Tail Corporation’s DMI Industries, a manufacturer of wind towers, by Trinity Industries.

    There were 17 project M&As announced in Q3 2012 amounting to $407 million in three disclosed transactions. Disclosed M&A transactions were the $102 million acquisition of three wind farms totaling 102 MW (Scout Moor; Tir Mostyn and Bagmoor Wind farms) by Munich Re from private equity group HG Capital and Peel Energy, the $30 million acquisition of the 27 MW Montfort Wind Farm by Wisconsin Energy Corp and the $11 million acquisition of Polish Energy Partners’ wind farm by Energa.

    There were four debt funding deals announced in Q3 2012 totaling $359 million. Suzlon Energy raised $281 million in short-term loans to repay holders of its foreign convertible bonds, signing an 18 month loan facility with 11 lenders. Mainstream Renewable Power secured a credit facility of $51 million from Macquarie Group. Broad Wind Energy closed on a $20 million credit facility with AloStar Business Credit and Wind Power Energia received a $7 million loan from Inter-American Investment Corporation.

    The wind sector is in a very uncertain period with the top wind markets facing policy uncertainty. Installations in China are plagued by grid connectivity issues as newly-installed wind capacity is having a tough time getting connected to the grid while the upcoming expiration of production tax credits at the end of 2012 is a significant threat to the U.S. market, especially if the Republican party wins the upcoming elections. In Europe, Germany is also facing grid connectivity and stability issues causing delays. In India, the accelerated depreciation program, which was the primary driver of its wind sector, has expired. Funding and M&A activity will consequently see a slowdown in the coming quarters.

    VC Funding

    In Q3 2012, VC funding in the wind sector totaled $57 million in six deals compared to $17 million in three deals in Q2 2012, and $284 million in seven deals in Q3 2011.

    Large Scale Project Funding

    Announced large-scale project funding in Q3 2012 amounted to $1.1 billion in 11 deals compared to $5.4 billion from 23 deals in Q2 2012.

    Top 5 Large Scale Project Funding Deals

    Top large-scale project funding deals announced in the third quarter included $350 million raised by Nareva Renouvelables and Kharabel FZE for its 300 MW Tarfaya Wind Project in Morocco; $165 million raised by Alto Holding for its 120 MW Karaburun Wind Farm; and $141 million raised by NuPower Renewables for its 150 MW onshore wind farm. Other top deals were $86 million raised by InfraVest and wpd for the 53 MW Tongyuan Wind project and an $85 million loan raised by Newcom for its 50 MW Salkhit Wind Farm.

    Other Types of Funding

    Equity investment was the only other type of funding deal amounting to $24.5 million in Q3 2012, compared to $13 million in two deals in Q2 2012.

    Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

    M&A activity in Q3 2012 amounted to $53 million in 11 transactions compared to $93 million in five transactions in Q2 2012. Only two transactions disclosed details.

    M&A Activity Breakdown

    Of the 11 M&A transactions in Q3 2012, wind downstream companies accounted for four transactions, wind components companies accounted for three transactions followed by manufacturer and service providers with two deals each.

    Disclosed M&A Transactions

    There were 11 corporate M&A transactions in Q3 2012 of which only two disclosed details.

    Disclosed M&A transactions were the $33.2 million acquisition of Shear Wind, a Canadian wind developer, by Sprott Power Corp, and the $20 million purchase of certain assets of Otter Tail Corporation’s DMI Industries by Trinity Industries.

    Project M&A

    There were 17 project M&As announced in Q3 2012 amounting to $407 million in three disclosed transactions.

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