Carbon Tracker: Europe’s coal power generators facing massive losses this year

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Coal power generators in Europe face 6.6 billion euros ($7.3 billion) of losses this year as plunging renewable energy costs and cheap natural gas cut use of the dirtiest plants to a record low.Almost 80% of lignite and hard coal-fired generators will be unprofitable this year, a hit the industry is unlikely to survive without government help, according to a report from Carbon Tracker. The research group pushing for lower greenhouse gas emissions calls for a continent-wide phaseout of the most polluting fossil fuel by 2030.Utilities in Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic are the most exposed to falling profits in a year where falling coal prices and rising carbon emission permits make it less attractive to burn the fuel for power. Coal’s days are already numbered in Germany, which plans to shut its plants by 2038, and Spain has set a 2030 deadline.While European year-ahead coal prices have dropped to about $66 a ton from more than $100 a year ago, EU carbon permits have surged fivefold since 2017. That has driven up the cost of burning coal. At the same time, benchmark gas contracts in the Netherlands are trading 27% below their 10-year seasonal average, encouraging utilities to use that fuel instead.The report by Carbon Tracker, an environmental group that advises institutional investors, points to how energy economics is prompting nations to wean themselves off coal to curb emissions and slow climate change. For most of this decade it was more profitable to burn coal in Germany, but that relationship was turned on its head this year because of a glut of gas.“EU coal generators are hemorrhaging cash because they cannot compete with cheap renewables and gas and this will only get worse,” said Matt Gray, Carbon Tracker’s head of power and utilities. “Getting off coal is cheap and can be a win-win for consumers and shareholders, providing governments and investors work with local communities.”More: Coal power plants face $7.3 billion losses in Europe this year Carbon Tracker: Europe’s coal power generators facing massive losses this yearlast_img read more

So much work, so little time: KPU under pressure over regional polls

first_imgSuch pressure on the commission comes after the House and the government decided in late May that this year’s regional elections should be held on Dec. 9 to elect 270 regional leaders, comprising nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors, even though the epidemic showed no sign of easing. The elections were pushed back by around three months from their initial schedule of Sept. 23, as mandated by a regulation in lieu of law issued by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo earlier in May.Read also: Health measures will increase cost of regional electionsThe commission has since been preparing a new KPU regulation (PKPU) stipulating a list of health protocols, along with PPE, that will be mandatory for election officers, candidates and voters during all stages of the elections, from the preparations starting this month to the final vote count a week after voting day. The procurement of the PPE for KPU officers, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, face shields and gloves, can be started once the regulation is in force.But the commission has yet to issue the regulation because the prevailing regional election law obliges the KPU to consult the House on every draft regulation before passing it. Even the consultation hearing was unilaterally moved by the House to Wednesday from the initial June 17, which Pramono described as only shortening the KPU’s time to prepare the health equipment. The House reportedly said the delay was a result of their tight schedule during the new sitting session which began on June 15.Pramono said even if the House approved the regulation on Wednesday, the KPU would still have to wait for the Law and Human Rights Ministry to promulgate it.Read also: Health measures will increase cost of regional electionsThe KPU would use the regulation as a legal basis to ask the Finance Ministry to disburse the state funds allocated for procuring health equipment. In a recent hearing with the House, the ministry agreed to add Rp 4.7 trillion (US$335.71 million) to the current election budget of around Rp 10 trillion, with Rp 1.02 trillion having been ready to be disbursed this month.To anticipate possible delays in PPE procurement due to PKPU uncertainty, the commission issued a circular on Friday instructing every regional KPU officer to perform the June 24 candidate verification by wearing any available PPE they had at home, even if it was only a face mask or gloves.“The circular is our temporary strategy to anticipate possible delays in procurement and prevent this issue from becoming more complicated in the future,” Pramono said.Critics have urged policymakers to push back the elections to 2021 over fears the outbreak could continue late into the year – and even beyond it – and put voters and election organizers at risk of contracting the disease. They also warned against low voter turnout.Read also: Year-end regional polls risk low turnout due to virus fearsHadar Nafis Gumay, cofounder of election watchdog Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (Netgrit) and a former KPU commissioner, questioned why the government insisted on holding the December elections despite the slapdash preparation.Fadli Ramadhanil of the Association for Election and Democracy (Perludem) said it would be “impossible for the KPU to apply strict health protocols in such a short time”, recommending the KPU postpone the elections until next year.But Home Minister Tito Karnavian was adamant about the plan, saying that postponing the elections would only undermine democracy.“If we have to postpone the elections, let’s say, until 2022, that means I have to assign 270 state officials as interim regional leaders for around two years,” he said in a recent statement. “That will be a bad move since the public will be led by those who are not [their elected leaders].”Topics : The General Elections Commission (KPU) is under pressure to procure all necessary health equipment and apply strict health protocols for the 2020 simultaneous regional elections, which the government has insisted on holding despite the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.KPU Commissioner Pramono Ubaid Thantowy said the health equipment procurement was supposed to start on Monday, right after the commission sought approval from the House. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE), which should be ready to be used by KPU officers when verifying independent candidates face-to-face on Wednesday, or within only two days if they secure House approval.”The short amount of time available to prepare health equipment for the elections is concerning,” Pramono told The Jakarta Post on Friday. “But we are confident that all equipment can be ready before June 24 [Wednesday].”last_img read more