Tag Archives: BP

EU Geothermal Poised for Growth, Report Says

Installed capacity of geothermal generation in Europe is expected to reach close to 4,000 megawatts in 2016 from 1,558 megawatts in 2009, finds a report released by Frost & Sullivan, a London-based market research firm.

European nations are taking a look at the sector as a way to cut CO2 emissions and help them meet renewable energy mandates.

The growing demand for geothermal power is expected to create economies of scale, which will help lower drilling costs, the report states. Drilling rates have been largely been pegged to oil and gas prices (the sector accounts for a major chunk of their business) and, as such, have been riding the commodity boom of the past few years and have peaked at record highs.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Analyst Gouri Kumar explains:

Established countries will continue to invest in geothermal power and new countries such as Germany and France will explore opportunities. This will lower initial capital costs and attract drilling and other companies to invest in the sector.

Europe’s largest geothermal markets are Italy, which, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy, produces 810.5 megawatts from geothermal power; Iceland (572 megawatts); Turkey (83 megawatts) and way down in fourth place, Germany (6.6 megawatts).

BP to Chamber: Were Staying

In a speech at the Oil & Money Conference in London, BP CEO Tony Hayward urged for a strong private/government partnership to implement a comprehensive cap-and-trade system.  That’s a polar opposite stance to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s own anti cap-and-trade position.

On cap-and-trade Hayward said:

At BP we favour a Cap and Trade system because it gives environmental certainty based on an absolute emissions cap.

Such a system needs to treat all carbon as equal and push for the best possible outcome in terms of both the carbon and economic impact across all industrial sectors http://howfacecare.com/what-if-acne-never-exists-how-to-prevent-acne-and-do-not-worry-in-future/.

So, given that Exelon, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Apple, which all support cap-and-trade and  have all walked away from the Chamber because of its opposition to cap-and-trade, is “beyond petroleum” BP ready to rescind its own membership? Continue reading BP to Chamber: Were Staying

The Alternative Agenda: BP plugs the well, China to announce $739B energy plan, Acciona invests

Could this be the last BP Gulf Spill Update?

It seems unlikely, but you never know. In any case, BP officials said the cement plug installed last week in the Macondo well is holding and the relief wells should intercept the well by Friday at the earliest.

The cost of the operation is now $6.1 million, not including the $30 billion in claims that must be paid out.?BP shares are up on the FTSE but its not clear how much they further they will recover in the near term. Continue reading The Alternative Agenda: BP plugs the well, China to announce $739B energy plan, Acciona invests

The Week In Green Energy: The Local Option

WCI partners and observers

A week after the Democratic Senate leadership killed comprehensive energy reform, the onus is on the states to fix the country’s emission and energy problems.

We saw the beginnings of this with the release, this week, by the Western Climate Change Initiative (WCI) of a proposal that over the next 10 years would seek to cap CO2 and green house gases by 15 percent by 2020. The emission cuts would save participants an estimated $100 billion in fuel costs. The WCI, an organization that brings together seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces, carries some punch. It’s the “real thing” writes The New Republic’s Bradford Plumer because unlike other regional efforts to cap CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, the initiative covers large industrial facilities and the transportation sector that are the biggest source of emissions,” in areas that aren’t dependent on coal.

The proposal still faces some major hurdles. First, not all WCI partners have bought into the plan. So far only California, New Mexico, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia have agreed to participate in the trading scheme. Out are: Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Manitoba. In the California governor’s race, climate change has become an issue, with Republican candidate Meg Whitman vowing to delay the implementation of the state’s comprehensive climate change law. Democratic candidate Jerry Brown is against any delay and says the law, formerly known as AB 32 is “key to job creation.” A Whitman victory could be bad news for the WCI proposal.

One company set to benefit from California’s energy and climate change legislation is Solyndra, the Fremont, Calif., maker of cylindrical solar photovoltaic systems. The company, one of the most promising solar startups, experienced a few setbacks this spring after its mandatory pre-IPO S1 filling highlighted the company’s high manufacturing costs that were eating its profit margins. Faced with growing investor concern, the company shelved its $300 million IPO to tackle the production cost issue. The company, which was a no-show a few weeks ago at Intersolar, a major industry event, re-emerged this week in a big way. It started off the week by announcing the hiring of a new CEO, former Intel executive Brian Harrison. He replaces founding CEO Chris Gronet (who stays on as chairman). The hiring underscores how serious the company is about cutting costs. Harrison was hired, in part, because of the manufacturing experience he acquired while overseeing Intel’s global wafer production. Over the next two years Harrison will seek to cut Solyndra’s production costs by 33 percent — from about $3.00/watt to about $2.00/watt by 2013.

Then, on Friday, Solyndra announced that it’s Photon Solar subsidiary had inked a 20-year power purchase agreement to supply Southern California Edison with 16 megawatts of electricity generated from rooftop-mounted panels. The deal insures Solyndra’s long-term revenues and is an obvious way — one used by some of its competitors — to monetize its panels.

On the BP front, the inevitable finally happened: Tony Hayward was exiled to Russia (really!) and replaced as CEO by American and Gulf state-native Robert Dudley. Hayward was sitting atop a steaming pile of media gaffes and insensitive comments, (remember: “I want my life back…”) and his days as head of BP were numbered. The board apparently decided that now the spill was under control and it was a good time to bring in a new CEO. Dudley’s media skills are a definite improvement compared to his predecessor. However, like Hayward, he’s a veteran oil man and so he’s not likely to drastically change the company’s oil-focused strategy implemented by Hayward when he took over from Lord Browne back in 2007. In the U.S., Dudley will work overtime to ensure that BP keeps and grows its U.S. exploration and production business.

VC and PE Watch

Riverstone Holdings-backed Intrinergy, a Richmond, Va. biomass renewable energy company, is negotiating a long-term wood pellet supply agreement with a European power company and could sign a contract in the next few week, an industry source told G.E.R.

Ottawa-based Plasco Energy Group, a developer of syngas technology, raised $110 million in a new round of equity funding led by Los Angeles-based Ares Management.

Energy storage company Xtreme Power closed a $29.5 million financing round led by new investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Dow Chemical Company’s Venture Capital group and existing investor SAIL Venture Partners.

Chicago-based AllCell Technologies, a developer of technology that can double the life-span of lithium-ion batteries, is in the process of raising $5 million and expects to close financing by year-end, G.E.R. learned.

Rambling

Bjork Tries to Save Iceland from Canadian Takeover“. That headline (h/t Treehuger) was a winner. Canada — unlike its neighbor to the south– is rarely derided for its imperial aspirations. But, apparently, Bjork disagrees.

Back in her native Iceland, Bjork has been heading a popular uprising to prevent Canadian developer Magma Energy from controlling HS Orka, one of the country’s largest geothermal power company. Unlike the U.S. or Canada, where geothermal generation is small, Iceland depends on geothermal power for all of its power needs. The Bjork-led rebellion claims that if Magma has its way, a foreign company will control some of the country’s largest geothermal reserves. The island-nation’s center-left government has launched an investigation on the HS Orka acquisition. Magma is still going, full steam ahead, and officials say they will not let Bjork derail the acquisition. On Tuesday, Magma closed a C$45 million ($43.6 million) share issuance to fund its purchase of outstanding shares of HS Orka from Geysir Energy.

Map: Western Climate Initiative

Tony Hayward Replaced By Gulf-State Native Robert Dudley As BP CEO

Outgoing BP CEO Tony Hayward

American Robert Dudley takes over as BP CEO on October 1.

When he became Chief Executive Officer of BP in 2007, Tony Hayward vowed to focus “laser-like” on safety and reliability. He took the top position form Lord John Browne, a brilliant marketer with a poor safety record. Under Browne the company was rocked by the Texas City refinery explosion, which killed 15 workers, and a spill at a corroded crude pipeline on Alaska&’ North Slope. But Hayward’s determination to “turn things around” at the British company, (and he came close to it), came undone one spring night following the deadly Macondo well explosion, deep inside the Gulf of Mexico. That’s why today BP, confirming what had been expected for months, announced a change in leadership. Hayward’s last day as BP CEO will be on October 1. Taking over as CEO will be American, and Mississippi-native Robert Dudley.

As much as the accident and the string of sloppy decisions that led to the explosion and the environmental disaster, were Hayward?s sub-standard PR skills. Despite being advised by leading PR agencies, Hayward managed to stumble and stumble again: He sloppily tried to blame the disaster on rig-operator Transocean; He told Gulf residents, who were grappling with the long-term consequences of the spill, that he too wanted “his life back….” And when he was? “evacuated” out of the Gulf,? he rushed to his yacht to sail at one of the toniest events on the British social calendar.

Robert Dudley was born in New York, but grew up in Mississippi. That’s important considering that the future of BP lies in its ability to keep and grow its vital U.S. business. He took over Gulf operations for BP, shortly after Hayward was rushed back to the UK.

So far Dudley has steered clear from the gaffes that undid Hayward. On his appointment he said he didn’t underestimate the steep challenges facing BP but highlighted that “the company is financially robust with an enviable portfolio of assets and professional teams that are among the best in the industry.”

This is what we wrote about Dudley in our June Top 10 Players In Green Energy:

Bob Dudley deserves credit for not making any serious mistakes since taking over the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher in late June  He performed competently while fielding questions about the spill submitted via YouTube. Moreover, he made a savvy public relations move by doing it on PBS? Newshour, America?s least emotional news outlet. He also has great timing. If BP’s new containment cap is successful, Dudley will get the credit. And when the relief well is finally ready, Dudley will get the credit for that, too. It could all still go terribly, terribly wrong: the relief wells could fail, the containment operation could fail, the Attorney General’s office could announce criminal charges against BP executives, etc. But with a bit of luck, Dudley could go down as “The Man Who Plugged the Hole.” It probably won’t get land him in the chief executive’s office once Hayward is booted, but it?s a pretty good title anyway.

Dudley joined BP via the 1999 merger with Chicago-based oil and gas major Amoco. He made headlines of his own, a couple of years ago, as head of BP’s Russian venture TNK-BP, when he was unceremoniously booted out of the company by a group of Russian shareholder oligarchs unhappy with venture’s shareholder agreement.

As for Hayward he stays on as CEO until October 1. It was rumored that he might and is expected to relocate to Russia to oversee TNK-BP. Reportedly, he is walking away from BP with a? ?930,000 ($1.43 million) yearly pension.

Photos: BP; BP-America Flickr

The Alternative Agenda: Tony Haywards Out and What to Expect This Week in Green Energy [UPDATE]

BP's Tony Hayward: What color is his parachute?

Goodbye Tony Hayward, though I never knew you at all, you had the grace…

Now that BP’s Gulf well is no longer gushing, the company’s board is getting around to the inevitable sacking of Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward. His exit package is reportedly 11.8 million pounds ($18 million), according to The Times of London.

BP’s next CEO: American executive Bob Dudley. The crowning of Dudley is coming a bit early, though, given that the well has not been cemented shut. Reuters notes, “The Macondo well…. has not been shut off for good and if problems arise in achieving this, Dudley’s reputation could be tarnished.” Uh, yeah.

Continue reading The Alternative Agenda: Tony Haywards Out and What to Expect This Week in Green Energy [UPDATE]

The Alternative Agenda: BPs Latest Cap and What To Expect This Week in Green Energy [UPDATE]

How long will BP's newest cap keep the oil in?

A weekend without oil, but how long will it last?

BP’s new tighter-fitting containment cap stopped the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher over the weekend and the well appears to be intact. But, what’s this? There appears to be some seepage and Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen wants a plan for reopening the cap and collecting the oil again.

If the well is stable, we’ll move on to the most important question: who gets credit for ending this mess? An early candidate is Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Continue reading The Alternative Agenda: BPs Latest Cap and What To Expect This Week in Green Energy [UPDATE]

BP Buys Vereniums Cellulosic Biofuels Biz for $98M

BP Biofuels North America announced today the purchase of Verenium Corp’s cellulosic biofuels business, which includes two facilities in California and Louisiana, for $98.3 million. Verenium is holding onto its commercial enzyme business and certain R&D capabilities and the right to access technologies developed by BP using technology acquired in the deal.

BP is getting Verenium’s Jennings, La,. facilities, which include a pilot plant and a demonstrations-scale facility, along with San Diego R&D facilities in the deal. BP also gets Verenium’s cellulosic biofuels and enzyme technologies and related intellectual property. The news comes on the heels of Exxon’s announcement that it had opened a greenhouse with its biofuels partner Synthetic Genomics to further research into algae-based biofuels. Read More »

June Top Ten Players In Green Energy

1: President Barack Obama

Last month’s first Oval Office address by President Obama on the Gulf spill was paned for its lack of specifics. We at G.E.R. believed that the speech was pure-Obama as he he provided the outline for a comprehensive climate change and energy legislation. But much like he did during the healthcare debate, he once again left it up to Congress to come with the details. The strategy, while disappointing for the president’s base, has been productive: It got healthcare passed and the administration is close to getting a financial overhaul bill. Will the strategy work for the Kerry – Lieberman climate change bill? It’s been nearly two months since the legislation was officially introduced to the Senate and so far the odds aren’t in favor of its passage, largely blocked by strong opposition to its cap-and-trade provision. But we can’t say that Obama hasn’t given it a try.

2: Tesla IPO

Given the poor track record of cleantech Initial Public Offerings this year, the prognosis for Tesla’s IPO wasn’t good. The California electric car maker lacked revenues and had a cash burn-rate that would scare away the most tested venture capitalists. But on Tuesday night Tesla, two weeks after its IPO, was trading slightly above its $17 introductory price. Investors appear to be betting that over the long, (long) term the California car company, its powerful strategic investors and tested marketing, will come out a winner. Continue reading June Top Ten Players In Green Energy

The Alternative Agenda: BP, Exxon, Italian Solar and Solar By The Bay

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 10:  Waves crash against rocks at Fort Point near the Golden Gate Bridge October 10, 2008 in San Francisco, California. The Golden Gate Bridge District board of directors voted today to continue with a plan to build a suicide prevention net on the world famous bridge with a price tag of $40 to $50 million dollars. An estimated 1,300 people are believed to have jumped to their death from the bridge since it was opened in 1937.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

BP Oil Spill: Progress In The Gulf

All eyes will be on the Gulf this week, closely following BP’s latest attempt to squash the massive spill. The British oil company announced over the weekend that it would be installing a tighter cap over its busted well, which if successful, could finally capture all of the oil spewing out of the well. The crude would then be funneled to containment ships at the surface. “The hope is that we can slowly turn off the valves, close the capping completely and then test pressure to see how the well is performing,” said National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen on CBS’s “The Early Show,” reports the AP.
Continue reading The Alternative Agenda: BP, Exxon, Italian Solar and Solar By The Bay