Monday, February 01, 2010

US Climate Bill Setback and Clean Development Rethink on Renewable Energy Developments

All those interested in Anaerobic digestion and how demand for the technology might increase over the next few years have no doubt been watching the news on the post Copenhagen Summit devlopments, keenly.

Clearly, the way the US acts now will be important for the prospects of continuation after 2012 of Carbon Credit schemes under the "Clean Development Mechanism", such as the EU ETS. The growth of Anaerobic Digestion based technology utilisation is assured in many developed nations, but I would also would expect to see a surge of advanced technology based AD Plant development in the industrializing nations once the post 2012 Climate Emission Reductions (CERs) become tradable.

The following is a 22 January Reuters post, which provides an update on the US scene:

LONDON (Reuters) - Still reeling from disappointing UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December, clean energy project developers were dealt another blow this week when U.S. Democrats lost their Senate supermajority, potentially killing a federal cap-and-trade scheme for years to come.

Although the passage of a U.S. bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 was far from certain, the election of a Republican in Massachusetts to the Senate on Tuesday derailed any momentum President Obama had following his healthcare push toward introducing a cap-and-trade scheme this year.

This, coupled with a disappointing UN climate summit in the Danish capital last month where leaders from over 190 countries failed to agree a legally-binding pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, is causing concern for some clean energy project developers and forcing them to reassess their game plan.

"I'm not as bullish as I was a year ago," said Sascha Lafeld, an executive board member at First Climate AG. "The U.S. pre-compliance market is cautiously developing, so our strategy is also one of caution ... We're on hold, we'll keep our two U.S. offices open but we're not expanding this year."

Frankfurt-based First Climate has a global project portfolio of some 250 projects, including around 20 projects in the U.S., that generate carbon offsets by cutting carbon dioxide.

Observers say the spotlight in the U.S. now shifts back to state and regional schemes launched by a handful of states during George W. Bush's presidency, when the prospect of a federal U.S. carbon market was a distant mirage.

"It's not ideal but we welcome this as a fallback solution," said Alexander Sarac of JP Morgan-owned EcoSecurities, one of the world's biggest aggregators of carbon offsets.

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