Environment

MetalCrawler brings the latest metal news to you before the ink dries on government decrees from as far away as China and India.

Jindal Loses Coal Block Bids

Shares in Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. tumbled on Monday over concerns that the company’s ability to feed its power plants after it lost bids for three coal mines auctioned by the government.

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Stock of the company, controlled by former Indian lawmaker Naveen Jindal, fell as much as 14.9% before ending down 6.2%, while the benchmark BSE Sensex fell 0.24%. The company said it will take India’s government to court over the decision to reject the bids.

Without Domestic Demand China’s Steel Industry Wants to… Expand?

China’s steel mills are still looking to the export market as domestic demand remains tepid. Beijing’s answer for the beleaguered industry? Foreign acquisitions.

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A surprise announcement by the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week could be good news for energy intensive industries worldwide.

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Firms have been investing billions in energy efficiency and emissions reduction technology yet the targets seem to be ever ratcheted lower in spite of gains made, but a report to be published on June 15 will show that for the first time in 40 years emissions of carbon dioxide did not rise last year.

According to a Financial Times article after growing at an average of 2.4% over the last decade in 2014 the global economy grew 3%, while the amount of CO2 pumped out remained at the 2013 level of 32.3 billion tons. There have only been three times in four decades when emissions fell or stopped rising, the FT quotes the EIA as saying. After the oil price shock and US recession in the early 1980s; in 1992 after the collapse of the former Soviet Union; and in 2009 during the global financial crisis.

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MetalCrawler scours the web for the latest metal news.

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This Monday morning we have the latest on Canadian oil sands, a construction dispute over insurance and copper’s price recovering in London.

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MetalCrawler crawls the web for the latest metal news so you don’t have to. We even get that hard to reach metal news from China.
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We’ve also got more on the Gold Apple Watch and Chile’s copper mining industry.

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Western steelmakers have long complained that their Chinese competitors operate under a different set of rules.

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Mills run by Nucor and Steel Dynamics legitimately claim to be some of the most environmentally responsible steelmakers in the world, operating as they do under a raft of US legislation that controls a wide range of water, air, noise, dust and waste control standards that few mills in the developing world are forced to meet.

These operating standards benefit the environment particularly of those working in or living near to the steel mills, but indirectly the wider global community, too. It is not that emerging markets such as China do not have environmental laws it is more that they are rarely, if ever, enforced.

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India wants more solar power. On Feb 25, in pursuance of its stated goals, the Indian government sanctioned groundbreaking on 15,000 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected solar projects, to be completed in three stages.

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While this is welcome news for proponents of clean energy, coming especially on the back of a research report that showed that India’s rate of solar installation in 2014 was 883 MW, down 12% compared to 1,004 MW installed in 2013.

A lot of churn has happened on the renewable energy front in India in the last nine months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s commitment to the sector. India relies overwhelmingly on coal for its energy needs, but the falling cost of solar power has refocused interest in its use for both grid-connected solar parks and home applicati

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It is one of the neglected metals sectors in India. The metals recycling business suffers from government apathy and to some extent, even a lack of awareness on part of the various participants within the metals ecosystem. How else can one explain that India’s recycling rate is just about 25%, putting it at the bottom of the global list of recycling nations. In the US metals are recycled at a rate of 90%.

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Slowly, though, realization is creeping in that recycling metal scrap is a must in the modern world since the nation’s carbon footprint reduction has become imperative.

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Although coal and oil will decline relative to other energy sources the three carbon fuels will still dominate the supply market down from 86% now to 81% by 2035 – not exactly a low carbon future.

Power generation is expected to account for an ever-increasing share of primary energy consumption BP says as the world continues on a long-term trend of electrification: even if the share rises from 42% today to only 47% by 2035. While coal is set to fall as a percentage of the whole and renewables are projected to rise by 2035, BP does not expect to see wind or solar farms on every open space. They will contribute only 8% by 2035 up from 3% today.

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Although predictions by other bodies such as the US Energy Information Administration vary, they all show an increase in total carbon emissions from energy consumption of a similar nature. BP’s and the EIA are two of the closest showing an increase of around 25% between 2013 and 2035 (1% p.a.), with the rate of growth declining from 2.5% over the past decade to 0.7% in the final decade of the Outlook.

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With base metal prices down and oil, while recovering a bit, still far below its 2014 highs, more trucks and SUVs are being purchased and the cost savings of even the most proven renewable technologies, such as roof-mounted solar panels, isn’t the savings it was just a few months ago.

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Yet, much of our coverage was devoted to renewables this week. BP released its Energy Outlook 2035 and the predictions were, well, not good.

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Whether you are a fully signed up member of the Armageddon-is-just-around-the-corner-due-to –global-warming camp or a complete naysayer is, with all due respect to most of us in either camp, irrelevant.

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The point is those that form policies and pass laws on the whole a) accept climate change due to human activity is a real and present danger to the future of life on earth and b) have on the whole been totally incapable of taking any action that will have the impact they (mostly) agree is needed. The reason is not hard to see, the consequences are long term, the costs are short term, and politicians work very much in the here and now.

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