Energy management services company Energy Action Limited – whose Australian Energy Exchange platform allows suppliers to bid against each other to provide an organisation’s energy – has reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $3.6 million for the 2012 financial year, a 23 increase on FY11. Energy Action, which listed on on the ASX this year, reported revenue of $17.4 million, up 24 per cent, and basic earnings per share of 15.13 cents (up 8 per cent on FY11) and paid dividends totalling $0.072 to shareholders for FY12.
In a statement to the ASX, the company attributed its solid results to a continuing trend among Australian businesses to outsource their energy procurement and management functions – a trend that has been driven by rising electricity prices and a climate of uncertainty surrounding “the complexities of the energy market,” as well as the carbon price legislation.
Energy Action says over 2,400 auction scenarios were run on the company’s Exchange over FY12, and it has more than 8,000 sites under active or future energy contracts, having procured over $720 million in energy contracts in FY12 bringing the total amount since 2006 to $3.5 billion. The year also saw Energy Action launch Activ8+, which provides a range of energy efficiency and sustainability services.
US EPA coal pollution rule overturned
Just when Barack Obama thought he had circumvented Congress’ climate action-confounding Republican majority, his administration’s effort to curb harmful coal plant emissions through an Environmental Protection Agency rule has been defeated, overturned on Tuesday by the US Court of Appeals. In a 2-1 decision, the DC Circuit Court said the EPA rule – which was to limit sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants in 28 mostly eastern states and Texas – “exceeds the agency’s statutory authority” by requiring some states to clean up more than their fair share of pollution.
The court sent the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule back for revision, telling the agency to administer its existing Clean Air Interstate Rule – the equally troubled Bush-era regulation that it was updating – in the interim. Reuters reports that the decision was cheered by some Republicans, who have accused the agency, and Obama, of endangering America’s fragile economic recovery by saddling industries with costly new rules. The EPA says it is reviewing the ruling.
In other news…
The UN’s World Meteorological Organisation has called for the urgent adoption of global drought-management policies, as farmers from Africa to India struggle with lack of rainfall and the US endures its worst drought in decades. The call follows a warning from HSBC that the American drought will push up food prices and inflation and put a fresh obstacle in the path of the struggling global economy.
China has fired the latest shot in the renewables trade war with the US, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce reportedly demanding the withdrawal of six US renewable energy support schemes, arguing they violate WTO rules.
The Czech Republic looks to be the next EU country to cut its solar subsidies, with local media reporting that the purchase price of electricity from rooftop solar panels may fall from 6.16 koruna ($US0.31) per kWh to about 3.5 koruna per kWh in the second half of 2013. Power from larger rooftop installations between 5 and 30kW will fetch even lower prices, according to the report.
British pilot Jeremy Rowsell has revealed plans to make a record-breaking flight from Sydney to London in a single engine aircraft powered entirely by fuel made from plastic waste. Set to take flight later this year, the Cessna 182 will fly the 10,000 mile route powered entirely by fuel developed by Irish company Cynar, which melts down waste plastics through pyrolysis to create a petroleum distillate equivalent that can be separated into different fuels.