Mixed Greens: China carbon market trades below Europe on debut

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In its first day of trading, China’s Shenzhen Emissions Exchange sold carbon permits for 22 per cent less than the current price in Europe. The first of seven test markets to kick off around China in the coming two years, Shenzhen sold carbon permits prices ranging from 28 to 30 yuan ($US4.90) a metric ton, according to the exchange’s CEO and president, Chen Hai’ou. That compares with €4.70 a ton ($US6.30) for European Union permits on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange, the world’s biggest carbon market by traded volume.

Bloomberg reports that the Shenzhen exchange traded 21,112 tons of carbon in eight transactions valued at 613,236 yuan. China’s new cap-and-trade program, which will initially include 635 companies, had planned to start all seven pilot exchanges this year – with Shenzhen to be followed by Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Chongqing and Hubei – but some may now start in 2014, it was revealed at the opening ceremony in Shenzhen. The new markets are set to regulate 800 million to 1 billion tons of emissions by 2015 in the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program after Europe’s, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In other news…

The federal government has announced that its Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program is to be broadened, to increase the potential for business to save on energy costs. Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray said the newly extended program would incorporate new projects across a range of sectors including mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, and generation and some infrastructure projects. The highly effective EEO program was launched in 2006 and extended in 2011 as part of the Clean Energy Future package.

A new Australian website has been launched to rank the nation’s politicians on their commitment to renewable energy – including solar power, community energy and the renewable energy target. The first-ever national online renewables scorecard was launched today by 100% Renewable Energy, in conjunction with its campaign to deliver “solar briefers” to every federal politician across the country. The briefers contain detailed information on the number of solar homes in each electorate, the amount of money constituents have invested in solar, and savings on CO2 and energy bills. The online Solar Scorecard, meanwhile, will be shared with voters in the lead-up to the election.

US EV maker Tesla has revealed that it is developing a service to rapidly swap a car’s battery with a charged pack for added convenience. Bloomberg reports that the company is set to hold a press conference on Thursday at its California design studio to demonstrate “a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged faster than you could fill a gas tank.” Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed in a Twitter post that the event would feature a “live pack swap” demonstration. The news follows hot on the heels of the failure of Better Place, the Israeli-based pioneer of battery-swap electric vehicle technology, which filed for liquidation at the end of May, after failing to attract ongoing investment.  

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