ENERGY AND EMISSIONS
1.1. Portugal to Invest 354 Million Euros to Meet Kyoto
23 November 2006 , Reuters
Portugal plans to invest 354 million euros (US$456 million) in a fund it will use to buy carbon credits to ensure it meets Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emissions targets, environment secretary Humberto Rosa said on Wednesday.
Portugal will use the credits to meet an anticipated overshoot of 3.73 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year during 2008-2012.
That figure was based on Portugal ‘s CO2 emissions plan for the period, the second phase of the European Union’s carbon trading scheme, that was sent to Brussels a few weeks ago.
Under Portugal ‘s plan and its Kyoto Protocol target, the country should not emit more than 77.19 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year in 2008-2012, which is also the key period for the Kyoto pact aimed at averting damaging climate change.
The government committed to taking additional measures to cut pollution, in addition to buying carbon credits, to ensure it reduces its emissions to the Kyoto target from its current level of 84.6 million tonnes a year.
"The carbon fund will have a total 354 million euros until 2012, it will be financed by the budget but all of it through carbon taxes," Rosa told journalists.
" Portugal will fulfil Kyoto … and Portugal ‘s carbon fund, in investment amounts, will be the fourth or fifth largest in the world," he said.
Portugal ‘s carbon fund will be able to invest in mechanisms for so called clean development, or projects that help reduce pollution in other countries, thus generating less pollution and giving carbon credits to Portugal , Rosa said.
It will also be able to invest in developing so-called carbon sinks — natural reserves such as forests that store or capture carbon and thus help to cut pollutants in the air.
1.2. Danish Vestas Shares Soar as Wind Power Market Booms
23 November 2006 , Reuters
Booming global demand for renewable energy boosted shares in Vestas Wind Systems AS, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, to a 4-1/2 year high on Wednesday as the company said it was struggling to meet demand.
Shares in the Danish company rose 23 percent after the company issued strong guidance for the next two years, even as third-quarter earnings and sales missed expectations.
Vestas said increasing global interest in wind energy had led to an overheating of the market, with delivery times lengthening to 12 to 15 months for important components.
The Jutland-based firm also said it would establish wind turbine blade production in the United States and Spain , due to heavy demand and improved earnings per turbine. It said it would increase its workforce by more than 16 percent next year, hiring 2,000 people to raise its total to about 14,000.
"Wind power has now really penetrated the American market, which has shown good progress for quite a long time," the company said in a statement.
It said it shipped wind power systems with an aggregate output of 1,060 MW in the third quarter, while turbine projects with a total output of 1,559 MW were under completion for delivery in the last three months of the year.
Vestas shares were up 23 percent at 215.25 Danish crowns at 1338 GMT, rising to their highest since June 2002. The stock has more than doubled in value in the year to date, while the Copenhagen top-20 index is up around 9 percent.
The company reported third-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 40 million euros (US$51.3 million), while a Reuters poll of 12 analysts gave an average forecast of 71.9 million. Third-quarter sales of 842 million euros were below market estimates of 1.02 billion.
"Results were a disappointment, but the expectations are super," said Stephen Rammer, an analyst at Alm. Brand Henton. "Their long-term goals have been upgraded and that’s important."
For the full year, Vestas expects an operating margin of about 5 percent against its previous forecast of 4 to 7 percent. Sales are seen at about 3.7 billion euros, in line with a previous forecast of 3.6 billion to 3.8 billion euros.
For 2007, the firm foresees an operating margin of 7 to 9 percent on revenues of 4.5 billion euros, while for 2008 it said it would aim for an operating margin of 10 to 12 percent and a market share of at least 35 percent.
"It comes from our earnings and contracts and a more efficient operation," Vestas Chief Executive Ditlev Engel told Reuters. "We have the best global coverage of all our competitors. We have come well through the third quarter and the expectations we have for the full year are in line with what we said 12 months ago."
But analyst David Hallden at brokerage Cheuvreux said the market had embraced the new guidance too eagerly and should pay more attention to the fact that Vestas’ third quarter results were weaker than expected.
"It is dangerous to get carried away," Hallden said. "I do not believe we will see such a quick rebound. The guidance is a bit overambitious.
Component shortage is not something they can ignore or avoid."
Jyske Bank analysts also were sceptical even as they upgraded Vestas to "accumulate" from "sell".
"We will upgrade our expectations, but find it difficult to believe they will deliver in full in 2008," the bank said in a research note.
In a Reuters survey, six analysts on average estimated that Vestas would deliver power systems with a total output of 3,810 MW for the full year. The company declined to offer an estimate of its own.
1.3. Secret plan to impose EU-wide carbon limit – Industry commissioner urges introduction of unilateral emissions target by 2020
24 November 2006 , http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article2010083.ece
Europe should set a new