Coal Is Now the World’s Most Expensive Fossil Fuel

Coal, the dirtiest and usually the cheapest option for energy, is now the world’s most expensive fossil fuel. Oil’s epic collapse over the past month means the global crude benchmark is now priced below the most widely traded coal contract on an energy-equivalent basis, according to Bloomberg calculations. Australia’s Newcastle coal on ICE Futures Europe settled at $66.85 a metric ton on Friday, the equivalent of $27.36 a barrel of oil. Brent futures ended at $26.98 a barrel. While coal use in the U.S. and Europe has fallen because of cheap natural gas and renewables, as…

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Government may exercise force majeure against IPPs, opine experts

The federal government can exercise the clause of force majeure against Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to pull the power sector out of pressure due to outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, said power sector experts. They said the need for any such measure in an emergency situation like the present one when the power division has stopped the distribution companies from disconnections and extended payment dates to facilitate the consumers, including domestic, commercial and industrial. There are around 42 IPPs that contribute significantly to electricity generation in Pakistan. It is…

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EV policy draft circulated among stakeholders

ISLAMABAD: The Engineering Development Board (EDB) Thursday circulated the draft Electric Vehicle (EV) policy 2020-25 amongst stakeholders after facing harsh criticism in the Cabinet on March 25, 2020, well-informed sources told Business Recorder. According to the draft policy, since hybrid technology does not require additional infrastructure development, which is one of the major prerequisites for EVs, hence the thrust of this policy is to provide an incentive structure. This is suitable and feasible for establishment of local manufacturing capabilities in EV within the country. The EDB says that since the…

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How to handle our circular debt

The government has lately been trying to tackle the growing circular debt in the power sector. The policy thrust has largely been administrative. It has involved power cuts in the low-recovery areas and raises in the electricity prices to recover the costs. This hasn’t produced any tangible results. On one hand, the government plans to float a Rs200bn Sukuk to settle part of the debt and, on the other, it has announced a freeze on electricity prices till June. This is not a wholesome policy as both the Sukuk and…

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LNG deal with Qatar: Govt under pressure to declare force majeure

Federal Government is under pressure to declare force majeure in its liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with Qatar following a sharp decline in gas demand in the wake of lockdown due to coronavirus spread, sources said. Petroleum Division is working with Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and two public sector gas utilities – Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) on a proposal for the federal government to declare force majeure in its long-term deal with Doha in order to halt LNG import that is expensive…

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Power Division proposes govt to freeze power tariff

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to ward off negative impact of coronavirus on consumers, the Power Division has proposed to the government to freeze electricity tariff for next six months with effect from April to September 30, 2020, The News has learnt. Top official sources confirmed to The News on Friday that the Power Division estimated that there would be built up of Rs150 billion on account of decision of freezing Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) of Rs73 billion and Rs77 billion because of non-materialisation of Quarterly Tariff Adjustment (QTA). With decision…

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The ozone layer is healing, new study finds

The ozone layer is continuing to heal and has the potential to fully recover, according to a new study. A scientific paper, published in Nature, heralds a rare success in the reversal of environmental damage and shows that orchestrated global action can make a difference. The ozone layer is a protective shield in the Earth’s stratosphere which absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation reaching us from the sun. Without the ozone layer it would be nearly impossible for anything to survive on the planet. In the past, human use of substances – chlorofluorocarbons…

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3 Top Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy Right Now

The COVID-19 outbreak has upended the global economy, causing stocks to plummet. Investors are selling off everything due to the uncertainty of when conditions will stabilize and we’ll return to some sense of normal. While market conditions could get worse before they eventually improve, investors with a long-term outlook could have a rare opportunity to buy high-quality companies at attractive values. One sector where that’s the case is renewable energy. Three stocks that stand out as the top buys right now are Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), and NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE). Getting bigger and better…

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Pakistan fails to take advantage of low energy prices

LAHORE: Despite expressing resolve to take advantage of record low crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices, Pakistan is not maintaining energy supply chain mainly due to lack of a coherent and systematic approach, according to an expert opinion. Unlike regional countries, the capacity of LNG import infrastructure is not being fully utilised. Oil imports are also not up to the mark, keeping in view availability of attractive import window. Essentially, there is lack of systematic approach in meeting energy needs of all sectors, especially power, fertiliser and CNG…

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Khan Announces Financial Stimulus, Calls For Debt Relief For Developing Nations

IMF has announced it would consider Islamabad’s request for financial assistance DESPARDES — Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a stimulus package of several hundred billion rupees for laborers, lower fuel prices, reduced or abolished taxes on food items, amid ongoing lockdowns in major cities designed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Khan has also called for debt rescheduling and economic assistance for the developing countries. Media report citing Foreign Office said the call “has gathered traction in recent days, evidenced by the joint statement of IMF and the World…

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