Renewables handily beat oil and gas stocks in 2019
A basket of renewable energy stocks gained 49% in 2019, outperforming the S&P 500 by 20 percentage points, while the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production index lost nearly 11% for the year. The discrepancy highlights the strong performance that is propelling investment in the clean energy sector and the sharp contrast between renewable and fossil fuel investments.
Market reassured by Germany's coal exit plan, but questions remain
Germany's plan to exit coal by 2038 should instill confidence in the market, analysts said, as the share price of RWE AG, the German utility that is shutting off 8,520 MW of coal capacity, soared to new highs again on Jan. 17. But with German elections in 2021 and the potential for more ambitious EU-level emissions targets, some observers doubt that the last word has been spoken on German coal.
Anticipating a slowdown in the US oil patch, Schlumberger charts new course
Forecasting a significant contraction in North American oil and gas activity for 2020, Schlumberger Ltd., the world's largest oilfield services company, unveiled a 2020 strategy focused on expanding margins by shrinking its less profitable business lines. Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of the company, said the North American land market will contract for a second year as oil and gas producers focus on capital discipline.
Other energy headlines
* Alberta's grid operator declared a power emergency Jan. 16, as cold weather and lack of available renewables put power reserves at dangerously low levels and sent prices surging. Mizuho Financial Group Inc.
* Railway operator CSX Corp.'s coal revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 fell 22% year over year as volumes sank 17% amid difficult market conditions.
* Freeport LNG Development LP began commercial operations on the second natural gas liquefaction train of its export facility on Quintana Island near Freeport, Texas.
* A trio of South Carolina lawmakers introduced a resolution to study whether the state legislature should adopt certain electricity market reforms.
* The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc.'s plan to own and operate four electric vehicle charging sites on Maui.
The North American midstream holdings of BlackRock Inc., which issued a directive to fossil fuel companies on environmental disclosures and sustainability, includes Williams Cos. Inc., Kinder Morgan Inc. and ONEOK, Inc., all of which have separated themselves by ramping up disclosures.
Research and data
* Financial Focus: Investors returning to PG&E as it progresses toward Chapter 11 finish line
* RRA Regulatory Focus: SWEPCO rate case gets underway in Louisiana
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Hydropower's value proposition could fill in gaps to meet carbon reduction goals
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