In today’s edition, details, reactions and analyses on Alstom. The French company chose GE’s offer on Friday and the French government secured a 20% stake in the deal over the weekend. Also in this edition: how investors are unhappy when austerity means curbing subsidies for solar power, as it is the case in Italy, and how Ohio is rolling back renewable energy standards.
Quote of the day
“We are still open for talks. The doors are open for Alstom and the French government. It is not over yet.”
Siemens’ CEO Joe Kaeser, in the Reuters’ story Siemens says standing by should Alstom-GE talks collapse
Russia’s Gazprom says gas flows to Europe via Ukraine stable
Russian gas flows to Europe via Ukraine were stable on Monday amid pricing standoff between Moscow and Kiev, Russian gas pipeline exporting monopoly Gazprom said.
Alstom CEO Expects GE Deal to Close in Early 2015
Inti Landauro, Wall Street Journal
Alstom Chief Executive Patrick Kron said Monday he expects to close the sale of most of the company to General Electric Co. in the first half of 2015, when the French government will be able to exercise an option to take a 20% stake.
INSIGHT-French politics trump business over Alstom
Mark John and Jean-Baptiste Vey, Reuters
There was dual cause for back-slapping in President Francois Hollande’s Elysée Palace late on Friday night.
Siemens says standing by should Alstom-GE talks collapse
The chief executive of Siemens said on Sunday the German engineering group was ready to resume negotiations with Alstom and the French state should they fail to agree terms with the French firm’s suitor, General Electric.
Merkel ally criticises French over Alstom deal
A conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel accused France on Monday of showing “ice-cold” national interests in choosing GE over Siemens for an alliance with Alstom, and also questioned whether Paris had the fiscal leeway to buy a large stake in the French firm.
***LB: Also in this story “France on Friday rejected an offer from Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Alstom’s energy arm, instead choosing U.S. firm General Electric. “
Alstom should be a good investment for France, says CEO Kron
Natalie Huet, Reuters
France will be making a sound investment by taking a stake in Alstom, its chief executive said on Monday, adding however that the government would be buying in too late to have a say in the use of proceeds from its tie-up with General Electric.
***LB: Also in this story “France won an option to buy 20 percent of Alstom from conglomerate Bouygues on Sunday, in an eleventh-hour deal clearing the way for the agreed sale of most of Alstom’s energy business to GE.”
EU paper pencils in 30% or 35% efficiency target for 2030
To maintain Europe’s emissions-cutting momentum, a 30% cut in energy usage is needed by 2030, rising to 35% if the EU wants to reap the benefits of energy security, jobs and growth, says a draft communication for the bloc’s energy efficiency review, seen by EurActiv.
***LB: Also in this story “no agreement on a final goal to complement a planned 40% greenhouse gas emissions cut was reached at a meeting between the EU president José Manuel Barroso and a cabinet of top Commissioners on 18 June.”
Investors challenge Italy’s cuts for solar power
Giulia Segreti, Financial Times
Italian and foreign investors are challenging the legality of cuts in subsidies to the rapidly expanding solar power sector imposed by Matteo Renzi’s new government, which the industry warns will undermine Italy’s credibility in attracting fresh investments.
***LB: Also in this story “A government decree would cut some solar power tariff incentives by 10 to 25 per cent in the second biggest photovoltaic market in Europe. The move follows similar cuts in Spain and Greece.”
(Opinion) Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession
Henry M. Paulson, The New York Times
There is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting.
Australians unhappy over Coalition’s response to climate challenge
Oliver Milman, theguardian.com
The Australian public is deeply unhappy over the government’s response to the challenge of climate change, amid a revival in support for climate science and a strengthening belief that Australia is already feeling the impact of a warming planet, according to new polling.
Barack Obama praises Kiwi prime minister as climate change ally
Australian Associated Press
The US president, Barack Obama, has praised New Zealand prime minister John Key as a key ally in his crusade to tackle climate change.
Mayors Sign Climate Protection Agreement, Endorse Innovative Climate Solutions
Ari Phillips, Climate Progress
Confronting climate change is a major agenda item at this week’s U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Dallas, Texas, including climate protection awards, climate panels, and a discussion with U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and U.S. DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.
Global warming: Can post-Kyoto climate pact work by taking a different tack?
Pete Spotts, The Christian Science Monitor
The history of international efforts to rein in global warming is littered with a forest of printed reports, talking points, and treaty drafts – all in pursuit of two agreements that lacked either rigorous enforcement or the participation of key signatories.
Ohio Rolls Back Renewable Energy Standards
Andy Chow, NPR (Radio)
Many states around the U.S. have adopted policies that encourage the development of renewable energy. Lately, though, there’s been a major push nationwide for states to repeal those policies.
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
FT European Gas Summit
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times.
23 October 2014
Could future clothes, bottles and chairs be made from carbon emissions?
Bruce Watson, theguardian.com
Finding materials that are both sustainable and affordable has long been a central quandary in sustainable design.
***LB: Also in this story “By combining methane and carbon dioxide with a proprietary catalyst, AirCarbon rearranges the carbon into long chains, producing a plastic that can then be used to make bottles, chairs or almost anything else that plastic is currently used for.”
Adding Up the True (and Tricky) Cost of Carbon Pollution
Living on Earth
New analysis from the London School of Economics argues that the models currently used to calculate carbon pricing and taxes greatly undervalue the true costs and risks of carbon pollution.
Black Dragon: UK hacker comes clean on carbon credit thefts
Michael Szabo, Reuters
A British hacker, speaking out for the first time since he was jailed for attempting to steal $11 million in carbon credits, said he was easily able to break into online government and corporate registries.
***LB: Also in this story “Permits stolen from the Spanish registry were sold to a third party, while those taken from the UN were frozen.”
Natural gas / coal
China Imports of Pipeline Natural Gas Rise to Record High in May
China’s natural gas imports via pipeline rose to a record high last month as the government sought to diversify its supply sources for the fuel.
Column-Can we really do without coal?
John Kemp, Reuters
Two-thirds of the world’s already discovered reserves of oil, coal and natural gas must remain unburned if the rise in average global temperatures is to be limited to 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.
Pool Power: The Wave Of The Future
Marsha Lewis, Inside Science
Whether it’s the backstroke, the butterfly or freestyle, with every stroke swimmers create energy that could be used as a source of electrical power.
***LB: Also in this story “They calculated that if each person swam the butterfly stroke, they would generate enough waves to power one 100-watt light bulb for one day.”
Losers aplenty in China’s race for nuclear power
Scott Murdoch, The Australian
China has commissioned at least three power plants in the Shandong province over the next decade as it attempts to reduce its ongoing reliance on fossil fuels and searches for alternative energy sources.
Buying Into Solar Power, No Roof Access Needed
Diane Cardwell, New York Times
Like many consumers, David Polstein had already done much to reduce energy use in his large Victorian home in Newton, Mass.
Drifting off the coast of Portugal, the frontrunner in the global race for floating windfarms
Damian Carrington, theguardian.com
Above the inky Atlantic water and beneath a clear blue sky, the giant wind turbine turns gracefully in the steady sea breeze.
Agency fights utility rates for electric cars
A consumer group and a state agency said Friday that Indianapolis consumers shouldn’t face increased rates for electricity so that a utility can set up a proposed electric car-sharing program.
A technology park bets big on energy innovation
Jacqui Bauer, GreenBiz.com
What would you do with 12 contiguous acres of underused land, smack dab in the middle of a bustling downtown?
What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic
Circle of Blue
Living at Toolik Field Station—even as a non-scientist—it is easy to get caught up in the minutiae of scientific studies. The Arctic landscape is, in and of itself, attention grabbing; the puzzle of figuring out how it works, not to mention designing studies to figure out how it works, is even more so.
Fears of EPA ‘land grab’ create groundswell against water rule
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Lawmakers are up in arms over an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that they fear could give federal officials expansive new powers over private property and farmland.
Dry, yet storm-battered Cuba tries to feed itself amid climate extremes
Ines Perez, E&E
A battered Soviet-era Moskvitch car made its way down a dirt road in the National Research Institute on Tropical Roots and Tubers’ (INIVIT) 200-acre compound.