Quote of the Day

“It would be a stunning case of bureaucratic disregard to declare victory because the government is expecting to lose ’just’ $3 billion [from U.S. energy loan programs.]”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. in Bloomberg’s “Energy Loans a Safer Bet for U.S. Than Congress Anticipated, Review Shows”

Lead Stories

Japan Adds to Supply of Kyoto CO2 Offsets Faster Than AAUs
Japan last year added to its stockpile of United Nations emission offsets at a faster pace than Assigned Amount Units, suggesting the nation or its emitters have not started swapping the credits for cheaper AAUs.

China Airlines in ‘Intolerable’ Position on EU Emissions Spat, IATA Says
Chinese airlines are in an “intolerable” position because of a spat between the country and the European Union over emissions levies, said Tony Tyler, the head of the International Air Transport Association.

26 countries jointly boycott EU ‘carbon tax’
China’s People’s Daily Overseas Edition
According to a report, 26 countries, including China, the United States, Russia and India, will hold a meeting in Moscow on Feb. 21 to discuss about dealing with the European Union’s unilateral Aviation Carbon Emission Trading System.

A Carbon Allowance in Every Pot

The New York Times
Imagine carbon allowances as a playground commodity, like the marbles and baseball cards of earlier generations.That’s a subset of an idea from Ian Gough, a researcher at the London School of Economics.

By Ian Gough for the UN Research Institute for Social Development

Four fifths of U.N. carbon credits head to Europe: U.N. data

Point Carbon
European countries increased their holdings of U.N.-backed carbon credits by 80 percent in 2011 amid record supply and as secondary market prices crashed by nearly two thirds, data compiled by Point Carbon News showed.

Brazil to Vote on Forest Code in March
Steve Schwartzman of Environmental Defense Fund on Ecosystem Marketplace
Brazil has made great strides in reducing Amazon deforestation, bringing rates down about 80% over the last six years. But President Dilma Rousseff is already showing signs of backsliding on her environmental commitments in just her first year in office. It’s a development environmental groups noticed within weeks of her taking office last January.
**repeats in Latin America

Energy Loan Oversight Is Needed, Audit Finds

The New York Times
The Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program for alternative energy projects, which produced the ill-fated loan to the solar panel maker Solyndra, needs more rigorous financial oversight and stricter performance standards for recipients to reduce the chance of future defaults, according to an audit conducted by the White House and released Friday.

Report of the Independent Consultant’s Review with Respect to the Department of Energy Loan and Loan Guarantee Portfolio
White House

Renewable Firms Seek Tax-Equity Partners
Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration is attempting to persuade U.S. corporations about the benefits of investing in renewable energy, in an effort to help the industry after a government grant program expired.

Energy Loans a Safer Bet for U.S. Than Congress Anticipated, Review Shows
Potential losses from U.S. energy loan programs are likely to be less than projected by the White House and Congress, according to an independent analysis that Democrats said validated support for clean-energy innovation.

World’s largest concentrated solar power tower completed

Business Green
US renewable energy developer SolarReserve has this week completed construction of a 540ft (165m) molten salt tower in the Nevada desert thought to be the world’s largest.

IEA Again Cuts Oil-Demand View

Wall Street Journal
The International Energy Agency cut its 2012 oil-demand growth forecast for the second time in just a few weeks as Europe’s economic outlook weakens. The cutback comes as crude production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached its highest level since October 2008.

Nuclear Power vs. Natural Gas
The New York Times
When critics say nuclear power is risky, they often mean the risk of an accident. But people in the nuclear industry say that the bigger threat is natural gas.

What does new glacier data mean for the climate debate?

The rivers and glaciers that descend from the steep slopes of the Himalaya mountain range help to provide water for the 1.4 billion people that live in its shadow. Any interruption in this flow could have severe implications in a region blighted by political tension and poverty.

As ‘Yuck Factor’ Subsides, Treated Wastewater Flows From Taps

The New York Times
Almost hidden in the northern hills, the pilot water treatment plant here does not seem a harbinger of revolution. It cost $13 million, uses long-established technologies and produces a million gallons a day.

Poll: Should charities invest more in reducing their carbon footprint?

A recent survey reveals the third sector will invest less than the public and private sectors over the next year in carbon reduction.


California Solar Deal Hits a Snag
Wall Street Journal
A $1.36 billion government-backed deal for a Southern California solar farm has hit a snag and could be days from unraveling, all due to a local construction permit.

California eyes dividends, deficit cuts from cap-and-trade

Revenue raised by California’s greenhouse-gas emissions trading program could be distributed to state residents to offset higher fuel costs or used to reduce the state’s projected deficits, a state budget watchdog agency said on Thursday.

States Sue E.P.A. Over Delayed Soot Rules
The New York Times
The Obama administration, already contending with a lawsuit from health and environmental groups arguing that ozone pollution standards are inadequate, now faces another suit over soot.

US approves first new nuclear in 30 years

Business Green
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission yesterday approved the first new nuclear plant in the country for more than 30 years, despite an extraordinary dissenting vote by its chairman, who raised safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

AEP Cuts Amount of Coal-Fired Power Generation It Will Shut

American Electric Power Co. (AEP), the largest U.S. coal user, reduced by 13 percent the amount of coal-fired power generation it will shut, saying customers in the state of Kentucky may provide the $940 million it needs to keep one of the plants operating.

Will N.H. have a say in developing a regional low-carbon fuel standard?

New Hampshire Business Review
Over the past few years, New Hampshire and 10 other states have been looking to develop a low-carbon standard for transportation fuels. The program would be market based – similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and the same states would be involved, with the addition of Pennsylvania.


Western Canada oil sands opportunity knocks in East

Oak Point Energy Ltd is an Alberta start-up looking to make its mark in the booming oil sands sector, and Ontario figures big in its plans.

Yaffe: Oilsands policy threatens federal NDP’s success
Calgary Herald
Federal New Democrats know they must broaden their voter base to ever form government, but they are risking western support with energy policies hostile to the oilsands.

Pro-oil lobby retreat urges feds to deliver climate-change solutions
Postmedia News
A taxpayer-funded pro-oil lobbying retreat, involving Canada’s European diplomats and industry, has urged the federal government to deliver real climate change solutions to restore the country’s sagging environmental reputation.


Iberdrola backs subsidies freeze on renewables
Financial Times
The world’s leading onshore wind farm owner has applauded the Spanish government’s renewable subsidies freeze, saying it is a sensible move for a country that has been paying too much for electricity it does not need.

Small wind sector predicts big problems if government slashes incentives

Business Green
The wind industry has joined with the solar sector in protesting against proposed cuts to the level of feed-in tariff incentives available for small scale renewables, which according to experts threaten to “kill” the expanding market for small scale wind turbines.

Ed Davey throws weight behind green energy by opening giant UK windfarm

Business Green
The new energy secretary, Lib Dem MP Ed Davey, will face down the growing army of renewable power critics inside the coalition by making his first major outing a visit to a wind project.

Spain’s Congress Ends New Renewable-Energy Subsidies, Cinco Says

Spain’s Congress yesterday approved Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s royal decree to halt subsidies for new renewable-energy projects, Cinco Dias reported.


Tata Power Profit Slides 40%
Wall Street Journal
Tata Power Co., India’s largest private power producer, posted a wider-than-estimated decline in its fiscal third quarter net profit after it took charges related to higher fuel costs for its 4,000 megawatt power project and due to a change in accounting standards.

Sichuan Hydropower to Sell 460 Million Yuan of Five-Year Bonds
Sichuan Hydropower Investment & Management Group Ltd. plans to sell 460 million yuan of five- year bonds on Feb. 14, according to the company’s prospectus on Bloomberg.

Australia awards $100 million to CCS project

Point Carbon
Australia will invest A$100 million ($107m) in the development of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Victoria to halt CO2 emissions from coal-fired power generation.

Japanese utility Hokuriku CO2 emissions rise 44 pct

Point Carbon
Japanese utility Hokuriku Electric Power said on Friday it expects its carbon dioxide emissions to rise 44 percent to about 18 million tonnes in the current fiscal year.

Africa/Middle East

Nigeria power rates to rise up to 88%

Financial Times
Electricity tariffs in Nigeria will increase up to 88 per cent under reforms designed to revive the power sector and attract outside investors. The proposed new rates, seen by the Financial Times, will be announced in the coming weeks, before the privatisation of 18 state-run power generation, distribution and transmission companies this year.

Latin America

Brazil to Vote on Forest Code in March

Steve Schwartzman of Environmental Defense Fund on Ecosystem Marketplace
Brazil has made great strides in reducing Amazon deforestation, bringing rates down about 80% over the last six years. But President Dilma Rousseff is already showing signs of backsliding on her environmental commitments in just her first year in office. It’s a development environmental groups noticed within weeks of her taking office last January.
**repeats in Leads

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