Quote of the Day

“I don’t think (GreatPoint’s) technology would get built into a plant in the U.S. right now. Maybe 10 years ago, maybe 10 years from now, yes, but not now from lack of funding. The banks here wouldn’t do it. It’s more affordable to develop it in China and Russia. Our role will be to make the technology work at large scale there. If you make one work, I guarantee there will be thirty more in the world in the next decade, and banks will line up to fund them all.”

Ray Lane, managing partner with Kleiner Perkins and GreatPoint board member, in The Wall Street Journal’s “China, U.S. Start-Up Team in Coal-Conversion Deal”

Lead Stories

EU edges towards carbon price support measures
Business Green
EU politicians have reportedly agreed a compromise text that could see the bloc withhold carbon permits from auction in order to boost low prices.
http://jlne.ws/wrip4b
**At last, the light goes on in Brussels.

Carbon Trading Volume Rose to Record in EU December Permits
Bloomberg
Carbon trading in benchmark December European Union emissions permits had the busiest ever day yesterday as prices surged.
http://jlne.ws/zwERts

**And the market reacts.

Three bourses bid for UK auctions as GreenX bows out
Point Carbon
At least three exchanges have bid to host UK auctions for phase three EU emissions permits slated to start later this year, but second-ranked GreenX was not one of them, the bourses told Point Carbon News on Friday.
http://jlne.ws/yxmADc

**Interesting decision on the part of GreenX.

Carbon price does not deter rise in coal exploration

The Age
THE impending carbon price has done nothing to deter investment in the coal industry, with spending on exploration surging faster than any other mineral commodity.
http://jlne.ws/AipwjY
**JK – And this from the story: “Investment in searches for new coal deposits reached $520 million, pushing it closer to rivalling iron ore and gold – both of which also grew significantly on the back of record-high commodity prices.”

Nuclear power: The 30-year itch
The Economist
IN HIS state-of-the-union message last month, Barack Obama said that America needs “an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy.” Mr Obama boasted about a wind-turbine factory in Michigan, America’s abundant supplies of natural gas and the millions of acres opened for oil exploration. He urged Congress to pass tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy and to end oil-company subsidies.
http://jlne.ws/zxkxDo

**JK – Will be interesting to see how Japan’s disaster impacts the US policy and legal challenges.

China, U.S. Start-Up Team in Coal-Conversion Deal
Wall Street Journal
Capping off a week in which the theme of cooperative business relations dominated a U.S. visit by China’s next leader, a major Chinese industrial conglomerate will sign a $1.25 billion partnership with a small U.S. tech start-up that converts coal into natural gas.
http://jlne.ws/wFZG0I
**repeats in Asia

China Egg Producer to Set Up U.S. Biogas Project With Smithfield
Bloomberg
Beijing DQY Agriculture Technology, a Chinese egg producer, will co-operate with a unit of U.S. meat supplier Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) on a bio-fuel joint venture, the Chinese company said in a statement yesterday.
http://jlne.ws/x5mpd3
**repeats in Asia

Global CO2 Aviation Plan Could Replace EU Curbs, Hedegaard Says

Bloomberg
The European Union can replace its carbon curbs on aviation with a global measure to cut pollution from the industry as long as the broader program is as ambitious as the EU plan, the bloc’s climate chief said.
http://jlne.ws/wxUyK7

Airlines set to receive carbon credits from biofuel use

Carbon Positive
Airlines have been told that biofuel usage will be counted as “zero-emission” fuels in their mandatory annual green house gas emission reports, as requested by the European Commission, this week.
http://jlne.ws/xSukti

Environment Bank and mission markets launch online conservation credit platform
Environmental Expert
The Environment Bank today launches the first online ‘conservation credit’ trading platform. The Environment Bank, the first organization to deliver biodiversity offsetting in the UK, and Mission MarketsTM, a professional services firm specializing in the impact and sustainability sectors and operating an international platform for exchanging environmental credits, today jointly announce the first online marketplace for conservation credits in the UK.
http://jlne.ws/wbic3X

Models underestimate future temperature variability: Food security at risk
Science Daily
Climate warming caused by greenhouse gases is very likely to increase the variability of summertime temperatures around the world by the end of this century, a University of Washington climate scientist said Friday. The findings have major implications for food production.
http://jlne.ws/vZ4GVg

Glasgow biofuels scientist unfurls ‘electric leaf’
Financial Times
Scottish scientists have found a more efficient way to make biofuels, using electricity rather than sunlight.Their “electric leaf” is based on photosynthetic bacteria whose biochemistry has been changed through radical genetic engineering to make a liquid hydrocarbon very similar to petrol. The energy input will be electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind or sun.
http://jlne.ws/AC68cD

Natural-Gas Glut Could Bypass Europe

Wall Street Journal
A major transformation of the global market for natural gas is under way. Fresh international supply routes are being drawn, new exporters are emerging and established trade patterns are being turned on their heads.
http://jlne.ws/wp4cWW

Heartland Institute faces fresh scrutiny over tax status
The Guardian
The Heartland Institute, the libertarian thinktank whose project to undermine science lessons for schoolchildren was exposed this week, faces new scrutiny of its finances – including its donors and tax status.
http://jlne.ws/wy6uT2
**JK – And gotta love this from hearty folks at Heartland. My simple question is this, what is the forged and what is the stolen document? Let’s start there shall we? Here is its latest release, issued Sunday afternoon.
The Heartland Institute has sent legal notices to numerous Web sites, blogs, and publications asking them to take down the stolen and forged documents and what it views as malicious and false commentary based on them. The following statement by Heartland Institute President Joseph L. Bast may be used for attribution.
“We realize this will be portrayed by some as a heavy-handed threat to free speech. But the First Amendment doesn’t protect Internet fraud, and there is no right to defamatory speech.
“For 28 years, The Heartland Institute has engaged in fierce debates over a wide range of public policies – school reform, health care, telecommunications policy, corporate subsidies, and government waste and fraud, as well as environmental policy. We frequently and happily engage in vigorous, robust debate with those who disagree with our views.
“We have resorted in the past to legal means only in a very few cases involving outright fraud and defamation. The current situation clearly fits that description, and our legal counsel has advised that the first step in defending ourselves should be to ask the blogs to take down the stolen and forged documents.”

US

First Solar-Exelon Deal Clears Hurdle
Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles County agencies have approved changes to a construction permit that First Solar Inc. needs to build a large solar farm and complete a $1.36 billion deal with Exelon Corp.
http://jlne.ws/yNfzS2

US wind industry warns 37,000 jobs at risk if tax credit lapses
Business Green
The US wind energy industry yesterday issued a stark warning that its recent progress will stall and 37,000 jobs could be at risk if Congress fails to extend a tax credit widely regarded as critical to wind farm developers.
http://jlne.ws/y4plYr

Tighten fracking regulations, scientists urge US officials

Business Green
An influential group of scientists has urged US officials to step up their policing of shale gas operations and to consider stronger regulations to reduce environmental and health risks at the facilities.
http://jlne.ws/z0R5MO

House passes GOP energy bill, 237-187
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The House on Thursday evening passed a bill that seeks to encourage oil shale development, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and offshore drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as force approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
http://jlne.ws/wSD12c

Keystone Pipeline Bill Passes House, Lacks Match in U.S. Senate
Bloomberg
Legislation that would force U.S. approval of TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline and open Atlantic waters to offshore drilling passed the House, a measure that the Senate doesn’t plan to consider.
http://jlne.ws/z3mR23
**repeats in Canada

Drawing the Line at Power Lines
The New York Times
AS plans for the Keystone XL pipeline faltered over the last six months, its route through a pristine aquifer in Nebraska proved to be its fatal political flaw. Environmental groups had raised numerous other serious objections: Building the pipeline would lead to a rise in climate changing gases; its environmental review was tainted by conflicts of interest; extracting oil from Canadian oil sands was destroying precious ecosystems and boreal forest.
http://jlne.ws/zfYqUv
**repeats in Canada

An Oil Sand Marriage?
Huffington Post
The U.S. State Department announced on January 19th that they would deny the current application for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry petroleum from Canada’s oil sands through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. It was a good decision. The pipeline’s proponents will likely submit a revised proposal soon. It should also be rejected.
http://jlne.ws/xw6hIt
**repeats in Canada

Energy Department rejects GOP claims about solar loan project
The Hill’s E2 Wire
The Energy Department rejected allegations by House Republicans that Energy Secretary Steven Chu advocated for approval of a loan guarantee for a rooftop solar project last year to help the struggling solar panel maker Solyndra.
http://jlne.ws/yOqOSz

Canada

Encana Draws Mitsubishi Investment

Wall Street Journal
Encana Corp. said Friday that Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. will invest about $2.9 billion to acquire a 40% stake in Encana’s undeveloped Cutbank Ridge natural-gas assets in northeastern British Columbia.
http://jlne.ws/wj2UZX

Keystone Pipeline Bill Passes House, Lacks Match in U.S. Senate
Bloomberg
Legislation that would force U.S. approval of TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline and open Atlantic waters to offshore drilling passed the House, a measure that the Senate doesn’t plan to consider.
http://jlne.ws/z3mR23
**repeats in US

Drawing the Line at Power Lines
The New York Times
AS plans for the Keystone XL pipeline faltered over the last six months, its route through a pristine aquifer in Nebraska proved to be its fatal political flaw. Environmental groups had raised numerous other serious objections: Building the pipeline would lead to a rise in climate changing gases; its environmental review was tainted by conflicts of interest; extracting oil from Canadian oil sands was destroying precious ecosystems and boreal forest.
http://jlne.ws/zfYqUv
**repeats in US

An Oil Sand Marriage?
Huffington Post
The U.S. State Department announced on January 19th that they would deny the current application for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry petroleum from Canada’s oil sands through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. It was a good decision. The pipeline’s proponents will likely submit a revised proposal soon. It should also be rejected.
http://jlne.ws/xw6hIt
**repeats in US

Europe

EDF confident on capital spending target
Financial Times
EDF’s chief executive has hailed the “remarkable” financial performance of the world’s leading nuclear energy supplier by kilowatts, as he braces himself for a French presidential election that will determine both his and the company’s future.
http://jlne.ws/xuYYB5

Siemens to Buy U.K. Tidal Turbine Maker in Next Few Weeks

Bloomberg
Siemens AG (SIE), the largest engineering company in Europe, will buy the shares it doesn’t already own in U.K. tidal technology developer Marine Current Turbines Ltd.
http://jlne.ws/ySanrb

Hochtief, Ventizz Set Up Company to Develop Offshore Wind Farms
Bloomberg
Hochtief AG (HOT), Germany’s biggest builder, set up a company with Ventizz Capital Partners to develop offshore wind farms.
http://jlne.ws/wBS4Qs

Asia

China, U.S. Start-Up Team in Coal-Conversion Deal
Wall Street Journal
Capping off a week in which the theme of cooperative business relations dominated a U.S. visit by China’s next leader, a major Chinese industrial conglomerate will sign a $1.25 billion partnership with a small U.S. tech start-up that converts coal into natural gas.
http://jlne.ws/wFZG0I

China Egg Producer to Set Up U.S. Biogas Project With Smithfield
Bloomberg
Beijing DQY Agriculture Technology, a Chinese egg producer, will co-operate with a unit of U.S. meat supplier Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) on a bio-fuel joint venture, the Chinese company said in a statement yesterday.
http://jlne.ws/x5mpd3

Africa/Middle East

Nigeria pledges to push on with oil reform
Financial Times
Nigeria will push through long-delayed legislation to reform its lucrative oil sector this year, as part of efforts to boost investment, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s finance minister, said on Thursday.
http://jlne.ws/zP6iwr

Latin America

INTERVIEW: Brazil forest law changes to lock in deforestation rate
Point Carbon
A proposal to pardon landowners who illegally cut down trees in the Amazon rainforest would lock in Brazil’s current deforestation rates and make its pledge to reduce deforestation by 80 percent by 2020 impossible to reach, an influential Amazon researcher said.
http://jlne.ws/wNeQ4s

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