Quote of the Day

“I really do believe that a common international framework around all these things must be the aim to bring us the scale and the urgency we need. Not that I don’t believe in the market, but it matters whether you have common rules or not.”

Connie Hedegaard, E.U. commissioner for climate action, in The New York Times’ “Davos 2012: Signs of New Life as U.N. Searches for a Climate Accord”

Lead Stories

Guangdong Carbon Program to Be China’s Largest, New Energy Says
A program to curb the increase of greenhouse gas emissions in China’s Guangdong province will probably be the largest of the nation’s seven test climate- protection systems, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Pilot Carbon Emissions Trading System Readied in PRC
ADB Press Release
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help the People’s Republic of China (PRC) set up a pilot provincial emissions trading system that could pave the way for a national scheme and lower greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

Signs of New Life as U.N. Searches for a Climate Accord
The New York Times
Critics and supporters alike agree that the U.N. forum for negotiating international climate change policies is an ungainly mess, its annual gatherings marked by discord, disarray and brinkmanship.

Denmark to Stimulate Discussion on EU 2030 Climate Goal in March
Denmark, which holds the European Union rotating presidency, seeks to stimulate a debate on future greenhouse-gas reduction goals in March to prevent further declines in carbon prices after they dropped to a four-year low.

Is The Booming Natural Gas Industry Overproducing?

The practice of hydraulic fracturing — pumping fluid into underground rock to push up natural gas — has its detractors, especially among environmentalists. But it’s becoming clear that whatever its drawbacks, “fracking,” as it’s called, is producing a lot of gas — maybe too much gas.

Obama Backs Natural-Gas Fracking to Add 600,000 Jobs, Vows Safe Drilling

President Barack Obama pushed drilling for gas in shale rock and support for cleaner energy sources to boost the economy in his final State of the Union address before facing U.S. voters in November.

US: ‘Serious’ Questions On Pipeline Bill
A Republican bill that would strip President Barack Obama of his authority to decide on a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline raises serious legal questions, the State Department said Wednesday in objecting to the bill.

Opinion: A brighter energy future?
Robert J. Samuelsohn – Washington Post
A week after President Obama denied the application for the Keystone XL pipeline — which would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands deposits in Alberta to U.S. refineries along the Gulf of Mexico — it’s time for an energy reality check. What does the future hold? It may be better than you think. That’s one message from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest “Annual Energy Outlook,” which projects the supply and demand for fuels through 2035.

Updated: The State of the Union, With the Future in Mind
The New York Times Dot Earth blog
It would be impossible to talk about a durable path for the country without talking about pursuing educational excellence, nurturing a culture of innovation and collaboration and building an energy menu that can foster progress through this century without overloading the atmosphere with greenhouse gases. That means mentioning the “C word” (which didn’t make it into last year’s address).

Obama wants a “clean energy standard.” What does that mean?

Ezra Klein Wonkblog in Washington Post
In his State of the Union address, President Obama noted that a climate bill can’t pass Congress: “The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now.” But he did ask lawmakers for “a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation.” Is that a close substitute? And could it pass?

Fracking complicates the climate debate: John Kemp
Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have laid to rest concerns about peaking oil and gas supplies for a generation, but they have also made the search for comprehensive policies to restrain greenhouse gas emissions more urgent.

N2EX welcomes Drax Power Limited
Press Release
N2EX, the UK power market offering, operated by NASDAQ OMX Commodities and Nord Pool Spot, has welcomed its 35th member – major electricity generator Drax Power Limited. Drax, which currently generates 7% of the UK’s electricity, is the most recent of the country’s key power generators to join the N2EX market.


Wind Energy Subsidy May Be Renewed After U.S. Election, Adviser Says

The U.S. probably will extend incentives for the wind energy industry regardless of whether President Barack Obama or the Republicans win the election in November, a former adviser to the Senate Finance Committee said.

Ceres Plans to Raise as Much as $132 Million in IPO Next Month

Ceres Inc., a U.S. seed maker, plans to raise as much as $132 million in an initial public offering to expand output of genetically modified crops used in the production of biofuels.

Baltimore taps Bloom Energy to potentially trim power costs
Baltimore Business Journal
The city’s Board of Estimates approved Wednesday a non-disclosure agreement with Bloom, best known for its mini “Bloom Box.” The energy-efficient boxes can power buildings from inside rather than from a power grid.

ClearEdge Power lands world’s largest utility fuel cell deal

Cleantech News
Fuel cell maker ClearEdge Power has scored the mother of all utility deals: a 50 MW, $500 million deal with Austrian utility Güssing Renewable Energy. http://jlne.ws/zf9ev8
**This trumps the Bloom Energy deal in Delaware and Baltimore, combined.

AEP SWEPCO Signs Wind Power Purchase Agreements for 359 Megawatts

PR Newswire
American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) has signed long-term power purchase agreements for a total of 358.65 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from wind projects in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Together with a 49.2-MW agreement signed by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, SWEPCO and its affiliates have exceeded the 400-MW renewable energy commitment in a recent settlement of legal issues involving the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant.

California tries new court to move ahead on Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The California Air Resources Board has shifted to a new court in an attempt to win a stay of a decision halting its Low Carbon Fuel Standard, after being denied its motion by a judge Monday, a CARB spokesman said Tuesday.

Editorial: Jennifer M. Granholm: Former Michigan governor supports clean air standards
Mercury News
This month, federal agencies held three public hearings around the country, including one in San Francisco this week, on a proposed rule to increase corporate fuel efficiency (CAFÉ) standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. When finalized in the summer, this strong national standard will save families in California and across the country thousands of dollars at the pump over a vehicle’s lifetime, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and help to significantly reduce harmful carbon emissions. The standard will strengthen our nation’s security and empower American businesses and workers to compete in the 21st century.

Stockton: center of clean technology?
Central Valley Business Journal
Quietly, without many of its citizens perhaps noticing, the Central Valley city of Stockton is becoming a hub for clean technology, says Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


TransCanada, developer of controversial pipeline, boosts lobbying spending

iWatch News
TransCanada, the pipeline company pushing the recently rejected Keystone XL project, spent $410,000 on federal lobbying during the last three months of 2011 – a new quarterly high for the company.
**JK – Is that all they spent? No wonder it didn’t pass. DC favors are expensive boys.

Canada backs off on research into icebound energy reserves
Montreal Gazette
Research in gas hydrates — methane reserves trapped in ice under the oceans — has slowed in Canada while other countries are moving ahead quickly with it.” http://jlne.ws/wp3K0x

CORE BioFuel Inc. Announces Secured Investment For its “Green Gasoline”

Harry Tournemille – Energy Boom
Osprey Capital Partners Inc. is securing equity investment capital [pdf] for CORE, which will enable the biofuels company to define a fixed plant cost through an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (ECP) contract with an international oil/gas engineering company.



Alpiq’s CO2 trading desk under threat as jobs cut
Point Carbon
Carbon trading at Swiss power company Alpiq is at risk of being scaled back after the company announced job cuts in its energy trading business, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

Germany’s Solar Subsidies at Stake as Ministers Clash Over Cuts

Germany’s solar subsidy program, the subject of dispute between two ministers in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet, will take shape today as lawmakers debate support for developers in Europe’s biggest renewables market.

RBS to Lend More Than $466 Million to Support ‘Robust’ Renewables

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said its loans to U.K. renewable-energy projects in 2012 will probably top last year’s 300 million pounds ($466 million) on expectation the industry will withstand slower economic growth.

Greece auctions 1 mln EUAs at 7.27 euros each
Point Carbon
Greece sold 1 million EU Allowances for 7.27 euros each on Wednesday in the latest emissions permit auction held by the financially troubled country.

Ukraine reveals Japanese buyers of its AAUs
Point Carbon
A Ukrainian government report on Wednesday named six Japanese trading companies it sold 14 million Kyoto emission permits to in 2009, the first time the buyers have been identified.
**repeats in Asia


Green groups query ‘drill now, pay later’ scheme
The Age
TAX breaks to fossil fuel companies should be scrapped and the money put towards ocean protection, environmentalists have said, warning that a boom in offshore gas and oil investment will put pressure on Australia’s marine environment.

Ukraine reveals Japanese buyers of its AAUs
Point Carbon
A Ukrainian government report on Wednesday named six Japanese trading companies it sold 14 million Kyoto emission permits to in 2009, the first time the buyers have been identified.
**repeats in Europe

Africa/Middle East

Carbon tax warning from heavyweight lobby group

Biz Community

According to Engineering News Online an industry lobby group comprising large mining groups and mineral processing companies such as Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, BHP Billiton, Exxaro, PPC, Rio Tinto and Xstrata is cautioning against the proposed introduction of a carbon tax in South Africa until the country has figured out the costs implications of implementing its renewable-energy heavy power generation plans.

Latin America

Is Brazil Backsliding on Deforestation?
Alexei Barrionuovo reports on growing signs that the Brazilian government may be softening its stand against deforestation, including a provisional measure that allows the president to reduce the amount of land set aside for conservation and proposed legislation to change the forest code.

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