In today’s edition, the massive blackout that Turkey suffered brought home the vulnerabilities of power grids all over the world and the necessity to address energy needs with renewables policies. Also in today’s edition, the fact that carbon trading schemes work: EU emissions fell five per cent in 2014 thanks to this market. Finally, Russia didn’t pledge much in terms of emissions reduction by yesterday’s deadline. 

Quote of the day

“Every country, including the U.S., will be looking at it to see what the vulnerabilities were and learn some lessons about protection. An electric grid is a complex system and it’s hard to ensure that it’s defended everywhere.” 

Kit Konolige, a New York-based utility analyst for Bloomberg, in the Bloomberg News’ story Turkey’s 10-Hour Blackout Shows Threat to World Power Grids

Lead stories

Turkey’s 10-Hour Blackout Shows Threat to World Power Grids
By Firat Kayakiran, Onur Ant and Ercan Ersoy – Bloomberg News
A massive power failure that crippled life in Turkey for almost 10 hours on Tuesday highlights the threats facing electricity grids worldwide.

Russia Pledges Essentially Zero To Global Greenhouse Gas Goals
By Ronald Bailey –
Yesterday, the Obama administration issued its proposals for the country’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to the global effort to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the world’s climate under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Senate GOP presses EPA on climate models
By Timothy Cama – The Hill
A group of Senate Republicans is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to explain the climate change models it uses for its regulations. 

Call for action on pollution as emissions linked to respiratory illnesses double
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian
Environment and health groups have called for a rapid crackdown on air pollution after a new analysis showed that emissions of a key pollutant linked to respiratory illness have doubled over the past five years. 

Bristol is the ‘green capital’ of Europe, but its predecessor Copenhagen comes top in a Europe-wide index. 
By Hayley Birch – The Guardian 
It’s easy to say we’d like our cities to be cleaner and greener. But what does that even mean?

Germany’s G7 can ensure Paris climate deal is a success 
By Liz Gallagher – RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
In June, deep in the heart of Bavaria, the G7 Leaders will meet amongst the mountains and lakes to share plans for shaping a pivotal year.

EU emissions fell five per cent in 2014 under trading scheme
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Greenhouse gas emissions policed by the European Union’s carbon trading platform dropped by nearly five per cent last year despite a 1.3 per cent growth in GDP, new figures from the bloc suggested today.


World Green Economy Summit 2015 
22 April 2015 – 23 April 2015
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) 2015
North America’s premier conference on climate policy and carbon markets
Presented by the Climate Action Reserve
April 28-30, 2015
Los Angeles, California  


Managing Offset Risk 
Climate Action Reserve (Infographic)
Offsets serve as an important cost-containment mechanism in California’s cap-and-trade program.

Natural gas / coal

Carbon floor price hike will trigger UK coal slowdown, say analysts
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
Coal-fired power plants are set to be taken offline this year as a result of the doubling of the UK’s top-up carbon tax on Wednesday, according to market analysts.

Coal the biggest contributor to toxic air pollution: study
By Lisa Cox and Natalie O’Brien – Sydney Morning Herald
Australia’s coal industry is driving increases in air pollution according to a new analysis which names coal mining as the dominant source of air particle pollution.

The heavy toll of coal mining in South Africa
By Victoria Schneider – Al Jazeera 
Everything in Andries Evans’ house is coated in black dust. It has invaded his sofas, the Jesus picture on the wall, the plastic cups and plates in his kitchen, and the old man himself.


NRG Energy and Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican top solar ownership table
Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy is among the largest investors in solar power stations, according to new industry figures. 
***LB: Also in this story “The company comes second only to NRG Energy in terms of solar capacity owned at the end of 2014, reveals data from Wiki-Solar.”

Solar farm developers installed over 1GW in ROC rush
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
Large solar power developers installed more than 1GW of new generation capacity in the first quarter of this year as they rushed to complete dozens of projects before the government closed the Renewable Obligation (RO) subsidy to new solar farms.

Gale force winds deliver record boost for UK renewables
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen
A night of stormy weather and strong winds this week caused chaos on the roads and felled trees. But it was good news for the renewable energy sector, which generated record volumes of wind power on Tuesday. 

Tory wind farm ban would cost billions, says RenewableUK
By Jessica Shankleman  – BusinessGreen
Wind farms could potentially produce power cheaper than new gas turbines by the end of this decade, and save consumers up to £700m for each 1GW installed, a new industry-backed report has claimed today.

Developers Commit To Add 40 GW Solar Power Capacity In Rajasthan, India
By Smiti Mittal – Clean Technica
The sun is shinning brightly for the western Indian state of Rajasthan, as commitments made by solar power project developers have overshot the state government’s capacity addition plans.

Clean tech

Can Hydrogen-Fueled Cars Rise in China? 
Wall Street Journal
Cars that run on hydrogen and emit only water vapor from their tailpipes would seem like a no-brainer in smog-blanketed China.


California Orders First Mandatory Water Restrictions 
By Brett Walton – Circle of Blue
Taking his strongest measures yet in response to California’s drought emergency, Governor Jerry Brown ordered on Wednesday a statewide 25 percent cut in urban water use.

California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say
By Henry Fountain – The New York Times
The severe California drought that has led the state to order cutbacks in water use may not have been set off by climate change, scientists say, but global warming is making the situation worse.

As lakes become deserts, drought is Iran’s new problem 
Saudi Gazette
Nazar Sarani’s village in southeast Iran was once an island. It is now a desert, a casualty of the country’s worsening water crisis.


Climate Plans and the Role of Land Use: A Running Tab
By Allie Goldstein – Ecosystem Marketplace  
As countries submit their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions – commitments known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs – ahead of this year’s international climate negotiations, the role of forests and land use in this agreement is still developing. 
***LB: Also in this story “This article will be updated often to offer summaries of how land use is included (or not) in INDCs as they are submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”



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