In today’s edition, we finally discover what Elon Musk had in store: batteries that can power homes and businesses, in case of blackouts. Also, an appeal to Bill Gates to lead the fight against climate change with his money and successful experience in philanthropy. And finally, more sobering news: the US and Japan have missed the deadline to fund the Green Climate Fund helping developing nations to adapt to climate change. 

Quote of the day

“We’ve obviously been working on building a world-class battery, a super-efficient and affordable way to store energy. It’s just that we’ve been putting that battery in cars most of the time.”

Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla spokeswoman, in the New York Times’ story With New Factory, Tesla Ventures Into Solar Power Storage for Home and Business 

Lead stories 

With New Factory, Tesla Ventures Into Solar Power Storage for Home and Business 
By Diane Cardwell – The New York Times
In recent years, the fast-growing popularity of solar panels has intensified a central challenge: how to use the sun’s energy when it isn’t shining. 

US and Japan miss Green Climate Fund deadline 
The US and Japan have missed a UN deadline to confirm billions of dollars for a new fund designed to help developing nations tackle global warming. 
***LB: Also in this story “The Green Climate Fund (GCF) said on Thursday that almost $4bn of finance had been agreed in deals with donors setting out when money will be paid. The UK and Germany have signed deals covering the $1.2bn and $1bn they have pledged, along with other donors including Sweden, France, Norway and the Netherlands. However, the US and Japan, which have promised $3bn and $1.5bn, are not among the donors to have agreed deals.” 

Japan outlines 2030 carbon target ahead of Paris climate summit 
Japan is proposing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030 as its contribution to a global summit on climate change in Paris later in the year.  
***LB: Also in this story “Media reports earlier this month said the country was looking at a 25% percent cut from 2013 levels, up from an earlier target of about 20%.”

Overlooked evidence – global warming may proceed faster than expected 
By Dana Nuccitelli – The Guardian
It’s known as “single study syndrome”. When a new scientific paper is published suggesting that the climate is relatively insensitive to the increased greenhouse effect, potentially modestly downgrading the associated climate change threats, that sort of paper will generally receive disproportionate media attention.

Church of England ends investments in heavily polluting fossil fuels 
By Adam Vaughan – The Guardian
The Church of England has pulled its money out of two of the most polluting fossil fuels as part of what it called its moral responsibility to protect the world’s poor from the impact of global warming. 

Obama signs energy efficiency bill into law 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
President Obama on Thursday signed into law a measure that is intended to improve energy efficiency in buildings and stop efficiency rules for certain water heaters.  

McConnell has new argument for EPA climate rule 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
Opponents of the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants have unearthed what they believe to be a significant new legal argument against the regulation. 

Dear Bill Gates: ‘Will you lead the fight against climate change?’ 
By Alan Rusbridger – The Guardian  
In 2009, nearly half of the world’s new polio cases were in India. The disease which can cause paralysis and death is highly infectious, but by January last year, thanks to a concerted vaccination programme, the country had gone three years without a single case of the virus. It was officially “polio-free”.


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  

The National Fuel Cell Symposium 2015
Industry, government, and academia will convene to discuss the current state of the Stationary Fuel Cell development and deployment in the U.S.
May 7, 2015 
Sacramento, California 

Nearing the Finish Line: Perspectives and Updates on EPA’s Clean Power Plan (webinar)
April 23, 2015; 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT

Northeast RECs Regional Thought Leader Round Table
May 19, 2015; 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. EST
Dentons: 1221 Avenue of the Americas, NY

EMA Annual Meeting
October 28-30, 2015
Omni Parker House Hotel
Boston, MA


Direct Action will force (Australia’s) heavy polluters to cut back after 2020, Greg Hunt says 
By Lenore Taylor – The Guardian
Greg Hunt has said electricity generators and heavy industry would be forced to gradually reduce greenhouse emissions after 2020 under the Coalition’s Direct Action climate plan, a prospect the government had previously played down.

Lima To Invest $110 Million in Green Infrastructure And Climate Adaptation 
By Steve Zwick – Ecosystem Marketplace 
The alpacas of Peru are prized for their soft, fluffy wool, and farmers have been raising them on the steep puna grasslands high in the Andes above Lima for millennia. 


China solar expansion needs billions from wary investors 
By Charlie Zhu and Adam Rose – Reuters
Chinese solar companies, some already heavily indebted, will need to raise many billions of dollars this year to fund a big expansion in capacity, a major test of investor confidence in a sector hit hard by the global financial crisis.

UK leaps to third place in utility-scale solar rankings
By Jessica Shankleman – BusinessGreen 
The UK has leaped up to third place in the global rankings for utility-scale solar, following a rush of new installations at the start of this year ahead of deep cuts to government subsidies. UK leaps to third place in utility-scale solar rankings. 
***LB: Also in this story “New figures released by Wiki-Solar yesterday suggest the UK installed 1.5GW of new capacity between January and the end of March this year, before the government closed the popular Renewables Obligation (RO) incentive scheme to ground-mounted solar projects of 5MW or larger.”  

Will Huge Batteries Save Us From Power Blackouts? 
By John Roach – National Geographic  
Glacier, Washington, is the final stop for coffee and treats on the Mt. Baker Highway, which ends at a ski area holding the world record for most snowfall in a season.

Wind power industry touts strong growth 
By Devin Henry – The Hill  
The wind power industry says new turbines are bringing a near-record amount of power capacity to the United States. 
***LB: Also in this story “The American Wind Energy Association released a study Thursday reporting that 100 wind power projects with a generating capacity of 13,600 megawatts are under construction in 23 states during the first quarter of the year.” 

SunPower Reports Loss as It Holds Onto More Solar Power Assets
By Ehren Goossens – Bloomberg
SunPower Corp. reported its first loss in two years as the second-largest U.S. solar manufacturer pursues a new strategy to keep control of certain power assets instead of selling them.


Nepal Earthquake Damages Hydropower Dam
By Keith Schneider – Circle of Blue 
China is mounting an arduous mission today to rescue 250 workers trapped at a hydropower station under construction near the epicenter of the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, according to Xinhua, the China Central Government news agency. 

Iran Water Adviser Warns of Mass Migration 
Circle of Blue
A water official in Iran has warned that mismanagement in the country may prompt a mass exodus.  

Amazonian tribes unite to demand Brazil stop hydroelectric dams 
By Jonathan Watts – The Guardian  
Four Amazonian tribes have joined forces to oppose the construction of hydroelectric dams in their territory as the Brazilian government ramps up efforts to exploit the power of rivers in the world’s biggest forest. 
***LB: Also in this story “The Munduruku, Apiaká, Kayabi and Rikbaktsa released a joint statement on Thursday demanding the halt of construction on a cascade of four dams on the Teles Pires – a tributary of the Tapajós.

Senators target Obama’s water rule 
By Timothy Cama – The Hill 
A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Thursday to force the Obama administration to try again in its regulatory effort to define the federal government’s power over streams, wetlands and other waterways. 

McDonald’s fries supplier fined in China for water pollution 
Beijing authorities have fined U.S.-based J.R. Simplot’s China processing unit, which supplies frozen french fries to McDonald’s Corp, 3.92 million yuan ($632,370) for water pollution, state media and Simplot said. 


Nearly Half the U.S. Population Still Breathes Polluted Air, Report Says 
By Zahra Hirji – InsideClimate News
More than 138 million people, or nearly 44 percent of the nation, live in areas plagued with dirty air for part of the year, according to a new report. 

Amazon: 1% of tree species store 50% of region’s carbon 
By Mark Kinver – BBC News 
About 1% of all the tree species in the Amazon account for half of the carbon locked in the vast South American rainforest, a study has estimated.

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