Who will own French engineering group Alstom in the future – GE or Siemens? Who will supply enough natural gas to Ukraine in the future – Russia or Western Europe, helped by the US for the latter? We don’t have the answers yet in today’s edition. What we know though is that  Europe seeks alternative gas supplies and that the IPCC report is under suspicion, as it was, according to the Financial Times, watered down under some countries’ pressure.


Quote of the day

“It’s flattering to be talked about like this, but it’s nonsense. It’s so much nonsense that I can’t believe anybody really believes it.”

Charif Souki, chief executive of Houston-based Cheniere Energy when asked if his company could reduce Europe’s dependence on Gazprom, the Russian gas group, in the Financial Times’ story Europe seeks alternative gas supplies


Lead Stories 

France says could block Alstom deal as president meets GE 
Andrew Callus and Nicholas Vinocur, Reuters 
France will block any deal involving engineering group Alstom it considers unfit, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said ahead of a meeting between President Francois Hollande and General Electric’s chief executive to discuss Alstom’s future.

Siemens and France weigh in as GE eyes Alstom deal
Benjamin Mallet and Maria Sheahan, Reuters 
Siemens and the French government intervened in General Electric’s plan to buy the power arm of Alstom on Sunday with an alternative European “champions” tie-up proposal and a pledge to act in France’s national interest.

Slovakia signs deal to send some gas to Ukraine
Slovakia and Ukraine signed a deal on Monday that allows the European Union to send a limited amount of gas to Ukraine, although providing Kiev with less supplies than it hoped to cushion the blow should Russia turn off the taps.

A European Energy Executive’s Delicate Dance Over Ukraine
Stanley Reed and James Kanter, The New York Times
European executives, especially in the energy industry, have been notably wary of ratcheting up economic tensions with Russia over the Ukraine crisis. They see their business interests as too intertwined to risk stiffer sanctions.
***LB: Also in this story “But few tread a finer line than Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of the Italian energy giant ENI.”

Climate change report was watered down says senior economist
Pilita Clark, The Financial Times 
A politically sensitive part of the latest report by the world’s leading authority on climate change was gutted at the insistence of government officials, one of the study’s authors has revealed.
***LB: also in this story “Nearly 75 per cent of a section on the impact of international climate negotiations was deleted at a meeting in Berlin two weeks ago, said one of the authors responsible for that part of the report, Harvard University’s Professor Robert Stavins.”

Europe seeks alternative gas supplies
Guy Chazan, The Financial Times 
For those in Brussels who want the US to ride to Europe’s rescue and provide an alternative to Russian gas, Charif Souki’s words will have come as something of a disappointment.
***LB: Also in this story ““Reverse flow” pumps have also been installed that allow gas to be pumped west to east.”

Unilever battles to convince customers to go green 
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen 
Unilever has seen the total environmental impact of its products rise five per cent during the past four years, as it acquired a new shampoo business and struggled to convince consumers to use less energy for hot showers.

ANALYSIS-Low stockpile raises worries over U.S. natural gas supplies
Scott Disavino, Reuters
The United States faces a natural gas supply shortfall this year despite the country’s fracking boom, threatening more price spikes as energy companies struggle to replenish stockpiles drained to critically low levels after a brutal winter.

A nice investor-friendly pipeline crisis
John Dizard, The Financial Times
Anyone who has seen the stack of regulatory filings and public statements for projects such as pipelines could be forgiven for wondering why TransCanada’s shares dropped by over 3 per cent last Monday.

Steyer challenges Kochs to Keystone debate 
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Hedge fund manager turned environmentalist Tom Steyer is challenging fellow billionaires, Charles and Davide Koch, to a debate on the Keystone XL pipeline.



Minnesota’s Marquee Solar Event
The Midwest Solar Expo is bringing together solar leaders from across the Midwest to advance dialogue on key issues, provide insight on the latest industry trends and best practices, and serve as a nexus between the solar industry and the public.
May 16, 2014
Minneapolis, Minnesota  


Rich nations’ greenhouse gas emissions fall in 2012, led by U.S 
Industrialized nations’ greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1.3 percent in 2012, led by a U.S. decline to the lowest in almost two decades with a shift to natural gas from dirtier coal, official statistics show.

Nuclear Industry Gains Carbon-Focused Allies in Push to Save Reactors
Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times 
Environmentalists and the nuclear industry are beginning a push to preserve old nuclear reactors whose economic viability is threatened by cheap natural gas and rising production of wind energy.
***LB: Also in this story “The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, an independent nonprofit group based in Washington that was formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, plans to release on Monday a research paper that charts the decline of the industry.”

United MileagePlus customers able to use their miles to help the environment 
James Chen, Travel Weekly Asia
In celebration of Earth Month, United Airlines has announced an enhancement to its carbon-offset programme that allows MileagePlus members to redeem their miles for offsets to cover the carbon emissions associated with their air travel.

UN’s carbon role questioned as $200 mln cash pile sits idle
Susanna Twidale and Ben Garside, Reuters 
The U.N. body tasked with channelling hundreds of billions of dollars to cutting emissions is under growing scrutiny as its once booming investment programme dries up, leaving most of its funds unspent while other climate initiatives are short of cash.
***LB: also in this story “The board appointed to oversee the CDM insists work should continue to improve the system to ensure it is ready when demand returns, yet analysts and governments see almost no prospect of a price recovery until 2020, when a new UNFCCC deal is due.”

EPA: Automakers on track to cut emissions 
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill 
The Environmental Protection Agency is reporting that U.S. automakers are “off to a good start” in meeting the Obama administration’s greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks.

What a win-win on unburnable carbon looks like
Patrick Doherty, GreenBiz
The recent IPCC report is clear: We need a dramatic change in the design of the global economy to avoid climate catastrophe and we need it now. 
***LB: Also in this story “John Fullerton, president of the Capital Institute, working with the Carbon Tracker Initiative and other data sources, estimated the approximate value of that unburnable carbon in the neighborhood of $20 trillion.”

BSR guide tackles 5 big roadblocks to low-carbon fleets
Ryan Schuchard, GreenBiz
Twenty years ago this summer, Rolling Stone magazine confronted Nike about sweatshops in its supply chain, launching a series of events that led to the modern-day approach that global companies now apply to supply chain sustainability. 

Natural Gas/Coal 

UK and Ireland fire ice gas reserves ‘would be difficult to exploit’
The Guardian
A fuel buried under the deep ocean bed off Britain and Ireland could provide a plentiful supply of energy but will be difficult to exploit, an expert said.
***LB: also in this story “The gas – known as fire ice – is locked away in the form of ice crystals under the Atlantic where the floor changes from shallow waters to deep sea.”

Davey makes case for exploiting ‘low carbon’ shale gas
James Murray, BusinessGreen 
Ed Davey has given his clearest indication to date that he believes the UK’s nascent shale gas industry can play a key role in a low carbon energy mix, insisting that strong regulations should help ensure the sector delivers significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. 


Longyuan’s First-Quarter Profit Gains as Wind-Power Output Rises
Bloomberg News
China Longyuan Power Group Corp. (916), the nation’s biggest developer of wind farms, said first-quarter profit rose 15 percent as it generated more power at its wind business.

U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good 
Ralph Vartabedian, 
As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts.

Experimental Efforts to Harvest the Ocean’s Power Face Cost Setbacks
Joshua Hunt and Diane Cardwell, The New York Times 
At the Port of Portland sits a 260-ton buoy filled with technology that can turn the movement of the ocean into electricity to power 100 homes. It rolled off an assembly line to great fanfare two years ago and received the nation’s first commercial license to operate.

Solar project won’t qualify for last of Oregon’s $10 million energy tax credits
The Oregonian
The sun may have finally set on a $10 million state tax credit that was repeatedly resurrected by developers and state regulators to support an on-again-off-again solar project in south-central Oregon. 

Clean Tech 

The first round-the-world solar flight seeks opportunities in China
Wang Xin, People’s Daily Online
As well as chocolates, watches, and beautiful scenery, Switzerland is also a world power in research and innovation. Solar Impulse, the world first solar flight, is an excellent example. 


Marine energy roadmap aims to halve costs by 2020
James Murray, BusinessGreen 
The UK’s fledgling marine energy industry has the potential to halve the cost of wave and tidal power by the end of the decade, before slashing costs to just 10 per cent of current levels by 2050.

Are rising seas a business risk? Don’t ask the IPCC
John Englander and Mark Trexler, GreenBiz
Scientists tell us that sea levels are rising as the oceans warm and as glaciers melt, but we don’t have to rely on satellite measurements to perceive the change.

Release Dates Set for Major Agriculture, Climate, Water Reports
Circle of Blue
Air, land, and water. Greek elements each, the basic substances of life will have a turn in the American spotlight in the coming weeks and months.


A battle is looming over renewable energy, and fossil fuel interests are losing
Steven Mufson and Tom Hamburger, The Washington Post 
In state capitals across the country, legislators are debating proposals to roll back environmental rules, prodded by industry and advocacy groups eager to curtail regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gases.

French energy minister promises 100,000 green jobs
Segolene Royal, appointed French energy and environment minister this month, said on Friday she planned to create 100,000 jobs in the next three years with a drive for green growth.



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