Saber rattling again on the part of Russia. Gazprom Neft’s CEO hints at the fact that the oil company will do away with the greenback in its transactions. And also in this edition, the EU will yield to Germany’s pressure on subsidies for clean energy. 

Quote of the day

“No such task has been set (by the government), but we have discussed with our buyers the possibility of switching contracts to euros and 95 percent said they are ready.”

Gazprom Neft’s CEO Alexander Dyukov, in the Reuter’s story “Gazprom Neft CEO says company could look east if sanctions.”

Lead Stories

Gazprom Neft CEO says company could look east if sanctions hit
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia’s Gazprom, has not been hurt by Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea but will move away from dollars in its contracts, and redirect oil flows to Asia, if needed.

Pollution Traders Bullish as EU Cuts Permit Glut: Energy
Mathew Carr, Bloomberg
The cost of polluting is poised to rebound after the European Union began reducing a record glut of permits to rescue the world’s biggest greenhouse-gas market.
***LB: Also in this story “Carbon prices will climb 37 percent by the end of June, according to the median of 11 trader and analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Options data show traders are the most bullish in three years.”

Brussels bends to pressure from Germany on clean energy subsidies
Alex Barker and Jeevan Vasagar, Financial Times
Brussels will this week bend to intense pressure from Berlin and relax planned curbs on subsidies for clean energy, clearing the way for the German government to pass a crucial renewables law.

Many German power plant projects not viable – industry body
The economic viability of some 43 percent or 32 of the power plants planned for construction in Europe’s largest economy by 2022 has been called into question, German energy industry association BDEW said in a statement on Monday.
***LB: Also in this story “Germany, which is due to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, could face supply bottlenecks in the next few years unless action was taken to encourage the construction of more power stations to ensure stable supply, the Berlin-based group said.”

Norway wealth fund to ramp up renewable energy investments
Camilla Knudsen and Gwladys Fouche, Planet Ark
Norway’s $860 billion oil fund should scale up its investments in renewable energy and weigh the risk to future returns posed by climate change, the finance ministry said on Friday, a shift green groups said was insufficient.
***LB: Also in the story “It has undershot its 4-percent return-on-investment target since it was established in its current form in 1998.”

Investors lead push for more action on climate change
The Nation
The 35 institutional investors are led by Walden Asset Management, the New York State comptroller’s office, the California State teachers’ retirement system, Calvert Investments, the Connecticut Treasurer’s Office, Trillium Asset Management, Mercy Investments and Green Century capital management.

UK needs Scotland ‘to keep the lights on’
Mure Dickie, Financial Times
The rest of the UK needs Scotland to keep the lights on and electricity bills down, according to a Scottish government report intended to counter concerns that independence would hurt power producers and consumers north of the border.

U.S. Lags Behind China in Renewables Investments
Climate Central
Don’t let all those Texas wind farms and massive installations of solar panels in California fool you. The U.S. is not the world leader in clean energy investment. China is.
***LB: Also in the story “For the second year, an annual Pew Charitable Trusts report, “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?”, shows that China is the world leader in clean energy investment, with $54 billion in investments in renewables in 2013, well above total U.S. investment of $36.7 billion.”

Investors lead push for more action on climate change
The Nation
The 35 institutional investors are led by Walden Asset Management, the New York State comptroller’s office, the California State teachers’ retirement system, Calvert Investments, the Connecticut Treasurer’s Office, Trillium Asset Management, Mercy Investments and Green Century capital management.
They have filed 142 resolutions in a coordinated effort to spur action by 118 companies – including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Kinder Morgan, Lowes and several electric utilities – on a wide range of climate-related issues such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy efficiency and sustainable palm oil.


Solar Summit
Greentech Media’s flagship annual solar conference that focuses on global market trends, relevant technologies and project finance. With sessions on everything from Latin American market dynamics to BOS innovations, Solar Summit attracts high-level decision makers from all areas of the industry.
April 14-16, 2014
Phoenix, Arizona

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


Five more EU states allowed to swap UN carbon offsets for EUAs
The European Commission on Friday gave approval for companies in a further five European Union states to exchange United Nations-backed offsets for EU Allowances under the bloc’s carbon market. The move will allow participants in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) to use cheaper Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) or Emissions Reduction Units (ERUs) to meet emissions targets ahead of an April 30 compliance deadline.

IPCC report proposes sucking carbon out of the air as climate fix
Martin Lukacs,
An upcoming UN report suggests that unproven technologies to suck carbon out of the air might be a fix for climate change, according to a leaked draft obtained by the Guardian.

Natural Gas/Coal

BHP hits resistance on coking coal prices
Neil Hume, Financial Times
A push by BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest resource company by market value, to have coking coal prices set by an index-based pricing system has encountered further resistance. BHP has been attempting to establish market-linked pricing in the Asian market since 2010.

Oil and gas sector to create ‘39,000 jobs in two years’
Priyanka Shrestha, Energy LiveNews
Nearly 40,000 jobs could be created in the UK’s oil and gas industry in the next two years, new research claims.

Singapore to Become Asian LNG Hub by 2018 – Government
Chou Hui Hong, Bloomberg
Singapore’s political neutrality and English-speaking workforce will help the city-state become an Asian hub for LNG trading, according to the government.
***LB: Also in this story “Singapore, Asia’s oil-trading center, has spent S$1.7 billion ($1.4 billion) on its first LNG terminal. Asia has overtaken Europe as the world’s biggest gas importer, accounting for 46 percent of global trade, according to the International Energy Agency, which cites Singapore as best-placed to be the hub for liquefied natural gas.”

Shale Gas Boom Leaves Wind Companies Seeking More Subsidy
Christopher Martin, Bloomberg
Wind power in the U.S. is on a respirator. The $14 billion industry, the world’s second-largest buyer of wind turbines, is reeling from a double blow — cheap natural gas unleashed by the hydraulic fracturing revolution and the death last year of federal subsidies that made wind the most competitive of all renewable energy sources in the U.S.
***LB: Also in this story “Without restoration of subsidies, worth $23 per megawatt hour to turbine owners, the industry may not recover.”

Rio Tinto to submit new Australia coal mine plan after losing legal fight
Rio Tinto has lost a legal fight to expand its Warkworth coal mine in Australia, which the global miner said was necessary to maintain viability as coal markets weaken.

Exxon Mobil agrees to share more data on fracking risks
Ernest Scheyder, Reuters
Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, has agreed to disclose more information about the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, the process known as fracking.

White House hopes for European shale gas face headwinds
Zack Coleman, Washington Examiner
The White House wants Europe to frack to weaken Russia’s influence over energy supplies on the continent. Translating that desire into action, however, will take time.


Ohio becomes third state to impose rules to curtail ‘fugitive emissions’ from drilling operations
Bob Downing, Beacon Journal
Ohio on Friday tightened its rules on air emissions from natural gas-oil drilling at horizontal wells.
*** LB: Also in this story “Fugitive emissions can account for 1 to 8 percent of methane from an individual well, according to some studies.”

Potato supplier finds wind energy a-peel-ing
UK Potato supplier Greenvale is to chip away at its energy costs by installing a 1.5MW wind turbine at its Floods Ferry site in Cambridgeshire.

Lightsource debuts commercial rooftop division
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Lightsource Renewable Energy began its push into the commercial solar rooftop market late last week, timing the launch of its new dedicated Lightsource Commercial Rooftops division to coincide the publication of the government’s new solar strategy.


Australian Province Considers Selling Its Biggest Water Assets, Built During Drought Panic
Circle of Blue
Queensland spent big during the decade of drought that choked Australia at the turn of the 21st century. The northeastern province built a $AUS 2.6 billion facility to purify and reuse sewer water and a $AUS 1.2 billion plant to remove the salt from seawater.


Big El Niño Coming?
Living on earth, audio
Conditions in the western Pacific Ocean point to an unusually intense El Niño weather pattern for 2014/15. Climate scientist Kevin Trenberth tells host Steve Curwood that the last extreme El Niño event in 1997/98 coincided with drought in Australia and Africa, severe ice storms in Northeastern North America, and the Pacific Ocean’s most active hurricane year on record.



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