In this edition, Germany adopts, as mentioned yesterday, a renewable energy reform that will slow the expansion of green energy and force new investors in green power to take some risk. Also, Ukraine, saddled with a $2.2 billion debt, failed to pay on time for its Gazprom’s March gas supplies, said the Russia oil and gas giant.

Quote of the day

“Compromises have to be made”

Ulrich Grillo, head of the BDI (the Federation of German Industries) in the Reuters’ story Germany ushers in renewable energy reform

Lead Stories

Germany ushers in renewable energy reform
Markus Wacket, Reuters
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet has approved a reform of Germany’s renewable energy law designed to curb a rise in the cost of electricity in Europe’s biggest economy driven by the rapid expansion of green power.
***LB: Also in this story “Under the reform, new upper limits will be placed on onshore wind power expansion (at 2.5 gigawatts in capacity per year), photovoltaic (2.5 GW per year) and offshore wind plants (6.5 GW to 2020).”

Russia’s Gazprom says Ukraine fails to pay for gas on time
Russia’s top natural gas producer Gazprom said on Tuesday Ukraine had failed to pay on time for March gas supplies and its debt stood at $2.2 billion.

BT, Shell and corporates call for trillion tons of carbon to stay in the ground
Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies today calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to tackle climate change.

Potočnik: EU can become “global leader in sustainability and competitiveness”
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The combination of technical innovation and progressive policies and standards can cement Europe’s position as the world’s leading clean tech hub, while bolstering its economic competitiveness in the process.
That is the prediction from European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, who told executives at the Industrial GreenTec Fair in Hannover that EU industry has a huge opportunity to “play the role of the global leader in sustainability and competitiveness”.

Windy winter delivers power record for world’s largest offshore wind farm
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen 08
High winds and stormy weather over the winter months helped the London Array, located off the Kent coast, power around 325,000 homes, according to new figures released by the wind farm operators.

The boy is back? Risk of El Nino this year increases
The chance of an El Nino weather event developing in 2014 now exceeds 70 percent, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday, raising the prospect of damaging floods and droughts across the globe.

After refusing to divest from fossil fuels, Harvard takes new steps to promote the environment
Marcella Bombardieri,
Six months after announcing that Harvard would not divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry, President Drew Faust unveiled several new initiatives today to strengthen the university’s commitment to environmental sustainability and renewable energy.


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


Maersk Line lowers shipping emissions 12 per cent during 2013
Maersk Line, the shipping company responsible for around one per cent of global emissions, has saved $764m on fuel over 2013 by cutting its CO2 output by 12 per cent.

Cap-and-trade as a revenue source for Illinois
Don Fullerton, The State Journal-Register
The suggestion to implement cap-and-trade in Illinois has almost nothing to do with global warming.

Natural Gas/Coal

Shale industry faces global reality check
Richard Anderson, BBC News
Just four years ago, natural gas prices in Europe were roughly comparable with those in the US; now they are three times higher. In Japan, they are five times higher. Understandably, countries around the world want a piece of the action.

BG Group shifts oil and LNG trading arm to Singapore
Michael Kavanagh, Financial Times
BG Group has shifted the centre of its liquefied natural gas and oil marketing business from the UK to Singapore, in a move the FTSE 100 company says reflects the growing importance of Asian energy markets.

COLUMN-Australian LNG investment is at risk, but not as much as feared
Clyde Russell, Reuters
The Australian oil and gas industry is telling everybody that a second wave of investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants is at risk unless labour and regulatory costs are cut.

GVK Hancock to meet court-set conditions to start $10 bln coal project
GVK Hancock said on Tuesday it would work with regulators and landholders to meet strict court-set conditions to gain a lease for its $10 billion Alpha coal mine, rail and port project.


EPA pledges flexibility for states in power plant rule
Timothy Cama, the Hill
Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy sought to reassure state energy regulators Monday that the upcoming rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants would give states a great deal of flexibility.

Brazil, banks to finalize electricity fund loan in late April: source
Alonso Soto and Guillermo Parra-Bernal, Reuters
A syndicated loan aimed at helping struggling Brazilian electricity distributors cope with the impact of dry weather could be finalized by the end of April, a source with knowledge of the plan told Reuters on Monday.

Could a solar-powered plane soon circumnavigate the globe?
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
A pioneering team of Swiss engineers will tomorrow unveil a new solar-powered plane that they hope to fly around the world non-stop for the first time ever.

4 ways to make solar financing less weird
Dan Seif and James Mandel, GreenBiz
While utility-scale solar finance is still “weird” in that it involves tax equity, it also involves infrastructure funds, IPPs, utilities and other mainstream sources of sponsor equity and project debt.

Independent Scotland faces £1.8bn bill to meet its green targets – Ed Davey
Severin Carrell, the Guardian
Scottish consumers would face a bill of £1.8bn to subsidise new green energy projects if Scotland were to vote for independence, Westminster says.


Population Growth and Climate Change Will Radically Alter California’s Largest Watershed
Circle of Blue
A major Bureau of Reclamation study depicts widespread changes in the coming decades for water supply and demand in California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, as well as for water quality in the delta ecosystem where the two rivers intersect.

Partnership Agreement Saves Canada’s Renowned Lake Laboratory
Brett Walton,  Circle of Blue
The Experimental Lakes Area, site of trailblazing research into the effects of acid rain and the cause of freshwater algae blooms, will not be closed, as might have happened under a 2012 budget-cutting proposal by Canada’s conservative government.


Australia: Environment Department to shed 25% of its staff after $100m budget cut
Oliver Milman,
The federal Department of Environment will shed a quarter of its staff and look to generate “alternative funding models” from some of Australia’s premier natural spaces in an attempt to save $100m.

China’s green environmental march benefits US, world
By Michael Barris, China Daily USA 
China, the country that consumes more energy and emits more greenhouse gases than any other nation, has made a name for itself as an environmental leader. Its breakthroughs in green technology stand to help not only its residents, but those of the US and the rest of the world.


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