Carbon is king in today’s edition, as the Shenzhen Emissions Trading Exchange will develop products to increase the volume of carbon trades, and the fact that revenues for China’s biggest sellers of U.N.-issued carbon credits shrunk last year. Also in today’s edition, talks to be held tomorrow between Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and the European Commission to negotiate a possible solution for Ukraine’s gas crisis and, still on the European front, an investigation into alleged tax fraud in Europe’s gas and electricity markets in the UK.

Quote of the day

“The CDM (U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism) has played an extremely significant role in the development of China’s renewable energy and energy efficiency targets by helping kick-start the deployment of … projects across China.”

Jeff Swartz, policy director at investor group the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) in the Reuters’ story China carbon cash party over as U.N. credit stream dries up 

Lead Stories

Ukraine, Russia, EU may meet to talk gas – Ukraine minister
Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and the European Commission may meet on Thursday in Bratislava to negotiate a possible solution for Ukraine’s gas crisis, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said on Wednesday.

China now on track to meet 2015 emissions targets -state planner
China is now back on track to meet a series of mandatory targets to cut pollution and improve energy efficiency by 2015, after falling behind expectations due to strong economic growth over 2011-12, a state planning agency official said on Wednesday.

China carbon cash party over as U.N. credit stream dries up
Stian Reklev and Kathy Chen, Reuters
Revenues for China’s biggest sellers of U.N.-issued carbon credits shrunk last year to a tenth of 2012 values, choking off billions of dollars flowing to clean energy projects in the world’s top carbon-emitter.

UK probe into energy market tax receipts
Daniel Schäfer, The Financial Times
UK authorities have launched an investigation into alleged tax fraud in Europe’s gas and electricity markets, in the second potential scandal to hit the power trading sector.
***LB: Also in this story “It is the latest blow to the power trading market after JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank last year reached a settlement with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over allegations that they manipulated power markets in California and the Midwest.”

IFC, Shenzhen partner to develop carbon trading in China
The Asset
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shenzhen Emissions Trading Exchange to develop products that will help increase the volume of trades, create more business opportunities, and contribute to mitigating climate change.
***LB: Also in this story “Shenzhen is a special economic zone in China’s southeast and is one of the mainland’s leaders in environmental protection. It has one of the world’s largest fleets of electric vehicles and is also China’s leading city in the implementation of star-rated green buildings.”

EU to step up energy cooperation with Pacific islands
The European Union (EU) announced on Tuesday it will strengthen cooperation with the Pacific island countries in supporting renewable energy and fighting climate change in the area.

The New Abolitionism
Christopher Hayes, The Nation 
Before the cannons fired at Fort Sumter, the Confederates announced their rebellion with lofty rhetoric about “violations of the Constitution of the United States” and “encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States.” But the brute, bloody fact beneath those words was money. So much goddamn money.


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 


Natural Gas/Coal 

White House approves stricter coal dust rule
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a rule Monday to further restrict the amount of coal dust to which miners can be exposed.

British Gas to help businesses beat rising energy costs with new Pulse deal
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
British Gas has signed a deal with Pulse Energy to roll out a new system that will help its commercial customers save energy.



RWE to build 37 MW solar park in Britain in renewable push
German utility RWE is planning a 37 megawatt (MW) solar park in Britain, it said on Wednesday, expanding its presence in renewable energy, which some analysts say has been neglected by the group.
***LB: Also in this story “RWE, which will provide financing and technical support, has appointed solar group Conergy to build the park.”

Bloomberg ploughs $5m into off-grid African solar 
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
Bloomberg’s charitable arm has invested $5m (£3m) in Little Sun, a social enterprise that distributes solar lamps across Africa to help reduce communities’ dependency on polluting kerosene lamps.

Eight major UK renewable energy projects receive government backing
Adam Vaughan,
The UK government has agreed deals to financially support eight major new renewable energy projects which between them will power millions of homes.

Drax sues UK government over U-turn on biomass conversion support
British electricity producer Drax said on Wednesday it had commenced legal proceedings against a government decision not to support the conversion of one of its coal units to biomass under a new subsidy scheme.

National Grid dials up demand response options
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
National Grid has ramped up its use of energy saving to rebalance the UK electricity grid after signing a deal with Belgian demand response company REstore.

INSIGHT-Paying for giant Nile dam itself, Ethiopia thwarts Egypt but takes risks 
Aaron Maasho, Reuters
Ethiopia’s bold decision to pay for a huge dam itself has overturned generations of Egyptian control over the Nile’s waters, and may help transform one of the world’s poorest countries into a regional hydropower hub.
***Also in this story “The dam is now a quarter built and Ethiopia says it will start producing its first 750 megawatts of electricity by the end of this year.”



Farm Bureau pledges to fight EPA’s water rule
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The American Farm Bureau Federation has promised to fight the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through multiple avenues on its proposed new definition of which bodies of water are under its jurisdiction, saying the rule could “impose unworkable regulations on the nation’s farms.”

Chairman of Veolia unit in China apologises after water pollution 
The chairman of the Chinese unit of French utility Veolia Environment (VIE.PA) has apologised to the public after a cancer-inducing chemical was found in tap water supplied by the company, the Xinhua news agency said.


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