Summary

In today’s edition, good news, given by Deutsche Bank: according to its latest report, solar power has already won. Over the next 15 years, it will become the dominant electricity source around the world and generate $5 trillion in revenue. Also, the tail end on the Keystone pipeline project, as the U.S. Senate failed on Wednesday to override President Barack Obama’s veto. And finally, Republicans picked a new fight: Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wants governors to refuse to implement the administration’s global warming regulations.  

Quote of the day

“Over the next 5-10 years, we expect new business models to generate a significant amount of economic and shareholder value. Within three years, the economics of solar will take over from policy drivers (subsidies).”

The Deutsche Bank’s analysts who wrote the report, in the REneweconomy’s story Carbon crash, solar dawn: Deutsche Bank on why solar has already won  

Lead stories

EPA administrator races to finish landmark climate rules 
By Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Gina McCarthy is locked in a race against time to complete landmark climate change regulations before President Obama leaves office.
http://jlne.ws/1EQeM1e

McConnell Urges States to Defy U.S. Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gas
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader, is urging governors to defy President Obama by refusing to implement the administration’s global warming regulations. 
http://jlne.ws/1wJ96oA

Robert Redford’s message to Obama: Time to kill Keystone for good
By Robert Redford – MSNBC
President Obama was right to veto a bill that would have forced approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline – and the Senate was right to vote Wednesday to let the veto stand. 
http://jlne.ws/1G0nmbT

Senate fails to override Obama’s veto of Keystone XL approval
By Susan Cornwell – Reuters
The U.S. Senate failed on Wednesday to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the controversial project to await an administration decision on whether to permit or deny it. 
http://jlne.ws/18l5Sf4

Carbon crash, solar dawn: Deutsche Bank on why solar has already won 
By Giles Parkinson – REneweconomy  
Deutsche Bank has produced another major report that suggests solar will become the dominant electricity source around the world as it beats conventional fuels, generates $5 trillion in revenue over the next 15 years, and displaces large amounts of fossil fuels. 
http://jlne.ws/1B5B2Td

Industry lobbyists weakened Europe’s air pollution rules, say Greenpeace
By Arthur Neslen and Rob Evans – The Guardian
New limits on air pollution in Europe have been watered down because governments are allowing some of the worst polluters to help draw up the rules, according to a Greenpeace investigation.
http://jlne.ws/1GmnpCu

Could that volcano in Chile slow global warming?
By Lisa Suhay – The Christian Science Monitor
You don’t often hear “volcanic eruption” and “cooling” in the same sentence, but the dramatic eruption of the Villarica volcano in southern Chile could actually help slow global warming.
http://jlne.ws/1GmxdMW

Sunnylands: California, China model partners on climate 
By Sammy Roth – The Desert Sun  
World leaders fighting to limit climate change should look to the partnership between California and China for inspiration, according to a new report co-authored by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage.  
http://jlne.ws/1Ei6Re1  
***LB: Also in this qtory “The report, released Wednesday at a San Francisco event attended by Gov. Jerry Brown, says California has “helped create something of a state model for subnational international cooperation on climate change and energy issues.” The New York-based Asia Society wrote the report with help from the Annenberg Foundation Trust, which operates the famed Sunnylands estate.”

India to partner with Africa to fight climate change 
PTI
Ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris later this year, India today said that adaptation and mitigation must be accorded “equal” importance and assured that it will partner with African nations to fight climate change while taking cooperation to a “new level”. 
http://jlne.ws/1wJ9lzU

African ministers gather in Egypt to tackle climate change
Xinhua
African ministers and experts of over 50 states gathered in Cairo Wednesday to discuss the environmental challenges facing the continent topped by climate change. 
http://jlne.ws/1B5wZ9t

Events 

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 
http://jlne.ws/1F1ycOT 

Carbon

Momentum builds toward RET deal after ‘most significant discussion yet’
By Lisa Cox – The Sydney Morning Herald
A breakthrough in the long-running stand-off over Australia’s renewable energy target appears closer than ever, with the government and clean energy industry expressing optimism a deal can be done.
http://jlne.ws/1BTGRWl

UK joins Romanian push for new EU nuclear aid package
By Arthur Neslen – The Guardian
The UK and seven other countries last month called for a new package of nuclear aid funding and support, in a letter sent to the commission ahead of the EU’s energy union policy launch. 
http://jlne.ws/1ALBocS

Natural gas / coal

China tries to ditch its coal addiction, reduce energy intensity 
By Chen Aizhu, Dominique Patton and Kathy Chen – Reuters
China will boost efforts this year to rid itself of a strong addiction to coal in a bid to reduce damaging pollution as well as cut the energy intensity of its economy, which is expected to grow at its lowest rate in 25 years.
http://jlne.ws/1aMmjTw

Fridman given seven-day reprieve by UK to save North Sea gas deal
By Christopher Adams – Financial Times
The British government has set Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman a seven-day deadline to explain why it should not block his purchase of a dozen North Sea gasfields this week from Germany’s RWE as part of a 5bn  euro deal. 
http://jlne.ws/18l9LRf

PEGAS: New monthly record in February – Strong PEGAS Futures driven by TTF Futures
EEX Press Release
PEGAS, the pan-European gas trading platform operated by Powernext, announced that a total volume of 79.9 TWh was traded in February 2015. 
http://jlne.ws/1G0udCf

Ky. regulators walk tightrope on Clean Power Plan
By Jean Chemnick – E&E
Kentucky regulators say they’ve figured out how they might write an implementation plan for the U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan without violating a state law that severely limits their options.
http://jlne.ws/1ALAY6g 
***LB: Also in this story “The Energy and Environment Cabinet hopes to avoid having EPA impose an implementation plan for curbing carbon dioxide emissions with a strategy that relies on retirements of coal-fired power plants that were already planned for the next 15 years.”

Power

Solairedirect Moves to File I.P.O. in Paris
By Stanley Reed – The New York Times
Solairedirect, a solar energy provider based in Paris, said on Thursday that it had filed preliminary documents with the French authorities for an initial public offering on the Euronext Paris stock market.
http://jlne.ws/1EQezv6

University installs prototype ‘pee power’ toilet
By Rebecca Smithers – The Guardian
A prototype toilet has been launched on a UK university campus to prove that urine can generate electricity, and show its potential for helping to light cubicles in international refugee camps. 
http://jlne.ws/1DY1HkX

How Volcanoes Could Help Power the Planet—But Barely Do 
By Wendy Koch – National Geographic
In this serene corner of Java, farmworkers pick tea leaves from striped-green hills threaded with pipes. The three-foot-wide pipes carry steam from a broiling underground reservoir, a reminder of the volcano that once erupted.
http://jlne.ws/1FcGAuL

Wind turbines take to the skies to seek out more power
By Richard Anderson – BBC News
Efficiency has always been a strange critique given that the fuel driving turbines – wind – is free. And while electricity generated from wind may currently be more expensive than that from some fossil fuels, costs are coming down fast. 
http://jlne.ws/1ALAYmT

Australian-first floating solar farm due to begin construction in SA
By Matthew Doran – ABC
An Australian-first floating solar power plant is expected to be operational in South Australia by early April, with construction about to begin.
http://jlne.ws/1KpmV1e

Why your neighbour’s solar panels are reducing your power bill
By Claire O’Rourke – ABC
Australian voters’ collective hip pocket nerve has been a major player in Australia’s energy policy. The cost of electricity is a major contributor to the cost of living and the ability to make family budgets balance. 
http://jlne.ws/1BTHj6Q

Drax branches out into renewable heat market with wood pellet firm deal
By Will Nichols  – BusinessGreen 
Drax has bought Billington Bioenergy (BBE), the UK’s second largest wood pellet distributor, as the power generator ramps up its move into the renewable heat market. 
http://jlne.ws/1ALBdOG

Clean tech

Can Carbon Dioxide Replace Steam to Generate Power? 
By Umair Irfan and ClimateWire
Engineers are looking into replacing steam with supercritical carbon dioxide, a technique that could unlock up to 50 percent greater thermal efficiency using a smaller, cheaper turbine.
http://jlne.ws/1aMosyE

Water

Droughts in the Amazon are speeding up climate change: ‘Lungs of the planet’ are emitting more CO2 than they capture 
By Ellie ZolFagharifard – DailyMail.com
Worsening droughts in the Amazon – dubbed the ‘lungs of the world’ – are speeding up climate change, scientists have warned. 
http://jlne.ws/17Ty09j

Tale of two droughts: What California, Syria can teach about adaptation gap (+video)
By Pete Spotts – The Christian Science Monitor
At first glance, California and Syria appear to have little in common other than Mediterranean climates.
http://jlne.ws/18lajXf

Miscellaneous

A new price to pay for destruction of forests: a resurgence of the plague
By Niina Heikkinen – E&E
Deforestation to expand agricultural lands may be doing more than contributing to carbon emissions; it could also be exposing more people to diseases like the “Black Death,” which devastated populations in the Middle Ages. 
http://jlne.ws/17TxFmS 

Intergenerational report: climate change silence in 2015 a stark contrast to 2010 
By Lenore Taylor – The Guardian
Five years ago the 2010 intergenerational report declared that “climate change is the largest and most significant challenge to Australia’s environment. 
http://jlne.ws/1zZHhUH

 

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