Lead Stories

Cargill exits coal trading, European power and gas
David Sheppard – Reuters
Cargill Inc will stop trading coal and dealing in gas and power in Europe, the global commodities giant said, becoming the first traditional commodities trading firm to step away from a sector hard-hit by falling margins.

Musk Joins Designer Westwood Taking Crowdfunding to Clean Energy
Louise Downing – Bloomberg
E-commerce visionary Elon Musk and British punk-fashionista Vivienne Westwood see eye-to-eye on a new wave in clean energy: You need to find investors online.
Musk is chairman of SolarCity Corp., a U.S. provider of solar energy to homes and businesses that plans this year to start seeking individuals to invest in solar projects via the Internet. Westwood is backing Trillion Fund, a web platform that seeks cash for wind and solar plants in the U.K.

U.S. Oil Boom Shifts Alliance as Obama Visits Saudi King
Tara Patel and Maher Chmaytelli – Bloomberg
When Barack Obama sits down tomorrow with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, he’ll do so knowing the U.S. is importing the least crude in two decades, a shift changing America’s strongest relationship in the Arab world.

Weather’s role in power prices will grow – Danske Commodities chief
Vera Eckert and Michael Kahn – Reuters
The growing influence of weather on Europe’s wholesale power markets will make them increasingly volatile, creating new short-term trading opportunities, the head of Danske Commodities said on Thursday.

Special Report: A Canadian family’s ‘Plan B’ to pump tar sands oil
Richard Valdmanis and Dave Sherwood – Reuters
Keystone XL, a pipeline proposal to pump Canadian oil sands through the heart of America, has alarmed environmentalists and become one of the most contentious issues of the Obama presidency. But there is a “Plan B” to cut the United States out of the picture, and it is championed by one of Canada’s wealthiest business dynasties.

Enforcement seen key to success of China’s new environmental markets
Stian Reklev – Reuters
China’s plan for a market in air pollution permits promises to help clean up its air cheaply, but the move could prove just as useless as previous environmental policies unless the government stamps out lax enforcement and spotty data.
Smog regularly blankets the country’s major urban centers and kills half a million people each year.

U.K.’s Big Six Utilities Face Competition Probe
Rachel Morison – Bloomberg
A decision by the U.K. energy regulator to investigate the utility industry threatens to delay investment in power generation in the next four years, adding to the risk of blackouts around the time of the next election.

Bill would give feds new power to protect electric grid
Timothy Cama – The Hill
Democrats in the House and Senate introduced identical bills Wednesday that would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) new authority to address emergencies and vulnerabilities in the country’s electric grid.

Danske Commodities Boosts Power, Gas Trading as Volatility Rises
Rachel Morison – Bloomberg
Danske Commodities A/S, a closely-held Danish energy trader, boosted the volume of electricity and gas it handled last year as increased wind and solar power production made prices more volatile.
Power trading rose by 30 percent from a year earlier while gas climbed 65 percent, Torben Nordal Clausen, Danske Commodities’ chief executive officer, said by phone today.

U.K. Renewable Electricity Generation Rose 28% in 2013
Alex Morales – Bloomberg
U.K. renewable power generation rose 28 percent last year as more wind farms and solar plants came online, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said.
Wind, solar, hydro and biomass plants generated 52.8 terawatt-hours of power last year, taking the share of renewables in the total power mix to 14.8 percent from 11.3 percent in 2012, DECC said today in an e-mailed report.


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


Shanghai Stock Exchange considering launch of carbon index
The Shanghai Stock Exchange has asked China’s securities regulator to make it mandatory for listed companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions to pave the way for new carbon-related financial products.

Carbon Falls to 2-Month Low as U.K. Emissions Drop Cools Demand
Mathew Carr – Bloomberg
Carbon fell to a two-month low as a bigger-than-expected drop in greenhouse-gas emissions from U.K. power stations signaled demand for pollution permits may decline across Europe.
European Union carbon permits fell as much as 11 percent to their lowest since Jan. 25, according to the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. Trading volume for the December 2014 benchmark contract more than tripled to a record.

Why the energy competition enquiry is good for low-carbon energy
Damian Carrington – The Guardian
The big six that dominate the UK’s energy market are hopelessly conflicted. Disruption will encourage a ‘big 60,000’ of operators with greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy.

Kinder Morgan announces $1 billion carbon dioxide expansion
Fuel Fix
The company plans to build a 213-mile, 16-inch diameter pipeline from Apache County, Ariz. to Torrance County, N.M. that will transport carbon dioxide to be used for projects owned by Kinder Morgan and others in the Permian Basin.

1 Company Using More Carbon Dioxide to Fuel Dividend Growth
Matt DiLallo – The Motley Fool
Legacy Reserves LP announced yesterday that it was paying $112 million to make two bolt-on acquisitions. The MLP is picking up oil properties in New Mexico and Montana with an aim to grow its already enormous distribution to unit holders. Let’s take a look at the deals and the role carbon dioxide is playing to fuel future income growth for investors.

Natural Gas/Coal

House Foreign Affairs Committee Takes Up LNG Export Issue
Charlie Passut – Natural Gas Intelligence
One day after lawmakers in both houses of Congress debated the merits of liquefied natural gas exports (LNG), the House Committee on Foreign Affairs took up the issue on Wednesday, reasoning that exports are an intricate part of the discussion over the geopolitical potential of the energy boom in the United States. However, testimony from a panel of experts indicated the impact of U.S. LNG exports may be overstated and their effect on domestic natural gas prices unknown.

AEP expects 65 percent boost in natural gas capacity by 2016, coal capacity decreasing

Tom Knox – Columbus Business First
American Electric Power Company Inc. expects a 65 percent boost in its natural gas capacity from 2005 to 2016.
New environmental regulations and market conditions – domestic natural gas is now abundant and cheap – are driving the increase the company reported in a March presentation for investors.

Natural Gas Stocks 2014: A Bullish Sign from This LNG Export News
Tara Clarke – Money Morning
As Russia’s clash with Ukraine and the West boils on, pressure is mounting for the federal government to loosen export regulations on U.S. liquefied natural gas.
Currently, the U.S. exports natural gas to only a handful of countries, such as Canada. No U.S. LNG is exported to Europe.

Natural gas in storage falls below 900 Bcf, EIA reports
Jacob Quinn Sanders – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Natural gas in storage has fallen below 900 billion cubic feet for the first time in 567 weeks, according to an U.S. Energy Information Administration report today.

Glencore suspends Australia coal mine as market worsens
Glencore Xstrata will suspend operations at its Ravensworth underground coal mine in Australia following a plunge in coal prices due to a supply glut.
The move underscores the plight of coal miners operating in Australia, including AngloAmerican, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto , which have closed mines and cut staff in recent months to combat worsening conditions.

Argentine cuts heating gas subsidies in bid to shore up govt finances
Argentina said on Wednesday it will reduce the country’s popular heating gas subsidies by 20 percent, a move aimed at shoring up strained government finances but that will put pressure on consumers already harried by one of the world’s highest inflation rates.


SMA Loss Wider Than Expected as Solar Maker Seeks Cost Cuts
Stefan Nicola – Bloomberg
SMA Solar Technology (S92) AG, Germany’s biggest solar maker, reported a wider-than-expected loss because demand shifted from its home market in Europe toward Asia.
SMA incurred a net loss of 67 million euros ($92 million) in 2013, the Niestetal-based company said today in a statement. That compares with the 62.4 million-euro-loss average estimate by seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Japan to Guarantee Debt for Two Geothermal Projects, METI Says
Chisaki Watanabe – Bloomberg
Japan’s government will guarantee debt to build geothermal power stations to attract investment by private financial institutions, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

SolarWorld says on track to return to profit
Germany’s SolarWorld said on Thursday it was on track to return to profit next year, a sign that the solar panel maker is recovering after a radical restructuring in which Qatar became a shareholder.

House rejects bill repealing Kansas’ RPS energy mandate
Tim Carpenter – CJOnline.com
A bipartisan coalition in the House refused to accept a controversial Senate bill Wednesday to repeal a state law mandating utility companies acquire 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Regulated electricity price to stay an option in Ohio
Dan Gearino – The Columbus Dispatch
State regulators investigating Ohio’s electricity market have closed the case without making major changes to the system.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio looked at some hot-button issues in the 15-month probe, such as whether to get rid of regulated pricing, but the panel’s actions stop short of anything controversial.

NRG Buys Installer Roof Diagnostics in Home Solar Push
Ehren Goossens – Bloomberg
NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), the largest independent U.S. electricity producer, bought rooftop solar installer Roof Diagnostics Solar Inc. as it seeks to capitalize on the growing decentralized power market.


Beijing Enterprises Water Profit Jumps 44% on China Sales
Beijing Enterprises Water Group (371) Ltd., the biggest publicly traded water-treatment systems developer in China, reported a 44 percent increase in 2013 profit on “rapid growth” in sales and construction services.

SandRidge eyeing options for fracking water disposal unit
SandRidge Energy Inc has started taking steps toward monetizing its fracking water disposal business, the largest in the United States, as it tightens its core focus on oil and natural gas development, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Hamilton hydroelectric power plant, Ohio River’s largest, nears completion
Chelsey Levingston – Journal-News
City government is nearing the finish line of a 10-year, approximately $500 million project to build a new water-powered electric plant along the Ohio River.
Construction on the new power plant, named Meldahl, is more than 80 percent complete, said Doug Childs, Hamilton public utilities director.


Fracking’s Earthquake Risks Push States to Collaborate
Jim Efstathiou Jr. – Bloomberg
Several U.S. states are banding together to combat the mounting risks of earthquakes tied to the disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
Regulators from Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio met for the first time this month in Oklahoma City to exchange information on the man-made earthquakes and help states toughen their standards.

Michigan survey aims for unbiased data on energy
Karen Uhlenhuth – Midwest Energy News
Where energy is concerned, Americans are at least as worried about the environmental repercussions as they are about cost.
That is among the findings of a newly-launched quarterly survey being conducted by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute together with the university’s Institute for Social Research.

Argentine Senate OKs plan to pay Repsol for 2012 YPF takeover
Argentina’s Senate approved a government proposal on Thursday to pay Repsol $5 billion in bonds to compensate the Spanish oil major for the nationalization of its majority stake in energy company YPF two years ago.



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