An Introduction: Lysiane Baudu

I’d like to introduce our new senior editor for JLN Environmental/Energy, Lysiane Baudu. Lysiane has been a financial and markets journalist for more than 20 years and is based in Paris. (I wish I were based in Paris). She’s worked for a number of publications in her career, including La Tribune in Paris and also served as that paper’s New York bureau chief.
She is currently freelancing and writing a book about French Canadians, her third. She’s also written a book on exchanges, published in 1999 and another about Walmart published in 2008. Now we welcome Lysiane to our team at John Lothian News, where she will be helping put the newsletter together each day.

Quote of the Day:

“The December discount for gas cannot be applied any more.”  

Gazprom’s Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller in Reuter’s story “Russia’s Gazprom announces big gas price rise for Ukraine.”

Lead Stories

Russia’s Gazprom announces big gas price rise for Ukraine
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom announced a more than 40 percent increase in the price Ukraine must pay for gas on Tuesday, stepping up economic pressure on Kiev in its political standoff with Moscow.
Ukraine will now have to pay $385.5 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas in the second quarter, an increase form $268.5 that was agreed in December, before the ouster of Ukraine’s Moscow-backed president and Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Gazprom Raises Natural Gas Price for Ukraine (video)
Bloomberg’s Ryan Chilcote reports on Gazprom raising its price for Ukraine to $385.50/KCM for natural gas. He speaks to Anna Edwards on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.”

Russia plans to build undersea gas pipeline to Crimea
Russia plans to build an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea and could construct three power stations on the Black Sea peninsula following its annexation from Ukraine, Energy Minister Alexander Novak was on Tuesday quoted as saying.
Novak told the Kommersant business newspaper the three power stations could have a total capacity of 1,320 megawatts, and the cost could be up to 100 billion roubles ($2.9 billion). The natural gas pipeline, which could cost up to 6 billion roubles to build, would have a capacity of up to 2 billion cubic metres a year, he said. Novak also said Russian state gas company Gazprom would cover all the costs for the construction of the pipeline to Crimea.

Silicon Valley’s Elite Comes Out Against the Keystone XL
By Brad Wieners – Bloomberg
In a March 7 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that was made public on Monday, more than 200 business owners, venture capitalists, and the odd Stanford B-school professor have asserted that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not in the economic interests of the U.S. Over its lifetime, the 875-mile extension linking Alberta tar sands to refineries and tankers in the Gulf of Mexico would cost billions more than it brings in, the letter states, and “these costs will be borne by U.S. citizens, businesses and taxpayers, while the profits from the pipeline will accrue to private corporations many of which are foreign interests.”

Exxon: Climate Regulations Don’t Threaten the Value of its Reserves
Daniel Gilbert  – The Wall Street Journal
Exxon Mobil Corp. says future regulations to protect the climate don’t threaten the value of its oil and gas reserves, arguing that economies will need the fuels too much to embrace drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.+ see reports’ section
In response to shareholder pressure, the U.S.’s biggest energy company, published two reports Monday affirming that climate change poses a risk to society. But Exxon pushed back against investor concerns that…

Future bright for fossil fuels, Exxon reports
Demand for oil, gas expected to remain strong for decades
The Spokesman Review – On the same day the world’s scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation’s biggest oil and gas company said the world’s climate policies are “highly unlikely” to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future.


Shanghai Stock Exchange mulls carbon index
The Shanghai Stock Exchange is reportedly considering plans to launch a new index ranking listed companies based on their carbon emissions intensity.
According to Reuters’ reports, the stock exchange has asked China Securities Regulatory Commission to impose mandatory carbon reporting rules on listed companies that would allow it to benchmark its nearly 1,000 listed firms based on how much carbon they emit each year per unit of revenue.
The prospect of further regulatory pressure on China’s most carbon intensive firms is likely to provide an additional boost to clean tech providers.

Accenture slashes emissions by more than a third
Global consultancy giant Accenture has revealed that it has slashed its carbon emissions per employee by 36 per cent against its 2007 baseline, primarily through increased use of video conferencing and green procurement standards.
The company yesterday published its annual Corporate Citizenship Report, confirming that emissions per person have now fallen from 4.0 metric tons to 2.6 metric tons of CO2.

EPA seeks public input on Illinois’ carbon-capture plan
The Associated Press
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting public comments on a plan to inject carbon dioxide beneath southern Illinois.
FutureGen Industrial Alliance wants to capture carbon dioxide from a coal-burning power plant in the Morgan County village of Meredosia, then inject it into underground wells near Jacksonville, about 20 miles to the east.

Natural Gas/Coal

Chevron, Polish firm explore shale gas options
Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
In an effort to speed up exploration for natural gas in southwestern Poland, the country’s gas giant PGNiG is signing on with Chevron to diversify its energy portfolio.
Poland relies on Russian imports, a growing problem in light of Ukraine. Now the country wants to diversify its energy sources, and hopes its shale gas deposits can do the trick, the Associated Press reports.

Delay in climate policy seen as no salvation for coal-fired power plants
Jim Algar – Tech Times
Companies operating coal-fired power plants would see no benefit in delay of climate policies regarding global warming, study suggests.
Any delay in climate change policies meant to limit an increase in global warming to 2 degrees centigrade will not benefit companies operating or thinking of building coal-fired powered plants, a study has found.

Tanzania Now Set to Strike More Gas Fields
All Africa –
TANZANIA’S natural gas reserves are projected to reach 200 trillion cubic feet in the next two years, following positive results from the ongoing deep offshore exploration activities.

U.S. review of LNG export plant should weigh shale gas impact -EPA
Ayesha Rascoe – Reuters
The U.S. environmental regulator has raised concerns that a federal review of Sempra Energy’s proposed liquefied natural gas export project did not include an assessment of the potential effects of more natural gas drilling.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued its finding earlier this month. It urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to weigh indirect greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental effects that would flow from the increase in gas drilling needed to support exports from the Cameron plant in Louisiana.


April Sun to Curb Europe Power Price as Mild Weather Seen
Rachel Morison – Bloomberg
Climbing solar production and a fifth month of warmer-than-average weather for April is poised to put further pressure on power prices in Europe.
LB: The share of electricity generated from solar panels in Europe almost tripled to 2 percent in 2013 from 2010 and is forecast to rise to 4 percent by 2020, according to data from Energy Brainpool GmbH. Power and natural gas prices across Europe slumped this winter amid the mildest weather for the period since 2007 and the second-warmest since 1981, according to MDA in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
***LB: German power for April expired yesterday at a record 29.25 euros ($40.33) a megawatt-hour, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest month-ahead price since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 2007. The May contract rose 0.5 percent to 29.45 euros at 10:13 a.m. Berlin time, the data show.

April brings electricity ‘climate credit’ to California
Morgan Lee – UT San Diego
Come April, home electricity customers will receive a $36.24 “climate credit” on utility bills that comes from California’s new cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The credit will show up as a line-item reduction in electricity bills twice a year, for the months of April and October, and is expected to continue through at least 2020.
Small businesses also will receive a credit on a monthly basis starting in May, with dollar figures tied to individual energy use.

Foresight Solar Fund adds 40MW of solar capacity to UK grid
Foresight Solar Fund has connected three solar plants to the grid, delivering almost 40MW of new capacity.
The 17.8MW Castle Eaton project, the 12.2MW Highfields project, and the 9.6MW High Penn project were all acquired by the Jersey-registered investment company from developer SunEdison for £22.6m, £15.8m, and £12.6m respectively.


PassivSystems eyes £12m IPO
Smart energy services company PassivSystems has announced its intention to float on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange.
The Newbury-headquartered company said in a statement it aims to raise £12m through the floatation, which is set to value the company at between £40m and £45m.
The company said it is also working with a number of solar PV infrastructure investors and asset managers to expand its monitoring solution for rooftop solar systems and extend the range of services it can provide to property owners and managers.

England unveil green World Cup strip made from recycled bottles
Will Nichols – BusinessGreen
Both the white and red kits are made from recycled plastic bottles, with 100 per cent recycled polyester in the shorts, 96 per cent recycled polyester in the shirt and 78 per cent in the socks. Nike has developed high tech football kit made from recycled materials for previous tournaments, but the England strip marks the first time a national team’s socks have made use of the green material. Nike estimates an average of 18 plastic bottles are used in each full kit.
“Incorporating environmental sustainability is a key part of the design and development process for us. Our aim is to create a kit that performs for players and is good to the planet.” Martin Lotti, Nike Football global creative director, upon unveiling England soccer team’s outfit for the World Cup.


Measuring the April snowpack
My Mother Lode
“April 1st is significant because it is about the time that snowpack begins to melt, and it has reached its high point,” says Doug Carlson of the California Department of Water Resources. “Of course the reservoir, that is the snowpack, is so important into the spring and summer months. What we find on April 1st will help us understand what we’re really looking at for the rest of the water year.”
“Additional rain and snow would be welcomed, but the truth of the matter is that it will not be enough to dent the drought very much,” adds Carlson. “People should really continue to conserve.”


Study warns of possible REDD+ land grab
Diana Parker – Mongabay
A UN program to reduce global carbon emissions may be putting indigenous communities at risk, jeopardizing local land rights and laying the groundwork for large-scale “carbon grabs” by governments and private investors, argues a new report.
“As the carbon in living trees becomes another marketable commodity, the deck is loaded against forest peoples,” said Arvind Khare, executive director of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), which surveyed 23 low- and middle-income countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa together with the Ateneo School of Government in Manila, the Philippines. Khare was referring to the UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program, which aims to curb carbon emissions by paying developing countries to protect forests.

Governors press Congress on wind tax credit
Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
A bipartisan group of governors is calling on congressional leaders to pass a multi-year extension of tax credits for the wind energy industry.
In a letter sent to Congress on Monday, governors from four states urged lawmakers to extend the production tax credit after letting it expire at the end of last year.
Governors from Iowa, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington wrote that the wind industry tax credit must be extended “regardless of the status of tax reform.”

Over half of US crude oil produced by five states
Laura Barron-Lopez – The Hill
Five states are responsible for over half of the crude oil production in the U.S., according to the Energy Department’s stat shop.
Crude oil production surpassed imports for the first time in nearly 20 years late last year, the Energy Information Administration reported. In a brief released on Monday, the information administration said five states and the Gulf of Mexico brought the U.S. to record production levels, producing four out of five barrels of crude oil in the nation in 2013.

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