Lead Stories

White House eyes new regulations to cut methane from oil, gas sector
Roberta Rampton and Timothy Gardner – Reuters
The White House said on Friday it will take a hard look at whether new regulations are needed to cut emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry, part of President Barack Obama’s plan to address climate change.

Carbon Trading Hits Record on ICE as Prices Reach Two-Month Low
Alessandro Vitelli – Bloomberg
Carbon trading soared to a record on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange as European Union emission prices headed for their biggest weekly decline in almost a year.

Carbon Slumps Most in 11 Months as Allowance Demand Seen Cooling
Alessandro Vitelli – Bloomberg
Carbon plunged the most in almost a year amid speculation that European Union emissions data will show greenhouse-gas output dropped more than expected in 2013, reducing demand for pollution rights.

Rep. Hal Rogers Takes on EPA’s Expansion of Clean Water Rules
Alicia Mundy – The Wall Street Journal
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R., Ky.) clearly isn’t happy with the EPA move this week to expand the reach of its clean-water rules to include small streams and wetlands, including those that dry up in the summer.

Japan steps up shift to coal, gas amid nuclear shutdowns
Osamu Tsukimori and Aaron Sheldrick – Reuters
Japan’s utilities are again stepping up plans to increase electricity output from coal and natural gas to replace lost nuclear power, with a prolonged shutdown of reactors continuing and a rising prospect that many units may not come back online.

Ethanol Rises Above $3 a Gallon for First Time Since 2011
Lucia Kassai – Bloomberg
Ethanol futures rose above $3 for the first time since 2011 amid demand from refineries and blenders before U.S. gasoline use rises with warmer weather.
Distillers are facing delays transporting the ethanol they produce to markets after winter storms slowed deliveries and competition for rail cars forced ethanol plants to slow production.

Ukraine faces hard road to economic recovery with Moscow pushing back
Alessandra Prentice – Reuters
Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday the price the country would pay for Russian gas, which accounts for over half of Ukrainian gas imports, would soar by almost 80 percent from April 1 as the seizure of Crimea had rendered a cheaper gas deal obsolete.

German economy minister says no alternative to Russian gas
Reuters – German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said there was “no sensible alternative” to Russian natural gas imports and it was unlikely Russia would stop deliveries because of the crisis over Ukraine, a German daily reported on Friday.

Panasonic Hesitant to Commit to Musk’s Tesla Battery Gigafactory
Grace Huang and Alan Ohnsman – Bloomberg
Panasonic Corp. (6752), Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)’s primary supplier of lithium-ion cells for its electric Model S sedans, hasn’t committed to investing in a massive U.S. battery plant proposed by Tesla’s Elon Musk.

UK utilities unmoved by threat of competition review: Kemp
John Kemp – Reuters
Britain’s major gas and electricity suppliers shrugged off the threat of a market investigation by competition regulators as investors concluded it is unlikely to recommend changes that could significantly affect their profitability.

Japan’s Ruling Parties Seek Clean Energy Target
Chisaki Watanabe – Bloomberg
Japan’s ruling parties want clean energy to make up “significantly” more than 20 percent of the nation’s power by 2030.
The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition party New Komeito have been reviewing a draft of the country’s long-term energy policy plan presented by the government in February.


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


INFOGRAPHIC: The global carbon budget
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Improving the chances for fuel recovery and carbon sequestration
In a surprising turn, carbon dioxide goes from quickly bonding with to jumping off the surface of the layered clay kaolinite when the pressure increases beyond a critical value, according to scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). When the CO2 pressure is sufficient to raise its density to 0.40 grams per cubic centimeter, CO2 becomes more mobile and leaves, or desorbs, from the kaolinite surface. Below this pressure, CO2 readily interacts with the clay, as noted in other studies.

Carbon Offsets From Landfill Projects Offered
Environmental Leader
Renewable Choice Energy has begun offering Green?e Climate certified carbon offsets from landfill gas projects registered with the Climate Action Reserve.

How Carbon Cash is Decreasing Energy Consumption On College Campuses
Ronald Barba – Tech Cocktail Detroit
Carbon Cash is hoping to decrease energy consumption across college campuses by getting students to really pay attention to their energy use, and they’re doing this through real-world incentives.
Carbon Cash is a startup founded by three students at Michigan State University. The company’s main offering is in the form of a mobile app that allows college students to track their electricity by providing consumption data on their building in comparison to others around campus, as well as compare these consumption levels with other universities.

Natural Gas/Coal

Dark Days for Coal Miners
Ben Winkley – The Wall Street Journal
These are dark days for coal miners.
Reduced consumption in some countries, such as the U.S., has lifted global supplies and depressed prices in recent years, intensifying competition for markets that still need the fuel.

Mozambique may struggle to find funds for LNG ambitions -experts
Henning Gloystein – Reuters
Mozambique may struggle to find all the investment finance it needs for its ambitious liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects as it must compete with top-rated developed economies with similar big LNG export plans, regional energy and finance experts said.
Some of the world’s biggest offshore natural gas fields lie off Mozambique, which despite recent coal and gas discoveries remains among the least developed nations on the planet.

French GDF Suez to sell U.S. LNG to Taiwan
France’s GDF Suez on Friday agreed its first long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales into Asia, signing a deal with Taiwan’s state-run energy firm CPC as regional demand for the commodity surges.

ARMS outlines comeback plan as fighting founders split
Silvia Antonioli – Reuters
Asia Resource Minerals, the Indonesian miner emerging from years of bitter shareholder in-fighting, said on Friday it would now focus on restructuring its business to combat weak coal prices.


New US wind power installations plummet
Fuel Fix
U.S. investors in wind-generated power nearly abandoned the business last year as Congress let lucrative tax credits for wind projects tumble away, according to a new report.

3 Utilities Most Likely To Fall In Death Spiral, According To Morningstar
Jeff McMahon – Forbes
Utilities that rely on nuclear fleets and speculative coal plants are most vulnerable to the solar-powered “death spiral” roiling the electric industry, Morningstar analysts conclude in a report to institutional investors.
Utilities like Exelon and Dynegy will suffer most as centralized power generation loses value to competitive solar installed by customers at home, according to Morningstar’s “Utilities Observer” report for February.

New Zealand Sees NZ$736 Mln From Genesis Energy IPO as Price Set
Tracy Withers – Bloomberg
New Zealand’s government will raise as much as NZ$736 million ($639 million) from the initial public offering in Genesis Energy Ltd., the nation’s biggest electricity retailer.
Shares in state-owned Genesis will be offered at NZ$1.55 each when the IPO opens tomorrow, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall said in a statement today. The government is offering as much as 49 percent of the company and has commitments from institutions and brokerages for 40 percent already.

In bid against gas, Minnesota regulators say solar can proceed
Dan Haugen – Midwest Energy News
A proposed $250 million distributed solar project appears to have held its own in a Minnesota regulatory process that put it in competition with three natural gas options.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Thursday ordered Xcel Energy to pursue a power-purchase agreement with a Twin Cities solar developer to meet part of its projected generation shortfall later this decade.

Southern Co to report on renewable energy efforts, activist says
The Oakland, California-based As You Sow foundation said in return for Southern’s planned report, it has withdrawn a shareholder resolution calling on the Atlanta-based utility to outline steps it could take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

LDK Solar Says 60% of Bondholders Agree to Restructuring Deal
Will Wade – Bloomberg
LDK Solar Co., which failed to pay a bond that matured at the end of February, said today that holders of 60 percent of the notes’ principal have agreed to a restructuring deal.

Ormat Sells Heber Solar Farm to RET Holdings for $35.3 Million
Justin Doom – Bloomberg
Ormat Technologies Inc., a U.S. developer of geothermal power, agreed to sell its Heber solar farm in California to RET Holdings LLC for $35.3 million.

World’s first self-cleaning solar park in the Arava Valley
David Shamah – Times of Israel
At Kibbutz Ketura, 100 Israeli-built robots clean off dusty PV panels nightly, increasing production by as much as 35%.


Blackstone to Invest ‘Hundreds of Millions’ in Waterworks
Blackstone Group LP (BX), the biggest manager of such alternative assets as private equity and property, has created a venture to invest in municipal and industrial water projects worldwide.

Study planned on adapting to changing water levels
The Wall Street Journal
Great Lakes levels will continue rising and falling in often unpredictable ways and people should learn to deal with the changes instead of trying to tame nature with costly engineering projects, experts said Thursday.

Sound Global Slides After Moody’s Profit-Margin Report
Justin Doom – Bloomberg
Sound Global Ltd. (967), a Chinese wastewater-treatment company, fell to a seven-week low in Hong Kong trading following a Moody’s Investors Service report on its profit margin and revenue growth.

Water treatment could be carbon neutral
Carbon dioxide released by some wastewater treatment plants could be recycled at the same time as enhancing the production of renewable energy in the form of natural gas, say scientists.


How Suntech, Chinese Solar Giant, Was Snared In An Italian Fraud Scandal
Cecilia Anesi, Gianluca Martelliano and Michael Hudson – International Business Times
As 2008 began, the future looked brilliant for green energy giant Suntech Power and its high-flying founder, Shi Zhengrong.
Suntech was one of the world’s largest makers of solar panels, the first non-state-owned Chinese company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. And Shi, born to a farm family so poor it had to put him up for adoption, was a self-made billionaire, hailed as one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment.”
Then Italy changed everything.

After Fears Of Antibiotic Resistance, 25 Drug Companies To Phase Out Use In Livestock
Mary Clare Jalonick – AP (via Huffington Post)
Twenty-five pharmaceutical companies are voluntarily phasing out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animals processed for meat, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.


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