In this edition, a couple of science-focused articles earned a spot in our Leads section. This markets-focused newsletter typically leaves the science to the professional journals. But here are two examples where science and money mix: Harvesting electricity from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the American Chemical Society and Reuters’ coverage of the journal Nature’s study showing Arctic methane release could cost economy $60 trillion. Also today, Chevron Draws Europe Toward Natural Gas Independence, reports Bloomberg.

Quote of the Day:

“The vote to introduce an emissions performance standard represents a step-change in the EU’s fight against climate change and puts the bankers ahead of politicians in terms of tangible action.”

–Ingrid Holmes, of environmental think tank E3G, in Reuters’ “EU finance arm curbs loans to coal-fired power plants.”

Lead Stories

Harvesting electricity from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide
American Chemical Society Press Release
Described in an article in ACS’ newly launched journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the method uses CO2 from electric power plant and other smokestacks as the raw material for making electricity.

Bert Hamelers, Ph.D., and colleagues explain that electric power-generating stations worldwide release about 12 billion tons of CO2 annually from combustion of coal, oil and natural gas. Home and commercial heating produces another 11 billion tons. Smokestack gas from a typical coal-fired plant contains about 10 percent CO2, which not only goes to waste, but is a key contributor to global warming. Hamelers’ team sought a way to change that trash into a treasure.
They describe technology that would react the CO2 with water or other liquids and, with further processing, produce a flow of electrons that make up electric current. It could produce about 1,570 billion kilowatts of additional electricity annually if used to harvest CO2 from power plants, industry and residences. That’s about 400 times the annual electrical output of the Hoover Dam. Like that dam and other hydroelectric power facilities, that massive additional amount of electricity would be produced without adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, Hamelers pointed out.
**RKB — Chemists with a different spin on trash-to-treasure–and global funding to boot. No linkable access to the full report.

Arctic methane release could cost economy $60 trillion -study
A release of methane in the Arctic could speed the melting of sea ice and climate change with a cost to the global economy of up to $60 trillion over coming decades, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.

China Coal-Fired Economy Dying of Thirst as Mines Lack Water
At first glance, Daliuta in northern China appears to have a river running through it. A closer look reveals the stretch of water in the center is a pond, dammed at both ends. Beyond the barriers, the Wulanmulun’s bed is dry.

China Weighs Environmental Costs
The Wall Street Journal
China is rethinking how it manages its economy, as mounting evidence reveals the heavy toll that unbridled growth has had on the environment and on health.

EU finance arm curbs loans to coal-fired power plants
The European Investment Bank, the EU’s main lending arm, said it would stop financing most coal-fired power stations to help the 28-nation bloc reduce pollution and meet its climate targets.

At Center of Oil Boom, Electricity Costs Soar
The Wall Street Journal
An oil-production boom is delivering prosperity to pockets of the U.S., but in West Texas, the epicenter of activity, it is also bringing trouble in the form of surging electricity prices.

Obama taps former Capitol Hill energy aide for White House role
The Hill’s E2 Wire
President Obama will nominate Robert Simon, a longtime top Democratic aide on the Senate’s energy committee, to be the associate director for energy and environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).


Water and Society 2013
September 4-6
New Forest, U.K.

EMA’s 17th Annual Meeting
September 25-27
Las Vegas, NV

Verge: Where Tech Meets Sustainability
October 14-17
San Francisco, Calif.

Solar Power International
October 21-24
Chicago, Illinois


Navy’s Clean-Energy Push to Get Focus at Hearing
The Wall Street Journal
The Navy’s efforts to wean itself off oil, boost renewable energy and deal with climate change will come under sharp scrutiny Thursday as the nominee to be in charge of Navy energy affairs goes before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

B.C. carbon tax showing positive results
The Globe and Mail
British Columbia’s carbon tax has resulted in a 17.4-per-cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study being released Wednesday as premiers gather in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., to discuss a national energy strategy aimed at – among other things – lowering carbon emissions.

Natural Gas/Coal/Alternative Fuels

Chevron Draws Europe Toward Natural Gas Independence: Energy
Chevron Corp. (CVX) is betting it can win over eastern Europeans with the idea of energy independence even after dry wells and government delays led Exxon Mobil Corp. and Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) to scrap efforts to tap natural gas deposits in Polish shale.

Natural-Gas Demand Slips in Japan, World’s No. 1 Importer
The Wall Street Journal
Japan’s demand for imported natural gas, which ballooned after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, is falling—and may deflate a lot further if the government succeeds in getting dozens of idled nuclear reactors restarted.


U.K.’s Biggest Clean Energy IPO Raises $460 Million
The Renewables Infrastructure Group Ltd., raised 300 million pounds ($460 million) in the U.K.’s biggest initial public offering of a clean-power company, to invest in solar and onshore wind projects.

First Solar to Build 23 Megawatts for Biggest New Mexico Utility
First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the world’s largest builder of solar farms, agreed to construct three power plants for New Mexico’s biggest utility.

Iberdrola warns of 260 mln euro hit from energy reforms
Spanish utility Iberdrola said fresh energy reforms would wipe at least 170 million euros ($225 million) from pre-tax earnings this year, and potentially 260 million euros annually from 2014.

E.ON Considering Power Plant Relocation
The Wall Street Journal
German utility E.ON SE is considering dismantling some European power plants that have been mothballed because of poor profitability and relocating them to faster-growing emerging markets such as Turkey, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday.


Brazil’s Sabesp Awards $750 Million in Water Contracts
Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest water provider, has awarded 1.68 billion reais ($750 million) in infrastructure contracts to builders Camargo Correa SA and Andrade Gutierrez SA.

Compesa Plans Brazil Water Pipeline Project in Northeast
Cia. Pernambucana de Saneamento, a Brazilian water utility, agreed to build a 74-kilometer (46-mile) pipeline to the northeastern city of Arcoverde as part of a government effort to cut shortages and rationing.


U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (Posted July 14, 2013)
U.S. Dept. of Energy

Turn down the heat: climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience (Posted June 19, 2013)
World Bank

Four energy policies can keep the 2 Degree C climate goal alive (Posted June 10, 2013)

Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 (Posted June 10, 2013)
Ecosystem Marketplace

Mapping carbon pricing initiatives: developments and prospects (Posted May 30, 2013)
World Bank

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind April 2013 (Posted May 1, 2013)
Yale Project on Climate Change

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