In today’s edition, the White House now has working solar panels, a symbol of measures President Obama will announce today on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Meanwhile, Moscow has already announced its philosophy: it will only supply Ukraine with gas that has been paid for in advance from the start of June. And, always meddling in business, the French government wants state-controlled nuclear group Areva to take over Alstom’s offshore wind turbine unit if General Electric’s bid for Alstom succeeds.
Quote of the day
“Russia cannot and should not any longer bear the burden of supporting the Ukrainian economy alone – providing it with discounts on gas and forgiving debts.”
Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, in the Financial Times’ story Moscow ups stakes in gas dispute
Obama to give push on climate
Coral Davenport, The New York Times
President Obama will announce on Friday a handful of executive actions and private and nonprofit groups’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
***LB: Also in this story “they are part of a broader campaign to build public support for an Environmental Protection Agency rule that the White House will unveil in June. The rule, which has already run into objections, will limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants and is expected to create a major new market for zero-carbon energy from sources like wind and solar.”
White House solar panels power up
Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian
Barack Obama will on Friday unveil several new initiatives intended to expand the deployment of solar power on Friday, as officials confirmed that a set of solar panels on the roof of the White House was now operational.
Moscow ups stakes in gas dispute
Jack Farchy and Roman Olearchyk, The Financial Times
Gazprom will only supply Ukraine with gas that has been paid for in advance from the start of June, Moscow said on Thursday, after Kiev missed another deadline to pay its mounting energy debt to the Russian company.
***LB: Also in this story “The move to pre-payment raises the prospect of a disruption in gas supplies through Ukraine – a key transit point for about 15 per cent of European gas supplies.”
Crunch time on energy efficiency bill
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
Tick, tock: Senators are running out of time to find a way forward for an energy efficiency bill scheduled for a vote on Monday.
Boehner: Dems’ climate proposals would kill jobs
Timothy Cama, The Hill
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) challenged Democrats on Thursday to propose policies to fight climate change that do not kill jobs, saying that they would come up with such proposals if they were serious about the issue.
House panel votes to speed cross-border pipeline permits
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted Thursday to set a time limit on the federal government’s consideration of cross-border oil pipelines like Keystone XL and remove the president’s role in the process.
More Than Just Keystone Died in the Senate Wednesday
Jason Plautz, National Journal
The collapse of a bipartisan energy-efficiency bill on the floor has imperiled the Senate’s vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, but it’s also got members sweating that their chance to move any other energy measures has all but slipped away.
Agreement reached on $8.2B waterways bill
Keith Laing, The Hill
Lawmakers in the House and Senate said Thursday evening that they have reached an agreement on an $8.2 billion bill to boost U.S. ports and waterways.
Keystone XL: Bush’s No-Brainer, Obama’s Dilemma
John H. Cushman Jr., InsideClimate News
New book published by ICN traces pipeline’s origins to earliest days of Bush-Cheney era, and shows how KXL has become a test for Obama’s climate legacy.
France wants Areva to buy Alstom wind unit if GE wins bid-paper
Geert De Clercq, Reuters
France wants state-controlled nuclear group Areva to take over Alstom’s offshore wind turbine unit if General Electric’s bid for Alstom succeeds, a French paper reported on Friday.
***LB: also in this story “Areva and Alstom both produce offshore wind turbines and are part of different consortia to build 3,000 megawatts of wind power off the French coast in coming years.”
Climate Strategies Forum
Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO)
The Climate Strategies Forum features plenary sessions focused on energy and climate, as well as bootcamps, on topics including adaptation planning, implementing change management schemes, implementing a GHG management structure and building a public-private partnership.
May 12 – 14, 2014
2014 MIDWEST SOLAR EXPO
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
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
Scientists flying over Colorado oil boom find worse air pollution
Bruce Finley, The Denver Post
Scientists have found that Colorado’s Front Range oil and gas boom has been emitting three times more methane than previously believed — 19.3 tons an hour — a climate-change problem that state officials hope new rules will address.
China pledges to push ahead with capital market reforms
China pledged on Friday to push ahead with a broad range of capital market reforms as it seeks to encourage more efficient capital allocation, increase foreign investment and improve transparency of its markets.
***LB: Also in this story “On derivatives, the cabinet promised to develop more varieties of commodity future and options, commodity indexes and tradable carbon emission credits.”
Ireland reduces greenhouse gas emissions in 2013
Frank McDonald, The Irish Times
Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2013, largely because of an 11.5 per cent drop in emissions from the electricity sector, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Natural Gas / Coal
Chinese coal production drops as environmental rules start to bite
China’s coal industry could be facing an unprecedented slowdown, as new industry figures this week confirmed production fell last month by more than 1.3 per cent year on year.
Philippines offers oil, gas exploration area in waters disputed with China
Erik dela Cruz, Reuters
The Philippines on Friday launched a tender for exploration rights in 11 oil and gas blocks, including one in a disputed area of the South China Sea that is likely to fuel further tension with China.
COLUMN-Floating LNG is Australia’s future, but not a miracle cost cure
Clyde Russell, Reuters
Building a fleet of the world’s largest vessels has been touted as the solution to the high costs of developing the next phase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) investments in Australia.
China audits State Grid as corruption crackdown seen widening
Benjamin Kang Lim and Megha Rajagopalan, Reuters
China is auditing the State Grid Corp of China, the utility said in the wake of a magazine report that one of the most senior executives in the world’s largest utility was under investigation.
German utility EnBW first-quarter profit falls 15 pct
EnBW, Germany’s third-biggest utility, said its core profit fell 15 percent in the first quarter, weighed down by a mild winter, lower wholesale power prices and a rise in renewable capacity that has hit its thermal power plants.
Fukushima Milestone: Plant Worker Files Lawsuit Versus TEPCO Over Radiation Exposure
Esther Tanquintic-Misa, International Business Times
In what could be a historical milestone related to the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown in March 2011, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has been slapped with a lawsuit by no other than a worker who used to work in the crippled facility.
NRG Energy CEO touts value of recent acquisitions, ‘limitless future potential growth’
Rod Kuckro, E&E reporter
NRG Energy Inc. President and CEO David Crane had some choice words yesterday for the management of what he called “conventional power companies” even as he tried to focus on record quarterly revenue and a trio of promising new businesses.
Saudi Arabia mulls utility breakup
Jason O’Connell, Utilities-me.com
Saudi Arabia is considering the breakup and further privatisation of state-controlled power monopoly Saudi Electricity Co, reports say.
Tesla’s $5bn ‘Gigafactory’ could break ground next month
Work at one of two sites earmarked by Tesla for the world’s largest ever lithium-ion battery manufacturing and reprocessing facility could start as early as next month.
***LB: Also in this story “The manufacturer has said Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas are possible factory sites and that it will break ground in at least two states.”
Buyers turn up noses at big hybrid cars, SUVs
Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
One of the auto industry’s more interesting experiments is getting a thumbs down from buyers of big, costly cars and SUVs.
Metal-hungry clean tech aims to shrink its carbon footprint by powering mines
Katherine Ling, E&E reporter
Clean technology has a dirty secret. “If you want clean tech, you need mines,” said Kerry-Ann Adamson, a former research director with Navigant Research who now owns her own consulting firm.
Uttarakhand Flood Disaster Made Worse By Existing Hydropower Projects, Expert Commission Says
Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue
Ten months after a brutal flood killed thousands of people, leveled riverbank communities, and battered hydroelectric projects across the northern state of Uttarakhand in India’s Himalayan region, a panel of experts has concluded that hydropower development significantly amplified the damage.
Chinese city suspends water supplies over “quality abnormalities”
Authorities in the eastern Chinese city of Jingjiang have suspended water supplies after quality abnormalities were detected, state media said on Friday, with hundreds of thousands of people affected in China’s latest water pollution scare.
Lloyd’s calls on insurers to take into account climate change risk
Julia Kollewe, the Guardian
Lloyd’s of London, the world’s oldest and biggest insurance market, has for the first time called on insurers to incorporate climate change into their models.
Better bubbly from England?
Faun Kime, The Daily Climate
An age-old cross-channel rivalry between the English and the French has heated up.
Climate change not fully to blame for melting sea ice: study
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
A newly published paper says climate change caused by humans could be responsible for as little as half the wholesale melting of sea ice in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland that has amazed and alarmed scientists.
***LB: Also in this story “Up to half of that increase is more likely to be due to complex atmospheric links that originate with rain and wind patterns in the South Pacific — not warming from greenhouse gases.”
Scientists hope 2,000-year-old ice holds clues to climate change
Pauline Askine, Planet Ark
Polar scientists who retrieved ice samples from the Antarctic say they are on the verge of unlocking 2,000 years of climate records offering clues to how global warming will affect our future.