Stay tuned! In today’s edition, we can only promise you hard news – in the future. For now, Russia and China are preparing for the final phase of a gas deal, while Europe, Russia and Ukraine should iron out their differences on gas supply and price in the course of two more rounds of talks. The Alstom-GE-Siemens’ saga also continues, as French president François Hollande summoned relevant ministers (like Environment minister Ségolène Royal) to discuss the matter this morning.
Quote of the day
“We want to negotiate a market price for Ukraine so that it is in a better position than it would be with the demands Mr Putin has been making since April 1.”
Guenther Oettinger, Europe’s Energy Commissioner, in the Reuters’ story EU sees two more rounds of talks on Russia-Ukraine gas dispute
Russia-China gas deal preparations in “final phase” says Putin – Xinhua
Preparations for an agreement on long-awaited Russian natural gas exports to China have entered “the final phase”, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency on Monday quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying ahead of a two-day visit to Shanghai.
***LB: Also in this story “For Russia, the deal to supply China with 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year would help cut its dependence on Europe as the major market for its gas and create a strategic shift to Asia, as political pressure piles up over Ukraine.”
EU sees two more rounds of talks on Russia-Ukraine gas dispute
The European Union will aim to resolve a row between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices by June 1 with two more rounds of talks planned for next week, Europe’s Energy Commissioner said on Monday.
Putin’s Shanghai Expedition Stokes Deal Talk That Lifts Gazprom
Halia Pavliva and Ksenia Galouchko, Bloomberg Businessweek
President Vladimir Putin’s planned China visit this week is helping spark the longest rally in OAO Gazprom since 2006 as speculation mounts that he will return with a long-sought gas supply agreement.
France’s Hollande hosts meeting on Alstom future
French President Francois Hollande summoned his prime minister and two other key ministers to a Monday morning meeting on the future of power and train-making company Alstom, an official at his office said.
General Electric: Will The Alstom Deal Go Through?
A few weeks ago, General Electric offered $16.9 billion to buy Alstom SA’s energy business.
China aims for 70GW of solar in race to ditch coal
China intends to accelerate its deployment of solar power, after setting a new target to more than triple installed capacity to 70GW by 2017 as part of its drive to cut its reliance on coal.
***LB: Also in this story “The new solar target is double the previous one set for 2015”
What good are China’s green policies if its banks don’t listen?
David Hill, theguardian.com (blog)
“Leader in sustainable finance and development” “Exceeding Western institutions in establishing new models of green finance.”
***LB: Also in this story “it’s the Green Credit Directive’s requirement that banks consider social and environmental impacts before making a loan for a project and then rigorously monitor such impacts throughout the project’s life”
In Taking Crimea, Putin Gains a Sea of Fuel Reserves
William Broad, The New York Times
When Russia seized Crimea in March, it acquired not just the Crimean landmass but also a maritime zone more than three times its size with the rights to underwater resources potentially worth trillions of dollars.
E.ON ordered to refund customers £12m for mis-selling
Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian
The energy group E.ON has been ordered to pay £12m to its customers after an investigation into mis-selling found “extensive poor practices”. It is the largest-ever penalty levied by the energy regulator, Ofgem.
Rift Widening Between Energy And Insurance Industries Over Climate Change
Ken Silverstein, Forbes
Being a big business, the insurance industry is a strong backer of free enterprise and its laissez-faire leaders.
***LB: Also in this story ““Climate change is likely to be one of the global mega-trends impacting sovereign creditworthiness, in most cases negatively,” says S&P, in its report.”
Report: The latest sustainability leaders, and why you should share
Elsa Wenzel, GreenBiz.com
What it says: One name stands out here: Unilever.
***LB: Also in this story “The brands following next include Patagonia, Interface, Marks & Spencer and Nestle and Natura.”
COLUMN-Modi needs to reform electricity to power India recovery: Clyde Russell
Narendra Modi’s crushing election win has given rise to hopes for an economic revival in India, but much will depend on whether he can replicate the electricity success of his home state.
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
What to Watch in EPA’s Power Plant Carbon Emissions Proposal
Kyle Aarons, C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release its proposal to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants.
Chevrolet To Help University Of Illinois Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Marketplace
In its Illinois Climate Action Plan in 2010, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign committed to lowering its building-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15% by 2015 and 100% by 2050.
Ozone rise will choke US cities
Tim Radford, Climate News Network
Stand by for long, hot North American summers of smarting eyes, tickling throats, asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. And crops could also suffer, because ground-level ozone pollution is likely to increase in the US.
Studies: Wildfires worse due to global warming
Seth Borenstein, AP
The devastating wildfires scorching Southern California offer a glimpse of a warmer and more fiery future, according to scientists and federal and international reports.
Natural Gas / Coal
Japan’s Tohoku to buy more LNG from US Cameron project
Japanese utility Tohoku Electric Power Co said on Monday it would buy more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the U.S. Cameron project, increasing its purchase to 570,000 tonnes per year, using U.S. Henry Hub natural gas-linked prices.
Cabot Oil & Gas: Time To Buy The Sleeping Giant
Cabot Oil & Gas is one of the top producers of natural gas in the prolific Marcellus shale.
UK shale gas firm Cuadrilla to submit plans to frack in Lancashire
Nina Chestney, Reuters
British shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources will submit plans this month to hydraulically fracture up to four exploration wells in Lancashire, northwest England, the firm said on Monday.
British fracking support falls below 50%, poll shows
Adam Vaughan, theguardian.com
Public support for fracking for shale gas in the UK has fallen below 50% for the first time, new polling suggests.
***LB: Also in this story “Support for shale gas was at a high of 58% in July 2012, which slumped to 54% last September and 53.3% this January, the long-running survey by YouGov for the University of Nottingham shows.”
China April coal output at 301 million tonnes, down 1.3 per cent year on year
China produced 301 million tonnes of coal in April, down 1.3 per cent on the year, the industry portal coalstudy.com said, citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Outlasting Dynasties, Now Emerging From Soot
Edward Wong, The New York Times
The colossal Buddhist statues in the cliffside caves outside this northern Chinese city, carved from golden sandstone by Turkic-speaking nomad conquerors in the fifth and sixth centuries, were so covered in coal dust that when visitors blew on them, black clouds rose up.
Army to develop solar power at 3 Ga. forts
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The U.S. Army is contracting with a utility to bring 30-megawatt solar arrays to Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning in Georgia.
***LB: Also in this story “Georgia Power, a unit of Southern Co., will finance, design, build, own and operate the projects”
DOE stops collecting nuclear waste fee
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Department of Energy Friday stopped collecting a small fee on nuclear energy customers’ bills that was supposed to pay for a nuclear waste site that was never built.
Jaiprakash Power plans $500 million capital raising
India’s Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd plans to raise up to 30 billion rupees ($508 million) in new debt and equity to fund future projects and pay down its debts, the company said on Monday, sending its shares up 30 percent.
Dutch wind turbines to power electric trains
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Dutch trains will start running on wind energy from next year and the country’s entire rail network could be fully powered by green electricity by 2018.
***LB: Also in this story “Under the terms of a new contract announced last week, utility Eneco is set to supply the Netherlands’ train system with 1.4TWh of electricity from domestic wind farms, as well as installations in Belgium and Scandinavia.”
Scotland green lights latest £65m wind farm
The Scottish government has approved plans for a 22 turbine Dumfries and Galloway, in a move that clears the way for the £65m project to proceed.
UK “needs more home-grown energy”
In just over five years Britain will have run out of oil, coal and gas, researchers have warned.
***LB: Also in this story “A report by the Global Sustainability Institute said shortages would increase dependency on Norway, Qatar and Russia.”
Foresight Solar Fund closes £100m debt facility in bid to double capacity
Foresight Solar Fund has agreed a £100m debt acquisition facility in a move to support the acquisition of more UK solar power plants.
Npower fined £125,000 by Ofgem for green energy reporting error
Npower has been hit with a £125,000 fine over an error in its reporting of data related to two renewable energy subsidy schemes.
S.F. building aims to produce as much energy as it consumes
David R. Baker, SFGate
On a rare sweltering day in San Francisco, the new office of DPR Construction stays cool and pleasant.
***LB: Also in this story “A report earlier this year from the nonprofit New Buildings Institute counted just 32 verified zero net energy buildings across the country, 10 of them in California.”
EPA Recommends New Water Quality Standards for Chemical Pollutants
circle of blue
How much benzene should be allowed in a liter of river water? Or how about vinyl chloride? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a new answer for 94 federally regulated chemicals, though states and tribes will be the ultimate arbiters.
Taming the floods, Dutch-style
Damian Carrington, the guardian.com
It is 100 days since David Cameron visited the submerged Somerset levels at the peak of the winter floods that devastated swathes of England and hundreds of broken flood defences have now been repaired thanks to £270m of emergency funding from government.
***LB: Also in this story “But in the Netherlands, also battered by the record deluge but relatively unscathed, an ongoing multibillion-euro programme continues to reshape the watery nation, with none of the political storm whipped up in the UK.”
Australia Disbands National Water Commission
Codi Kozacek, Circle of Blue
The commission that advises Australia’s government on water issues will cease to exist after December 2014, saving the Commonwealth government approximately $US 19.5 million over the next four years as part of a broad move by a new prime minister to cut spending.
Wheat to Corn Yields Seen Suffering From El Nino in Study
Rudy Ruitenberg, Bloomberg
Global corn, rice and wheat yields appear to suffer from the El Nino weather event while soybeans may benefit, according to a study led by agricultural-weather researcher Toshichika Iizumi.
***LB: Also in this story “Signs are for an El Nino event to start later this year, according to the World Meteorological Organization.”
What’s exceptional about the current drought — and what isn’t
Philip Bump, The Washington Post
Half of the country is currently in some state of drought. In California right now, the entire state is in a state of drought.
A Crucial Meeting for the Green Climate Fund
Anthony Mansell, C2ES (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
Finance for developing countries is a perennial issue in international climate negotiations. Progress on that front will be critical to a successful outcome in Paris next year, when countries hope to conclude a new global climate agreement.
‘Keep dirty energy out of Green Climate Fund’, demand activists
Nicky Stubbs, blue & green tomorrow
The calls come ahead of the operational launch of the fund when 24 of its board members meet at its headquarters in South Korea next week.
Recycling the Leftovers
Stephanie Strom, The New York Times
Every week, some 14,000 households in Austin, Tex., dutifully roll not just one, or two, but three garbage bins to the curb.
***LB: Also in this story “Bon Appétit, the restaurant and food services company, has created a new position, waste specialist, to help cut down its food waste.”
Science Standards Divide a State Built on Coal and Oil
Motoko Rich, The New York Times
Sitting in the headquarters of the Wyoming Liberty Group, Susan Gore, founder of the conservative think tank, said new national science standards for schools were a form of “coercion,” adding, “I don’t think government should have anything to do with education.”
***LB: Also in this story “Ms. Gore, a daughter of the founder of the company that makes Gore-Tex waterproof fabric, was speaking here weeks after the Republican-controlled Legislature made Wyoming, where coal and oil are king, the first state to reject the standards, which include lessons on human impact on global warming.”