In today’s edition, the suspense goes on: with Keystone, as the White House contests a report saying that Obama will reject the pipeline, and with a GE-Alstom merger, as the French government wants its say in it.  In the meantime, Russia embarks upon new energy projects in Africa, akin to the Cold War-era, and China works to spark its shale gas revolution.  

Quote of the day

“It’s highly likely for China to develop shale on a large scale like the U. S., China needs natural gas very badly.” 

Honghua Group Chairman Zhang Mi, in the Bloomberg News’ story  China Shale Boom Seen by Honghua as Pollution Cuts Coal Use 

Lead Stories 

White House contests report that Obama will reject Keystone
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
The White House is firing back at a story in Rolling Stone magazine that cites two Obama administration sources as saying President Obama has already decided to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Support for Keystone hits all-time high in poll
Laura Barron-Lopez
Support in the United States for the Keystone XL pipeline is at an all-time high, according to a new poll released Thursday. 
***LB: Also in this story “The survey from the conservative-leaning pollster Rasmussen Reports found 61 percent of likely U.S. voters at least “somewhat favor” building the oil-sands pipeline. “

French govt plans to meet GE on Alstom future 
France’s government weighed in to the furore over the future of the country’s struggling engineering group Alstom on Friday and the stock market regulator forced a suspension of trading in its shares pending a company statement.

With World Watching Ukraine, Russia Makes Energy Moves in Africa 
Alan Neuhauser, US News & World Report 
Call it a “shale” game. As the world watches Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s armed takeover of the Crimean peninsula – and, by extension, waits to see whether the Kremlin will follow through on threats to cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine and Western Europe – Moscow also appears to be rekindling a lucrative Cold War-era relationship that may one day pose just as large a threat to the region’s energy economy.

Russia’s Rosneft says Gazprom hinders its LNG project
Denis Dyomkin, Reuters
Rosneft ratcheted up pressure on fellow Russian energy champion Gazprom on Friday, asking the government to intervene in a row with the gas producer as Rosneft seeks to strengthen its control over vast hydrocarbon resources.

Utilities feel pressure for ethical coal mining push
Henning Gloystein, Alexander Winning and Nina Chestney, Reuters
European utility companies are under pressure from shareholders to source their coal in a more ethical and environmentally friendly way to cut pollution and save thousands of miners who risk their lives each year.
***LB: also in this story “Under scrutiny from major shareholders including Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, some energy companies have already taken action, clubbing together to form the Bettercoal group to improve their ethical, social and environmental standards.”

Energy firm announces China’s first-ever preferred share sale
Guanghui Energy Co Ltd has become the first Chinese listed firm to announce a plan to issue preferred shares, in a surprise to market watchers who expected banks would take the lead in testing out the new form of capital recently approved by regulators.
***LB: Also in this story “The Xinjiang-based private gas and coal mining firm aims to raise 5 billion yuan ($800 million) in a private placement, pending regulatory approval, the company said in an exchange filing.”

China Shale Boom Seen by Honghua as Pollution Cuts Coal Use 
Bloomberg News 
Honghua Group, a Chinese drilling-equipment maker that gets most of its business from overseas, is seeking to expand at home as the nation works to spark its own shale gas revolution. 
***LB: Also in this story “China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s largest refiner, known as Sinopec, last month marked shale gas development as its 2014 priority after doubling its output forecast from a key field in the Sichuan region in the country’s southwest.” 


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  


Add polymer to carbon market, urges EU
The European Commission urged Germany to take urgent steps to regulate polymer producers under the bloc’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) or face being sued over the breach of EU law.

Natural Gas/Coal

World Cup Power Cut Fears Spur Record Brazil LNG Buying: Energy
Isis Almeida and Lucia Kassai, Bloomberg 
Miguel Abitbol spent almost $4,000 on television equipment to show World Cup soccer matches at his bar and restaurant in Rio de Janeiro. He’s praying there will be enough electricity to power it.

Verbund Seeks to Dump Gas-Power Assets Eyed by Russia’s Gazprom
Jonathan Tirone, Bloomberg  
Verbund AG (VER), Austria’s biggest utility, is weighing bids from natural-gas suppliers and private equity firms for its unprofitable European power plants.


GE Invests $24 Million in India’s Biggest Solar-Power Plant
Natalie Obiko Pearson, Bloomberg News 
General Electric Co. is investing $24 million in India’s largest solar-power plant, drawn by what it called the technology’s “incredible potential” in the nation.

US Solar Energy Capacity Grew An Astounding 418% From 2010-2014 
Clean Technica
Solar energy’s rapid growth in America is evident – even casual observers will note the proliferation of solar photovoltaics (PV) across the country. But sheer size is usually illustrated best by statistics, and in this case, the stat is 418%.

Google puts another $100m into solar generation
Lem Bingley, BusinessGreen
Internet search behemoth Google has agreed to plough up to $100m into a new funding partnership with California-based SunPower, the second largest solar company in the US.

Mayor Boris seeks to power up London’s smallest energy supplier
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
London’s plans to generate one quarter of its own energy from local schools, hospitals and businesses, are gradually moving forward, after the Mayor’s Office invited energy companies to run its new decentralised energy business.
***LB: Also in this story “The Greater London Authority (GLA) is in the process of becoming the first organisation in the UK to secure a new kind of “junior” electricity supply licence that will allow it to trade all the small heat and power generation produced by boroughs across the capital.”

Morocco wind farm, Africa’s biggest, starts generating power
Africa’s largest wind farm, at Tarfaya in southwestern Morocco, has started generating electricity and will be capable of meeting the electricity needs of several hundred thousand people, officials say. 

Clean Tech

Airbus eyes regional plane with hybrid engines in 15-20 years
Irene Preisinger, Reuters
Aircraft maker Airbus Group NV is learning from carmakers as it works on developing a small plane powered by hybrid electric engines that could represent its first move into the market for regional jets.

RAC jump-starts electric car rescue service 
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Electric car drivers need no longer fear running out of power on their way to the office after RAC launched its first mobile electric charging system.
***LB: Also in this story “The UK electric car market is starting to show strong growth as more models come onto the market and companies recognise that low carbon fleet vehicles are on average cheaper to run, have wider tax breaks, and can be purchased with government grants of up to £5,000.” 


Halving meat and dairy consumption could slash farming emissions 
Adam Vaughan, 
Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture would be cut by 25-40% if Europeans cut their meat and dairy consumption by half, according to a UN report. 
***LB: Also in this story “Scientists from the UN Economic Commission for Europe say that as well as cutting air and water pollution, adopting a “demitarian diet” – cutting meat and dairy consumption in half – would lead to a 40% cut in Europeans’ intake of saturated fats.”

Storm Surge Could Flood NYC 1 in Every 4 Years 
Andrea Thompson, Climate Central 
When a storm, such as Hurricane Sandy, sets waters in New York Harbor rising, those sloshing seas are now 20 times more likely to overtop the Manhattan seawall than 170 years ago, a new study finds.


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