Today’s Climate: September 12-13, 2009

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Schwarzenegger to Veto Renewable Energy Bills (AP)

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office said Saturday that he would veto legislation requiring a third of California’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, choosing instead to mandate the change through an executive order.

Minnesota Utility Pulls Out of Big Stone II (St. Paul Business Journal)

Lead utility Otter Tail Power has withdrawn from the proposed $1.6 billion Big Stone II coal plant in South Dakota, designed to serve customers in five states, citing the economic downturn and uncertainty about coming carbon regulations.

FERC: U.S. Climate Bill Should Not Delay Grid Overhaul (Reuters)

U.S. lawmakers should not let climate legislation delays hold up proposals to overhaul the nation’s outdated electricity grid, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff has said.

Ford Plant to Be Converted to Solar, Energy Storage Production Park (PV Tech)

An idled Ford auto factory near Detroit will be redeveloped into one of the largest renewable energy manufacturing parks in the U.S., which will include a thin-film solar panel factory equipped by Oerlikon.

Stern: Emissions Per Person in Parts of China Above Rich Nations (AFP)

Nicholas Stern, one of the world’s top authorities on climate change, has warned that carbon emissions per person in 13 Chinese provinces, regions and cities are now higher than those in France. Six have also overtaken Britain.

Chinese Cleantech Market Could Reach $1 Trillion, Report Predicts (GreenBiz)

With the right blend of policies and incentives, the Chinese greentech market could reach $1 trillion — or 15% of the country’s GDP in 2013, a coalition of 80 business and policy experts has said.

Obama Has World’s Confidence on Climate (Reuters)

Despite a host of other urgent problems to tackle, Pres. Obama is still inspiring confidence from top environmental and corporate leaders that he is committed to the fight against climate change.

India Says Not a Disaster if Copenhagen Climate Talks Fail (AFP)

India’s environment minister has said the country will not agree to binding emission targets, and that it would not be a disaster if global climate change talks in December fail.

Carbon-Trading Market Hit by UN Suspension of Clean-Energy Auditor (The Sunday Times)

The legitimacy of the $100 billion carbon-trading market has been called into question after the world’s largest auditor of clean-energy projects was suspended by UN inspectors.

Australia: Green Fury at Plans to Sell Brown Coal to India (The Age)

The Victorian government is considering an energy company’s 40-year proposal to export 12 million tons of high-polluting brown coal to India each year.

German Geothermal Project Leads to Second Thoughts After the Earth Rumbles (New York Times)

Government officials in the German town of Landau in der Pfalz are reviewing the safety of a geothermal energy project that scientists say set off an earthquake in August.

Norway OKs 1st Large Offshore Wind Farm (AP)

Norway has granted a permit to build the country’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, a 78-turbine complex off the western coast that aims to produce enough electricity to power 49,000 homes.

Tesla, BrightSource IPOs Could Be Late 2010 (Reuters)

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and solar thermal energy firm BrightSource Energy would not launch their IPOs until 2010 if market conditions don’t improve, a venture capital investor in both companies has said.

Britain Falls Behind in the Race to Win Low-Carbon Trade (The Sunday Times)

Britain’s share of the global market for low-carbon products and services is only 3.5%, or about £63 billion, according to new research. America is the single biggest player with a 20.6% share, followed by China with 13.5%.

TVA Calls for Input but Shuts the Public Out (The Tennessean)

The 14-member advisory panel that utility TVA assembled to help bring the public into the mega-power producer’s long-range planning discussions has voted to close its own meetings to the general public.