Today’s Climate: July 16, 2009

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UK Orders Green Energy Revolution (Guardian)

The British government seized control of key levers in the energy sector, including allocation of electricity grid connections, in an attempt to kickstart a stalling "green energy" revolution and head off the threats of global warming and a rundown in North Sea oil.

Locke: China Emissions Cap an Open Question (Reuters)

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, in Beijing, left open the possibility that China might not have to accept a hard cap on its greenhouse gas emissions under a new global climate change treaty.

Power Industry Infighting Heats Up Over Climate Legislation (New York Times)

The feuding clans of the electric power industry are quarreling over newer ground: which of them most deserves the free carbon emission allotments that would be distributed if the House-passed climate bill became law.

Asian Nations Could Outpace US in Clean Energy (Washington Post)

Asian nations are pouring money into renewable energy industries, funding research and development and setting ambitious targets for renewable energy use. Their plans could outpace the programs in Obama’s economic stimulus package and proposed in the House climate bill.

Industry Chiefs Call for Sector Approach to Climate Change (EurActiv)

The EU could raise its 2020 objective of slashing emissions from 20% to 30%, but only if an international agreement is struck to spread obligations evenly among the global community, writes the European Round Table of Industrialists, an influential group of CEOs.

Group Seeks to Ban Coal Slurry Injections (Register-Herald)

A West Virginia activist group branded the state Department of Environmental Protection “incompetent” and called for an immediate halt to coal slurry injection, saying the disposal technique contaminates drinking water.

California Sets Pace for Rooftop Solar Power (New York Times)

A decade ago, only 500 rooftops in California boasted solar panels that harvest the sun’s energy. Today, there are nearly 50,000 solar-panel installations in the state totaling some 500 MW, according to a report being issued today.

UK Carbon Plan Requires Cuts in Agriculture Emissions (Business Green)

The UK’s new carbon budgets require around 5 percent of emission cuts by 2020 to come from farming, and land and waste management efforts.

US Senators Seek Climate Bill Analysis for Farmers (Reuters)

Two Republican senators are pressing the administration ahead of an Agriculture Committee hearing next week for a detailed analysis how much climate change legislation would cost U.S. farmers and ranchers.

Pennsylvania Invests $23M to Quadruple Solar Capacity (Cleantech)

Gov. Ed Rendell announced $23 million to boost Pennsylvania’s solar industry, including $5.5 million to a solar photovoltaic plant that would more than triple the state’s installed energy generating capacity.

The 1GW Solar Factory, a Dream Deferred (Earth2Tech)

A year ago, it seemed like gigawatt-sized solar factories were just around the corner. Now, solar companies are pulling back, focusing instead on trying to sell the panels they’re already producing.

Discarded Food Finds New Life as Electricity (GreenBiz)

San Francisco is putting its mandatory composting rule to use, boosting the amount of food scraps it converts to energy from 90 tons per week to 1,000 tons: enough power to supply more than 2,000 homes.

New Mexico Company Developing Hydrogen Power Plant (AP)

A New Mexico-based energy technology company has announced plans to develop what it calls the world’s first utility-scale, zero-emissions hydrogen power plant.

Back to the Future: Carter, Obama, and Clean Energy (Wall Street Journal)

Thirty years ago, President Jimmy Carter gave the speech variously remembered as the “Malaise” speech or the “moral equivalent of war,” outlining what he hoped would be America’s first real national energy policy. So the question of the day is: Is it déjà vu?

UK Activists: Drastic Action Needed Ahead of Copenhagen (Guardian)

Environmental activists in the UK last night set up an alternative People’s Parliament and called for drastic action to jolt the government into action, even as some of them admitted that the green movement is – just temporarily – a little "stuck".

Europe, MTV to Stage Climate Concerts (New York Times)

The European Commission is teaming up with MTV for a series of concerts to draw attention to climate change. The move follows a Europe-wide survey showing only about half of 15- to 24-year-olds have ever taken action to fight climate change.

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