April 13, 2011

EPA Official Calls Cornell Gas-Climate Study ‘Important Piece of Information’

A senior EPA official said that a controversial study about the global warming effects of fracking warrants federal review, while expressing confidence that the emissions can be brought under control.

China's Nuclear Plans to Slow but Not Shrink: Researchers

China might slow the pace of nuclear construction in coming years as it absorbs the lessons of Japan's crisis, but nuclear remains a crucial part of its energy plans, government researchers said.

S.Africa to Invest $3.7 Bln in Green Energy

South Africa will invest 25 billion rand ($3.7 billion) to support a plan to ramp up renewable energy and the green economy, the economic development minister said Tuesday.

Biofuels Transport Targets Are Unethical, Inquiry Finds

The legal requirement to put biofuels in petrol sold in the UK and Europe is unethical because their production violates human rights and damages the environment, a major new inquiry has concluded.

Australia Says CO2 Tax to Have Minor Impact on Steel, Aluminum

Australia's government played down the impact of a carbon price on steel and aluminum producers on Wednesday, saying its planned carbon tax would add only a fraction to the cost of their goods.

Is Armenia's Nuclear Plant the World's Most Dangerous?

One of the last old operating Soviet reactors built without containment vessels, its location in a seismic zone has drawn renewed attention since Japan's earthquake-and-tsunami-triggered crisis.

Developing Countries Denounce World Bank Restrictions on Coal Loans

Rogério Studart, a World Bank executive, called the agency's plan to prevent middle-income countries from accessing loans to build new coal plants, but still grant them to the poorest nations, a dangerous precedent.

The Fight to Save Wine from Extreme Weather

At the third annual World Congress on Climate Change and Wine, vintners are looking at new ways to adapt to extreme weather and keep the wine flowing.

U.S. Auto Sector Needs to Rethink Itself: Top VC Exec

The recession and high gas prices offer the U.S. automotive industry a chance to reinvent itself as consumers inch toward acceptance of alternatives to the internal combustion engine, a top venture capitalist said.

Has the Falkland Islands Delivered the World's First Wind-Powered Smart Grid?

A wind farm developer in the Falkand Islands has developed a system that couples fluctuating wind power and electric car energy storage, which could become an exportable smart grid model

Marijuana Growing Gobbles Electricity, Study Finds

Indoor pot-growing operations in the United States burn about $5 billion worth of electricity annually, or roughly 1 percent of national power consumption, a study suggests.

April 12, 2011

Calif. Governor to Sign Nation's Most Aggressive Renewable Energy Rules

Gov. Brown plans to sign legislation that would require Calif. utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable sources, giving the state the nation's most aggressive clean energy mandate.

Google Invests $168 Million in Solar Power Plant

Google said Monday it has invested $168 million to help complete the construction of one of the world's biggest solar energy power plants in California's Mojave Desert.

Bill Moves Wash. Plant Off Coal by 2025

A bill that would gradually shut down Washington's largest coal-fired power plant cleared another hurdle Monday, paving the way to end coal-burning as a source of electricity in the Northwest.

Did Senate GOP Doom EPA Riders?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may have played a starring role in ensuring a last-minute spending deal didn't include controversial environmental riders.

China Planning Emissions Trading in 6 Regions

China will launch pilot emissions trading schemes in six provinces before 2013 and set up a nationwide trading platform by 2015, according to a senior government official.

Japan Declares Crisis at Level of Chernobyl

Japan raised its assessment of the monthlong crisis at its Fukushima nuclear power plant to the highest severity level —a rating previously conferred only upon the Chernobyl accident.

Europe's Renewable Energy Capacity Almost Doubles in a Decade

The share of renewable energy across the EU's generation mix has almost doubled over the past decade, from 5.4 percent to nine percent between 1999 and 2009, according to new EU statistics.

Japan Nuke Disaster to Change EU Energy Mix

The EU's target to decarbonize its energy sector by 2050 would entail an increase in nuclear power use although Japan's crisis might change the ultimate mix, the EU chief climate change negotiator said.

Federal Renewable Energy Standard Legislation Introduced

Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced a bill to enact a federal Renewable Energy Standard that would require utilities to get 25% of their electricity from renewables by 2025.

At 35% of New Capacity, Wind Moves From Alternative to Mainstream

The U.S. wind energy industry saw 35% average annual growth over the last five years and accounted for 35% of new U.S. power capacity in that period, according to the 2010 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report.

Emission Reductions at Risk if Australia LNG Charged Carbon Tax: APPEA

Global emissions reductions could suffer if Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers are charged a proposed carbon price, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) said on Sunday, citing an industry report.

Australia Leases Out Mineral-Rich Land as China's Hunger for Resources Grows

China is leasing huge areas of land in Australia to secure a vital source of mineral resources, the latest sign of its acquisitive approach to the commodities trade.

China Denies Breach of CO2 Rules Cited in Confidential Document

Chinese environment officials rejected claims in a document indicating some chemical factories may have adjusted output levels to maximize United Nations carbon credits, defying market rules.

Ten Years to Save Australia's Great Barrier Reef

If we continue to release CO2 into the atmosphere at current rates, within a decade we will reach a tipping point beyond which ocean warming will occur no matter what we do, reducing the reef's chances of survival, a researcher told delegates at the Greenhouse 2011 conference in Cairns this week.

Murkowski: Smaller Steps on Energy

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski thinks Congress will have more success taking a "graduated" approach to energy legislation while keeping up the pressure to respond to last year's Gulf of Mexico spill.

New Zealand Navy Monitors Greenpeace Oil Dispute

New Zealand has sent a naval vessel to ensure a high-seas dispute between Greenpeace activists and a Brazilian-owned vessel exploring for oil does not escalate, police confirmed Tuesday.


PG&E Wants N-Plant License Delay for Seismic Study

The owner of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power complex asked federal regulators to delay issuing extended operating permits until comprehensive studies are completed on earthquake faults in the area, officials said Monday.

Fewer Penguins Survive Warming Antarctic Climate

Two of the most well-known penguin species in Antarctica -- chinstraps and Adelies -- are under pressure because a warmer climate has cut deeply into their main food source, shrimp-like creatures called krill.

Singapore Nuclear Decision 'Long Way Away:' Govt

Singapore is "a long way away" from a decision on whether to include nuclear power as part of its energy policy, a senior government official said on Monday.

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