Russia is one of the world’s largest exporters of fossil fuels (oil and gas) and has huge reserves as well.The Russian Economic Resurgence has been mainly due to the appreciation of the prices of oil and gas ,billions of dollars which are exported to Europe.Like the Middle East countries,Russia too does not believe too much in Renewable Energy.Despite a solid technological base in high tech and expertise in Energy Industry,Russia has hardly any Green Industry to speak of . Its weak efforts in Alternative Energy (Nitol Solar and others) have come a cropper without any domestic support.

Russia huge huge wind and solar energy resources with hundreds of gigawatts of potential.It also has great geothermal  energy resources as well however most of them are not developed at all.There is no significant support for Renewable Energy Resource as well with Green Energy capacity in low double digits (15 MW of Wind in 2006).With Putin calling Wind Turbine hazardous to birds and causing Environmental Problems,It looks like Russian Leadership will not change its Fossil Fuel Centric Policy any time soon.Note the Wind Energy Industry has advanced a lot with newer Wind Turbines resulting in much lower noise and bird losses.While Middle East Countries are dead against Climate Change efforts,they are developing Nuclear Energy and some Renewable Energy for exporting more Energy.However Russia does not even want to do that despite being a leader in Nuclear Energy.

Note Russia has one of the highest per capita emissions and is one of the world’s largest emitters  of GHG emissions as well.It producers just 1% of its energy from Renewable Energy which is much lower than the world average and seems to have no intention of increasing it.With its leader focused on the bird killing aspects of Wind Turbines,rather than thinking of Global Warming,Green Energy does not have much of a future in Russia.

Russia’s Putin says wind turbines kill birds

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday that wind power can pose environmental risks, casting doubts over plans to develop this alternative energy source in the oil-rich country.

Putin, who has overseen all major energy deals Russia made in recent years, is keen for the country to maintain its role as a major oil and gas producer. He has repeatedly expressed his skepticism about alternative energy.

“Windmills, which are so widespread in many European countries seem to be an environmentally friendly kind (of energy), but in fact they kill birds,” Putin told a conference of his United Russia party in the Far East.

“Vibration there is such that worms come out of the ground, not to mention moles. This is a real environmental problem,” he said, adding that solar energy was the only alternative source that was entirely harmless.

Renewable energy accounts for only 1 percent of all power generated in Russia

Coal Prices have started to increase in the international market alongwith other commodities like wheat,sugar,corn,gold,copper etc.But unlike other commodities,Coal has a disproportionate effect on Energy Prices.Note Coal is the principal supplier of top energy consumers like China,USA,India,Germany etc.The cheap price and abundance of coal has made it the fossil fuel of choice for generating electricity.The Technology for mining,processing and using coal to generate energy is well developed and cheap.This is the main reason for Coal’s growing demand despite its reputation as the Dirtiest Form of Energy.Coal Mining also regularly leads to hundreds of deaths even in developed countries like USA and New Zealand.However Growing Carbon Emissions due to Coal and its Supply Shortages has resulted in looking for alternative forms.Clean Coal Technology,Coal to Liquid and Carbon Capture and Sequestration(CCS) are looked upon as means to try and improve the carbon footprint of Coal.However the CCS Technology remains immature and expensive as of now .

China coal-price cap not much help for power firms

China’s decision to freeze contract coal prices is unlikely to benefit power producers much as spot prices might jump on the move and also because Beijing might also act to cap electricity tariffs in its battle to curb inflationary pressures, say analysts.

Shares of Chinese independent power producers, or IPPs, declined Friday, reversing some of the gains they notched a day before, when state-run Xinhua news service cited an official at the National Development and Reform Commission as saying that contract coal prices must be frozen in 2011 at this year’s price levels.

Coal Prices have increased dramatically in China which is being forced to import millions of tons of coal despite having huge reserves.This is putting pressure on electricity rates which are one of the cheapest in the world.High Coal Prices are also making Thermal Plants in the UK to switch to Wood Pellets as Fuel which are considered more environment friendly.Note Coal generated electricity is cheap because the external effects on environment,health,pollution are not taken into account.Putting a Carbon Price on Coal would make it more expensive than some renewable forms of energy like Wind Energy.However in the world we live in external costs are not part of the economic calculus.However Coal Prices are going to increase as India another big consumer starts to import huge quantities as well.Increasing Electricity Rates is something inevitable and should give a big boost to Green Energy forms.Not a bad idea to install solar panels at a fixed rate for 20-25 years as electricity rates are going to be much higher than people expect.

German 2011 Power Gains to 12-Week High as Coal, Gas Advance

German electricity for delivery next year climbed to a 12-week high as coal and natural gas costs rose, potentially making electricity generation more expensive.

Baseload power for 2011 gained as much as 80 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 50.70 euros ($67.15) a megawatt-hour, its highest price since Sept. 8, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The contract traded at 50.65 euros at 11:20 a.m. Berlin time. Baseload is delivered around the clock.

In my previous missive I had opined that the US Solar Energy Policies were misguided as President Obama visited a Solyndra Factory and the US Department of Energy gave a huge $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra without any substantial due diligence or competition.Note that established solar companies like Evergreen Solar are literally crying for government support without getting any.Now Evergreen Solar has planned to shutter US factories to open a solar plant in Wuhan,China with Chinese government support.Same thing is happening with other solar companies like Energy Conversion Devices,Sunpower and others.US Loan Guarantees to Abound Solar and Abengoa also seem to be a waste while massive US Treasury Grants and Aid are creating Solar Thermal White Elephants in California.Note the billions of  dollars in discretionary aid would be spent much better on R&D and subsidies to existing US solar companies which are losing out to Asian competition.

Solyndra has never got its cost economics right as was evident from its failure to do an IPO.The company has raised almost a billion dollars now without much to show for it .With a billion dollars, company  like First Solar could double its capacity to 1 GW.Instead Solyndra has decided to reduce its foretasted capacity to 300 MW by 2013 from 600 MW . This would make it an extremely small player in an hugely crowded and competitive solar market in 2013.Giving guarantees to small startups without transparent bidding and competition is costing millions of dollars to US taxpayers.There has been no accounting and no responsibility for the huge potential losses that DOE is going to incur because of supporting the wrong horse.

Fremont solar panel maker Solyndra scales back expansion plans – Mercury News

Solyndra Inc., the high-flying solar panel maker once touted by President Barack Obama as a model for a green energy future, said Wednesday it has scuttled its factory expansion in Fremont, a move that will stop the company’s plans to hire 1,000 workers.

Solyndra said it will also close an existing factory in the East Bay. That will leave the company with one Fremont factory, a new plant visible from Interstate 880.The moves mean that instead of having 2,000 workers in Fremont, Solyndra will cap its work force at 1,000, which is about the current level. Solyndra also will, over the next several weeks, eliminate 155 to 175 jobs in Fremont. That includes 135 contract employees and 20 to 40 full-time workers, said David Miller, a Solyndra spokesman.

Heavily Indebted Utility Enel looks to shed Debt through Renewable Arm IPO

Enel Green Power the Renewable Energy Arm of Italian Utility Enel which is coming out with the Biggest European IPO in 2010 with 3 Billion Euros being raised giving a total valuation of 9-10.5 Billion Euros.Enel Green Power is going to be the 4th of its class of Giant Green European Utilities to be listed on the Stock Exchange.Spanish Iberdola and EDP and French EDF had also listed their Green Subsidiaries.Note the Green Utility listing trend has caught in Asia as well with Chinese Utility Longyuan Group listing its Renewable Energy Assets in Hong Kong in 2009 December.India’s Orient Green Power also managed to become the first pure play Renewable Utility to list in September 2010.If successful it would be the biggest IPO in Europe since  Iberdrola raised 4.1 billion euros from listing its renewable unit in December 2007.

The company is pricing its shares at 1.8-2.1 Euros and will be listed on the Milan and Madrid Stock Exchanges.Note the pricing of the issue has been reduced by 15% from its initial price band and the shares should start trading on November 4.15% of the Issue will be reserved for retail investors and a 5% share bonus would be given if shares are held for more than 12 months.The dividend payout should be around 30% which is higher than its Green European Peers.

Enel Green Power faces investor apathy

EGP is the 4th company of its kind to supply paper to European investors so the demand is not high.Despite EGP having 44% Hydro Assets and 13% Geothermal Assets which is more than its European  competitors dependent on Wind Energy,investors are not convinced.Even the lower band of pricing has seen only 60% demand which means that EGP may have to lower it further.Spain and Italy the home countries of Enel are reducing Feed in Tariffs for Green Energy Sources due to Budgetary Problems.Despite removing the most draconian cuts on Renewable Subsidies,the sword of uncertainty continues to hang over the Green Producers.Investors are also looking for a discount on existing companies in order to make commitments to a new issue.EGP has been trying to do an IPO sine last year and the current bullish market environment in Europe might be the best time for it to clinch the deal.

Enel Green Power Struggles to Lure Buyers to ‘Rich’ IPO Price  – Bloomberg

Enel hasn’t received orders for all the stock on sale, two people with knowledge of the transaction said. The company has buyers for about 60 percent of the stock amid weak demand from institutional investors, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The shares are on sale to fund managers and individual investors for 1.80 euros to 2.10 euros until Oct. 29.

At the bottom of the price range, EGP’s enterprise value would be about 9.7 times the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda. That’s in line with Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables SA and below EDP Renovaveis SA, MF Global analysts including Ashley Thomas said in a report to clients yesterday. The range “should be cut to offer upside,” the analysts said.

Maharashtra is one of the most industrialized states in India but it lags behind other states in Renewable Energy.The recent mandate by the Central Electricity Regulator to increase the requirement of Renewable Energy to 6% of Electricity Produced found Maharashtra having a severe shortfall.Maharashtra has the largest power capacity in the country with around 21 GW but most of it is thermal based generation.Despite having the second largest Wind Power Capacity with 2 GW which is around 42% of the state’s potential.However Maharashtra is still considerably short of the 6% Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) set by it.With CERC set to increase the Green Energy Target to 10% by 2015,Maharashtra needs not only to meet the shortfall but also to increase the share of Renewable Energy.

Other Major Industrialized states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are attracting tons of investment in solar and wind energy.Gujarat has become a top Green Investment Destination due to strong subsidies given by the state government over there.Maharashtra is now looking to clean up its act by providing Subsidies and grant to Wind and Biomass Energy.The State Government will give a $110,000 grant per MW of Wind Energy and also bear the interconnection costs to the grids  plus providing money for building access roads to the Green Energy Plants.Note the huge power deficit and government push for Green Energy makes Renewable  Focused Utilities one of the best ways to green invest in India.

Maha govt offers sop to power generators, distributors – Moneycontrol

The Maharashtra government has finally given the disgruntled generators and distributors of renewable power companies a much-needed pick-me-up. With the aim of meeting its policy targets of 3500 MW of renewable energy, the government is offering some heavy-duty incentives.

For wind power projects with a target capacity of 2,000 MW, the government will bear the cost of infrastructure development up to Rs 5 lakh per MW. It will also pay for redevelopment of approach road to these projects up to Rs 10 lakh per kilometre. Also, the government will bear the total cost of power evacuation up to a limit of Rs 35 Lakhs per MW.

For biomass projects with a target generation of 400 MW, the government will reimburse the total cost of power evacuation up to Rs 4 crore per project.

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Green Transportation and Energy Storage

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