European airlines, biofuel producers and the European Commission have signed an agreement to produce 2 million tons of biofuel for aviation by 2020, even as debate rages over how green such fuels are, Reuters reports. Is the branding of biofuels as a low-carbon alternative to oil taking away from the discussion about their impact on water, land and food?
Despite droughts and heavy floods, China’s wheat harvest is expected to rise for the eighth year in a row, according to People’s Daily. Read more about the economic impact of China’s most recent drought on Circle of Blue.
France risks facing legal action by energy companies if it passes into law a ban on shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracking in the country, according to Bloomberg. If approved by the French Senate later this month, the ban would revoke existing exploration permits. Read more about Europe’s shale gas dilemma on Circle of Blue.
Meanwhile, Poland — the European country estimated to have the biggest shale gas reserves on the continent — drilled its first horizontal well this week, UPI reports.
Water is the top concern of U.S. utility industry executives, according to a recent survey released by Black & Veatch, Forbes reports. Ironically, the survey also found that natural gas is the top “environmentally friendly technology the industry should emphasize,” with solar falling to third place behind nuclear and wind taking fifth place after hydroelectric.
A few months after the Tahrir Square uprising stalled the launch of a hybrid power plant in power-hungry Cairo, the solar energy project is picking up again, IPS News reports.