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Green groups say German energy reform painful, despite concessions

By Madeline Chambers BERLIN (Reuters) - Green groups in Germany warned on Wednesday that plans to scale back subsidies for renewable power would slow down the country's so-called 'energy revolution', saying last minute concessions to help wind farm companies were not enough. The deal on concessions agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional politicians late on Tuesday cleared the way for Berlin to finalize a draft law on reducing the subsidies - legislation that is being closely watched on power markets.

Don't use energy as a weapon, Kerry says at EU, US talks

Energy musn't be used as a weapon, Washington's top diplomat said Wednesday as the EU and US vowed to help Ukraine overcome energy shortages after a painful Moscow gas-price hike. "No nation should use energy to stymie a people's aspirations. It should not be used as a weapon," US Secretary of State John Kerry said as he opened a meeting of the US-EU Energy Council. Speaking a day after Moscow heaped even more pressure on Ukraine's teetering economy with the painful hike, Kerry added: "We can't allow it to be used as a political weapon or as an instrument for aggression."

Poland calls for an EU energy union amid Ukraine crisis

Poland has begun campaigning in favour of an EU energy union in order to reduce the bloc's dependence on Russian supplies, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday. "We're pursuing efforts both on the diplomatic front and on an expert level in Brussels," he told reporters, before laying out six concrete proposals. "The Ukraine context... means that the question of energy independence, not just of Poland but of the entire continent, is starting to take on an importance that extends beyond the economic factor."

Crimea spurs German rethink on energy policy

Current tensions with Russia over Ukraine have turned the spotlight on Germany's heavy dependence on Russian gas and are pushing Europe's biggest economy to reconsider its entire energy policy. It is currently Germany's aim to be able to meet as much as 80 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources such as wind and solar power by 2050. The country is also committed to phasing out nuclear power completely over the next decade or so.

Exxon: Climate change rules won't halt oil and gas; fuels too important for global development

NEW YORK, N.Y. - On the same day the world's scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation's biggest oil and gas company said the world's climate policies are "highly unlikely" to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future.

War of 1812 makes it into the Keystone pipeline debate at U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON - Against all odds, the War of 1812 managed to work its way into the American debate on the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday. It began as a good-natured joke at a news conference on Capitol Hill, became a running gag throughout the event and, by the end, it managed to morph into a serious point about U.S. energy security. Pipeline proponents held the event to bolster their case by pointing to the dispute with Russia.

Romania caps green energy quota to help large industrial firms

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's government capped the amount of renewable energy that large industrial consumers must buy this year in a move to help offset their high energy costs and stave off the threat of job cuts ahead of elections later this year. The cap is part of a wider set of measures the leftist government plans to enforce this year to help industrial consumers, who have repeatedly warned that high power and gas prices could lead to production cuts, layoffs and even plant relocations.

New power lines from Canada across Maine to Boston would meet New England's clean energy goals

PORTLAND, Maine - NN A 300-mile power cable line would be buried on land and run underwater from Maine to Boston in a proposal to tap Canada's hydropower for power-hungry southern New England. New England governors say they need up to 3,600 megawatts of renewable energy to meet green energy goals, while also lowering costs and offsetting losses as aging power plants go offline.

World faces 'water-energy' crisis

Surging populations and economies in the developing world will cause a double crunch in demand for water and energy in the coming decades, the UN said Friday. In a report published on the eve of World Water Day, it said the cravings for clean water and electricity were intertwined and could badly strain Earth's limited resources.

EU leaders accelerate quest to reduce energy reliance on Russia

By Barbara Lewis and Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders on Friday discussed accelerating moving energy supplies away from Russia, saying Moscow's annexation of Crimea made them more determined to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.
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