Bloomberg: Oil Billionaire Makes $450 Million Bid on Russian Solar Ramp-Up

Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg is out to prove that solar has a place in Russia, the world’s largest exporter of oil and gas.

Hevel Solar, a venture between Vekselberg’s Renova and OAO Rusnano, plans 22.5 billion rubles ($450 million) of solar farms through 2018 and says diversifying power generation will benefit the country.

“You don’t have to eat potatoes all the time,” Hevel Chief Executive Officer Igor Akhmerov said in an interview in Moscow. “You can have some salad as well.”

Washington Post: Major EPA Fracking Study Cites No Systematic Damage Thus Far

The most extensive government review of U.S. “fracking” practices has found no evidence of widespread damage to drinking-water supplies, while also warning of the potential for contamination from the controversial technique used in oil and gas drilling.

The draft study by the Environmental Protection Agency linked fracking to a few cases of water pollution but said the problems appeared so far to be isolated. It cautioned that a number of fracking-related activities carry a future risk of polluting wells and aquifers used for drinking and farming.

Reuters: Ikea Pledges 1 Billion Euros to Help Slow Climate Change

Ikea, the world's biggest furniture retailer, plans to spend 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) on renewable energy and steps to help poor nations cope with climate change, the latest example of firms upstaging governments in efforts to slow warming.

Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall said the measures would "absolutely not" push up prices at the Swedish group's stores. The investments will be "good for customers, good for the climate and good for IKEA too," he told Reuters.

He said the plan was motivated by a desire to tackle climate change, rather than to court favorable publicity. "Getting that message out to the customers is secondary," he said.

Politico: Five Reasons Obama's Power Plan Won't Transform Anything

Just about everyone seems to agree that President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan is an “ambitious” effort to rein in the electric sector’s carbon emissions. There’s intense debate whether it’s good-ambitious, a “sweeping” and “groundbreaking” effort to fight pollution and climate change, or bad-ambitious, a “draconian” and “job-killing” assault on the coal industry that will jack up America’s utility bills.

But it’s been taken for granted on both sides that the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft regulations, expected to be finalized this summer, would smash the status quo. Actually, they’re pretty weak.

Green Car Reports: Why Chevy Spark EV Electric Car Sales Suddenly Surged

It was one of the major electric-car news stories last month: Sales of the Chevrolet Spark EV electric minicar soared to 920 in April.

The electric Spark had consistently sold at around 100 cars a month since its June 2013 launch.

And it was widely considered to be a compliance car: one sold only in California and a few other locales to meet that state's zero-emission vehicle sales rules.