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Energy Roundup: Kansas Allows Coal, China Notches Up Solar, Cap and Trade Loopholes and More

Struggling coal slips one through -- Several days after LS Power finally gave up on plans for a 750 megawatt coal plant in Michigan, to the general glee of environmentalists, Sunflower Electric is benefiting from the departure of Kansas governor Katherine Sebelius, now the U.S. secretary of health and human services. New governor Mark Parkinson has approved two coal plants to be built in the state, provided the utility meets targets for cleaning emissions and offsetting CO2. [Source: Associated Press]

China to multiply solar efforts -- China will be able to blow past its previous targets to build 10,000 to 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2020, according to a government researcher. Companies benefiting from the policy will likely be overrepresented by local firms like LDK Solar, Solarfun, Suntech Power and Trina Solar. [Source: Reuters]

Venezuala considers grabbing oil services -- Oil prices may have gone down since last year, leaving the Venezualan president Hugo Chavez less powerful, but companies in the country can't stop watching their backs just yet. The country's lawmakers are ready to pass a bill allowing seizure of oil services companies in the national interest. Big companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger, as well as smaller ones, may be subject to the rule. [Source: Rigzone]

Loophole discovered in EU cap and trade -- Speculators appear to have been manipulating a loophole in the European Union's cap and trade scheme, influencing the prices of carbon permits and wholesale electricity. The United States is working to prevent abuses with its own potential cap and trade system, although how the bureaucrats expect to reverse the usual outcome and outwit traders has not yet been articulated. [Source: Thomson Reuters Carbon Market]

Cleantech venture capital drops, but tops category -- Venture funding to alternative energy and associated technologies now exceeds both internet and biotech investments, but the field is still feeling the recessionary crunch. Global investment fell by almost half to $1 billion in the first quarter. [Source: NYTimes]

Deeya Energy raises $30M -- Battery startup Deeya Energy has attracted $30 million in venture funding, led by Technology Partners. The company is one of the few that may be able to offer batteries large and cheap enough for grid storage of energy from solar and wind farms. [Source: BusinessWire]

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