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Energy Roundup: Prius Goes Solar, Shell Investors Reject Exec Bonuses, Pacific Ethanol Bankruptcy, and More

Shell investors say 'No' to senior executive pay packages -- A majority of Royal Dutch Shell shareholders, angry with plans to award bonuses in a year of missed performance targets, rejected the senior executive pay package at its annual general meeting. The vote is advisory and the pay package including the bonuses can still be awarded to executives. Shell chairman Jorma Ollila didn't commit to cutting the bonuses back, only saying the board would reflect on the outcome. [Source: WSJ]

Prius rooftops to be equipped with Kyocera solar modules -- Kyocera will supply the Toyota Prius with solar modules to power the car's ventilation system. The optional feature uses solar power generated from rooftop modules to power fans while the Prius is parked to keep the interior cool on hot days. [Source: Greentech Media]

Pacific Ethanol units file for bankruptcy -- Pacific Ethanol's four ethanol-producing units filed for bankruptcy protection, ending a months-long struggle to secure enough cash to stay in business. Pacific Ethanol and its marketing division -- Kinergy Marketing and Pacific Ag Products -- have not filed for bankruptcy, although its filing may come sometime this summer. According to its 10-Q filing, the company has sufficient liquidity to meet its needs only through the end of June. Ethanol producers are not the only companies falling on tough cash-strapped times. Independent oil and gas company TXCO Resources filed for bankruptcy protection as well. [Source: Earth2Tech, San Antonio Business Journal]

Study says oil sands emissions up to 15 percent higher than average crude -- Canadian oil sands emits 5 percent to 15 percent more greenhouse gases than methods used for average crude oil processed in the U.S., according to a study by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. The study noted that increased emissions stem mainly from how oil is extracted and processed in the Canadian oil sands. [Source: CERA]

Brazil, China sign $10 billion oil-for-credit deal -- Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras will receive a much-needed $10 billion loan from China Development Bank under an oil-for-credit deal that includes additional agreements on oil exploration and crude trade. The agreement is part of China's continuing strategy to secure its energy resources by offering loans to oil-producing countries. [Source: Bloomberg]

Valero Energy snaps up stake in Qteros -- Refinery giant Valero Energy took over a stake in cellulosic ethanol maker Qteros as part of its acquisition of VeraSun's assets. Qteros has plans to open a pilot plant this summer in Springfield, Mass., and already has several investors including BP, Soros Fund Management and Battery Ventures. [Source: Cleantech]

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