Daily Sprout

Munich Re Calls for Climate Action: German reinsurer Munich Re warned today that a lack of big earthquakes and hurricanes this year should not lead to complacency about climate change. — Financial Times

Concerns About Hong Kong Water Security: A series of droughts in China has raised concerns that Hong Kong’s water supply is threatened by climate change and pollution, has growing demand from surrounding industries, so it might not be as secure as first thought. — NYT’s Green Inc.

Senate Climate Fight: Tough as Healthcare Reform: Assembling a climate and energy package that can be shoehorned into the election-year calendar will be every bit as tough for Senate Democrats when they return in January as crafting the healthcare bill. — The Hill

Abengoa Considers Billion Euro Bond Sale: “Abengoa SA, Spain’s largest developer of solar-thermal power plants, is considering selling as much as 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) of bonds to finance more installations and reduce its dependence on banks.” — Bloomberg via BusinessWeek

Pacific Lake Opens Eyes Fund for Young Entrepreneurs: Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture capital firm Pacific Lake Partners is looking to raise $35 million for a fund that will specifically target recent business school grads looking to buy and turn around other people’s startups. — VentureBeat’s GreenBeat

Holy Desertec: $555B Solar Saharan Project Finds a Dozen Backers

solarthermalgeneric2Ever since the news came out about Desertec, a $555 billion project to build solar thermal plants in Northern Africa’s Sahara desert to funnel solar power to Europe, we’ve been scratching our heads about what to make of it. The sheer size (supposedly large enough to supply up to 15 percent of Europe’s electricity needs), cost and timeline (over 40 years) is so utterly massive and ambitious, the project will no doubt look very different when — and if — it ever makes it to light. But despite the “fantasy” nature of the plan, a dozen serious and respected companies have signed a memorandum of understanding today to investigate how to build the project.

Participants include German engineering company Siemens (s SI), German insurer Munich Re, Deutsche Bank (s DB), German utilities RWE and EON, Spain’s power company Abengoa, Zurich’s electricity grid builder ABB, Algerian firm Cevital, European bank HSH Nordbank, engineering company M+W Zander, and solar firms Schott Solar and Solar Millennium.

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