– Hydroelectric facilities should not be sold off to unregulated entities as part of bankruptcy proceedings of PG+E, according to California Power Authority chairman David Freeman. “Hydro facilities are the crown jewels of the system; the gold mine that never runs out of gold,” he told the Association of California Water Agencies. Selling them them to a private company would “rob Californians of the lowest cost sustainable energy in the state.” – Sumitomo and Tokyo Electric Power have set up an investment fund with the Inter-American Development Bank, to channel 3 billion yen into environmentally friendly energy generation projects. The trading house Sumitomo invested 700 million yen, while TEPCO and IDB contributed 1.2 billion yen each. The fund is managed by the FondElec Group of the U.S. and will invest in Brazil, Mexico and other countries, in projects that generate power from solar and wind. In future, fund participants expect clean energy projects to reduce emissions of global warming gases, making it possible to acquire emission trading rights from countries where projects are implemented. – Tokyo Electric Power will invest US$10 million in an energy fund that focuses on Mexico and Brazil. It will be Tepco’s first capital investment in Latin America and will be a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and Japanese trading company Sumitomo. The Latin America Clean Energy Services Fund will operate for ten years out of the Cayman Islands and focus on energy services and renewable energy. The capital limit is set at $100 million, with the three partners taking profits in the form of emissions credits. – The controversial construction of a hydroelectric plant in eastern Iceland may receive approval from the Environment Ministry, to provide power for a proposed Reydaral aluminium smelter. Environmentalists say the plant could damage the eastern parts of the Icelandic highlands. – Brazil’s Bahia state government will invest US$40.2 million in the second stage of the ‘Luz no Campo’ rural power program. A total of 500,000 rural homes and 2.5 million people, lack electric power service. Bahia state governor Cesar Borges has launched a solar lighting system for 657 schools in 45 municipalities, to benefit 30,000 people. – Brazil’s electricity regulator Aneel has confirmed a list of 40 companies or consortia that are pre-qualified to take part in concession auctions to construct and operate 11 hydroelectric projects with total capacity of 2,666 MW. Among the list are Tractebel of Belgium, Canada’s Brascan Energetica and Brazil’s Guaraniana, CVRD, Copel, CFLCL and Cemig. – Ethiopia has 30,000 MW of hydropower potential, with actual generation of 450 MW, according to papers presented at the third Eastern African Power Industry Convention in Addis Ababa. Almost 85% of energy in eastern Africa comes from traditional biomass sources.