Energy

US agency calls for ban on controversial coal mine ‘self-bonds’

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office is urging Congress to make coal mining companies pay for environmental clean-up and reduce the risk to taxpayers

Documents shed light on BP’s failures in the Great Australian Bight

A major oil spill in the region would have covered up to 750km of beaches and disrupted whale migration, reveal government documents BP tried to suppress

Shell threatened with climate lawsuit in the Netherlands

Friends of the Earth has warned it will take the oil giant to court unless it overhauls its business plan in line with international climate goals

Coal tycoon governor Jim Justice uses loophole to leave mines and workers idle

Companies owned by WV governor exploited a supposedly temporary status to defer environmental clean up and leave miners in limbo, in some cases for decades

What happens to the land after coal mines close?

Across the country, mining land has been reclaimed at low cost, leaving communities with few alternatives to rebuild their economies

Crackdown on coal mine ‘self-bonds’ stalls under Trump

Regulators have almost wiped out risky practice since 2015-16 wave of bankruptcies, but some coal companies still insure themselves

Obama official: Trump cuts will leave coal clean-up agency unable to function

The number of mine site inspections is falling and proposed budget cuts at the federal regulator will further erode oversight, a former top official warns

Why and how we investigated the coal industry’s clean-up funds

The Reclaiming Coal investigation involved six months of crunching data from state and federal agencies, coupled with travel across the country

Energy

Renewable Energy

France’s Macron pledges €700m to solar energy push

The French president announced extra finance to help developing countries adopt clean energy at the International Solar Alliance launch in New Delhi

Documents reveal UK push to water down EU biomass regulations

Brexit-bound UK won big concessions for power stations that burn wood, while new research claims the technology will undermine carbon cuts for half a century

Tasmania to reach 120% renewable electricity in five years, Labor pledge

An election policy from the state opposition would provide a boost to rooftop solar and see more clean energy shipped to the mainland

International Solar Alliance to launch 121 projects at New Delhi summit

India and France are leading a push to roll out solar power, with an event next month to focus on water pumps, affordable finance and mini-grids

Ibiza, Mallorca launch 100% renewable power plan, defying Madrid

The Balearic Islands government is setting out to prove the holiday destination can run on cheap, clean electricity with a proposed climate law

Trump solar tariff ‘will cause disruption’, says UN renewable chief

Energy leaders in Davos were critical of trade intervention the US solar industry said could cause 23,000 job losses

Tesla’s South Australian super battery beats expectations for first month

The world’s largest lithium ion battery has brought much needed flexibility to the grid, encouraging other states to follow suit

Remake Puerto Rico’s power grid and create a universal basic income

While any move away from fossil fuels is welcome, we need to think bigger about what resilience could mean for Puerto Rico

Renewable energy

Fossil Fuels

Reclaiming coal: US mines’ clean-up cash – all our data

All of our data on the US coal industry’s reclamation bonds, compiled nationally and published here for the first time

US coal hasn’t set aside enough money to clean up its mines

Schemes that favour coal companies in Appalachia have left a national shortfall experts said was ‘one of the biggest public failures that has gone under the radar’

China has long been captivated by the promise of coal

For centuries, notions of abundant coal have fed China’s sense of its place among the great nations of the world. Now it is being asked to give it up

Coal India report finds renewables will ‘substantially decrease’ coal demand

The falling cost of solar power and batteries is having a “significant impact” on the coal sector, says national mining company in Coal Vision 2030 consultation

Standard Chartered ‘breaching climate policy’ with Vietnam coal plant investment

The London-based bank plans to co-finance Nghi Son 2 power plant, which NGOs say uses dirty old technology, against company and OECD guidelines

As China counts its emissions, has growth shaken free of carbon?

As the economy surged in 2017, experts are divided over whether emissions stayed flat. It could mean pollution has peaked more than a decade earlier than expected

EU subsidies to a massive gas pipeline clash with climate goals

The European Investment Bank approved a €1.5 billion loan to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline last week. This is why it matters

Another blow for giant Australian coal mine as rail company steps back

Freight company Aurizon has withdrawn its application for a federal loan to build a rail line to link proposed coal mines with ports on the coast

Fossil Fuels

Nuclear energy

Wind, solar costs undercut new coal plants in South Africa

Wind and solar power are 40% cheaper than new coal generation today, analysis of government data shows

Atomic politics: UK mends China links with Hinkley deal

Choosing your power source should come down science and economics, but as the UK’s Hinkley saga shows it’s also a deeply political game

Atomic shambles: UK nuclear plans need urgent rethink

Planned celebrations by the nuclear industry were cancelled last week following the shock decision to put the world’s largest electricity project on hold

Could every UK town have a small nuclear reactor?

Industry poll shows that backing from the UK government is seen as a beacon of hope for a new breed of small nuclear reactors

Can nuclear really deliver 25% of global electricity by 2050?

Despite a record-breaking year of global nuclear construction in 2015, a report by the industry recognises that it still faces unresolved problems and uncertainties

Are small nuclear reactors a clean energy solution?

NEWS: Nuclear companies meet to discuss licensing the controversial modular reactors set to cost billions of dollars and be built near towns

As memory of Chernobyl, Fukushima fades, activists renew nuclear warning

BLOG: 2011 disaster survivors urge UK to ditch atomic plans: “Don’t consider Fukushima as something that could never never happen to you. It could.”

Armed ships embark on secretive plutonium mission

NEWS: Consignment from Japan to the US highlights hidden cost and security risk of growing nuclear waste stockpile

Nuclear Energy

Efficiency

EU climate laws undermined by Polish and Czech revolt, documents reveal

As the world looks to the EU for leadership on climate, eastern states are diluting laws supposed to guide Europe toward its carbon reduction targets

Energy efficiency becomes breakthrough issue in French election

All five leading candidates in France’s presidential election have made prominent energy efficiency pledges, now UK Labour have followed suit

World is well placed to stay under 2C – if we have carbon capture

“We are broadly in the right starting position to keep warming below 2C,” but most models require carbon capture to meet the Paris goal, researchers say

UNEP: global climate action “still not good enough”

Greenhouse gas emissions need to fall a further 25% from projected levels in 2030 to meet 2C global warming limit, says report

Statoil chief: rise of electric cars will shrink oil industry

Once regarded as a joke, the electric car sector is growing fast with some predicting it could take a 35% share of car sales by 2035 – bad news for oil majors

Brazil shifts funds from coal to solar power

Major development bank is prioritising clean energy as economic crisis limits resources

IEA: oil, gas investments fell 25% in 2015

Energy experts say global investment patterns show a spectacular shift, with renewables on the rise and support for fossil fuels in sharp decline

Sustained cheap oil likely to hurt global climate plans

Low oil prices “considerably” hinder transition to greener energy, say IIASA and World Bank analysts, while sustained high prices would give a boost

Efficiency