Energy

World Bank reconsidering support for its last coal plant

Kosovo C is the last exception to the bank’s policy against backing coal plants, but a new assessment looks set to favour renewable alternatives

India’s power minister says the country can smash its 2022 renewable power goal. Will it happen?

Power ministry officials say renewable capacity could exceed the 175GW goal, reaching 227GW, but analysts caution it depends on demand growth

EU closes in on clean energy package, with Spain, Italy joining push for higher targets

The EU is near agreement on measures to put its 2030 climate target into action, with a meeting of energy ministers on Monday swinging towards more ambition

Pope Francis tells oil chiefs to keep it in the ground

At a conference in the Vatican, the head of the Catholic Church urged heads of Exxon Mobil, Eni and BP to make a faster shift to clean energy

Job of ending coal in Germany handed to 31-member committee

Commission will set a phase-out timeline for coal, but greens warn it may be too weak and divided to salvage Germany’s reputation as a climate leader

G7 fossil fuel subsidies worth $100bn a year to industry, study finds

UK accused of masking subsidies to fossil fuels, ahead of meeting of G7 countries, which have agreed to end taxpayer support by 2025

Canada oil pipeline buyout ‘subsidising a market failure’

Nationalisation of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline breaches a G7 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, say analysts, ahead of leaders summit

Investors have made oil majors consider safe climate limits. What next?

Even holdout Exxon Mobil has analysed what holding global warming to 2C means for its business. Now the sector needs to invest – or divest – accordingly

Energy

Renewable Energy

German renewables meet 100% of power demand for second time ever

Preliminary data suggests that renewable supply alone met demand for about two and a half hours on a sunny, windy public holiday on Tuesday

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

Renewable energy

Fossil Fuels

Other countries ‘highly unlikely’ to replicate US shale gas boom, says UN report

Fracking transformed US energy production, but Europe and the rest of the world will struggle to repeat the trick, finds global report

EU energy chief flies to Tehran to talk gas supply, as US sanctions loom

As companies withdraw from deals involving Iran, fearing US sanctions, the EU scrambles to preserve growing energy cooperation

German coal phase-out commission to balance jobs with climate

Leaked strategy paper leads on jobs and calls for environmental concerns to be ‘harmonised’ with economic development

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

Fossil Fuels

Nuclear energy

US launches nuclear initiative to cut carbon with Canada, Japan, UK

While the Trump administration generally avoids discussion of climate change, it is participating in a coalition to promote “clean, reliable” nuclear power

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.”

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