UK backs offshore wind, cuts support for onshore and solar

Today’s top five climate change stories chosen by RTCC
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(Pic: Jaie Cook/Vattenfall)

(Pic: Jaie Cook/Vattenfall)

1 – UK slashes onshore wind subsidies
Ministers will announce cuts to support for onshore wind and solar farms in the UK, but promise offshore wind will gain greater financial aid. A written ministerial statement is expected later. According to BBC reports: “ ‘One Conservative source said he expected “quite a dramatic cut” in prices for onshore wind in 2015 and beyond. Another spoke of the “beginning of the end for mature renewables’.”

2 – US fracking regulations slammed
The US Chamber of Commerce warns a study by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into drilling techniques and safeguards could “short-circuit America’s absolute explosion in energy opportunity that is creating millions of jobs”, report Reuters. The extraction of the USA’s huge shale gas supplies have forced energy prices down, but many analysts say ‘fracking’ is polluting water supplies and is releasing huge quantities of greenhouse gases.

3 – Green Climate Fund opens without a dime
The UN’s flagship low carbon bank was officially unveiled in the South Korean city of Songdo today, attended by the UN climate chief and heads of the World Bank and IMF. But fears persist over where it will source funding from, “The actual business model needs to be determined,” one expert told RTCC.

4 – Lunar solar power: out of this world?
Microwaves, lasers and a ring of solar panels 250 miles wide around the moon. Sounds crazy? Not to a team of scientists in Japan. This is what they say: “Virtually inexhaustible, nonpolluting solar energy is the ultimate source of green energy that brings prosperity to nature as well as our lives.”

5 – Himalayan flowers offer climate guide
Scientists say flower colours offer a guide to how climate change affects various species, reports Science Daily. Working in Nepal’s Himalaya, they collected data from more than 100 flowering plants in Nepal over a range of altitudes, from 900 metres to over 4000 metres. They say there is evidence flowers evolve depending on their altitude, surrounding conditions and what pollinators are available.

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