Weekly wrap: Solar tipped for 20% global energy share by 2027

Researchers eye sunny future, Vietnam to ditch coal, France plans climate diplomacy blitz, UK panned for weak green policies

A 100MW solar thermal plant in Abu Dhabi (Flickr/Masdar Official)

A 100MW solar thermal plant in Abu Dhabi (Flickr/Masdar Official)

By Ed King

Solar panel prices are crashing, and power from the sun could provide 20% of global energy needs by 2027, a team of British researchers reported this week.

The model drew on historical data from 53 technologies – factoring in the 10% annual drop in solar costs since the 1980s.

Vietnam appears convinced. The PM this week signalled the country’s rapid coal power plant building spree was over. Renewables and gas are now a priority, he said.

Quote of the week
Everything is done but nothing is done”- France’s top climate diplomat Laurence Tubiana tells Climate Home the government is committed to seeing the targets agreed at COP21 implemented in 2016.

Energy for all

…is attainable by the early 2020s, according to top UN official Rachel Kyte. Her Sustainable Energy 4 All initiative has a target of connecting an estimated 1 billion to the grid by 2030, but she reckons it could be a lot earlier.

Trouble in paradise

Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed was in London this week seeking medical treatment after being freed early from a 13-year prison sentence. The darling of the 2009 Copenhagen UN climate summit disputes the charges of terrorism laid against him, and says the current government are “ecological villains” ripping up his low carbon policies in pursuit of oil.

Stat of the week
“India’s coal use is set to triple” said former environment chief Jairam Ramesh. It’s why he and others are calling for a global programme to help make coal burning less polluting

China and Iran

Beijing and Tehran have signed a climate change MOU – although it’s not published so hard to say if this is ground-breaking or just a bit of PR. A statement from both parties said they would cooperate on development of renewable and fossil fuel energy sources.

UK unpicked

This week the government in London issued a list of 10 things it was doing to ensure a clean and secure energy supply. It all seemed a bit too good to be true – as Megan Darby discovered.

Around the world

NATO: Green energy saves soldiers’ lives, says alliance
Australia: Value of coal sector could be entering ‘death spiral’
India: Modi lays foundation stone of new solar alliance
UK: Climate watchdog says govt policies are ‘minimum’ required
UAE: Gulf bank opens $10bn green credit line

And finally…

Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman is crowdfunding a “scientifically peer-reviewed” album about climate change. Have a listen below…

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