Energy

Ireland needs new oil and gas fields to ease reliance on Brexit UK, say drillers

Oil and gas explorers are gearing up to drill offshore Ireland in a bid to boost its energy independence from Britain

Irish energy industry calls for new links to Europe amid Brexit fears

Grid operator boss calls on Brussels to approve funding for a new electricity connection to France to avoid isolation from continent

In Ireland, Brexit proofing must mean climate proofing

Brexit has led to delays in climate action just at the moment when bold plans could soften the impact of the UK divorce, writes MEP Lynn Boylan

UK tells fracking industry it won’t relax rules on earth tremors

The Conservative government has long backed shale gas exploration, but denied industry calls to loosen ‘unworkable’ limits on seismic activity

BP backs shareholder call to align its strategy with Paris climate goals

The oil and gas major will have to set out how its strategy and investments fit with targets to limit global temperature rise, under new resolution

No deal Brexit to leave UK without green watchdog for two years – report

Changes to UK environment oversight and the Irish power market will not be set by 29 March, the Institute for Government said, and a crash out will leave no time to do so

Germany can end coal power much earlier than 2038

The market can deliver much faster end to coal power than proposed last week, but it needs a confident signal from the German government

Germany to quit coal by 2038, under commission proposal

After late-night talks, a dedicated commission has agreed a timetable to phase out coal burning in Europe’s largest economy

Energy

Renewable Energy

Empty car shows and stalled solar as sanctions keep Iran dirty

Innovation flees after Trump reimposes sanctions, environmentalists and government say that puts the country on a dangerous path

Exxon knows renewables are cheaper, even if Trump doesn’t

The US is pushing fossil fuels at UN climate talks, but prices for clean energy have tumbled so fast even oil companies are investing in renewables

Hungary wants end to coal power by 2030

‘Sky-rocketing’ EU carbon prices could mean Hungary is the first country in eastern Europe to set an exit date for the most polluting fossil fuel

Spain, Europe’s second largest carmaker, plans combustion engine ban

Proposal put forward for country’s first climate law takes swipe at auto-industry, scraps fossil fuel subsidies and sets 2050 goal for 100% renewable power

Can Teresa Ribera transform Spain into a green champion?

Highly experienced minister offers a contrast after years of slow-walking the environmental transition, but admits there is more to do

Colorado governor-elect has US’ most ambitious renewable goal

Jared Polis’ promise to phase out fossil fuel electricity by 2040 would be the fastest target in any state, as the midterms returned mixed results on climate policy

Asian Development Bank signals end to ‘dirty’ coal finance

Falling renewable energy costs and a shadow carbon price are making coal power investments unviable, according to bank energy chief Yongping Zhai

Bill Gates throws new weight and cash into climate fight

In back-to-back events this week, the billionaire launched projects to slow global warming and limit the damage it causes

Renewable energy

Fossil Fuels

Coal phase-out will increase German need for gas, says Merkel

Under pressure to block a gas pipeline from Russia and end coal power, the chancellor tied their fates together

EU reaches coal subsidy phase-out deal – with caveat for Poland

In late-night talks, negotiators agreed to end backdoor subsidies to coal generators, with some leeway for the most coal-dependent member state

On their patron saint’s day, Polish miners pray for a decent future

Twenty kilometres from Cop24 climate talks in Katowice, mining trade unionists look to St Barbara, not Warsaw, Brussels or the UN, for answers to their struggles

Greenpeace threatens to sue coal utility in Poland

Activists are calling on PGE to phase out coal by 2030 and switch to clean energy, or face legal action

Polish government split over coal ahead of UN climate summit

The energy minister has published a statement in defence of coal, which was swiftly disavowed by the presidency of the upcoming Cop24 climate negotiations

Macron takes on motorists over diesel tax hike

The French president has defended increasing the tax on diesel to tackle air pollution, as drivers prepare to block the roads in protest

Gas companies face Californian wipe-out, say S&P, Moody’s

Ratings agencies say the state’s bid to go 100% renewable poses a ‘significant threat’ to gas generators’ credit stability

Christiana Figueres: ‘Coal is a public health emergency’

At the World Health Organization’s first global conference on air pollution, the former UN climate chief launches a campaign to tackle toxic emissions at source

Fossil Fuels

Nuclear energy

Brexit: Avoiding the nuclear fallout

UK government report card on replacing the EU’s atomic energy community shows progress, but no deal on March 29 still threatens power and medical supply

UK offers green assurances for no-deal Brexit

London says it will carry over EU emissions rules for cars, coolants and industrial plants even if it crashes out in March with no negotiated deal

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

Nuclear Energy

Efficiency

UK government refuses to commit to EU clean energy targets after Brexit

The UK helped craft a deal on EU renewable and energy efficiency ambition but its participation after it leaves the union is uncertain

EU decides on non-binding 2030 energy efficiency target

Deal between lawmakers and ministers will cut energy waste 32.5% and reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports, but didn’t go far enough for green groups

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

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

Efficiency