Germany tops 20% renewables in power.

The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) highlights the 20.8% share of power production in the first half of 2011. As Der Spiegel reports, there has been a steady increase from 5% in 2000 to 18% in 2010, with a target of at least 35% of production from renewables by 2020. The opposition claims 40% or even more is realistic. Wind and biomass are the pillars today but the main driver of the 2011 development has been photovoltaics.

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Scenes from The Winning of the Carbon War

New York, 21-26 September 21st – 26th, 2014

The NYPD find a novel way to deflate the carbon bubble on Wall Street
The NYPD find a novel way to deflate the carbon bubble on Wall Street

“I am often tempted to write ‘life, stranger than art’, in the pages of this chronicle. I can only get away with that cliché maybe once. Let it be here. The NYPD has found a way to deflate the carbon bubble. I mean the one twenty feet across, carried by protestors above their heads as they poured into Wall Street. The police popped it on one of the horns of the Merrill Lynch bull.”


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, September 18th, 2014

Riyadh at night. By day, no solar panel-plus-storage to be seen. Yet.
Riyadh at night. By day, no solar panel-plus-storage to be seen. Yet.

“I arrive at night, and am driven from the airport into a city lit up like a fireworks display. Six million people live here. They are burning oil in power plants to provide electricity with few constraints on waste. It is akin to shovelling their national income into a furnace, at an accelerating rate every day.”


Somewhere in London, September 15th, 2014

An EV charged by leftover solar from a fully solar-powered home in cloudy Britain
An EV charged by leftover solar from a fully solar-powered home in cloudy Britain

“The world’s largest private bank predicts that by 2020 it will be possible to have a solar roof, an electric vehicle and a domestic battery bank, powering everything you need in a home, with mouth-watering economics. That energy-trio purchase will be able to pay for itself within six to eight years, while giving a 7% pre-tax annual return on investment. Such household economics, UBS concludes, will change the face of the energy industry.”


Online somewhere, July 10th, 2014

Some of the most strident warnings have been in the Conservative party's favourite paper
Some of the most strident warnings have been in the Conservative party's favourite paper

“A momentous article has appeared in the Telegraph. It argues that fossil fuels are the new subprime threat to the global economy ….(and that) a solar revolution is rushing up on society under the radar, the standard bearer of a transformative green industrial revolution that can no longer be avoided.” Some wag, unknown to me, has written on Twitter: “What world are we living in when the Telegraph starts sounding like Jeremy Leggett?”


No 10 Downing Street, London, July 7th, 2014

Delivering a letter from 150 companies to the UK PM
Delivering a letter from 150 companies to the UK PM

“Obama took personal charge of the pushback. ‘Science is science’, he said in an interview with the New York Times. ‘And there is no doubt that if we burned all the fossil fuel that’s in the ground right now that the planet’s going to get too hot and the consequences could be dire’.”


The Houses of Parliament, London, July 2nd, 2014

Juliet Davenport, Good Energy CEO: "solar is a fantastic technology"
Juliet Davenport, Good Energy CEO: "solar is a fantastic technology"

“A journalist from the Wall Street Journal seems impatient with all the British reserve on offer, and the morass of technical detail on subsidies that masks what is clearly the most fundamental of disputes. What is it, exactly, that you are worried about, she asks me. A repeat of 2011, I tell her. The government launched an ambush on the solar industry back then: a savage subsidy cut with only 6 weeks notice, aiming to decimate us. The gas industry was behind it.”


Mayfair, London, June 12th, 2014

Shell strands an asset on rocks en route to explore for Arctic oil
Shell strands an asset on rocks en route to explore for Arctic oil

“The whole concept (of the carbon bubble and stranded assets) is ‘fundamentally flawed’, Shell concludes. And worse, ‘there is a danger that some interest groups use it to trivialize the important societal issue of rising levels of C02 in the atmosphere’. …. I have been accused of many things by the incumbency over the years. Trivializing global warming is a first.”


Stockholm, May 13th, 2014

Larson ice shelf collapse, 2002: lots more to come
Larson ice shelf collapse, 2002: lots more to come

“Two teams of scientists have concluded that the melting of the vast West Antarctic ice sheet appears now to be unstoppable: that it will collapse piece by piece until the entire sheet has slid off the continent into the ocean. This would cause global sea-level to rise ten feet over the next few centuries. The generations to come will need an awful lot of zeroes when they count the cost of that.”


Norton Rose Fulbright, City of London, May 8th, 2014

Kashagan, Kazakhstan: $40 bn overbudget, 11 years behind schedule
Kashagan, Kazakhstan: $40 bn overbudget, 11 years behind schedule

“A question from the audience. So will Morgan Stanley be incorporating Carbon Tracker’s analysis in its advice? I am here in learning mode, frankly, Martijn Rats replies. What we don’t say so far is that this or that project should be cancelled. But you will, I think. You will have to.”


Soho, London, April 24th, 2014

Apple ad on back pages of papers: what are they thinking?
Apple ad on back pages of papers: what are they thinking?

“Apple are set on supplying 100% renewable power to their data centres. But why would they take out such advertisements? It crosses my mind that they must have some ulterior motive of a business kind: some venture that would require enormous amounts of solar power to be routinely deployed around the world. Electric vehicles, I think, and then dismiss the idea immediately. Too much of a departure for a computer company, surely.”