A chronological log of events in global energy, climate change and related issues. Key events from this chronicle are distilled in the serialised front-line eye-witness account, The Winning of the Carbon War
Methane leaks far exceed estimates, US oil < $30, Islamic leaders join Pope in calling for carbon-fuel phaseout, solar cheaper than gas in Colorado, UK opens 1,000 sq miles to frackers: Week 33, 2015August 23, 2015
US oil price slides below $30 for first time since financial crisis. Brent falls to $45. The US rig count rises 2%. The industry remains what analysts label “resilient”.
SunEdison beats gas in Colorado. For the first time, PPC receives bids for utility-scale solar PV resources that are cost-effective head to head with natural-gas fired generation.
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Largest ever US wildfire rages, coal protestors say “here and no further”, Glencore’s investors say “stop digging”, oil glut pumps on, solar stocks suffer, Shell ready to drill in the Arctic: Week 32, 2015August 16, 2015
“Glencore’s investors want it to stop digging.” Shares down two-thirds since May 2011 float, debt mountain at $48bn.
Firefighters struggle to contain largest ever US wildfire. Spanning more than a quarter of a billion acres, the Idaho fire has been fed by drought.
1,500 people put their bodies on line to stop the diggers... read more...
Global glacier retreat accelerates, value of oil companies down >$1 trillion, Obama backs off shale gas in climate plan, UK now prepared to over-ride councils and push through fracking: Week 31, 2015August 9, 2015
“Our country needs shale gas, so let’s go get it.” So writes Amber Rudd. “A responsible, long-term energy policy demands a willingness to take decisions today for the good of tomorrow.”
Energy industry attacks £24.5bn Hinkley Point. “We will look back and think that nuclear was a expensive mistake,” RWE npower CEO says. An HSBC report rips into... read more...
Global warming now >1˚C, Obama hikes power-sector carbon cuts, World Bank rejects coal industry notion that coal can cure poverty, US offshore wind puts its first steel in the water: Week 30, 2015August 2, 2015
Obama imposes most far-reaching carbon restrictions on power sector yet. 32% power sector cuts by 2030, encouraging bypass of gas, favouring renewables. Legal pushback expected.
“With coal going begging, it’s time to stop digging.” So writes Michael West in the SMH. The two big projects of Chinese... read more...
Paris climate deal takes shape, France sets example with sweeping energy bill, oil drill ships burn cash parked at sea, UK government reneges on commitments to renewables investors: Week 29, 2015July 26, 2015
Oil groups shelve $200bn in new projects as second oil-price slump hits. Wood Mackenzie reports 46 big oil and gas projects deferred. Only a handful of major projects fully approved.
US companies pledge financial and political support for UN climate deal. 13 announce new low carbon investments, and 1.6GW of new renewables to be brought online.
Hillary... read more...
Ocean warming now unstoppable for centuries, wildfire risk soaring, Church of England votes for divestment, Shell hopes to drill in Arctic without safety kit: Week 28, 2015July 19, 2015
Chinese-built electric bus will begin service in London in autumn. Designed and built by BYD, the initial group of five will utilise high-efficiency batteries.
France seeks short, concise, but long-lasting legal core for Paris climate change deal. One is being prepared for climate ministers attending prep talks in Paris 19-21-June.
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UK ends zero carbon homes and slaps retrospective cuts on renewables, UK shale-bonanza advocate “steps down”, Pope says unbridled capitalism fuels climate change: Week 27, 2015July 12, 2015
Gas overtakes coal in US electricity generation for the first time in April. Gas is now 31%, coal 30%. There were 593 coal-fired plants in 2009, down to 518 by 2013 (303 GW).
Australian government extends renewable energy investment ban to solar. A directive already bans the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from investing in wind.
German “vindictiveness”... read more...
Episcopal Church votes to divest, Prince Charles divests, crucial UK fracking licence rejected, Renault may leave Formula 1 for Formula E, climate negotiations moving at “snails pace”: Week 26, 2015July 5, 2015
List of more than 1,076 chemicals used during fracking process remains unknown. UCS says the recent EPA study was “a literature review.”
US solar and wind industries appeal for tax breaks to compete with gas. The current tax breaks expire in 2017, leading BNEF to forecast reduced investment.
Planned new coal plants mean >... read more...
Medics say climate change threatens 50 years of advances, Dutch court forces climate action on government, American Petroleum Institute launches regulation rollback campaign: Week 25, 2015June 28, 2015
Dalai Lama supports Popes message on climate change – at Glastonbury. Long-term fans describe his appearance as the highlight of all festivals attended.
Formula E the “right way to go” says head of world motorsport. Former Ferrari chief Jean Todt tells RTCC he’s behind new electric series, as fans turn out in thousands for London finale.
US... read more...
Pope calls for rich to pay their debts on climate, US bishops agree with him, US Republican candidates disagree with him, US shale industry faces mass bankruptcy in face of debt mountain: Week 24, 2015June 21, 2015
“The Shale Industry Could Be Swallowed By Its Own Debt”: Bloomberg. “The debt that fueled the U.S. shale boom now threatens to be its undoing.” Debt $235 bn Q1, up as revenue fell.
UK public split on fracking. Tories & UKIP pro, Labour, LibDems & Nats mostly against. March poll: 24% in favour of extracting shale gas, 26% against... read more...