Largest flow battery in world unveiled in California – storing solar energy.

May 22, 2014 Clean Energy 

SF Chronicle: “In an almond orchard outside Turlock in the Central Valley, two large tanks hold water, minerals – and more importantly, energy.
The tanks in Stanislaus County are part of a “flow battery” that stores energy from nearby solar panels. It’s the largest battery of its kind in the world.” Read more

First Californian county bans fracking.

May 22, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Nation of Change: “Santa Cruz County in California triumphed Tuesday to become the state’s first county to ban fracking. The county’s board of supervisors voted 5-0 to prohibit fracking, as well as gas and oil development within its boundaries.”
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“Ministers signal start of the great oil rush”: Telegraph front-page.

May 22, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Telegraph: “Vast areas of southern England will on Friday be identified by the Government as targets for fracking, with ministers also announcing that energy companies will be allowed to frack under homes without owners’ permission.”
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Thomas Pikkety and Russell Brand: So where is Abe Lincoln?

May 21, 2014 Change for Good, Finance 

John Fullerton for Capital Institute: “It is instructive to observe the reaction to the Piketty phenomenon — a 700-page treatise on political economy that became an overnight Amazon bestseller deserving, according to Larry Summers, of a Nobel Prize. It is similarly instructive to note the spectacle of the viral Russell Brand interview with theBBC’s Jeremy Paxman in which Brand pretty much shreds Paxman and calls for revolution.”
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Top energy analyst charges Shell with asset-stranding risk “naivety”.

May 21, 2014 Climate, Finance, Gas, Oil 

Mark Lewis of Kepler Cheuvreux (client report, no url): In a letter to investors released on 16 May and drawn up “in response to enquiries from shareholders regarding the ‘carbon bubble’ or ’stranded-assets’ issue”,  Shell has followed ExxonMobil’s lead in (i) dismissing the idea that global climate policy might ever be tightened  in such a way as to pose any risk of asset-stranding to its portfolio of proven reserves, and (ii) effectively also arguing that the current pattern of fossil-fuel energy demand will not be threatened for decades to come, such that its more broadly defined resource base – and, by implication, its ongoing investments in new exploration activity — are not at risk of becoming stranded in future either.”
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Shale shock as biggest US putative tight-oil play revised down by 96%.

LA Times: “Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national “black gold mine” of petroleum.”
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Cuadrilla prepares next wave of UK fracking planning applications.

May 20, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “The UK’s most high profile shale gas developer, Cuadrilla Resources, announced on Monday that it is poised to submit planning applications for exploratory wells at its site in Lancashire, raising the prospect of a summer of protests against the controversial development.”
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China to triple solar capacity to 70 GW by 2017.

May 19, 2014 Clean Energy 

ClimateAction: “China has set a new target to more than triple installed solar power capacity to 70GW by 2017 as part of its drive to cut carbon emissions. The new target is double the previous one set for 2015, according to a statement posted last week on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.”
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Shell insists its reserves won’t be stranded by climate policymaking.

May 19, 2014 Finance, Gas, Oil 

Reuters: “Royal Dutch Shell “has dismissed the possibility that its proven oil or gas reserves will become unusable as a result of climate change regulation, saying fossil fuels will play a key role in global energy to 2050 and beyond.” Read more

US regulator mulls crowdfunding as a way to jumpstart economy.

May 19, 2014 Change for Good, Finance 

FT: “….The best deal – at a rate of 10 per cent – came not from a bank, but from Zopa, the UK’s first peer-to-peer lender. “Anything I can do to make a stand and move my money away from my bank is a good thing,” says Ms Robinson. “I can’t understand why bankers haven’t received prison sentences for what they did in the financial crisis.”
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Antarctic ice shedding doubles in a few years, satellite shows.

May 19, 2014 Climate 

Guardian: “Antarctica is shedding 160 billion tonnes a year of ice into the ocean, twice the amount of a few years ago, according to new satellite observations. The ice loss is adding to the rising sea levels driven by climate change and even east Antarctica is now losing ice.”
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British fracking support falls again, below 50% now, poll shows.

May 19, 2014 Climate, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Public support for fracking for shale gas in the UK has fallen below 50% for the first time, new polling suggests.”
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“Obama’s bet on gas throws caution to the wind.”

May 18, 2014 Climate, Gas, Oil 

Edward Luce in the FT: “….That, at least, is the assumption. But what if it is wrong? According to Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm, the US is set to exhaust its supply of “economically recoverable” natural gas supplies by 2030.”
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Did police criminalise first UK fracking protest to discourage later protest?

May 16, 2014 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Most of the people arrested during a summer of demonstrations against fracking in the village of Balcombe have been acquitted, leading to accusations that police tactics in a £4m operation criminalised peacefulprotest.”
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Shell accuses Carbon Tracker et al of “trivializing” climate debate.

May 16, 2014 Climate, Gas, Oil 

Shell letter to shareholders: “To whom it may concern, We are writing this letter in response to enquiries from shareholders regarding the “carbon bubble” or “stranded assets” issue.” Read more

Fossil-fuel nations watered down IPCC climate science report, authors say.

May 15, 2014 Climate 

Guardian: “Increasing evidence is emerging that the policy summaries on climate impacts and mitigation by the UN Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were significantly ‘diluted’ under political pressure from some of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, including Saudi ArabiaChina, Brazil and the United States.”
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Individual solar companies now install >1 GW a year, pipeline hits 140 GW.

May 15, 2014 Clean Energy 

Recharge: “China’s TBEA SunOasis is set to overtake First Solar this year as the world’s largest solar EPC player, and Chinese companies will further dominate the list in the coming years as North America grows cold on mega-PV, claims market researcher IHS.”
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Citi sees decline for coal: beginning of end in an “age of renewables”.

May 15, 2014 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Gas 

Reneweconomy: “A new series of reports from global investment bank Citigroup has highlighted the dramatic changes that are sweeping the world’s largest energy markets, and which will have a significant impact on the future of the coal industry in Australia.”
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IEA: Opec oil supply could fall short of meeting global demand this year.

FT: Opec “will need to increase production significantly in the second half of the year in order to meet world demand, according to the west’s energy watchdog.”
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Eon handed record fine for mis-selling energy.

May 15, 2014 Coal, Gas 

FT: “Eon has been ordered to hand back £12m to customers after the UK energy regulator found the German supplier had breached rules against mis-selling.”
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