IN THE HEADLINES: US Coal Production Falls to Lowest Level in Nearly 30 Years

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11 January 2016

Below is a news snapshot from the past week. Please click the links to read the articles in full.

First, Clean Revolution news stories you may have missed:

The Climate Group in the news 

Electrifying India, With the Sun and Small Loans, The New York Times

A report released in early 2015 by the Climate Group, an international nonprofit working toward a low-carbon economy, together with Goldman Sachs, estimated that the 40 to 50 S.H.S. providers in India were on track to sell at least five million solar home systems in India between 2014 and 2018.

LEDs in the spotlight at smart cities conference in Republic of Korea, Eco-Business

During the session, The Climate Group’s LED scale-up program was presented as an example of collaborative opportunities with cities in the region. Our new call to action for governments and utilities globally to schedule their switch to LED street lighting, or an energy efficient equivalent, by 2025 was also highlighted, along with our LED=Lower Emission Delivered campaign which is designed to support the call.  

Studio interview: Many firsts as China determined to combat pollution, CCTV

For more in-depth analysis, we are now joined by Ms. Wu Changhua, the Greater China Director of The Climate Group. [ VIDEO]


US Coal Production Falls to Lowest Level in Nearly 30 Years, The New York Times

U.S. coal production has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 30 years as cheaper sources of power and stricter environmental regulations reduce demand, according to preliminary government figures. Power plants are increasingly relying on cheaper and cleaner-burning natural gas to provide electricity and comply with regulations aimed at reducing pollution that contributes to climate change.

Paris climate pact sinks coal stocks, lifts renewable energy, Reuters

A landmark deal to curb global warming dented shares of fossil fuel companies and lifted renewable energy stocks on Monday, although some price swings were muted by the non-binding nature of the pact. Renewable energy companies are expected to see big upticks in investments to develop new technologies in coming years, while coal and oil companies may see tougher regulations.

Asia – Pacific

Australia's first community-owned renewable energy retailer Enova to open its doors in Byron Bay, ABC Online

Australia's first community-owned renewable energy retailer, Enova, is about to open its doors in northern New South Wales after raising $3.8 million from 1,090 investors. Seventy-five per cent of the voting shares are held on the NSW north coast, but chair Alison Crook said the company had attracted investors from every state and territory in Australia.


China to Halt New Coal Mine Approvals Amid Pollution Fight, Bloomberg

China will stop approving new coal mines for the next three years and continue to trim production capacity as the world’s biggest energy consumer tries to shift away from the fuel as it grapples with pollution. The world’s biggest producer of carbon emissions is seeking to boost the use of renewable fuels as smog has blanketed cities from Shanghai to Beijing, forcing factories and schools to close and intensifying pressure on public officials to cut pollution.


Investors look to India as the next solar power, The Financial Times

Equipment suppliers see opportunity in country’s ‘massive’ renewable energy aspirations. As recently as a few months ago, the alternative energy targets announced by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s government in 2014 seemed wildly overambitious — even to solar electricity enthusiasts in the industry. But a surge of investment in solar power stations now makes them look merely optimistic.

Innovative demonstration biofuel plant to be built in India, Renewable Energy Magazine

Shell India Markets Pvt Ltd has announced plans to build a 5 tonne/day biofuel demonstration plant  using IH2 technology on the site of its new Technology Centre in Bangalore, India.Shell India will build, operate and own the demonstration scale IH2 plant, while CRI will supply the proprietary catalysts for the unit.


Renewable Energy Trading Launched in GermanyMIT Technology Review

The German company Sonnenbatterie has launched a trading platform for distributed renewable energy by offering a way for owners of small solar and wind generation capacity to buy and sell power across the utility grid. The system will give solar owners an alternative revenue stream when they produce more power than they can use, but the company’s ambition is to establish a virtual alternative to the utility grid.

Coal Glut, Renewables Make EU Power Cheapest in Decade, Bloomberg 

Record-low coal prices and increased wind and solar generation that pushed European power prices to their lowest in a decade may cause further declines in 2016. The decline is set to continue across Europe as prices for fuel and carbon emissions remain low, according to Christian Holtz, an analyst at consulting firm Sweco AB.

North America

Obama just released the biggest energy efficiency rule in U.S. history, The Washington Post

The Department dumped what it is describing as the “largest energy-saving standard in history” and one that “will save more energy than any other standard issued by the Department to date” — a standard governing commercial air conditioners and furnaces. These devices consume a gigantic amount of energy across America because, well, they keep us comfortable in large buildings.

EPA chief: Obama administration will seek to lock in climate gains in 2016, The Washington Post

The Obama administration is preparing an ambitious agenda on climate change for its final year in office, pushing ahead on multiple fronts to ensure that the United States keeps its promises to rein in greenhouse gas pollution, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency says. The agency’s chief cited new efforts to lock in progress in lowering air pollution and predicted that the administration’s signature regulatory accomplishments would survive challenges from a hostile Congress and from the courts.


Major offshore wind operator plans £6bn UK investment by 2020, The Guardian

Dong Energy, the biggest operator of offshore windfarms in Britain, has said it plans to spend a further £6bn in the UK by 2020, convinced that the government is serious about supporting wind power. The statements of intent are a major boost to Amber Rudd, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, who has been under fire for cutting subsidies to solar and other low-carbon sectors despite signing up to the Paris climate change accord.

Canadian Solar extends UK reach, reNews

Canadian Solar has commissioned five new UK solar power plants with a total capacity of 22.9MW. Royston in Hertfordshire, Pant-Y-Moch in Wales and Wick in Somerset will provide a total capacity of 14.7MW and started operating commercially in the final quarter of 2015. They have additional community elements with a total capacity of 12.5MW which will be connected to the grid in the first half of 2016.


This wave energy generator is inspired by seaweed, Wired

Wind energy output shows spark of renewables sector, The National

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