1) Last year warmest on record – scientists confirm
Reuters report that last year was Earth’s hottest on record, two U.S. government agencies said on Friday based on recent scientific evidence.
The Daily Mail retorts that the studies are subject to a margin of error meaning they are only “38% sure” they are right and the Time’s Matt Ridley explains why this supports his position as a “climate lukewarmer” (climate change is real, but harmless).
2) Oil price rises on falling production from fracking, falls again on China demand
Bloomberg reports that US producers have taken a record number of fracking rigs out of service and the Guardian notes that such is the enthusiasm for shale in the UK that just 11 rigs are planned for this year.
The report also noted that “underlying economic weakness” was the main reason they’d fallen in the first place. Indeed worries about China’s economic growth sent crude back down.
Weak oil price leads the Economist to argue for a radical overhaul of global energy policies including a massive cut in fossil fuel subsidies and a global carbon tax.
3) UK: Conservationists appalled at solar farm plan, report claims wind-power saves fossil fuel imports, bills fall
Conservationists have said they are “appalled” by a decision to grant planning permission for a solar farm on a “nationally important wildlife site”.
And on the topic of UK renewables a report, by Cambridge Econometrics for lobby group RenewableUK, said wind power saved the UK £579 million in fossil fuel costs in 2013.It might be far less in 2015 though, if prices keep falling.
Finally energy prices have fallen by 2pc within a week, saving typical households £20 on annual bills.
4) Global clean energy: India’s solar canals take off, Africa turns to solar & China beats more records
In China state media report that in 2014, China installed 430 million kilowatts in total renewable energy power generation, a new record.
“I saw more than glittering panels – I saw the future of India and the future of our world,” said the hyperbolic UN sec. gen Ban Ki Moon as he opened a new canal top solar energy plant in India designed to minimise land use and prevent water evaporation from below.
In Africa the Economist says revolutions in the cost of solar panels, LED lights and battery storage means distributed solar is now the technology to bring power to the world’s poor. The grid, it says, is unreliable and the “old business model of delivering through the grid over long distances is in retreat everywhere.”