1) US: Solar growth rivals shale boom as Obama’s emissions targets are called into question
The US is unlikely to meet its own emissions targets despite environmental legislation passed last year by President Obama via executive action, according to a report covered by the Financial Times.
The World Resources Institute called Obama’s CO2 emissions regulations from the power sector and motor vehicles “a valuable start” but said further action is required to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 26-28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.
The US is witnessing the beginnings of an energy revolution, with solar now the country’s fastest growing source of electricity, according to Bloomberg.
Experts compared the recent rise of solar, in which capacity in the US has increased 20-fold in the last seven years, to the shale boom.
Looking closer at the solar sector, First Solar stock has been performing poorly after its revenue growth was projected to remain “flattish” for the next two years, whilst SunEdison – which is doing very well at the moment – is buying a 60% stake in a new 48MW clean energy project in South Africa.
2) Oil: New price war brewing as Iraq looks to boost exports to record-high
The fortunes of the global oil industry have been slowly but steadily improving as of late, with the price creeping upwards and US rig closures tapering off.
Yesterday, as expectations rose that the US drillers will ramp up activity, the price fell again by 2.8%, according to CNBC.
The oil supply situation is bound to get more complicated in the coming months as Iraq takes steps to defend its share of the market, boosting crude exports by 26% to a record 3.75 barrels a day next month, Bloomberg reports.
OPEC is due to meet on Friday next week.
And in Canada, a spate of wildfires in Alberta oil country has prompted energy companies to press pause on production.
3) UK: It’s the Queen’s speech today but nobody’s talking about energy or climate change
The Queen’s Speech, in which the agenda of the new government is outlined, will be delivered later this morning, and that’s almost all that the British press is talking about (except FIFA).
Will energy or climate change feature? Probably not. Perhaps there will be something about banning onshore wind subsidies.
UPDATE: It appears an ‘Energy Bill’ will feature in the Queen’s Speech.
Ahead of today’s big speech, Business Green asks if the new Tory government will ‘embrace energy efficiency or cut the green crap’?
4) Climate change: UN says de-carbonising is the only option as Everest glaciers at risk
The UN’s top climate official has the “mega-development project” that is the global response to climate change is “irreversible, irrefutable”.
Reuters reports that Christina Figueres said: “We are going to do it, because frankly we don’t have any other option.”
A new study, broken down by the folks at the Carbon Brief, has found that 99% of Mount Everest’s glaciers could be wiped out by climate change.
Meanwhile France looks set to take the lead in the energy debate as the definitive climate change debate will be held in its capital city this December.
The AP reports that France yesterday put in motion plans to make EU emissions targets national as well and reduce dependency on nuclear to 50% by 2025.
In other news: