Coal: UK goes coal free (for a few days) as China coal use falls (again)

The UK has had it’s first moments where no coal at all has been used to supply power to the energy mix – 7 moments, actually, according to the FT.

Indeed from Monday May 9 to the following Sunday lunchtime, the UK was at “zero coal” almost one-third of the time – check out this chart on the Twitters.

The news comes amidst continuing falls in coal use around the world. China produced 268 million tonnes of coal in April, down 11 percent on the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday, with producers cutting back in a concerted effort to shore up prices.

Renewables: Shell creates green energy division to invest in wind in future, Statoil builds first floating windfarm

Oil giant Shell appeared to heed critics who say the firm needs to invest in world without oil by suggesting it is to launch a new division to focus on renewable investments – including wind power.

The Guardian reports that 
Shell’s new division brings together its existing hydrogen, biofuels and electrical activities but will also be used as a base for a new drive into wind power, according to an internal announcement to company staff.

Annual spending at the unit is 1% of it’s oil investment but the firm – which is facing a pricey repair bill for Nigerian spills - but suggests it could become very big – in a decade or so.

Meanwhile Norwegian oil giant Statoil has been doing this for a while and has just been granted a lease to use the seabed off the east coast of Scotland to begin building the world’s first floating offshore wind farm.

Gas & Oil: Giant new gas plant opened in Shetland 

A huge new gas plant that is bringing reserves west of Shetland to the mainland will be officially opened later.

The Shetland Gas Plant is said by operator Total to be capable of supplying energy to two million homes.

But the new plant has not brought with it the riches islanders hoped for. The FT reports from Shetland where the council is being forced to cut spending as oil plans are put on hold.

How much longer they remain that way though is open to question. Prices are on the back up, partially due to political instability in major oil producers not called Saudi Arabia – especially Nigeria.

Emissions: Norway’s wealth fund to sue VW over emissions scandal

Reuters reports that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, said on Sunday it plans to join the class-action lawsuits filed against Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) over the German automaker’s emissions scandal.

“Norges Bank Investment Management intends to join a legal action against Volkswagen arising out of that the company provided incorrect emissions data,” Marthe Skaar, the fund’s spokeswoman, said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

Other important news we don’t have time to write more on

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Climate: World needs action on forest land rights to meet climate targets

Storage: Nissan re-uses electric car batteries for storage

Climate again: Paris climate agreement has failed poor countries, says report

UK: Report warns countryside under threat from pylons