Top stories

1) Apple to build enormous solar farm to power new HQ

Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday announced that the tech giant is investing $850m in an astounding 130MW solar panel farm in Monterey, California which will power all of their in-state operations, reports The Verge.

The 25-year clean energy deal with First Solar is said to be the largest ever made by a commercial end user, and Cook said it demonstrates Apple’s commitment to climate change efforts.

It’s a little less glamourous, but infrastructure consultancy WSP has recommended installing solar panels beside the tracks of the Network Rail, saying it will cut costs as well as carbon, reports Business Green.

And, in Europe, investment in the other big renewable – wind – is growing enormously, with stats from the Wind Energy Association revealing there was twice as much new wind installed last year as coal and gas combined, reports Quartz.

2) Oil price: The new ‘dotcom bubble’?

A day after the IEA’s ‘new era of oil’ prediction, both brent crude and WTIstayed stable at $56 and $50 a barrel respectively.

But the prolonged price crisis has forced drilling giant Halliburton to fire 6,400 employees, reports The Telegraph.

And the battle between OPEC and US shale is doing serious damage to uninvolved oil producing countries, according to Bloomberg.

Along with East Siberia exploration and Latin American deep-water projects, it’s Britain’s North Sea oil operations that are crashing the hardest.

The head of Russian Rosneft has compared the US shale boom to the ‘dotcom bubble’ and accused OPEC of being toothless, reports the Guardian.

3) Scientists look at geoengineering as Obama puts climate change top of the agenda

The White House has backed Obama’s recent claim that climate change poses a greater threat than terrorism, and announced a new $2 billion initiative to scale up clean energy innovations.

A National Academy of Sciences panel suggested exploring the option of geoengineering – the controversial process of pumping preferable chemicals into the atmosphere – in the fight against global warming, reports the New York Times.

It proposed small-scale testing at the moment, with an eye on wider introduction if the climate crisis continues to escalate at this rate— good governance was listed as a necessity.

And over in Brazil, attempts to reduce emissions from the steel sector have gone disastrously wrong, with Reuters reporting that carbon pollution has doubled in less than ten years.

Other news

California’s government is putting pressure on major pension funds to divest of coal, reports the Guardian.

Inspired by David Cameron’s pledge to “cut the green crap”, Ecotricity founder Dale Vince has donated £250,000 to the Labour party, reports the Guardian.

Fracking’s recent struggles in the UK have driven the PM to reach out to shale-gas boom founders, reports Bloomberg.

And if fracking doesn’t happen then the giant Grangemouth petrochemical plant in Scotland will likely be shut down, reports the BBC.