1) India bets on solar as China sets new record
Describing the fall in the cost of power from solar as a “game changer” India’s Prime Minister Nerandra Modi outlined plans to develop 170 gigawatts of clean energy by 2022 by tapping into international “cheap credit” available for the sector.
At a clean energy conference Modi’s energy minister Piyush Goyal said distributed solar could help solve the country’s endemic transmission problems whilst a new analysis claimed the target could create 1 million new jobs.
There’s also word of a tie-up between China and India on solar as the latest data shows China’s solar capacity rose by 60% in 2014 to over 28GW, though grid connection missed targets.
Indeed some of India’s plans may never happen. One of the country’s biggest investors warned availability of land and finance would need to be improved. Perhaps more concretely the government recently received 130 technical bids in it’s re-run coal auctions whilst China is looking to extract shale gas from Mongolia.
2) After UK coal pledge, climate text reveals ‘deep divisions'; US study warns of ‘megadroughts’
The UK’s three main party leaders signed a pledge on Friday to tackle climate change and phase out coal in the UK (though they didn’t say when).
The promise comes EU negotiators have criticised the pace of global climate negotiations after a lengthy draft negotiating text was agreed in Geneva on Friday to pave the way for global talks in Paris at the end of the year.
“There remain deep and longstanding divisions on key issues,” said Alden Meyer of the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists, told the FT. His comments come as a new study shows parts of the US could be hit by a ‘megadrought’ if temperatures continue to rise beyond safe levels.
3) Crude prices rebound, bringing BP shares up with them
U.S. crude futures rose again bringing the price of Brent crude to $62 a barrel after another drop in the U.S. rig count signaled the pressure producers face from low oil prices, according to Reuters.BP’s shares mirrored the rise, up by over 1%.
The boost in the oil price comes just as business groups forecast a boost to UK growth from the fall in the cost of crude. British Gas may be relieved though – they are about to announce a slump in profits thanks to the lower price.
The whole thing leaves some analysts wondering what the oil market is for with The Telegraph’s Andrew Critchlow describing it as “rigged” and “manipulated” whilst Tim Yeo argues those who write off the risk to oil majors from action on climate change are misguided.