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Top stories

1) Renewables: China is building the world’s biggest solar power plant

Shanghai Electric Group and US-based BrightSource Energy are working together to develop the largest solar power plant in the world in China’s Gobi desert, reports Business Standard.

When completed, the 200MW project called Delingha will power more than a million homes in a year. And at 25 square kilometres, Metro says it’ll be the size of UK city Bath.

OilPrice explains where and why this project fits in China’s big push for solar power.

And, according to the Chinese press, the government is debuting a major new solar construction plan in its coal-heaviest region Shanxi.

The Forerunner of Solar programme will see the 950MW of clean energy developed across 12 different projects in the sinkhole-stricken province.

Meanwhile scientists from the US Department of Energy and Northwestern University say that perovskite solar cells can recoup their energy costs within three months — that’s 10 times faster than traditional silicon cells.

Perovskite solar cells were one of the seven potentially breakthrough solar technologies we covered last year (it’s the last one).

2) Coal: Adani’s Australia mine has been ‘unapproved’

Indian coal giant Adani has seen approval for its massive coal mine beside the Great Barrier Reef revoked by an Australian federal court, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The latest challenge facing the controversial project is over the likely impact it would have on the yakka skink lizard species, native to the region.

In the UK, coal company Miller Argent is threatening to sue Caerphilly – one of the most deprived boroughs in Wales – if the county council does not permit the development of a massive opencast coal mine, reports the Guardian.

Meanwhile coal prices just keep on falling, Reuters reports. A continuing supply glut combined with China’s consumption slowdown has seen the global price of coal fall by 10% so far this year — to a near 10 year low.

3) Clean Power Plan: The fallout continues

A Wall Street Journal editorial calls on states to ‘refuse to comply’ with Obama’s newly introduced emissions regulations, whilst Michael Bloomberg opines that though the Clean Power Plan is important, coal was already circling the drain.

The ambitious plan inspired the FT to say the US has taken the lead on climate change action, a development which has prompted criticism of the UK government’s recent moves against wind and solar energies.

DECC refused to comment to the BBC when asked why renewables are seen as affordable in the US but unaffordable in the UK.

And if you want a step-by-step guide to the Clean Power Plan, here’s one from Vox’s Brad Plumer.

In other news:

Arctic: Russia has staked new claim to a vast area of the Arctic Ocean, planting a titanium flag on the sea floor below the North Pole, reports the New York Times.

UK: The deal for Hinkley Point nuclear plant will be signed within weeks ahead of the formal completion when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits London in October,reports the Independent.

South Africa: RTCC says South Africa will stick with its current climate plan – laid out in 2009 – ahead of the Paris COP at the end of the year. The UN pledge – which will target 34% fewer emissions vs business as usual by 2025 – is expected to be filed in late September.

Wind energy: As the Guardian highlights a new altitude wind project in the UK, we revisit our own feature on kite, balloon and kytoon wind energies around the world.

US: An American-backed natural gas pipeline from Turkey to Azerbaijin has been attacked, reports Quartz.

UK: We’re getting the Tesla powerwall early next year, according to Utility Week.