Monthly CO2 reaches 400ppm, $800m Tesla battery orders in Week 1, BoA says coal increasingly risky, fracking chemicals found in US drinking water: Week 19, 2015

UK grid holds back renewables, industry says. Solar Trade Association points out much of the grid is closed to large renewables connnections.
South African factories struggle as power blackouts threaten economy. Africa’s most-industrialized economy hampered in recovery from slowest growth since a recession in 2009.
Toyota and Mazada close to major collaboration on green car technology. Toyota would bring fuel cells, Mazda its Skyactiv fuel efficiency technology.
$800m in orders for Tesla’s battery in the first week. Its 5 million sq ft factory will not big enough. “It’s like crazy off-the-hook,” says Elon Musk.
Publicly-run clean energy programmes flourishing across the US. States from California to Massachusetts and Ohio are embracing the transition from fossil-fuel based power.
“David Cameron must reform DECC to keep UK lights on”. So says Andrew Critchlow in the Telegraph: lots of gas and nuclear, CCS not renewables as Tony Hayward has recommended.
Indian PM “acutely conscious and aware” of climate leadership responsibilities. But still no pledge to cap emissions in a Time Magazine interview.
“Shale looks more like dotcom boom than Lehman debt bubble.” So concludes Ed Crooks in the FT. David Einhorn called the Lehman short right, he says. But low-cost drillers may prosper.
Coal investments are increasingly risky, says Bank of America. “The dynamics around coal are shifting,” says new coal policy of a bank justifying a retreat by one of the largest coal financiers.
Activists in kayaks aim to block Shell’s parking Arctic bound drill rigs in Seattle. The protestors will include the mayor.
“French nuclear model falters.” So a NY Times headline reads. Steel failings raise doubts about whether new reactors will ever be completed.
EDF reportedly ready to buy Areva nuclear reactor business. This as part of a French government move to shore up the unprofitable business.
Monthly global CO2 concentrations tops 400ppm for the first time in March. So NOAA announces. Up 120 ppm since pre-industrial times, half of that since 1980s.
EU agrees emissions trading deal. It will claw back the overhang of surplus allowances that has been ruining the process – by 2019. UK and Germany wanted 2017.
Crisis for Areva as La Hague plant clients shun nuclear. EDF is now the sole customer for reprocessing. Since Fukushima, all other customers have fled.
Tesla 7kWh battery won’t be offered for residential use by SolarCity yet. The smaller of the two batteries is designed for daily use, but the 10 kWh battery, for grid back-up, is the offer.
China to extend coal burning ban to suburbs. So says the 2015-2020 coal action plan of the National Energy Administration.
Flawed methane monitor drastically underestimating methane leakage. So a preliminary study of the use of a popular instrument at oil-and-gas operations suggests.
Largest US shale oil producers says production could rise again by year end. EOG claims price rise from current $60 to 65 will allow double digit growth.
Carbon Tracker report on shale warns of 2016 hedge expiries. Leading drillers have limited cover shoul the oil price fall further, analysis shows.
Art Berman is unimpressed with short seller of US shale drillers. “David Einhorn just discovered sex. Too bad that he didn’t ask any adults if they already knew about it.”
Tom Burke says direct economic impact of green issues must be brought to fore. Otherwise the 4.5m members of the environmental community, 13% of population, will remain unheard.
“The Shale Boom Has Already Gone Bust – At Least for Now”: Bloomberg. So says Andrew Hall: the 36% oil-price bounce back will continue: it is harder to ramp up than cut.
Fracking chemicals detected in Pennsylvania drinking water for the first time. 2-Butoxyethanol or 2BE most likely came from poor drilling well integrity, scientists suspect.
Accomplished short-seller targets US “frack addicts”. Shares in several of the targets tumble after David Einhorn says this.
UN climate chief tells Australia there is no space for coal. Christiana Figueres meets state and some federal officials, telles them the science is clear, and urges them to get on with it.
Current climate pledges won’t stop dangerous climate change: Stern: A study of commitments and plans so far falls short of the target.
Renewable energy patent filings falling dramatically. Down by 42% in the last 3 years. Solar oversupply blamed. 65% of patents are solar-related.
First Lady Announces Solar Industry Plan to Hire 50,000 Military Veterans by 2020. The US solar industry has added 81,000 jobs in the last 4 years, >31,000 last year alone.
US utilities have not been putting anywhere enough by to pay for nuclear shutdowns. Seven aged plants in the process of shtting don’t have enough money.
Extreme events in the US may be “taking the climate debate out of politicians’ hands”. So Jeremy Leggett argues in his latest column for Recharge Magazine.
76% of Catholics say they feel moral obligation to help poor hit by climate change. So a poll of >1,000 UK Catholics shows. A third would change lifestyle if the Pope says so.
Ecotricity boss has a plan for 80% renewable-powered UK by 2030. Developed with Cambridge Econometrics, it bans new coal from 2020.