Paris climate deal takes shape, France sets example with sweeping energy bill, oil drill ships burn cash parked at sea, UK government reneges on commitments to renewables investors: Week 29, 2015

Oil groups shelve $200bn in new projects as second oil-price slump hits. Wood Mackenzie reports 46 big oil and gas projects deferred. Only a handful of major projects fully approved.
US companies pledge financial and political support for UN climate deal. 13 announce new low carbon investments, and 1.6GW of new renewables to be brought online.
Hillary Clinton targets major solar expansion. Campaign paper has 33% renewable electricity by 2027 (up from 25% in Obama plan) and half a billion solar panels in first term (by 2021).
Clinton plan would power every American home with renewables within a decade. I’m not a scientist either,” she says. “I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.”
25.7.15.
Queensland plans 1,600km string of fast-charging stations for electric cars. The first of many stations is being built in Townsville, en route to the rest of the Bruce Highway.
24.7.15.
“Global Warming Deal Takes Shape as UN Envoys Shuffle Options”: Bloomberg. The co-chairs have edited the 88 page Bonn draft down to 19, now being considered by governments.
Kenya pledges ahead of Obama visit to cut carbon emissions 30% by 2030. The cut, from “business as usual” levels, includes expansion of solar.
Investors could lose $4.2 trillion due the climate change impacts. So concludes a research report by the Economist Intelligence Unit: even if warming holds at 2C.
Aviva warns 40 coal companies they are on “sell” watch. Unless they get serious about CCS, the insurance giant says. It will also invest £2.5bn in renewables and energy efficiency.
Seattle to buy only hybrid or electric buses from now on. The city is 94% renewable powered (hydro), so the 2 e buses it is ordering will be zero emission. Other cities are placing orders.
“Solarcentury crowned as #1 installer of solar in the UK.” So writes Solar Power Portal. “Solarcentury remains one of the UK industry’s longest running custodians” etc.
23.7.15.
Deepwater drill ships left idling “turn Caribbean into expensive parking lot”. So Bloomberg reports of the $300m ships playing a $70,000 a day waiting game as low prices continue.
UK government kills off its own flagship green deal for home insulation. They claim the takeup is too low, and admit there is nothing to replace it with.
22.7.15.
France passes sweeping energy bill aiming to set Paris example. It raises domestic carbon tax to €100/tonne, cuts fossil fuel consumption by 30% by 2030, boosts renewables, and more.
Shell banned from Arctic drilling without safety equipment on stricken ship. And the icebreaker with the required equipment could take weeks to repair.
UK government does a U-turns on solar subsidies, to the dismay of industry. Solar Power Portal cites a long list of aghast reactions.
Solar power subsidies cut saves as little as 50p on average UK electricity bill. So the government’s own background documents show: net savings of only £40-100m.
“Recession and graft: the growing rot in Brazil”: FT. “Even the president may face impeachment under the Petrobras probe.”
21.7.15.
Unprecedented coalition of 24 UK scientific and medical bodies urge climate action. Mitigation will also bring economic and health benefits, they tell the government.
60 mayors of world’s major cities urge climate action with Vatican. This at a two day conference in Rome aiming to keep pressure on national governments.
Hollande says 80% of fossil fuels must remain in the ground. This in a speech at a “Summit of Conscience for the Climate” in Paris.
20.7.15.
Solar giant SunEdison acquires US rooftop installer no.2 Vivant. The $2.2bn deal creates a solar “supermajor”, the company says.
FT investigation into Hanergy Thin Film. “How an obscure toy maker was transformed into …. a solar group whose value touched $40bn before a dramatic fall back to earth.”