Methane leaks far exceed estimates, US oil < $30, Islamic leaders join Pope in calling for carbon-fuel phaseout, solar cheaper than gas in Colorado, UK opens 1,000 sq miles to frackers: Week 33, 2015

US oil price slides below $30 for first time since financial crisis. Brent falls to $45. The US rig count rises 2%. The industry remains what analysts label “resilient”.
SunEdison beats gas in Colorado. For the first time, PPC receives bids for utility-scale solar PV resources that are cost-effective head to head with natural-gas fired generation.
Marcellus shale gas production increasingly outstrips production in Rockies. This deepens the economic woes of drillers focussed in the west.
Hillary Clinton breaks with Obama for first time to oppose Arctic drilling. “The Arctic is a unique treasure,” she
says “Given what we know, it’s not worth the risk of drilling.”
Islamic leaders issue clarion call for rapid phase out of fossil fuels. A declaration issued in Istanbul calls for phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and 100% renewable energy.
1,000 sq miles of England to be opened up for fracking. “Hundreds of battles will spring up to defend our rural landscapes”, says a Greenpeace spokesperson.
“Britain’s shale fracking revolution comes with big risks.” The risks for the Government may outweigh the gains, argues the Telegraph’s Andrew Critchlow.
Methane leaks in gas supply chain far exceed estimates. Gathering facilities, serving multiple wells, leak c. 100 bn cubic feet a year, 8 times EPA estimates, an EDF study concludes.
“US shale industry faces crackdown on methane gas leaks.” The Obama administration moves to cut leaks just two weeks after new power sector regulation.
“Terrifying math: How Carbon Tracker changed the climate debate.” “For decades fossil fuels were seen as a safe bet – until one simple study by a team of fund managers in 2011.”
Shell gets final permit for Arctic oil drilling. “We remain committed to operating in a safe, environmentally responsible manner”, says a spokesperson.
Solar-battery storage microgrid showcase in a Hawaiian home. The advanced battery storage and cloud-connected system monitoring in use can boost power up to 25%.
Two US utilities muscle in on solar rooftop space. But customer-owned systems return much more to the customer than utility-owned schemes.