Obama tweets about solar and wind's plunging costs, GE moves on clean energy, UK solar job losses top 1,000, Citi cuts coal funding, Glencore calls for Paris treaty to be pro-coal: Week 40, 2015

“With market on their side”, US utilities are embracing Obama’s power plant restrictions. WSJ reports “electricity producers say they plan to comply rather than contest the regulation.”
“Shell chief pops Carney’s carbon bubble”: Times. CEO claims “lack of realism” concerns him: it means “that meaningful climate change action is being delayed.”
Climate Energy becomes second UK solar installer this week to enter administration. c200 staff lose their jobs.
“It could be lights out for solar power under this government”: Guardian. “Ten times as many of the jobs lost at Redcar steel works are at risk”, “and it may be schools that suffer most.”
Glencore calls on Paris climate summit to adopt pro-coal policy. “We need global policy that acknowledges the global energy reality that fossil fuels including coal will continue to be used.”
GE consolidates clean energy interests. It is rolling a family its fast-developing energy-related operations – including
solar and storage – into a new unit called Current.
Time to focus less on the cost of batteries, more on the value. So says RMI in a new report. “Batteries deployed behind the meter are “in the money” right now, …without subsidy.”
More than 900 jobs to go at UK solar firm Mark Group. “The turnaround plan… focused on solar PV but the Government’s recent policy announcements mean this is no longer viable.”
Bakken needs $15bn per year investment to keep production flat. For 1,884 wells not including leasing, operating and ancillary expenses. Latest report from David Hughes.
“Wind and solar keep getting cheaper and cheaper”: Washington Post. Reporting on the Latest BNEF LCOE report. Solar at $122 MWh. Onshore wind cheaper than coal in UK.
Renewables could supply nearly a quarter of Africa’s energy by 2030. So concludes an IRENA report. Up from 5% in 2013.
UN releases 20-page negotiating text for climate deal. Making clear which elements will be legally binding, and decisions to be made before Paris, governments will discuss 19-23 in Bonn.
Wind and solar boost cost competitiveness further compared to fossil fuels. BNEF LCOE analysis for H2 2015 shows onshore wind fully competitive in some countries, solar closing gap.
“Citigroup, Citing Climate Change, Will Reduce Coal Financing”: Bloomberg. Third biggest US bank deals yet another blow to the beleaguered industry.
“Oil explorers face testing month over asset revaluations”: FT. Independents will be locked in redeterminations with banks over how much reserves are worth, and hence borrowing terms.
Net short bets on gas rise to a record as bears feast. So Bloomberg reports, as warm weather threatens to dampen demand for the heating fuel this winter.
BP’s record oil spill payout rises to more than $20bn. So the latest tally at the US Department of Justice shows. BP has set aside more than $53 bn for the eventual total of bills for the spill.
The oil and gas industry gave 87% of its political contributions to Republicans in 2014. For coal mining 96%. Alternative energy went 56% for Democrats. So reports Paul Krugman.
“Mark Carney under attack from investors”. But the FT article features only two anonymous sources and a few named executives with very weak statements.
“A story of hope: the Guardian launches phase II of its climate change campaign.” The focus will be on the power to change and the solar revolution.