December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2015

COP21:

¶ Ministers at COP21 will today begin discussions on an approved draft deal that was drawn up over the weekend. The 48-page document is to be debated by ministers, with a comprehensive and binding settlement hoped for by the week close. Delegates from 195 UN countries worked through the night on Friday to come up with the draft paper. [reNews]

Image: United Nations

Image: United Nations

¶ At COP21 heads of some of the planet’s biggest brands – Unilever, Google, IKEA, Philips, and Marks & Spencer – along with policymakers from around the world, shared their commitments to decarbonizing. Collectively they send a clear message that business is expecting a long-term goal from the global climate talks in Paris next week. [LEDinside]

¶ Australia agreed to support the push to lower the global warming goal to 1.5° in a Paris deal in exchange for more favorable carbon emissions rules. With this, the New Zealand Youth Delegation dared Prime Minister John Key to follow Canberra’s example and also for Wellington to back a more ambitious global climate target. [International Business Times AU]

Indonesia could lose about 2,000 islands by 2030 due to climate change, the country's environment minister said on Monday. Reuters/Beaawiharta

Indonesia could lose about 2,000 islands by 2030 due to climate change, the country’s environment minister said on Monday. Reuters/Beaawiharta

¶ Richard Branson has renewed a call by business leaders for climate leaders to include a goal of reducing global emissions to “net zero” by 2050, meaning no more than the planet can absorb. The Virgin Group CEO said a failure to include such a commitment in COP21 would result in “an alternative too horrible to contemplate.” [The Advocate]

¶ Nicaragua burst onto the world stage at this week’s climate change conference in Paris when it became the first nation to declare it had no intention of publishing a national plan to combat global warming. The country’s chief negotiator told reporters the voluntary nature of the pledges meant global temperatures were bound to rise. [Financial Times]

¶ Indigenous leaders from around the world gathered near the COP21 climate summit in Paris to demand world leaders heed the warnings of social movements and take definitive action on climate change with respect to indigenous peoples’ rights. Leaders from “the Arctic to the Amazon” floated down the Seine on boats in a demonstration. [teleSUR English]

IndigenousEnviroNet @IENearth

IndigenousEnviroNet @IENearth

World:

¶ The company responsible for more than one-third of Germany’s electricity grid says there is no issue absorbing high levels of variable renewable energy such as wind and solar, and grids could absorb up to 70% penetration without the need for storage. The CEO of 50Hertz says industry views on renewable energy integration have evolved. [RenewEconomy]

¶ As coal prices continue to fall, financing for projects involving coal are also falling out of favor with big banking. Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Citigroup, ING, Société Générale, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo have each amended coal financing policies, largely in recognition of the risks of carbon emissions and climate change. [Mineweb]

¶ As the Indian city of Chennai still struggles to cope after floods that have cost hundreds of lives and left thousands homeless, India says climate change is to blame. In 2012, it was Haiti and the Philippines that were affected, and a super-cyclone hit the Philippines again in 2013. Nevertheless, COP21 climate delegates have not taken much notice. [eco-business.com]

Parts of Southern India have been inundated for weeks, leaving more than three million people without basic services. Image: Destination8Infinity, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Parts of Southern India have been inundated for weeks, leaving more than three million people without basic services. Image: Destination8Infinity, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

¶ The Asian Development Bank announced a $6-million loan for the off-grid solar home system service of Simpa Energy India Private Ltd. The money will help the company to finance about 75,000 solar systems for households and micro-enterprises in India next year. Simpa Energy aims to install 225,000 systems by the end of 2018. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Kenya Tea Development Agency, a marketing agency for small-scale tea growers, has signed a $55 million loan agreement with International Finance Corporation to fund the construction of seven small hydropower projects across tea growing regions. The projects are intended to reduce the cost of energy for each tea factory,. [Coastweek]

¶ China’s capital issued its first ever “red alert” for pollution, the Beijing city government said on Monday, warning that the city would be shrouded in heavy smog from Tuesday until Thursday. China’s leadership has vowed to crack down on environmental degradation, including the air pollution now covering many major cities. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

US:

¶ Infratech Industries, the company behind Australia’s first floating solar plant has sold its flagship technology to the City of Holtville, in California, marking the first export of the world-leading renewable energy system. The company completed the first installation of a $12 million, 4-MW PV system in April to serve as its showcase project. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar plant by Infratech Industries

Floating solar plant by Infratech Industries

¶ Bernie Sanders will unveil a sweeping new plan to fight climate change, calling for a carbon tax and an ambitious 40% cut in carbon emissions by 2030 to speed the transition to a greener economy. The Democratic presidential candidate will use the crunch week of COP21 to release a 16-page plan aimed dealing with climate change. [The Guardian]

¶ Officials say one of the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s reactors in suburban NY has been shut down because several control rods lost power. Entergy, the plant’s owner, said no radioactivity was released during the shutdown. A team from the New York Department of Public Service will be among those that investigate the incident. [TV Newsroom]

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