In today’s edition, Australia steels the limelight, with stories about the Barrier Reef’s biggest threat: coal, and newly-found activism on the part of American banks – such as Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, unwilling to bankroll the operation. Also, a heartening find: emerging markets are installing renewable energy projects at almost twice the rate of developed nations, a report says.

Quote of the day

“Clean energy is the low-cost option in a lot of these countries. The technologies are cost-competitive right now. Not in the future, but right now.”

Ethan Zindler, a Washington-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, in the Bloomberg News’ story Poor Countries Tap Renewables at Twice the Pace of Rich

Lead stories

Poor Countries Tap Renewables at Twice the Pace of Rich
Justin Doom, Bloomberg News
Emerging markets are installing renewable energy projects at almost twice the rate of developed nations, a report concluded.

Lithuania Offers Example of How to Break Russia’s Grip on Energy
James Kanter, The New York Times
The vast ship that eased into this misty seaport early on Monday was hailed by American and European officials as the strongest signal that the stranglehold Russia has on the Baltics and their energy needs can be broken.

Japan edges back towards nuclear power with vote to restart reactors 
Justin McCurry, The Guardian
Japan has moved closer to a return to nuclear power, more than three years after the Fukushima disaster, after a town in the country’s south-west voted to approve two reactors coming back online.

Most Canadians Say Environment Trumps Energy Prices
Jeremy van Loon, Bloomberg
A majority of Canadians view environmental protection as being more important than energy prices and expect businesses to carry the burden of a carbon tax, according to a recent poll.

Experts: Great Barrier Reef’s biggest threat today is coal 
Iain McCalman and Stephen Palumbi, The Conversation
A recent report found that the Great Barrier Reef had lost 50% of its living coral.

US banks vow not to fund Great Barrier Reef coal port, say activists 
Oliver Milman,
US banking giants Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase have become the latest big financiers to rule out funding a major coal port expansion in Queensland, environmentalists say.

Will Australia be to world climate talks what Poland is to Europe? 
Giles Parkinson, REneweconomy 
Close, but no cigar. That was the general reaction to the EU decision last week to lift its ambition on emissions reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Australia green energy firms hit by target cuts
Saffron Howden, BBC News
The Australian government has never hidden its skepticism about climate change or renewable energy but its decision last week to cut support for cleaner energy sources still left the renewable energy industry reeling.

Palmer’s softer line increases government hopes on direct action climate change policy
Lisa Cox, The Sydney Morning Herald
Senior Abbott government members are increasingly confident a deal to pass its direct action climate change policy will be reached before Christmas after Clive Palmer appeared to soften his party’s hardline position on the scheme.

Cameron hails EU climate agreement as end to green energy ‘diktats’
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
David Cameron has hailed an “ambitious” deal struck by the European Union last week to slash greenhouse gases by at least 40 per cent by 2030, dismissing accusations from the Green Party that the lack of a binding energy savings target would harm the economy.

M&S recyclable PaperTies to replace plastic and wire clips
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Marks & Spencer has launched a new paper packaging innovation, which the retailer says could spell the end for irritating and often unrecyclable plastic ties and wire clips.


U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference 
The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference presents data, analysis and expert forecasting on the state of the solar market in the U.S.
Dec. 8 – 10, 2014
San Diego, CA 


America’s Energy Landscape – continuing the conversation
The Hill (audio)
The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack joins energy reporter Laura Barron-Lopez after the America’s Energy Landscape event to discuss energy strategy.

Oil CEO: Drop in prices hurt, but didn’t shut production
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Head of the oil company Continental Resources, Harold Hamm, said the recent drop in oil prices hurt, but “not to the point we are shutting down.”

Asia Pulp and Paper reveals how zero deforestation became a reality
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Few companies have seen their green reputation undergo a more dramatic transformation than that experienced in recent years by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

Natural gas / coal

U.K. Sees Flat Winter Gas Use Amid Minimal Ukraine Risk
Anna Shiryaevskaya, Bloomberg News
U.K. natural gas demand this winter will be little changed from last year and Britain will be able to withstand a potential cut in Russian supply to Europe, according to National Grid Plc.

EPA Watchdog Rejects Senator’s Request to Halt Hydraulic Fracturing Study
Circle of Blue
Despite a request for termination from Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog will continue investigating how well state and federal agencies are managing threats to water from hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique that has catalyzed America’s energy renaissance while raising questions about pollution of groundwater and streams.

BHP Puts Fayetteville Shale Gas Assets Up For Sale
Alexis Flynn, Wall Street Journal
BHP Billiton PLC has decided to cut its losses on a poorly timed and expensive U.S. shale gas investment by putting its assets in Fayetteville, Ark., up for sale.

Coal India’s Price Pooling under Review: Coal Secretary
International Business Times
The proposal to pool prices of imported and domestic coal for supply to power plants commissioned after 2009 is under consideration of the government, a senior official said.


Solar power a must for Saudi Arabia
The Rakdat Post
Oil-rich and sun-blessed Saudi Arabia has no choice but to invest in solar energy, a senior official of the national electricity provider said yesterday.

Saharan solar power opens energy corridor to Europe
Matthew Stock, Reuters (Video)
The TuNur project aims to generate clean energy from a giant solar plant in the Tunisian Sahara from where it will be connected to the European electricity grid via a dedicated undersea cable. 
***LB: Also in this story “TuNur say their initiative will produce roughly twice as much energy as any current nuclear power plant and can even produce energy when the sun is down. “

Britain faces tight power supply this winter-National Grid
Susanna Twidale and Nina Chestney, Reuters
Britain has measures in place to keep the lights on this winter despite the closure of several power stations likely leading to a narrower surplus of electricity supply over demand, network operator National Grid Plc said on Tuesday.

Ofgem announces £1.1bn funding plan for Scottish renewables transmission link
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Ofgem has today published proposals that would result in £1.1bn being invested in a new subsea transmission link across Scotland’s Moray Firth that would connect 1.2GW of new renewable energy capacity to the grid.

Ecotricity dips its toe into marine energy with innovative Searaser device
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
Ecotricity is to trial its marine energy device out at sea towards the end of next year with the aim of installing a commercial array within a few years.

Wind farms ‘will never keep the lights on’: Study claims turbines are ‘expensive and deeply inefficient’ 
Sean Poulter, Daily Mail  
Wind farms will never be able to ensure the nation’s lights stay on because they are ‘expensive and deeply inefficient’, it is claimed today.

Clean tech

Innovations in Energy Storage Provide Boost for Renewables
Dave Levitan, environment 360
Intermittency has long been considered the Achilles heel of renewable power generation.


Drying Amazon Could Be Major Carbon Concern 
Brian Kahn, Climate Central
The lungs of the planet are drying out, threatening to cause Earth to cough up some of its carbon reserves.


Young Voters Like Candidates Who Favor Environment, But May Not Show Up To Vote
Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post
Young voters are much more likely than senior citizens to say they’ll vote for candidates who support cutting greenhouse gas emissions and boosting renewable energy, according to a poll released Tuesday by the University of Texas at Austin.

NextGen targets GOP Senate hopefuls in Michigan, Iowa
Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill
Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer’s political group is targeting Republican Senate hopefuls in Michigan and Iowa with banners.

Greens grow into electoral powerhouse 
Andrew Restuccia and Daren Goode, Politico 
The green movement has grown into a formidable political force, launching a broad and sophisticated operation this election cycle that rivals many of the most established groups.

Great Barrier Reef protection plan ‘ignores the threat of climate change’ 
Oliver Milman,
The Australian government’s multimillion dollar plan to halt the worrying decline of the Great Barrier Reef does nothing to address the leading threat of climate change and is likely to prove largely ineffectual, scientists have warned.

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