Reuters: European Utilities Ratings Outlook Could Brighten From 2018

European utilities' credit rating outlook could brighten from 2018 as companies restructure and regulation softens, but the next two years will remain difficult, ratings agency S&P said.

Standard and Poor's has issued more downgrades than upgrades for seven years as utilities struggle with overcapacity caused by a flood of renewable energy.

In 2015, a wave of downgrades pushed utilities' debt to mid-BBB level, two notches above non-investment grade and S&P keeps most big firms on negative outlook.

Financial Review: Australian Solar Panels to Reach Saturation Point by 2030

The introduction of rooftop solar panels will reach saturation point in Queensland and South Australia in the next decade, with solar power predicted to account for 14 percent of Australia's total energy consumption by 2035, according to a new report by the national energy forecaster.

But the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that by the time solar power really hits its stride, most of the solar panels will be outdated and inefficient, and will probably need to be retrofitted with the latest technology.

The national forecasting report released on Thursday outlined how much disruption is going to hit the National Electricity Market from renewables over the next few decades.

MarketWatch: VW CEO Strategy Overhaul Focuses on Electric Cars

Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Matthias Müller presented a sweeping overhaul of the car maker's global strategy on Thursday, vowing to boost profit and push aggressively into electric vehicles and new technology services, even as it struggles to resolve its emissions cheating scandal.

"Our new group strategy clears the path for the transformation of one of the best automakers in the world to a leading global provider of sustainable mobility," Mr. Müller told reporters at the company's Autostadt forum in Wolfsburg.

Quartz: The Swiss Have Upgraded a Hydroelectric Dam to Produce as Much Energy as a Nuclear Plant

Last week, GE announced it was retrofitting a hydroelectric plant in Switzerland with variable-speed turbines to give Europe’s grid far better storage capacity for its renewable sources. The Linthal plant is among the most extreme of the pumped storage makeovers happening around the world. It’s perched 2,490 meters (8,100 feet) above sea level between two mountain lakes separated by a cliff twice the height of the Eiffel Tower.

At full capacity of 23 billion gallons, the plant can generate about 1,450 megawatts of electricity, the equivalent of a nuclear plant. GE swapped out its conventional turbines for variable-speed models that will store and generate far more power.

InsideClimate News: Exxon Sues a Second Attorney General to Fight Off Climate Fraud Probe

ExxonMobil has sued to derail a second attorney general's investigation of the oil giant's climate record.

The company filed a complaint in federal district court in Fort Worth on Wednesday against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Her office subpoenaed Exxon records going back 40 years in an investigation of whether the company committed consumer or securities fraud by misrepresenting its knowledge of climate change.