New Scientist: China Set to Pass Climate Targets as Renewables Soar

China is surging ahead in switching to renewables and away from coal in what its officials say will allow it to surpass its carbon emissions targets.

The country’s solar and wind energy capacity soared last year by 74 percent and 34 percent, respectively, compared with 2014, according to figures issued by China’s National Bureau of Statistics yesterday.

Meanwhile, its consumption of coal -- the dirtiest of the fossil fuels -- dropped by 3.7 percent, with imports down by a substantial 30 percent.

Utility Dive: Storage Tops Utility Tech Picks for Second Year Running

Utility sector investment in energy storage is poised to grow, especially if regulatory barriers can be lowered, according to an analysis of the results of Utility Dive’s 2016 State of the Electric Utility Survey.

For the second year in a row, energy storage ranked first among the technologies for future investment among the utility executives responding to the survey.

A total of 65% of utility respondents named energy storage as one of three emerging technologies in which they should invest more, compared to 52% who said they should invest more in distributed generation as one of the three options. Utility-scale solar and wind power ranked third in terms of target investment among the executives, with 47% choosing it.

Dallas Morning News: Ex-Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon Dies in Oklahoma Crash a Day After Being Indicted

Aubrey McClendon, a natural-gas industry titan, was killed in a fiery single-vehicle crash in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, a day after he was indicted on a charge of conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.

Police Sgt. Ashley Peters said 56-year-old McClendon, also a part-owner of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, was the only occupant in the sport utility vehicle when it slammed into a concrete bridge pillar shortly after 9 a.m.

McClendon’s death follows an announcement Tuesday that he had indicted by a federal grand jury.

The Record: New Jersey Senate Panel Advances Bill Requiring 80% Renewables

Eighty percent of all electricity sold in New Jersey would have to come from renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power if a bill that cleared a Senate committee Monday becomes law.

The measure mandates that starting with 11 percent by 2017, the percentage of renewable energy increases 10 percent every five years until it reaches 80 percent, a schedule the bill’s sponsor Sen. Bob Smith called “pretty aggressive” but not when compared to what other states are doing.

Quartz: Bill Gates Says China Is the Best Place to Pursue Next-Generation Nuclear Power

Nuclear energy evangelists, seeing in it a carbon-free source of electricity that works whether or not the sun shines or the wind blows, are turning to China as a place to try out experimental designs.

Among them is Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, who is chairman of TerraPower, a Bellevue, Washington-based startup developing what it calls a “traveling wave reactor.”

“China is the center of activity because the demand for zero-carbon power is so huge,” says Richard Martin, energy editor at MIT Technology Review and the author of Superfuel, a book on experimental nuclear energy. The Chinese push is propelled by research institutions and state-owned enterprises, he told Quartz.