New York Times: Emissions by Makers of Energy Level Off

Somebody tapped the brakes.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s energy producers stalled in 2014, the first time in 40 years of measurement that the level did not increase during a period of economic expansion, according to preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency.

The research suggests that efforts to counteract climate change by reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy efficiency could be working, said Fatih Birol, the agency’s chief economist and incoming executive director. “This is definitely good news,” he said.

Bloomberg: France’s Nuclear Decline Exposed as Areva Confronts Cash Crunch

For decades, France’s nuclear industry was seen as a source of economic strength, providing cheap power for factories, high-tech exports and tens of thousands of well-paid jobs. Today, it’s looking more like a liability.

Electricite de France SA, the world’s largest nuclear operator, must spend $63 billion over the next decade to keep the country’s aging fleet of 58 reactors running safely. More urgently, nuclear engineer Areva SA, touted as an export champion for a new atomic age, has lost billions from a project in Finland and investments in African uranium mines, raising the prospect of a state bailout.

Reuters: China's BYD Takes Aim at Tesla in Battery Factory Race

Chinese automaker BYD Co Ltd, backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc, aims to triple its production of batteries as it takes on Tesla Motors in the race to supply electric vehicles and boost energystorage

Shenzhen-based BYD plans to add 6 gigawatt-hours of global production for batteries in each of the next three years, and hopes to keep adding at that pace afterward if demand is solid, Matthew Jurjevich, a spokesperson for the company, said on Friday.

That means BYD could ramp up from 10 GWh capacity at the end of this year to about 34 GWh of batteries by the beginning of 2020. This would put it about even with Tesla's planned $5 billion Nevada Giga factory.

Arizona Republic: Critics Question SRP's Solar Energy Payments

Several critics of Salt River Project's recent decision to charge higher fees to solar customers have accused the public utility of "profiting" from the solar power it gets from rooftops and sells to other customers.

Several of the people who attended SRP's public meetings on the rate changes asked for a full accounting of the surplus power SRP gets from rooftop solar.

It's a little difficult to follow the logic from such complaints. If SRP were profiting from customers' rooftop solar, wouldn't it be encouraging more rooftop solar, not raising rates on those customers and likely discouraging the technology?

Reuters: Uber in Deal With China's BYD to Test Electric Cars

Uber Inc. said on Friday it struck a deal with Chinese automaker BYD to test a fleet of electric cars for its drivers.

The test program, which kicked off a few weeks ago in Chicago and could eventually expand to other cities, is the Silicon Valley startup's first attempt to focus on an electric vehicle, said Uber spokesperson Lauren Altmin."We've seen interest in the program already from current and potential Chicago partners [i.e., drivers]," Altmin said.

Uber, which allows users to summon rides on their smartphones, originally started with a luxury town-car service but in many cities has added UberX, a low-frills service with nonprofessional drivers using personal cars. The BYD offering is aimed at those drivers.