Bloomberg: India's Modi Tells Coal Power Plants to Subsidize Solar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has ordered some of India’s oldest coal-fired power plants to help makesolarfarms more competitive by bundling together electricity from both technologies for sale to the grid.
The decision dated July 17 requires state-controlled NTPC Ltd. to sell cheaper coal power along with more expensive solar as a single unit. The effect of the order, which was released to industry officials and seen by Bloomberg News, is to reduce the price distribution companies pay for solar power and force them to take more of the cleaner form of energy.
Guardian: Panasonic Criticizes 'Damaging' Cuts to Solar Panel Subsidies
Panasonic, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, has urged the U.K. government to think again about its plans to cut subsidies for homeowners who install solar panels.
The Japanese company, which is a major supplier of solar panels in Britain, said it normally tried to avoid intervening in political decisions but could not stand by and watch the industry being attacked.
Amber Rudd, the energy and climate change secretary, said 10 days ago that she would consult on plans to reduce financial support for solar energy installations in a bid to ease the burden on bill payers.
Fortune: Oil's Downward Spiral Is Spooking Renewable Energy Investors
Renewable energy prospects hitched to the conventional energy bandwagon have hit a bump in the road. In June and July, the bottom fell out of the oil market (again); the Fed strongly hinted at interest rate increases; and a number of renewable energy firms sought large sums from public capital markets. Together, these three unrelated developments conspired to spook fossil fuel investors, who dumped renewable energy YieldCo shares and plunged prices into a vicious downward spiral.
Now the stakes are high: if YieldCos fail, renewable energy could lose access to public markets and the low cost of capital necessary to scale up wind and solar. To recover, YieldCos may have to restructure, seek help from parent developer firms, and hope for constructive public policy to further de-risk renewable energy investments.
The Hill: Oil Industry Braces for Obama's Final Climate Push
The oil and gas industry is hunkering down to weather the final stretch of the Obama administration.
Industry groups and their backers had hoped President Obama would use his trip last week to Alaska to say something about the need for more oil and gas drilling in the United States.
Instead, Obama kept his focus on global warming, leaving oil interests in a familiar position: left out and on the defensive.
New York Times: Melting Ice Isn’t Opening Arctic to Oil Bonanza
The dream of an Arctic Klondike, made possible by the rapid warming of once-icebound waters, has been at the core of Russia’s national ambitions and those of the world’s biggest energy companies for more than a decade.
But even as Royal Dutch Shell began drilling an exploratory well this summer off the north coast of Alaska, Russia’s experiences here have become a cautionary tale, one that illustrates the challenges facing those imagining that a changing Arctic will produce oil and gas riches.
Tectonic shifts in the global energy economy, fierce opposition from environmentalists who oppose tampering with the ecologically fragile waters, and formidable logistical obstacles have tempered enthusiasm that only a few years ago seemed boundless.