Wall Street Journal: Republican Jay Faison Launches Super PAC to Boost Clean-Energy Candidates

Republican millionaire Jay Faison is pushing his party to embrace clean energy, saying conservatives don’t need to be on the defensive on climate issues.

The North Carolina businessman launched a super PAC that will spend at least $5 million on behalf of about a dozen congressional Republicans who embrace clean-energy policies. That effort comes on top of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, called the ClearPath Foundation, that launched last summer with $165 million in funding from profits Mr. Faison earned selling his company a few years earlier.

New York Times: In Britain, a Green Utility Company Sees Winds of Change

British electric company SSE is rethinking its energy mix, reconsidering plans for large wind farms and even restarting a mothballed power plant that runs on fossil fuel.

The moves reflect the existential debate faced by many major power companies as they grapple with real-world energy economics and shifts in government policy. The calculus for fossil fuels can be more favorable at a time when energy prices are low, and countries like Britain are rethinking subsidies on renewables to keep electricity prices down.

In this environment, it might be hard for even the most clean-minded power companies to help countries meet the goals set in the landmark Paris climate deal.

“The profitability of renewables is lower than a few years back,” said Deepa Venkateswaran, a utility analyst at Bernstein Research in London. “If power prices fall, their revenues fall.”

PV-Tech: Germany's Revised Solar-Plus-Storage Scheme Launches in March

Germany’s support program for solar-plus-storage systems, which offers a rebate on the devices, has been officially relaunched as expected by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

The scheme, administered through the national development bank KfW, was due to expire at the end of 2015. It offered around US$635 per kilowatt-hour of storage capacity and was available only when installing storage in conjunction with PV.

The incentive also only applies for electrochemical storage batteries connected to the grid, with the scheme reopening on 1 March. The ministry for economic affairs and industry said it has a budget of 30 million euros for the program until the end of 2018.

Climate Central: Study Reveals Stunning Acceleration of Sea-Level Rise

The oceans have heaved up and down as world temperatures have waxed and waned, but as new research tracking the past 2,800 years shows, never during that time did the seas rise as sharply or as suddenly as has been the case during the last century.

The new study, the culmination of a decade of work by three far-flung teams of scientists, has charted what they call an “acceleration” in sea level rise that’s triggering and worsening flooding in coastlines around the world.

The findings also warn of much worse to come.

Vox: The U.S. Coal Industry Is Falling Apart. Here's the Surprising Reason Why.

Dozens of U.S. mining companies have declared bankruptcy in the past few years. More are on the verge.

What's going on? What is killing U.S. coal?

The conventional answer to that question is that less coal is being burned for electricity in the U.S., thanks to cheap natural gas, renewables, and federal regulations.

And that's part of it. But not the only part, or even the biggest. The biggest driver of U.S. coal's decline isn't happening in the U.S. at all.