The Independent: Government Faces Multi-Billion-Pound Hole in Budget to Pay for Clean Energy

The U.K. government is facing a multi-billion-pound black hole in its budget to pay for new clean energy supplies, which could result in rising household electricity bills unless there is a dramatic decline in investment in renewable technologies.

Senior Whitehall sources have told The Independent that the Department of Energy and Climate Change has already overspent its budget by £1.5B to support renewable energy projects over the next five years.

But ministers are being warned that unless they increase the budget still further and bring more renewable energy projects online, the UK will have no hope of hitting its legally binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the mid-2020s.

Guardian: For Tony Abbott, It's Full Steam Ahead on Coal

If, as the environment movement contends, fossil fuels are the new tobacco, then Australia has cast itself as a sort of swaggering Marlboro man, puffing away contentedly as the rest of the world looks on quizzically.

As other countries look to transition to low-carbon alternatives with one eye on crunch climate talks in Paris later this year, Australia is pushing ahead with an expansion in coal extraction that its conservative prime minister Tony Abbott insists is “good for humanity."

Ars Technica: One in Three Cars Sold in Norway Is an Electric Vehicle

Norway continues to lead the way in electric vehicle (EV) sales, at least as a percentage of all new car sales, according to industry analysts IHS Automotive. One in three new cars sold in the oil-rich Nordic nation was an EV in the first quarter of the year, and Volkswagen's e-Golf was the best seller.

Although EVs made up less than 1 percent of all new cars registered in the U.S. over the same time frame, that accounted for almost 15,000 of them, making it the largest market in terms of overall numbers.

CNBC: No More Nukes? How About Another 80 Years of Them

Spurred partly by President Obama's plan to reduce coal emissions to fight climate change, utilities are preparing bids to extend the operating licenses of nuclear plants to as long as 80 years, a move that could begin to become public this summer.

The idea is that the administration's plan, which will not be final until next year and is already being challenged in court, will force utilities to curb their use of older, coal-burning electricity plants, which contribute about a quarter of U.S. carbon emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate Progress: This Massive Utility Wants More Renewable Energy Because Corporations Are Demanding It

In June, Alabama Power, one of the country’s largest electricity providers, filed a petition with the state’s Public Service Commission to add up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy over the next six years. The utility, which serves over 1.4 million customers in Alabama, cited customer demand as a primary reason for adding all this renewable energy -- specifically corporate customers.

“This program was driven by conversations with customers looking to meet renewable mandates pushed down from their headquarters,” said Tony Smoke, Alabama Power vice president of marketing, in a statement announcing the request. “As a service provider, our focus is to make sure we are providing customers access to choices they want.”