The Daily Star: World Bank Secretly Funds Asian Coal Boom

The World Bank is indirectly financing a boom in some of Asia's dirtiest coal-fired power generation despite commitments to end most funding for the sector, a development advocacy group charged yesterday.

The power plants, which contribute to climate change and deforestation as well as premature deaths due to illness, are cropping up from Bangladesh to the Philippines, all with financing provided by financial intermediaries supported by the Bank, said a report produced by the organization Inclusive Development International.

In a policy shift in 2013, the Bank said it would end virtually all support for the creation of coal-burning power plants, supporting them only in "rare circumstances" where there are no viable alternatives.

Guardian: Solar Outstrips Coal in Last 6 Months of U.K. Electricity Generation

Electricity generated by solar panels on fields and homes outstripped Britain’s aging coal power stations over the past six months in a historic first.

Climate change analysts Carbon Brief found more electricity came from the sun than coal from April to the end of September, in a report that highlighted the two technologies’ changing fortunes.

Solar had already eclipsed coal for a day in April and then for the whole month of May, with coal providing zero power for the first time in more than 100 years for several days in May. The latest milestone saw an estimated 6,964 gigawatt-hours generated by solar over the half-year, or 5.4 percent of the U.K.’s electricity demand. Coal produced 6,342 gigawatt-hours, or 4.7 percent.

New York Times: A Curious Plan to Fight Climate Change by Buying Mines

When Patriot filed for bankruptcy in 2015 -- its second time in three years -- environmentalists and regulators were prepared for the company to figure out ways to shunt liabilities and maximize returns. But no one could have envisioned what happened next.

Patriot handed over millions of dollars of environmental obligations to a nonprofit company run by a man named Tom Clarke, who owned a chain of nursing homes and a tourist attraction that had fallen behind on its bills. Until that day in April, Mr. Clarke, 61, had never been in a coal mine.

Why then, would someone like Mr. Clarke want to take over a troubled mine and the environmental obligations that Patriot Coal was seeking to get rid of? As improbable as it may seem, Mr. Clarke said the Patriot deal had played to his advantage -- helping start his grand plan to remake coal mining into a greener industry.

The Diplomat: Is China's Green Energy Transition Dead in the Water?

Chinese green energy still has lots of problems such as waste, especially in the wind power sector. Despite boasting a third of global installed wind power capacity, its turbines are generally of lower quality and generate less energy.  But few seem to mind this -- after green energy became a political priority for the government, investment has been fast-tracked through policies and regulations designed to encourage energy efficiency and domestic renewable energy deployment. As a consequence, China is rapidly expanding its low-carbon technologies, including nuclear, wind, solar and hydropower.

At the same time, Beijing is keen to showcase its expertise and open new markets for its products -- from cars and turbines to dam-building technology and nuclear power plants. With a flurry of green-themed events over the next 12 months, the Chinese are therefore under pressure to step up to the plate and elbow their way in alongside the most innovative companies in the world.

Bloomberg: The Mysterious Case of Big Oil's Disappearing Barrels

If you ever find yourself at a cocktail party with a bunch of oil executives, one phrase is a guaranteed mood-killer: "reserve replacement." Not merely awkward to say, it is the industry's bogeyman. Because in a business chiefly concerned with getting stuff out of the ground, you need to replace that stuff pretty consistently unless you want to, well, eventually run out of stuff.

Last year, the stuff-gathering did not go so well. Not replacing your reserves can be due to several things, such as striking out on a big exploration prospect or simply dialing back investment in finding new fields. It can also just be about those fickle little things called prices.