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Finally, Germany Makes Progress on Coal

forbes.com - November 3rd, 2014 - Richard Martin

For critics who scoff that Europe’s carbon emission reduction goals are unachievable, Germany has become Exhibit No. 1. Since Chancellor Angela Merkel decreed in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that Germany would phase out its nuclear power industry, coal use in Germany has been on the rise, and the country’s carbon emissions have remained stubbornly high.

Now it appears that tide may be turning.

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Free Fall in Oil Price Underscores Shift Away From OPEC

A hydraulic fracturing well in Colorado. With the technology, America is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production. Credit Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

Image:  A hydraulic fracturing well in Colorado. With the technology, America is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production. Credit Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

nytimes.com - November 28th, 2014 - Clifford Krauss

Since the economically crippling oil embargo of 1973, every American president has pledged to seek and achieve energy independence.

That elusive goal may finally have arrived, at least for the foreseeable future, with the failure of Saudi Arabia and its 11 oil cartel partners in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to a production cut that would put a brake on plummeting crude prices.

On Friday, the benchmark American price for crude oil continued the free fall that began on Thursday, closing at $66.15, its lowest price in more than four years.

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Electricity from Renewables Cost Competitive with Coal

energymanagertoday.com - by Linda Hardesty
November 26, 2014

Although a recent story from Spectrum IEEE said Google researchers gave up on a project to produce electricity from renewables more cheaply than electricity from coal, a story in the New York Times says some renewable electricity is already cost competitive with coal.

The story cites a study by the investment banking firm Lazard, which finds the cost of utility-scale solar is as low as 5.6 cents per kWh, and wind is as low as 1.4 cents, while natural gas comes in at 6.1 cents and coal at 6.6 cents.

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CLICK HERE - STUDY - Lazard's Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis - Version 8.0 (20 page .PDF file)

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US, China Set Carbon Pollution Goals

Image: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White HouseImage: President Obama meets with President Xi Jinping. Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House

environmentalleader.com - November 13th, 2014

The US and China set ambitious climate change goals on Wednesday, with President Obama pledging to cut US greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Chinese president Xi Jinping announced targets to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or sooner and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.

The announcement was met with praise from environmentalists and business groups.

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Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC

A photo of smokestacks. The IPCC says fossil fuels without carbon capture should be "phased out" by 2100

Image: A photo of smokestacks. The IPCC says fossil fuels without carbon capture should be "phased out" by 2100

bbc.com - November 2nd 2014 -  Matt McGrath

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.

If not, the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage.

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Is the Rockefeller family really getting out of oil?

Jon ExcellImage: Jon Excell

theengineer.co.uk - September 24th, 2014 - Jon Excell

There’s no doubt that the decision by the $860 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund to reinvest its fossil fuel money in clean energy represents a pretty symbolic moment.

John D Rockefeller – who founded Standard Oil in 1870  – is one of the towering figures; some would argue the father, of the international oil industry. So the news that a charitable fund bearing his name is turning its back on the stuff that made the family fortune was always going to raise a few eyebrows.

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Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels

      

Stephen Heintz, left, with Valerie Rockefeller Wayne and Steven Rockefeller on Tuesday.
Credit Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

nytimes.com - by John Schwartz - September 21, 2014

John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels.

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Is China Finally Kicking Its Coal Addiction?

The first half of 2014 saw China's first decline in total coal consumption in over a decade.Image: The first half of 2014 saw China's first decline in total coal consumption in over a decade.

huffingtonpost.com - September 12th, 2014 - Matt Sheehan

It may be difficult to see through the putrid smog, but major changes appear to be taking shape in China’s coal industry. So far this year, Chinese coal consumption has hit two major milestones: Coal consumption through June and coal imports through August both dropped for the first time in over a decade.

Environmental activists aren't yet popping the Champagne, but taken together, these data points suggest that market forces and government mandates are causing China's decadelong coal binge to finally peak and potentially sputter.

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World Council Of Churches Divests From Fossil Fuels

huffingtonpost.com - August 29th, 2014 - Yasmine Hafiz

The World Council of Churches, which represents over 500 million Christians in more than 110 countries, has decided to divest from fossil fuels, reports The Guardian.

The WCC Central Committee, which includes religious leaders from around the world, voted to include fossil fuel companies in the sectors that WCC will not invest in on ethical grounds, according to a statement from 350.org, an international enviromental campaign.

A report from the WCC's finance policy committee simply states, "The committee discussed the ethical investment criteria, and considered that the list of sectors in which the WCC does not invest should be extended to include fossil fuels."

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Are electricity-eating bacteria the next big thing in green fuel?

By Michael Keller - Published August 20, 2014
 
Editor's Note: This story is republished with permission from Txchnologist, a digital magazine that follows innovation in science and technology.

There's a large and growing list of renewable energy projects pumping out cleaner electricity these days. Photovoltaic panels produce direct current and solar concentrators drive steam turbines using sunlight. Wind turbines churning out megawatts of power dot the landscape of many countries. Other projects are looking to light communities through tides, running rivers and even the heat of the Earth.

http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/08/20/are-electricity-eating-bacteria-next-big-thing-green-fuel?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRojv6jKZKXonjHpfsX56%2BwrUKK%2BlMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4FRMBnI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFSLHEMa5qw7gMXRQ%3D

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