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Industry warns NSW could lose 10 wind farms, $2.5 billion under Tony Abbott's plan to cut clean energy

New wind farms: out of reach?

PETER HANNAM 3:00pm Confusion over Canberra’s plans to cut the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cost NSW at least $2.5 billion in investment by 2020 and mean the state will fall short of the Baird government’s own target for clean energy, industry groups say.

What's watt? The Renewable Energy Target explained

Solar eclipse? What's the future for the RET?

PETER HANNAM 5:12pm Confused by the jargon about gigawatts and "real 20 per cent"? Here are some basics in the debate over the Renewable Energy Target.

Clean energy jobs and investments are at risk, says industry group

Moving out: NSW could miss out on billions of dollars of investment in clean energy.

Peter Hannam, Mark Kenny 6:55pm NSW stands to lose as much as $2.5 billion in investment in 10 approved wind farms that won't proceed if the federal government achieves its goal of slashing the renewable energy target, an industry group said.

General Electric boss calls for certainty over renewable energy target

Need to know: General Electric boss Jeff Immelt wants answers from the federal government.

Anne Hyland Jeff Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest investors in clean energy, has demanded the federal government provide certainty around its renewable energy target.

Renewable energy stall costs first job losses as 100 cut in Victoria

green energy

PETER HANNAM A Victorian manufacturer has become the first employer to cut jobs after the Abbott government revealed its plans to slice the renewable energy target by as much as 40 per cent.

Abbott government 'intent on destroying renewable industry', companies say

Precarious balance: cutting the renewable energy target will damage the industry, companies say.

PETER HANNAM The Abbott government appears determined to destroy the emerging renewable energy sector to protect Australia's fossil fuel industry if its plans to lower the clean energy target are any guide, wind farm developers said.

Mining

Drayton, Coalpac knockbacks a 'brutal double blow' for coal miners in NSW

Coal trains

PETER HANNAM The coal industry in NSW has suffered a “brutal double blow” following the rejection by the Planning Assessment Commission of two open-cut mine expansions in the Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains, the NSW Minerals Council said.

US regulators look to curb methane emissions

Leaks diminish some of the benefits of gas.

Sean Cockerham Pressure is growing on regulators in California and Washington, D.C., to crack down on methane, a greenhouse gas that's 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is accelerating the warming of the planet.

Green Economy Index 2014: Australia ranked last for leadership

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INGA TING Australia has fallen sharply in international green economy rankings, coming last out of 60 countries for performance on political leadership and climate change, and 37th overall.

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Warburton reviewer Brian Fisher gets solar panels despite wanting subsidy scrapped

Solar panels retain their appeal - for now.

PETER HANNAM One of the members of the Abbott government's review panel that called for an end to renewable energy support has bought solar panels despite advocating the end of such subsidies.

IPCC lines up for a sixth climate audit as economic costs corrected

New York's climate march last month.

PETER HANNAM More than a quarter of a century old and the bane of global warming sceptics everywhere, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change isn't about to fade into the sunset.

One firm's $2 mine is another's start of global coal empire

Coal mine trucks

Yuriy Humber and Ichiro Suzuki Up Energy Development Group said it has picked the bottom of the coking coal market.

Gas displaces clean energy, won't aid climate fight, scientists say

Gas from fracking of little help to emissions reductions.

Stefan Nicola Increased use of natural gas from a fracking boom won't slow climate change as the fuel will simply replace cleaner energy sources, scientists said in a study.

Global coal industry still in denial over prices, regulation

Sunset for coal? Industry says no.

Clyde Russell These days you would expect a gathering of coal industry executives to be a fairly gloomy affair, given the drop in prices to near seven-year lows, the increasing threat of regulation to control pollution and the general image of the fuel as the main climate change culprit.

Labor will gain little but pain through revived mining tax

Elizabeth Knight Dinkus Dinkus

ELIZABETH KNIGHT The Labor Party's plan to introduce mining tax mark III is one of the most extraordinary policy objectives in living memory. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is either very brave or very foolhardy to think that it will be third time lucky in devising some way to get the mining industry to pay for the budgetary revenue shortfall his government will face should it regain office.

Wind producer Infigen grows hopeful over Renewable Energy Target survival

Wind Farm

Angela Macdonald-Smith Infigen Energy chief executive Miles George says asset write-downs would be premature for the wind power producer given increasing signs that the Renewable Energy Target may survive with only relatively minor changes.

Pacific Hydro write-down

The renewable energy market is being hurt by falling demand for electricity and a lack of certainty in the industry.

Tim Binsted Heavyweight fund manager IFM Investors has taken a $685 million write-down on its Pacific Hydro renewable energy business due to the adverse impact of the Abbott government's Warburton review, weaker electricity demand in Australia, and tax changes in Chile.

$22-trillion-strong investor funds call for climate action

With carbon crunch time approaching, fund managers  want policies to divert money into  renewable energy.

PETER HANNAM Governments everywhere need to introduce stable and “economically meaningful” policies to divert investments away from fossil fuels and into low-carbon alternatives to avoid more radical steps to limit the damage from climate change, 300 leading fund managers said.

Pressure builds on Abbott government to relent on renewable energy cuts

Solar jobs are on the line if renewable energy target is weakened or scrapped.

PETER HANNAM Confidence is growing among clean energy supporters that the Abbott government will be forced to back down over plans to make deep cuts to the renewable energy target (RET).

India to lift solar target five-fold in five years

India's Modi wants solar energy to take off in his country.

India is preparing to lift its solar target to 15 gigawatts by 2019, more than five times current capacity, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to accelerate clean-energy deployment.

US acts to cut potent global warming emissions

Breakthrough in curbing highly potent coolant gases used in fridges.

The Obama administration on Tuesday announced a series of moves aimed at cutting emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Resources

Australian export risk on China dirty coal ban

A tourist with a protective mask takes a selfie at the Bund under heavy haze in Shanghai.

BRIAN ROBINS A large portion of Australia's coal exports to China could be at risk from a Chinese government decision to block imports of lower-quality "dirty" coal from 2015.

Energy

China bans dirty coal to fight pollution

Air pollution has become a huge issue in China's major cities.

China has banned the sale and import of coal with high ash or sulfur content in a move to promote cleaner coal and improve the nation's air quality.

Big firms brace for global carbon price rollout, survey finds

Carbon emissions are priced in by many companies, including 22 major listed Australian firms.

An increasing number of big corporations expect governments worldwide to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions to help tackle climate change and some are already factoring in the cost to guide future investment decisions, a report finds.

Sun and wind Alter German's energy landscape, leaving utilities behind

Germany's 'energy transition' will be watched closely around the world.

JUSTIN GILLIS Of all the developed nations, few have pushed harder than Germany to find a solution to global warming. And towering symbols of that drive are appearing in the middle of the North Sea.

China aims high for carbon market by 2020

Promethean task: reducing China's carbon footprint.

China's national carbon market is likely to regulate 3-4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020 and be worth up to 400 billion yuan ($72 billion), a government official said on Thursday, which would make it twice as big as the EU market, currently the world's biggest.

Blue and red US states going green on energy policy

Californian wind farms: support from both sides of US politics for renewables.

Wendy Koch Politically "red" and "blue" US states are increasingly turning green as they push energy efficiency and renewable power to save money and protect the planet, says a report today with prominent bi-partisan support.

Climate Change Authority's Bernie Fraser calls for renewable energy target to be extended

Bernie Fraser wants the renewable energy target extended.

PETER HANNAM The timing of the renewable energy target should be extended and inefficient fossil-fuel generators paid to exit the industry as a way of ending an impasse over the future of the clean energy sector, Climate Change Authority head Bernie Fraser has said.

Yale University fund takes aim at climate change

Yale studies a change in the investment climate.

GERALDINE FABRIKANT As pressure grows from students who want to see their schools use financial clout to address environmental issues, Yale University's investment office wrote to its money managers asking them to assess how investments could affect climate change and suggesting they avoid companies that do not take sensible "steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

World falls behind in efforts to tackle climate change, PwC report finds

Mountain to climb down from.

The world's major economies are falling further behind every year in terms of meeting the rate of carbon emission reductions needed to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees this century, a report published on Monday showed.

CSIRO almost 100% sure humans causing temperatures to rise

The chances that humans are not responsible for the rise in average temperatures are less than 1 in 100,000.

PETER HANNAM There's a 99.999 per cent certainty that human activities – from burning fossil fuels to land-clearing – are responsible for warming conditions.

Australia's first fossil-free super fund launched

Running out puff for investors?

PETER HANNAM A global movement to divest from fossil fuels will get some local impetus with the launch on Thursday of the country’s first fossil-free superannuation fund.

Emissions from energy generation jump most in eight years after carbon price axed

Dark clouds: Carbon emissions from the power sector are back on the way up.

PETER HANNAM Carbon emissions from the country’s main electricity grid have risen since the end of the carbon tax by the most in almost eight years.

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Insulation report finding on fires cheers battling industry

Insulation

PETER HANNAM Confirmation by the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program that the rate of house fires did not increase despite a more than 10-fold jump in installations has been welcomed by companies struggling to recover from the industry's boom and subsequent bust.

Solar is booming but not as fast as hydrocarbons

Solar and coal: the race is on.

Robert Bryce There's no question that solar is on a tear. But for all the innovation going on in renewable energy, it's worth remembering solar is not keeping up with the growth of coal, oil and gas.

We must kill dirty coal before it kills us

generic thumbnail, mining, natural resources, mine, mining boom,

Tim Flannery and Fiona Stanley The dangers to Australians' health by the menace of air pollution from coal-fired power stations can no longer be tolerated, write Tim Flannery and Fiona Stanley.

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China's national carbon market to start in 2016, official says

Carbon emissions are to collect a national price in China.

China plans to roll out its national market for carbon permit trading in 2016, an official said Sunday, adding that the government is close to finalising rules for what will be the world's biggest emissions trading scheme.

Australia's solar eclipse

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PETER HANNAM Australians are supposed to be among the fastest consumers to take up new gadgetry but when it comes to adopting solar energy the country remains very much in the shade – and the shadow is about to get darker.

IEA expects $1.7 trillion in clean-energy investments through 2020

Tilting towards windmills in California.

Stefan Nicola Investments in new clean-energy capacity will total $US1.61 trillion ($1.72 trillion) through 2020 even as the expansion of renewables is expected to slow, the International Energy Agency said.

Cost of solar panels to rise by half if target chopped

Solar prospects could become a lot dimmer.

PETER HANNAM The cost of solar panels for residences is likely to rise by as much as 50 per cent if the Abbott government takes up the recommendations of its hand-picked panel to wind back the small-scale renewable energy target.

Costs of Australia's renewable energy target 'not justifiable': review

The review calls on the government to find lower cost alternatives for reducing carbon emissions.

LISA COX Tony Abbott has been given cover to break an election promise not to touch Australia's renewable energy target after his hand-picked review panel recommended the scheme be dramatically cut back.

Hunter community loses bid to block Yancoal expansion

Ashton Coal mine.

PETER HANNAM A Hunter Valley community has lost its legal challenge to a major open-cut coal mine expansion by Chinese-controlled miner Yancoal.

China considering $16 billion for electric-vehicle chargers

A lot more electric cars headed for China's roads.

Bloomberg News China is considering providing as much as 100 billion yuan ($16.25 billion) in government funding to build electric-vehicle charging facilities and spur demand for clean cars, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Sydney University creates waves with investment ban on coal

Coal

PETER HANNAM The University of Sydney has become the first institution of its type in Australia to halt further investments in coalmining, a move likely to send ripples through the funds industry.

Solar giant to close Australian R&D unit

Sun King: Shi Zhengrong.

PETER HANNAM A giant Chinese solar panel maker originally based on Australian technology plans to close its local research arm amid on-going concerns about the future of renewable energy in the country.

Rio Tinto 'workshopped' Warkworth coal plan with Planning Department, Greens say

PETER HANNAM Mining company Rio Tinto was able to respond within days of receiving environmental requirements for its Warkworth coalmine expansion plan because of "workshopping" with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, according to Greens MP David Shoebridge.

Time for NSW to end California dreaming and act on renewables, Labor says

Time to go solo?: Cloud over NSW's renewable energy target.

PETER HANNAM NSW is barely one-third of the way to achieving its 2020 renewable energy goal despite the Baird Government wanting the state to be Australia's answer to California.

Energy

'Reckless' Abbott review chills $20 billion clean-energy industry

Repealing the renewable energy targets supporting wind and solar power would add about $8 billion in profit to coal plant operators including Origin Energy, AGL Energy and EnergyAustralia.

Australia is frightening developers away from renewable energy even before the government decides on whether to overhaul targets for the industry's growth.

Solar boom drives first global panel shortage since 2006

Surplus evaporates as solar PV demand surges.

Ehren Goossens The solar industry is facing a looming shortage of photovoltaic panels, reversing a two-year slump triggered by a global glut

Clive Palmer vows to block RET changes as industry fears worst

Gloom sets in for renewable energy sector.

Lisa Cox and Peter Hannam Clive Palmer has vowed to block any move by the Abbott government to weaken or abolish Australia’s renewable energy target (RET) during this parliament.

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