Climate News of the Week Roundup: Warsaw Groundhog Days – Wuppertal Assessment of the Warsaw Climate Conference

This week’s roundup features a bit of self-promotion, a former BP geologist warning that the end of easy oil will have dire consequences, an academic study shedding light on the funding of organisations disputing climate science, a collection of solar energy developments, a bullish solar projection for 2014, renewables advancing in Australia and Spain, an analysis of the first year of California’s emission trading system, and more.

Warsaw Groundhog Days – Old Friends, Positions and Impasses Revisited All Over Again at the 2013 Warsaw Climate Conference. The Wuppertal Institute this week published its traditional report on the annual UN climate conference. The report concludes that Warsaw once again starkly highlighted the sharp divisions and lack of trust among countries. As a result, on many issues the outcomes hardly go beyond the lowest common denominator. If countries want to escape from groundhog day, they will have to start seeing and utilizing the UN climate process rather differently.

Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will ‘break economies’. Nafeez Ahmed covers the work of Richard G. Miller, a geologist formerly with BP. In his view, the age of easy oil is over and unconventional sources won’t be much help either. “We’re like a cage of lab rats that have eaten all the cornflakes and discovered that you can eat the cardboard packets too. Yes, we can, but…”

Not just the Koch brothers: New study reveals funders behind the climate change denial effort. The phys.org website reports on a new academic study shedding light on the funding of organisations disputing climate science. According to the study, the largest and most consistent funders are a number of well-known conservative foundations. However, most funding passes through untraceable sources.

7 impressive solar energy facts (+ charts). Zachary Shahan has put together seven charts on solar energy developments. For example, the price of solar PV panels dropped about 100 times over from 1977 to 2012 and global solar PV power capacity grew from about 2.2 GW in 2002 to 100 GW in 2012. 2/3 of those 100GW were built in the last 2.5 years, and another 100GW are expected to be built in the next 2.5 years.

NPD Solarbuzz expects explosive growth of 49GW for Solar PV industry in 2014. The PVTECH website reports on new forecasts by market analysts NPD Solarbuzz, which projects unprecedented demand for solar installations for 2014. The period from October 2013 to March 2014 alone is projected to see installation of 22GW, more than was installed globally between 2005 and 2009. The solar music is now mainly playing in China, Japan and the US, but also other non-EU markets.

All New Generation in Australia Will Be Renewables Through 2020. Katherine Tweed covers a new report by the the Australian Energy Market Operator which says that all new electricity generation in Australia will come from renewable energy through 2020. Most of it will be wind, there is 15.8GW of proposed projects in the pipeline.

Spain meets 4.9% of electricity demand with solar PV, CSP in 2013. Solarserver.com reports on the release of provisional 2013 figures by the Spanish grid operator. In addition to 4.9% of solar, 21.1% came from wind, which thus for the first time became the largest single contributor, ahead of nuclear, which came in at 21%. The share of all renewables was 42%.

Analysis: Strong start for California carbon market, but challenges loom. Rory Carroll takes stock of the first year of California’s emission trading system. The system has started off well, avoiding the EU’s mistakes, among other things by having a steadily increasing auction floor price. One question for the future is how consumers will react when the scheme is extended to transport and heating fuels in 2015.

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