Geothermal project on a volcano in Chile (photo Geo Thermal/Flickr)

Why Chile’s mines run on renewables – and Australia’s don’t

Unbelievable but true: the Chilean mining industry is increasingly run on renewable energy, which will soon be bigger than conventional power sector in Chile, and cost-competitive. The Chileans ought to thank the Chinese for this, writes Australian professor John Mathews, whose new book, The Greening of Capitalism, has just been published by Stanford University Press. Mathews adds that Australian miners should take a cue from their Chilean colleagues.

photo: Karen Eliot

Emission trading now a major new source of low-carbon finance in the EU – but will it stay that way?

Last year for the first time many of the CO2 allowances in the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) were auctioned rather than handed out for free. Surprisingly perhaps, the EU member states used much more of the ETS revenues for low-carbon development than EU law suggests they should. This suggests that the ETS could become a major source of low-carbon finance in the future, writes Emil Dimantchev, senior analyst at…….

EU issues work plan for 2015 – with pared down priorities

The number one priority for Team Juncker is a €315-billion investment plan for Europe. Second, is “better regulation”. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans presented the European Commission’s 2015 work programme to MEPs in Strasbourg on 16 December. Energy Post looks at the new initiatives, scrapped initiatives and those that hang in the balance for energy and climate policy.

Burshtyn coal power plant (photo Bankwatch)

Ukraine’s coal power plants need a planned phase out, not CCS

There are discussions in Ukraine about equipping coal-fired power plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) to make them conform to EU climate rules. But according to Oleg Savitsky, climate and energy campaigner at the National Ecological Center of Ukraine, this is not a good idea. Ukraine has a vast overcapacity of obsolete coal power plants that should be closed down, not kept alive. That would also help the country…….

Putin third try

Energy security: Brussels, stop dreaming about the market and confront Russia and China geopolitically

European leaders are under the delusion that they can solve Europe’s security of energy supply problem by creating a strong internal market, which they believe the rest of the world will be eager to serve. In reality, reducing dependence on Russia will require long-term political commitment, real power play and engagement with countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), write Cyril Widdershoven of energy research institute TNO and…….

Hammerfest oil refinery (phto: Robert Greenhalgh)

How the oil price collapse is hastening the demise of Norway’s oil industry

The drop in global oil prices is hastening the decline of Norway’s already slowly declining oil industry as new oil projects are being scrapped and workers are laid off. Norway may need to begin building a post-oil economy sooner than it thought, writes Nick Cunningham of


Maria van der Hoeven, IEA: Use cheap oil to put a price on carbon

With the drop in oil prices “delivering a shot of economic stimulus to consumers around the world”, policymakers have a “once-in-a-generation” chance to take actions to cut our reliance on fossil fuels, writes Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). She urges policymakers in developed countries to use the drop in oil prices to put a price on carbon.

Ban Ki Moon addresses climate conference Lima (photo: UN)

What came out of Lima

Hundreds of country negotiating teams have been meeting in Lima, Peru over the past two weeks for the latest round of international climate negotiations. Mat Hope of The Carbon Brief gives an excellent overview of the results and discusses next steps. Overall conclusion: international climate negotiations have taken a step forward, but only a very small step.

Hughes BB on Energy (1)

VIDEO: Brussels Briefing on Energy: All you need to know for December 2014

In this Brussels Briefing on Energy for, leading journalist Hughes Belin provides an overview of the latest EU energy policy developments: