• More evidence that coal companies themselves view coal as a dying energy source. According to a US National Coal Council report cited in that piece, coal executives view carbon fiber, rare earth minerals, and graphene as potential uses for coal with more growth potential than electricity generation.
  • Deep dive on the local environmental effects of the Chernobyl disaster. In that piece, the author argues that the long-term effects to the surrounding land and wildlife have been minimal. In fact, the area has arguably become a nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife that has exploited the lack of human population.
  • This piece (German) cites high fixed costs and the question of nuclear waste storage as the reason behind slowing investments in nuclear energy. Furthermore, the author specifically argues that it is these economic forces, rather than a strong anti-nuclear movement, that have caused the slowdown. To me, it seems likely that potential investors would price the potential local backlash into their investment decision. To state the obvious, planning to build a nuclear plant would certainly include a non-zero chance of a dedicated public pushback (even if plant and waste storage safety measures were proven to be adequate).
  • China & US Remain World’s Most Attractive Renewable Energy Markets. The authors buried the lead a bit here, which is that EY’s biannual Renewable Energy Attractiveness Index highlights the ever-increasing number of renewable energy projects that are succeeding without subsidies.
  • The IPCC has an FAQ on why the 1.5° target, specifically, was set. The bottom line: “If the current warming rate continues, the world would reach
    human-induced global warming of 1.5°C around 2040.”