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2018 Q1: An eclectic chronology in pictures and charts of developments in climate, energy, tech and the future of civilisation


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Things are moving so fast. Most of us are so busy. This slide show offers one person's precis-for-the-busy of the last three months in the related dramas of climate change, energy transition, big tech and the future of civilisation. I hope it is useful. For the powerpoint version, with source urls, see

Published in: News & Politics

2018 Q1: An eclectic chronology in pictures and charts of developments in climate, energy, tech and the future of civilisation

  1. 1. 2018 Q1: An eclectic chronology in pictures and charts of developments in climate, energy, tech and the future of civilisation
  2. 2. 7th Jan 2016 2nd Jan 2018 2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, by far, and the second hottest ever Source: NASA
  3. 3. “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” 7th Jan 2016 2nd Jan 2018 Trump on Twitter, responding to Kim Jong Un mentioning in a new year speech that the North Korean button was on his desk at all times
  4. 4. 7th Jan 2016 3rd Jan 2018 Russia’s gas exports to Europe rise to record high for second consecutive year in 2017 Up 8.1% to 193 billion cubic metres Gazprom, the monopoly supplier, now supplies 40% of European gas
  5. 5. 7th Jan 2016 3rd Jan 2018 Wind supplies record 43.6% of Denmark’s electricity, with no grid problems Target is 50% with a further 30% from solar, biomass and other renewables - 80% in all by 2020
  6. 6. 7th Jan 2016 3rd Jan 2018 More than half Norway’s new car sales electric or hybrid in 2017 for the first time Norway targets 100% EV new car sales by 2025
  7. 7. 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 One of UK’s largest energy investors warns too many companies are ignoring the energy transition “We know there are still management teams - and boards - with their heads stuck in the sand”: LGAM CIO in FT
  8. 8. 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 Court challenge to Arctic oil drilling in Norway defeated
  9. 9. Two hardware bugs, worst ever, found on virtually all computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 They are in chips for CPUs. “Meltdown” is patchable. “Spectre” is not. Class actions against Intel et al are pending. So is hacker exploitation.
  10. 10. 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 Coral reefs head for ‘knock-out punch’ as bleaching episodes return ever more frequently From once every 25-30 years in the early 1980s to an average of once every 6 years today: International scientists team publishing in Science
  11. 11. 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018 Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, Smithsonian-led scientific team warns Fossil fuel burning is the cause of the large-scale deoxygenation: warmer waters hold less oxygen. Where the heat from global warming goes: Source:SkepticalScience
  12. 12. “The leveraged economy blows up in 2018”: Steve St Angelo on SRSrocco Report 7th Jan 2016 4th Jan 2018
  13. 13. 7th Jan 2016 5th Jan 2018 Saudi Arabia shortlists Acwa and Marubeni over record-breaker Masdar for 300MW solar Original Masdar/EDF bid was $17.8 MWh. Acwa bid $23.4 and Marubeni bid $26.6 …Acwa later awarded contract
  14. 14. 7th Jan 2016 7th Jan 2018 Growth of Shell’s oil and gas operations in the next decade will depend on shale production: CEO With “a little bit of help from the oil price going up, we now see that we can significantly accelerate investment into this opportunity”
  15. 15. Apple investors call for action over iPhone ‘addiction’ among children 7th Jan 2016 8th Jan 2018 Owners of $2bn of stock including CalSTRS make a range of suggestions for controls, oversight, and access to data on use.
  16. 16. US plans to loosen constraints on nuclear weapon use and develop more ‘usable’ warheads 7th Jan 2016 9th Jan 2018 Leak of policy review shows return to first strike thinking of the Reagan years.
  17. 17. 7th Jan 2016 10th Jan 2018 New York sues big oil companies for climate change damage and “deliberate deception” ExxonMobil leads rebuttals: “a complete fabrication that was conceived, paid for, and executed by anti-oil and gas activists” Mayor Bill de Blasio
  18. 18. 7th Jan 2016 10th Jan 2018 NYC becomes largest US city planning to divest its pension funds from fossil fuels: $5 bn out of $189 bn Financial future of police officers, teachers and firefighters is “linked to the sustainability of the planet,” Comptroller Scott Stringer says
  19. 19. A swarm of armed home-made drones attacks two Russian military bases in Syria 7th Jan 2016 11th Jan 2018 13 drones, each with small bombs. No damage or casualties. Attack blamed on Turkish supported rebels.
  20. 20. 7th Jan 2016 11th Jan 2018 Leaked IPCC report on 1.5˚C Paris target puts remaining budget at 580 Gt for a 50% chance
  21. 21. 7th Jan 2016 11th Jan 2018 Unusually clear air in Beijing as action on smog begins to bite PM2.5 emissions fell around Beijing during Q4 2017 vs Q4 2016, despite recovering growth and higher energy usage
  22. 22. 7th Jan 2016 13th Jan 2018 Renewable electricity will be consistently in lower range of undercutting fossil fuels by 2020: IRENA e.g. Expect global weighted cost of utility-scale solar PV to fall from $0.10/kWh in 2017 to $0.03 in 2018, and to average $0.06
  23. 23. 7th Jan 2016 13th Jan 2018 ACWA Power becomes first utility-scale generator to adopt SolarCoin One SolarCoin for every MWh of solar energy produced … 2GW claimed by Acwa = 2 million coins per year = $5m at today’s price of $2.5 Price $2Market cap $82m
  24. 24. 7th Jan 2016 13th Jan 2018 Shell buys stake in US solar developer Silicon Ranch 43% for $217 million. The company has 880 MW of projects underway in 14 states and a development pipeline of 1 GW.
  25. 25. Apple CEO Tim Cook: “I don’t want my nephew on a social network” 7th Jan 2016 16th Jan 2018
  26. 26. 7th Jan 2016 19th Jan 2018 Nissan launches a solar power management system for homes in partnership with Solarcentury
  27. 27. 7th Jan 2016 21st Jan 2018 Lloyd's of London to divest from coal over climate change “It would behove the industry to look very closely at where all capital is invested. Fossil-fuel- related operations should be eschewed, and solar energy and energy-efficiency projects favoured.” Dr Jeremy Leggett Report presented at Lloyd’s of London February 1993
  28. 28. 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jan 2018 Global solar lighting sales actually fell in 2017 …despite $600 m in “impact” investment 2016 & 2017
  29. 29. 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jan 2018 Global solar lighting sales actually fell in 2017 …despite $600 m in “impact” investment 2016 & 2017
  30. 30. Inequality gap widens as 42 people hold same wealth as 3.7bn poorest 7th Jan 2016 22nd Jan 2018 Oxfam survey of 70,000 in 10 countries shows nearly two-thirds of people – 72% in the UK – want urgent action to close rich / poor gap.
  31. 31. 7th Jan 2016 23rd Jan 2018 If RE100 were a country, it would be 24th biggest in the world in terms of electricity use 122 members now. Their demand for renewable electricity is up 49%. 25 of them achieved 100% by end 2016. 4x PPA increase in a year. Source: RE100 Progress and Insights report
  32. 32. Elon Musk lines up $55bn payday if he grows Tesla's market cap from current $59bn to $650bn 7th Jan 2016 23rd Jan 2018 Payment is graduated: 12 agreed increments en route Only Apple (908bn), Alphabet and Microsoft are worth more today.
  33. 33. George Soros: Facebook and Google are a “menace” to society and must be regulated 7th Jan 2016 26th Jan 2018 He fears merger of their surveillance with that of states, leading to “a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined”
  34. 34. 7th Jan 2016 26th Jan 2018 CEO Sundar Pichai: Like fire, “AI is really important …but we have to be concerned about it.” Artificial intelligence will have more impact on the world than fire or electricity, says Google boss
  35. 35. 7th Jan 2016 28th Jan 2018 China builds 40 MW floating solar plant above an abandoned coal mine The mine collapsed after an explosion, and a lake formed over the site. A 150 MW project is due on the same site May 2018. Anhui province, China
  36. 36. 1940: 6 in 7 barrels used by Allies in WW2 come from the US 1950: Car use and oil imports soar Nov 1990 Peak 1977 Alaska 2008: Fracking in shale 2014 Price collapse …recovery 7th Jan 2016 31st Jan 2018 Shale pushes US oil output above 10 mbd: to heights last seen in 1970
  37. 37. 7th Jan 2016 1st Feb 2018 China dwarfs other nations manufacturing batteries, with a pipeline >3x rest of the world combined
  38. 38. 7th Jan 2016 1st Feb 2018 CATL aims to use a $2bn IPO to expand and become the world’s No. 1 battery cell maker
  39. 39. 7th Jan 2016 3rd Feb 2018 Exxon publishes its climate risk assessment: growth through 2040 while burning almost unfettered Current reserves of 20 BBOE will need replacing with a further 35 BBOE …and all of this 55 BBOE is burnable with a 2˚C scenario, they say Energy mix 2016 to 2040 Average annual growth rate: 0.9% Growth rates 2016 to 2040
  40. 40. 7th Jan 2016 4th Feb 2018 Direct air capture plus “air-to-fuels”: new development in Gates-funded project CO2 extracted is now being combined with hydrogen split from water with clean electricity. Industrial scalability is unknown as yet. DAC test site, Squamish, Canada
  41. 41. 7th Jan 2016 5th Feb 2018 World's largest home virtual power plant by far on the way in S. Australia using Tesla solar & batteries 50,000 homes each with 5 kW and a 13,500 kWh Powerwall 2 = 250 MW and 650 MWh …a fossil power plant …but bills 30% lower
  42. 42. 7th Jan 2016 5th Feb 2018 EIA 2017 shale oil projection “highly to extremely optimistic, and are very unlikely to be realized”: PCI $ hundreds of billions in debt to do this much $7.7 trillion needed to drill 1.29 million wells In EIA’s projected production
  43. 43. “Quantum computers may be more of an imminent threat than AI” 7th Jan 2016 5th Feb 2018 IBM, Google, Microsoft and Intel say that they are getting close to making quantum computers work
  44. 44. Former Google and Facebook workers launch campaign to fight tech addiction 7th Jan 2016 5th Feb 2018 Brainchild of the Center for Humane Technology, led by former Google designer Tristan Harris & former Facebook advisor Roger McNamee.
  45. 45. IBM develops an AI that can predict psychosis with relative precision using only a person's speech 7th Jan 2016 5th Feb 2018 Computational Psychiatry and Neuroimaging group back-casts against 2015 dataset that matched speech patterns with later psychosis.
  46. 46. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2018 BP CEO Bob Dudley: “Its not a race to renewables” Only $0.5 bn of its $15-16bn capex will be invested in clean energy. DAC test site, Squamish, Canada Not like in 2000 then… A BP “Beyond Petroleum” advert, 2000
  47. 47. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2018 French Ministers and EC demand EU only make trade deals with nations that ratify Paris Agreement So far 156 of 197 signatories have ratified. Those yet to ratify include US, Russia, and Turkey.
  48. 48. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2018 The US shale boom has been “a Ponzi scheme since day one” doomed to collapse as fast as it has grown So argues @SRSroccoReport, based on the buildup of debt as evidenced in data collated e.g. by the FT above.
  49. 49. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2018 ACWA Power wins 1st ever Saudi utility-scale RE project with world record price of $23 MWh The first procurement in the Saudi national renewables program aiming to produce 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2023 as a first phase. ACWA’s 260 MW Shuaa project in Dubai
  50. 50. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2018 “How Tesla's big battery is bringing Australia’s gas cartel to heel” RenewEconomy: gas companies manufacture shortages to hike prices for frequency control …and the big battery kicks in much cheaper
  51. 51. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2018 Carbon Tracker explains carbon budget assumptions behind the varying published budgets Variables: Time frame, energy-only or total-carbon, degree of non-CO2 GHG mitigation, split of coal-oil-gas, CCS & net-negative assumptions
  52. 52. 7th Jan 2016 6th Feb 2018 “Back in 2008, we were barely writing about PV ...and storage was nowhere to be found” “The Solar Century: The past, present, and world-changing future of solar energy” – book published 2009 “Vision 4: Solar photovoltaics at grid parity everywhere, years earlier than most expected” “Vision 5: Energy storage plants throughout the smart grid …many of them also vehicles”
  53. 53. Test flight footage of Autonomous Drone Vehicle posted on YouTube by Chinese firm Ehang 7th Jan 2016 10th Feb 2018 1,000 flight tests completed, senior Chinese officials already transported, can carry a single person up to 10 miles at 80mph.
  54. 54. Tech companies own a trillion-dollar offshore “cash pile” that is actually a giant bond portfolio 7th Jan 2016 11th Feb 2018 10 companies hold 80% of this. They are “the new investment banks”, using their own low-interest debt to buy high yield corporate debt. Rana Foroohar in the Financial Times
  55. 55. 7th Jan 2016 12th Feb 2018 “A Powerful Mix of Solar and Batteries Is Beating Natural Gas” e.g. California PURC requires PG&E to use batteries over gas / Arizona PS Co opts for a First Solar solar-battery project cheaper than gas The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About To Change Forever
  56. 56. 7th Jan 2016 12th Feb 2018 Carbon Tracker response to ExxonMobil: better than anything they have done yet on climate risk, but…. What price do you expect for current reserves in a demand-constrained Paris world? What capital goes to replace reserves, and at what risk? Big unanswered questions on value at risk, says 2017 Business Green NGO of the Year 2017
  57. 57. “Unilever warns Big Tech to drain online ads ‘swamp’” 7th Jan 2016 12th Feb 2018 “As one of the largest advertisers in the world, we cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online.” Keith Weed, CMO Who had a €7.7 bn budget in 2017 …world’s second biggest
  58. 58. 7th Jan 2016 13th Feb 2018 Rare effort to sum finances of fracking in the USA since dawn of the shale gas boom Prof David Smythe for TEDx: income has been half costs plus borrowing …and rapid production declines won’t allow bonds to be repaid Unconventional well finances 2007 – 2016 inclusive 350 70 227 647 Historic income (gas sales) 1 Drilling / completion cost 2 Royalties, leases, interest etc 3 Issuance of debt – junk bonds 4 324 $ billion
  59. 59. 7th Jan 2016 13th Feb 2018 UK government accused of dishonesty in regulation of fracking by eminent geophysicist Prof David Smythe: risk in fault leakage covered up, & definitions of “conventional” & water volume bent to misclassify fracked wells.
  60. 60. 7th Jan 2016 13th Feb 2018 Leaked IPCC report: 1.5˚C 66% chance target “already out of reach”
  61. 61. 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 First ship takes direct route across Arctic ice cap…and it is an LNG carrier
  62. 62. 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 Netherlands bans fracking Shale gas “not an option”, economics minister tells parliament.
  63. 63. 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 ExxonMobil sues its suers, alleging a conspiracy to suppress its freedom of speech on climate At least 30 people and organizations are targeted, including the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts.
  64. 64. Bill Gates warns Silicon Valley of technology’s dangerous potential 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 “There’s always the question how much technology is empowering a small group of people to cause damage.”
  65. 65. “Only the EU can break Facebook and Google's dominance”: George Soros 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 Reasons: “more far sighted” social policies, stronger privacy & data protection laws, tighter monopoly laws, “no problem giants” of its own. Margrethe Vestager EU Competition Commissioner
  66. 66. “A space revolution: do tiny satellites threaten our privacy?” 7th Jan 2016 15th Feb 2018 With its fleet of 1920 satellites, Planet can take daily photographs at high resolution of every spot on the planet.
  67. 67. Special counsel indicts Russians for illegally influencing the US presidential campaign 7th Jan 2016 16th Feb 2018 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian organizations join 4 former Trump aides on criminal charge sheet.
  68. 68. Facebook ordered to stop collecting user data by Belgian court, or face fines of up to €100m 7th Jan 2016 16th Feb 2018 A battle which began in 2015, with evidence Facebook’s tracking of all visitors without explicit consent used cookies breaching EU law.
  69. 69. 7th Jan 2016 20th Feb 2018 BP projects demand for oil & gas in 2040 +/- same as today even with fast transition to RE and EVs Oil demand in 2040 higher than today’s even with an ban on petrol engines by 2040 and a “renewables push”.
  70. 70. 7th Jan 2016 20th Feb 2018 “Oil majors see their chance in staid world of utilities” Significant deals ($bn) in renewables show oil majors following in the steps of utilities in recent years ….but still at low levels of total capex.
  71. 71. Patagonia “grows every time it amplifies its social mission” 7th Jan 2016 21st Feb 2018 …which it last did the day after Donald Trump was elected US President. Listed No. 6 World’s Most Innovative Companies 2018. CEO Rose Marcario
  72. 72. 7th Jan 2016 23rd Feb 2018 California Court rules Trump administration must enforce Obama methane leak rule on gas industry Preliminary injunction granted against the Interior Department’s BLM, blocking November action that tried to delay enforcement for a year.
  73. 73. 7th Jan 2016 23rd Feb 2018 Sonnen adds EVs to its battery aggregation 'community' The company’s linking of now c.8,000 battery systems, in a scheme launched in 2015, is already the world's largest Virtual Power Plant. Performance of the sonnencommunity
  74. 74. 7th Jan 2016 26th Feb 2018 Floaters, drones and power-kites will soon be the offshore wind ‘norm’, says Catapult
  75. 75. We need a global cyberwar treaty, says the former head of GCHQ 7th Jan 2016 21st Feb 2018 Richard Hannigan: “I think the worrying thing is that international relations at the moment mean that people don't feel constrained.”
  76. 76. 7th Jan 2016 27th Feb 2018 43 cities are now 100% renewable powered The 43 are mostly in Latin America. Of 570 cities reporting to CDP, 101 are 70% or more renewable powered, compared to 42 in 2015.
  77. 77. 7th Jan 2016 27th Feb 2018 Driverless cars given green light to operate without human occupants in California Fifty companies, including Alphabet, Uber, Apple, GM, Ford and Toyota are already testing self-driving cars in the state.
  78. 78. 7th Jan 2016 27th Feb 2018 “Fundamentals do not matter to new breed of oil speculator” The net-long position has swelled to a record of 1bn barrels equivalent “…helping sustain prices above $60 a barrel”.
  79. 79. 7th Jan 2016 28th Feb 2018 Public investment in warmer homes in England cut by 58% since 2012 32,000 excess winter deaths p.a. in the UK, c. 9,700 due to cold homes. England has the 2nd worst record of 30 EU countries.
  80. 80. Oxford PV aims for a product, using perovskite to enhance silicon PV cells, ready for market by 2019 7th Jan 2016 28th Feb 2018 Typical solar cell efficiency of 21-22% today can be lifted to c.25% with a perovskite layer …potentially unspoolable from a printer like paper.
  81. 81. UK running out of gas, warns National Grid during 'beast from the east' cold spell 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 Industrial may face shutdowns. Ineos agrees to cut consumption and says this makes the case for UK shale gas production. Power price also spikes: from the usual £45-50 MWh to £990 MWh Within-day gas price, pence per therm
  82. 82. GE unveils 12MW offshore wind turbine, Heliade-X …world’s largest, for deployment 2021 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 Big Ben 96m London Eye 135m Heliade-X 260m Eiffel Tower 390m Chrysler Building 319m 67 GWh p.a., 45% > best-in-class current turbine, = 16,000 homes 107m blade, 20m longer than today’s longest.
  83. 83. First phase of world’s largest solar park inaugurated in Karnataka, India 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 600 MW of 2 GW, ($2.5bn), rest expected by end of year. Unique: government takes on a lease from farmers owning land. Pavagada Solar Park
  84. 84. Mexico grows ever close to being a net oil importer with PEMEX $18 bn loss pushing debt to $96bn 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 “We must remember when Egypt switched from being a net exporter to net importer of oil; the Arab Spring occurred the very next year.”
  85. 85. DSM was Dutch State Mining. “Doing Something Meaningful” is now more appropriate, CEO says. 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 Fieke Sijbesma announces excellent results exceeding both business and sustainability targets. “….Our purpose is sustainability.”
  86. 86. Volkswagen sets out “we knew nothing” defence against investor lawsuit over dieselgate 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 VW writes 329 page defence arguing nobody at board level was aware of the fraudulent nature of the software until the EPA’s notice.
  87. 87. Russia to deploy ‘unstoppable’ nuclear weapons says Putin 7th Jan 2016 1st Mar 2018 “Avangard” ICBM flying 20x the speed of sound, hypersonic air-launched “Dagger” missile, plus long-range torpedo & cruise missiles.
  88. 88. US shale gas production since January 2015: 60% from Marcellus, Permian and Utica 7th Jan 2016 2nd Mar 2018 Barnett, Fayetteville and Eagleford are in terminal decline.
  89. 89. Shale gas represents 64% of US dry gas production 7th Jan 2016 2nd Mar 2018 Marcellus provides 24% of US production and 38% of shale gas production.
  90. 90. Industry Electricity Scotland, on track for 48% emissions reductions by 2020, publishes national plan for 2032 7th Jan 2016 2nd Mar 2018 Renewables 50% of energy needs by 2030 (no new petrol & diesel vehicles by 2032). Campaigners say buildings target v. unambitious. MtCO2e cut on 1990 level Buildings Transport LULUCF Agriculture …en route to 90% cut by 2050 in proposed climate bill Waste
  91. 91. Tight oil is a marginally profitable business at best: 73% of companies lose money 7th Jan 2016 3rd Mar 2018 Capex v cash from operations based on 10K full 2017 filings
  92. 92. Tight oil is a marginally profitable business at best: 73% of companies lose money 7th Jan 2016 3rd Mar 2018 Capex v cash from operations based on 10K full 2017 filings
  93. 93. “Siberian gas delivery to UK offers relief after cold blast” 7th Jan 2016 3rd Mar 2018 Shell to collect the cargo from a Russian LNG icebreaker, and carry to the UK LNG terminal at Milford Haven for regasification & input to grid. Sabetta LNG facility, Siberia
  94. 94. Government “pours doubt” on shale gas industry “even as UK faces gas shortage” 7th Jan 2016 3rd Mar 2018 Old estimate of just 125 wells by 2025 “out of date”, one minister says. 3 weeks ago another put regulatory brakes on a well in North Yorkshire.
  95. 95. IEA and OPEC chiefs warn of global oil supply crunch after 2020 without major investment in production 7th Jan 2016 3rd Mar 2018 Industry yet to recover from 25% drop in investment 2015-16, and IEA foresees +/- no increase ex-USA in 2018 ….& 104 mbd demand by 2023. Output loss from post-peak conventional crude oil fields Ageing oil fields lose > 3 mbd per year despite slowing decline rates OPEC Non OPEC 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 0 1 2 3 4 5 mbd
  96. 96. Algorithms played a major amplifying role role in the recent stock market volatility 7th Jan 2016 3rd Mar 2018 Exchange-traded funds - not reflecting company fundamentals, tradable in fractions of a second - now account for c.30% of US stock trades.
  97. 97. Senior Shell and Eni executives face prospect of jail for bribery as NIgerian bribery case opens in Italy 7th Jan 2016 4th Mar 2018 Claudi Descalzi, Eni’s serving CEO, is one of the executives charged: a first. 13 people charged, including 5 Eni and 4 Shell executives.
  98. 98. Donald Trump praises Xi Jinping's President-for-life power grab & says…. 7th Jan 2016 4th Mar 2018 “Dictators are always arrogant. It’s a disaster for political civilization.” Qiao Mu, exiled Chinese journalism professor.
  99. 99. “Nanobots kill off cancerous tumours as fiction becomes reality” 7th Jan 2016 4th Mar 2018 A US/Chinese team shrinks tumours in mice inhibits their spread by injecting nanometre-sized bots made of folded DNA.
  100. 100. “We are close to manufacturing working robots that can be fabricated to walk right out of a 3D printer” 7th Jan 2016 4th Mar 2018 “Systems will soon be reading and synthesising massive amounts of written information, including entire libraries of books.”
  101. 101. Pension funds “widely misunderstand” fiduciary responsibility / climate risk, UK government admits 7th Jan 2016 5th Mar 2018 DWP: “Recent research has suggested that a lack of attention and outright misunderstanding remain widespread among trustees.”
  102. 102. Sunrun overtakes Tesla as number one in US rooftop solar and seeks $500m debt financing for growth 7th Jan 2016 6th Mar 2018 c. 15% growth in 2017 in a market contracting after 16 consecutive years of growth. 323 MW installed.
  103. 103. Nissan and E.On form strategic partnership aiming at free power for all EVs via V2G 7th Jan 2016 6th Mar 2018 Bi-directional charging technology will allow customers to draw energy from the grid to power EVs and also ‘sell’ energy back to the grid.
  104. 104. 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 Fossil fuel groups risk wasting minimum $1.6 trillion capex 2018 – 2025 if Paris Agreement implemented 7th Jan 2016 7th Mar 2018 Source: IEA, Rystad Energy, Wood Mackenzie, Carbon Tracker analysis Scenarios: 1.75˚C 2˚C 2.7˚C (50% probability) (IEA B2DS) (IEA SDS) (IEA NPS) 2018–2025capex$bn Capex: $3.3 tn $4.8 tn Thermal coal: $60 bn at risk Gas: $230 bn at risk Oil: $1,300 bn at risk
  105. 105. Former Petrobras CEO found guilty of corruption and jailed for 11 years 7th Jan 2016 7th Mar 2018 Part of a sweeping investigation into corruption known as Lava Jato, or Car Wash. Politicians, businessmen and other former senior executives of Petrobras and its contractors have been convicted.
  106. 106. U.S. government loses bid to halt Oregon children's climate change lawsuit against it and oil majors 7th Jan 2016 7th Mar 2018 Federal Appeals Court refuses to dismiss the lawsuit without addressing the government’s alleged “knowing decision to poison the air.”
  107. 107. Tech billionaires are allocating insufficient funds to the fight against cyber crime: Hewlett Foundation 7th Jan 2016 7th Mar 2018 Larry Kramer, President: Its an arms race, using their creations, threatening disaster just like the nuclear arms race that began in 1950s.
  108. 108. China’s CO2 emissions grew 1.4% in 2017 after 3 years flat or falling 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 Official statistics show much lower than commonly estimated growth in both coal consumption and CO2 emissions.
  109. 109. “Stop reasoning with the oil majors and sell their shares instead”: Tom Sanzillo writing in the FT 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 “The shareholder engagement process increasingly looks like a cynical exercise” where they just talk to buy time. Tom Sanzillo, former first deputy comptroller of New York State
  110. 110. Shell to bet billions on US shale by bidding for retreating loss maker BHP's shale division 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 The Charge of The Light Brigade A $10 billion offer, jointly with US private equity group Blackstone.
  111. 111. Eternal Blue, the NSA “spy tool that hacked the world”, still creates cyber havoc a year after its leak 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 Many networks and machines remain unpatched against it. It will be a go-to tool for attackers for years to come, cybersecurity experts say.
  112. 112. Latest Ineos shale drilling application rejection makes 7 out of 8 shale drilling plans rejected in 2018 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 And it now takes on average 58 weeks to (maybe) get a planning decision on the drilling of a vertical well, up from 13 weeks 5 years ago.
  113. 113. Scientists find fake news reaches users up to 20 times faster than factual content on Twitter 7th Jan 2016 8th Mar 2018 Truth rarely reaches more than 1,000 people. The top 1% of false-news cascades reach up to 100,000 people. Real people disseminate > bots.
  114. 114. Eon/RWE deal “ends the era of integrated utilities” 7th Jan 2016 11th Mar 2018 Complex asset swap leaves E.On as Europe’s largest operator of grids and retail, and RWE number 2 renewables generation.
  115. 115. Renault-Nissan aims for next generation solid-state battery car in 2025 7th Jan 2016 12th Mar 2018 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has invested in solid-state startup Ionic Material via its $1bn new-innovation venture fund.
  116. 116. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sue oil companies for first degree murder 7th Jan 2016 12th Mar 2018 “This is no different from the smoking issue. The oil companies knew from 1959 on …that (global warming) would kill.”
  117. 117. The first people to live in 3D-printed houses are likely to be in the developing world 7th Jan 2016 12th Mar 2018 8 months to build a community of 100 homes, at c. $6k each. With a 3-D printer, less than 4 months: a home a day at c. $4k each. As successfully tested by charity New Story in Austin, Texas
  118. 118. Can the world's oil refineries adapt to US shale oil? ….it is lighter than the oil that most are geared for 7th Jan 2016 13th Mar 2018 Critics point out that in a 100 mbd world, the open market for light crudes is closer to 15 mbd. Global refinery crude slate % change between 2017 and 2020 Light Medium Heavy Source: Wood Mackenzie “The dirty secret of US shale oil is not many people want it” Bill Barnes, Pisgah Partners
  119. 119. 3 of 6 LNG shipments to UK so far in 2018 have come from Russia 7th Jan 2016 14th Mar 2018 Meanwhile, UK - Russia relations plunge to a new low with nerve-gas poisoning of ex spy on UK soil.
  120. 120. Statoil plans to change its name to Equinor, reflecting shift in strategy toward renewable energy 7th Jan 2016 14th Mar 2018 CEO Eldar Sætre: “For us, this is a historic day”. ….But the company still only expects to be investing 15-20% of capex in renewables by 2030.
  121. 121. “Hackers have self-driving cars in their headlights” 7th Jan 2016 15th Mar 2018 The number of connections will rise exponentially …but the multiplicity of sensors favours digital burglar alarms.
  122. 122. Cyberattacks have turned potential control of US power plants over to Russia, DHS reports 7th Jan 2016 15th Mar 2018 Russian cyberattacks surged last year, starting three months after Donald Trump took office, the Department of Homeland Security says.
  123. 123. EVs cleaner than ICE cars, even taking into account emissions from natural gas, coal 7th Jan 2016 15th Mar 2018 MPG equivalent of the entire supply chain for the average EV. Numbers vary with the energy mix in a region’s electricity supply. Versus average economy of regular cars: c. 28 mpg
  124. 124. Mark Zuckerberg has a “rat-catching” team to keep a lid on leakers, even of internal cultural discussions 7th Jan 2016 16th Mar 2018 An employee tells the Guardian about these “secret police”: “It’s horrifying how much they know ….they’ll squash you like a bug”.
  125. 125. 50m Facebook profiles harvested unlawfully by Cambridge Analytica, Whistleblower tells Guardian 7th Jan 2016 17th Mar 2018 Christopher Wylie says Steve Bannon used CA for “microtargeted” FB ads during Trump campaign. CA CEO lied to UK MPs about FB data use.
  126. 126. Largest solar farm in western hemisphere completed in Mexico: 750 MW 7th Jan 2016 19th Mar 2018 NEXTracker project for Enel Green Power at Villaneuva.
  127. 127. The Next Phase of the Energy Transformation: platform thinking in a network of networks 7th Jan 2016 19th Mar 2018 Navigant envisages an Energy Cloud, wherein winners are “platform orchestrators” moving away from a “siloed asset-focussed mindset”. Six factors for success in energy cloud platform orchestration, according to Navigant Navigant Research estimates that the urban transformation and smart cities platforms will enable a market worth more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade for smart services across urban energy, buildings, mobility, and other city operations.
  128. 128. Christopher Wylie explains formative role in creating a “cultural weapon”, & how it was done 7th Jan 2016 17th Mar 2018 “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of profiles. And built models to exploit that and target their inner demons.”
  129. 129. Cambridge Analytica CEO captured selling tactics, beyond microtargeting, for swinging elections 7th Jan 2016 19th Mar 2018 Alexander Nix: “These are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”
  130. 130. Edward Snowden: Facebook is a surveillance company rebranded as social media 7th Jan 2016 19th Mar 2018 “They are not victims. They are accomplices.”
  131. 131. Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian in Arizona 7th Jan 2016 19th Mar 2018 A woman carrying a bicycle walks across the road, and the car does not slow down from 40 mph. Uber suspends all testing.
  132. 132. Subsidy-free renewable energy projects set to soar in UK, analysts say, largely killing off new gas plants 7th Jan 2016 20th Mar 2018 Aurora Energy Research: Onshore wind and solar both viable without subsidies by 2025, unlocking £20bn of investment by 2030. Solarcentury roof for Sainsbury
  133. 133. Low-cost storage breakthrough means wind and solar can become dispatchable as soon as 2020 7th Jan 2016 20th Mar 2018 Siemens Gamesa & Stiesdal Storage Technologies reveal a “pack bed” of rock, superinsulated, for storing heat, for later conversion to electricity. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), 1.5MW demonstration project under construction near Hamburg, Germany
  134. 134. As global energy demand grew 2.1% in 2017, CO2 emissions rose 1.4% to historic high of 32.5 Gt 7th Jan 2016 21st Mar 2018 “We are far from being in line with the climate targets set in Paris”: Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director. Flat Global energy-related CO2 emissions 2000 - 2017 Source: IEA
  135. 135. Consumption of oil (1.6%, 1.5 mbd), gas (3%) and coal (1%) all grew in 2017 7th Jan 2016 21st Mar 2018 Renewables saw the highest growth rate, meeting a quarter of global energy demand growth in the year.
  136. 136. Macron urges EU not to do a trade deal with US if Trump quits the Paris Agreement 7th Jan 2016 22nd Mar 2018 “We would be mad”, French President tells a Brussels conference on sustainable finance. He gets a standing ovation.
  137. 137. Microsoft makes largest US corporate solar PPA: 315 MW in Virginia 7th Jan 2016 22nd Mar 2018 The deal brings its total of directly contracted renewable power to 1.2GW. Goal: 60% renewable share at its data centres by 2020.
  138. 138. “Wild New Materials of the Future Will Be Discovered With AI” 7th Jan 2016 22nd Mar 2018 The number of scientific papers has grown exponentially in recent years, spanning multiple applications. “We are only at the beginning.”
  139. 139. New French law requires solar panels or plants for all new buildings’ rooftops 7th Jan 2016 23rd Mar 2018
  140. 140. Climate change cited in rejection of a UK planning application for the first time: an opencast coal mine 7th Jan 2016 23rd Mar 2018 The deal brings its total of directly contracted renewable power to 1.2GW. Goal: 60% renewable share at its data centres by 2020. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid: Highthorn project would have “very substantial significance” for climate change.
  141. 141. Second Cambridge Analytica whistleblower makes firm’s blueprint for Trump victory public 7th Jan 2016 23rd Mar 2018 Brittany Kaiser says CEO Nix lied about doing no work on Brexit data. That oil billionaires funded CA rigging of Nigerian election. And and.
  142. 142. Brexit whistleblower says Vote Leave broke law on spending limits, and destroyed evidence. 7th Jan 2016 24th Mar 2018 They funneled £650k to Cambridge Analytica creation AIQ for dark arts ads. He gives files to the Electoral Commission & police. Shahmir Sanni Secretary & Treasurer, BeLeave
  143. 143. “Europe's $38 Billion a Year Carbon Market Is Finally Starting to Work” 7th Jan 2016 26th Mar 2018 The deal brings its total of directly contracted renewable power to 1.2GW. Goal: 60% renewable share at its data centres by 2020. “…the biggest of more than 45 systems working worldwide …the best performing energy commodity this year”.
  144. 144. Shell publishes a global energy scenario “meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement” 7th Jan 2016 26th Mar 2018 In 2050, the Sky scenario has oil at 88% of today’s use, gas 93%, and coal 62%: “a rapid energy transition,” Shell says. Oil Gas Coal
  145. 145. China announces it has already met its 2020 Paris climate goal 7th Jan 2016 27th Mar 2018 Target: CO2 emissions as a unit of GDP down 40-45 % wrt 2005 by 2020. Achievement: down 46% by end 2017, 5.1% down year-on-year.
  146. 146. Case for coal and gas plants is “crumbling” as wind, solar and battery costs plunge 7th Jan 2016 28th Mar 2018 Bloomberg New Energy Finance says its latest conclusions have “chilling” implications for fossil generators. • Global LCOE falls 18% YOY for both onshore wind and PV in first six months of 2018 …to $55/MWh and $70MWh respectively • Offshore wind down 5% to $118/MWh • 79% fall in lithium-ion battery costs since 2010
  147. 147. At least 7 new gigawatt-size battery factories will come onstream in Europe by 2020 7th Jan 2016 28th Mar 2018 LG, Samsung, Tesla/Panasonic, Daimler, Northvolt, TerraE will be producing 80GWh a year within a decade: > 3x 2017 global production.
  148. 148. HMG’s settlement with solar companies re 2011 feed-in tariff cuts has cost taxpayers £60 million+ 7th Jan 2016 28th Mar 2018 Details of out-of-court damages settlement (with 10 companies that did not go bankrupt), 3 days before trial, leaked to the solar trade press.
  149. 149. Apple's Cook slams Zuckerberg and Facebook's business model, calling for regulation 7th Jan 2016 28th Mar 2018 Apple could make a “ton of money” but “We’re not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty.” “I wouldn’t be in his position”
  150. 150. “Russia and the west’s moral bankruptcy” 7th Jan 2016 28th Mar 2018 Edward Luce: Unlike most western democracies, the US and UK permit anonymous ownership. Annual laundering: c.$300bn in US, $125bn UK. “Estimates of Mr Putin’s personal wealth range from $50bn to $200bn”
  151. 151. “It seems that Whitehall’s infatuation with civil nuclear energy is in fact a military romance” 7th Jan 2016 29th Mar 2018 So argue researchers at the Science Policy Research Unit. They find evidence of desperation to keep expertise for submarine reactors alive.
  152. 152. Wind and solar make more electricity than nuclear for first time in the UK 7th Jan 2016 29th Mar 2018 Official Q4 2017 figures: gas 36.12TWh, wind and solar 18.33 TWh nuclear 16.69TWh. (including biomass) (including biomass) Source: DBEIS
  153. 153. David Cameron laments “painfully slow” fracking progress in UK 7th Jan 2016 29th Mar 2018 He tells American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers’ conference that c. 10 wells in Europe vs 10’s of thousands in us is “pathetic”.
  154. 154. “How Volkswagen Walked Away From a Near-Fatal Crash” 7th Jan 2016 29th Mar 2018 Scientists at MIT “estimated the extra pollution generated by its rigged cars will eventually contribute to > 1,200 premature deaths.” But…
  155. 155. Facebook logged SMS texts and phone calls without explicitly notifying users 7th Jan 2016 29th Mar 2018 FB claims that “uploading this information has always been opt-in only”. But the Guardian finds it wasn’t, for a whole year, before 2016.
  156. 156. Data show explosive emergence of AI in the business world in just 2 years 7th Jan 2016 29th Mar 2018 As companies “flail” trying to figure out what to spend money on in AI, only 1 in 20 are “extensively” using it as yet. Number of M & A deals in AI Mentions of AI and machine learning in earnings calls of public companies Source: Bloomberg data in Economist graphs
  157. 157. “Wary shale investors warn against drilling at all costs” 7th Jan 2016 1st Apr 2018 Says one: “If you outspend cash flow on stupid investments & destroy capital, I’m not just going to be mad at you, I’m going to punish you…”
  158. 158. Underwater melting of Antarctic ice far greater than thought, ESA satellite altimetry study finds 7th Jan 2016 2nd Apr 2018 The base of ice has shrunk by 1,463 square km 2010 to 2016, an area the size of Greater London. The implications for sea-level rise are dire. Section through ice sheet in 2010 Section through ice sheet in 2016
  159. 159. The corrupt hide billions in shell companies. US & UK Beneficial Ownership Registries could stop them 7th Jan 2016 3rd Apr 2018 So suggest Panama Paper journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer. The registries would show “ultimate beneficial owners”.
  160. 160. “Russia’s $55bn pipeline gamble on China’s demand for gas” 7th Jan 2016 3rd Apr 2018 “Russia’s first eastern pipeline is the most striking physical manifestation of President Putin’s diplomatic pivot towards China”. It is a bet that China’s green energy tech won’t grow exponentially.