Fifty-three years ago today, Bob Dylan released "Bringing It All Back Home," so he'll provide today's intro song from that album . . .
A new International Energy Agency report finds that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from energy — which are the lion's share of global emissions — ticked upward by 1.4% in 2017 after a three-year plateau.
Why it matters: The findings underscore the immense challenge of reigning in heat-trapping emissions in an increasingly energy-hungry world. Carbon dioxide output is on pace to eventually bring about global warming levels that blow past the targets of the Paris climate agreement.
What's happening now: Emissions rose despite the expansion of solar and wind power, and displacement of coal by natural gas and renewables in some markets.
The big picture: The agency estimates that global energy demand increased by 2.1% last year, well above by the 2016 rate, with 40% of that growth coming from China and India alone.
The context: The IEA data is the second major report to show that the multi-year hiatus in emissions increases has ended. A recent study called Global Carbon Budget reached a similar conclusion, finding that global emissions from fossil fuels and industry grew by 1.5% last year.
Yeah, no: The new Capitol Hill spending deal rejects the White House push to sharply cut renewable energy R&D and kill an Energy Department program that seeds breakthrough technology innovation.
Why it matters: There's little GOP appetite on Capitol Hill for the White House energy spending agenda, even as Republicans largely support Trump administration's efforts to unwind regulations and expand oil-and-gas leasing.
By the numbers: The sweeping fiscal year 2019 spending plan would...
Thought bubble: While the White House budget plan is always DOA, it nonetheless helps to set parameters around decisions. So that's one reason (though hardly the only one) that advocates of a huge increase in clean tech R&D spending won't have traction anytime soon.
My Axios colleague Amy Harder reports...
Why it matters: As one of America’s largest utilities, its speculation on this front is a indication how the country’s electricity mix may change in the decades ahead. Duke has more than seven million customers in the Carolinas, the Midwest and Florida.
The bottom line: It outlines a 2050 scenario where the world has taken steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with keeping global temperatures from rising two degrees Celsius. That’s the big ambition of the 2015 Paris climate deal, but the current commitments aren’t close to reaching that.
Duke’s 2017 → 2050 generation mix:
Kind of meh: Yesterday's Interior Department sale of Gulf of Mexico oil-and-gas leases drew relatively modest action, with companies offering roughly $125 million in winning bids (and $139 million in total bids).
Who's buying: The chart above shows the companies that submitted the highest total winning offers in Lease Sale 250 and how many blocs they successfully bid on.
One reason it matters: The expectations game. Interior secretary Ryan Zinke told a major energy conference in Houston this month that the sale would be a "bellwether" for industry interest in new Gulf leases.
Context: The sale arrives at a time when the Gulf is competing with onshore U.S. shale and offshore opportunities in other regions, such as Brazil's massive fields.
Yes, but: Via S&P Global Platts, "Sale 250 featured fairly high offers made by Shell for the four tracts offered in the remote Alaminos Canyon area that borders Mexican waters. Shell put down $6.5 million, $3.8 million, $2.1 million and $1.2 million, respectively, for the four blocks, and was the apparent high bidder on all."
Getting closer: “Electric cars may be cheaper than their petroleum counterparts by 2025 if the cost of lithium-ion batteries continues to fall,” Bloomberg reports.
Done deal: The Los Angeles Times breaks down yesterday’s shareholder approval of Tesla co-founder Elon Musk’s big compensation package.
Climate lessons: The Associated Press breaks down yesterday’s federal court hearing in California in a lawsuit against major oil companies.
Solar trade: Via Greentech Media, “The Trump administration has refused to accept European Union alternatives to U.S. safeguard tariffs on imported solar products, according to a joint statement issued by the World Trade Organization.”
Solar purchase: Microsoft announced on Wednesday "the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the United States," as it will buy 315 megawatts of energy from two Virginia facilities, CNBC reports.