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The Kamuthi solar plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

World's Biggest Coal Company Closes 37 Mines as Solar Prices Plummet

The rapid growth in renewable energy continues to put a dent in the demand for coal.

Coal India, the world's biggest coal mining company and producer of 82 percent of the country's coal, announced the closure of 37 mines that are financially "unviable."


The sites make up roughly nine percent of the total mines operated by Coal India. The company is expected save Rs 800 crore ($124 million) from the closures.

India's energy market is undergoing a rapid transformation as it moves away from fossil fuels. Last month, the country cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations.

Notably, solar has been cheaper than coal-based electricity in India for the past several months. According to Quartz:

"At an auction for 500 megawatt (MW) of capacity at the park on May 12, the state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) managed to discover a record-low tariff of Rs 2.44 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The previous low was two days before that when tariffs hit Rs 2.62 per kWh during auctions for another phase of Bhadla solar park.

"The country's largest power company, NTPC, sells electricity from its coal-based generation units at a princely Rs 3.20 per kWh."

The National Thermal Power Corporation of India said that the country currently hosts a solar power capacity of 845 megawatts, after the recent addition of a 225 megawatt solar farm, the Mandsaur Solar Power Project.

"India's solar sector has received heavy international investment, and the plummeting price of solar electricity has increased pressure on fossil fuel companies in the country," as The Independent reported. "The government has announced it will not build any more coal plants after 2022 and predicts renewables will generate 57 percent of its power by 2027—a pledge far outstripping its commitment in the Paris climate change agreement."

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Activists campaigning to regulate glyphosate in the European Union. Avaaz / Flickr

Monsanto 'Commands' Civic Group to Turn in All Communications Over Glyphosate

Avaaz, a civic campaigning network that counts roughly 45 million subscribers around the world, has been served with a 168-page subpoena on behalf of agribusiness giant Monsanto.

The document, dated Jan. 26 and sent from New York Supreme Court, "commands" the U.S.-based organization to turn in a decade's worth of internal communications by Friday, Feb. 23.

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Radiation area from Horseshoe Mesa uranium mine tailings at Grand Canyon's South Rim. Al_HikesAZ / Flickr

Uranium Mining's Toxic Legacy: Why the U.S. Risks Repeating Mistakes

By Stephanie Malin

Uranium—the raw material for nuclear power and nuclear weapons—is having a moment in the spotlight.

Companies such as Energy Fuels, Inc. have played well-publicized roles in lobbying the Trump administration to reduce federal protection for public lands with uranium deposits. The Defense Department's Nuclear Posture Review calls for new weapons production to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal, which could spur new domestic uranium mining. And the Interior Department is advocating more domestic uranium production, along with other materials identified as "critical minerals."

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Seychelles Creates Groundbreaking Marine Reserve With Help From Leonardo DiCaprio

The Seychelles has created two vast new marine protected areas in the Indian Ocean after a groundbreaking finance deal brokered by the Nature Conservancy and other stakeholders, including environmentalist and Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio.

In exchange for writing off a portion of its debt, the island nation agreed to protect a total of 81,000-square-miles of ocean—that's about the size of Great Britain.

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President Trump and French President Macron review troops during the Bastille Day parade last July.

There Are Better Things in France for Trump to Emulate Than a Military Parade

By Elliott Negin

President Trump was so impressed by the military parade he saw in Paris on Bastille Day last July that he ordered the Pentagon to plan a bigger one for Washington, DC.

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Bears Ears National Monument. Gannon McGhee / Flickr

Rare Fossils Discovered on Lands Cut From Bears Ears National Monument

Researchers, led by paleontologist Rob Gay, have discovered what may be one of the world's richest caches of Triassic period fossils at an extensive site within the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument. The team's initial excavation led to the extraordinary discovery of several intact remains of crocodile-like animals called phytosaurs. The findings were publicly announced at this week's Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists (WAVP) annual conference where researchers warned of a growing threat to their work in the region.

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GE Renewable Energy

Nation's Largest Wind Farm Coming to Oklahoma

The Wind Catcher Energy Connection project, which includes a massive 800-turbine wind farm under construction in the Oklahoma panhandle, is getting closer to lift-off.

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a subsidiary of major utility American Electric Power, announced this week a settlement with various parties, including Walmart, allowing the $4.5 billion project to move forward.

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Marine litter on a remote stretch of coastline in Rekvik, Norway. Bo Eide / Flickr

Plastic Threatens to Swamp the Planet

By Paul Brown

A ubiquitous tide of plastic particles has now swept throughout the world's oceans.

The human rights activist Bianca Jagger described to a conference in London Tuesday how a substance that was invented only in 1907 and seemed to have almost magical properties, because it was practically indestructible, is now threatening an environmental catastrophe.

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Beachgoers Use Endangered Shark Dragged From Water for Selfies

By Zachary Toliver

Sometimes humans forget that animals have feelings, too, and cause them to suffer. Just consider some Florida beachgoers who were filmed taking photos of and selfies with an injured hammerhead shark, who an expert says most likely died after the incident.

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