Global study predicts renewable energy to surpass coal-fired power generation by 2025 and more business news

This story was updated to correct what kind of products Happy Feet International sells.

Renewables to surpass coal generation by 2025

The expansion of renewable power generation picked up sharply in 2022 and within three years it could pass coal as the top source of electricity, The International Energy Agency said in a new report published Tuesday.

The Paris-based agency said the global energy crisis stoked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine has triggered an unprecedented surge in renewables as countries look to wind and solar power to bolster their energy security.

More than 90% of global electricity expansion will be from renewable sources in the coming five years, the IEA said, revising its forecast for 2027 upward by 30%.

"Renewables were already expanding quickly, but the global energy crisis has kicked them into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalize on their energy security benefits," IEA's executive director, Fatih Birol, said. "The world is set to add as much renewable power in the next five years as it did in the previous 20 years."

"This is a clear example of how the current energy crisis can be a historic turning point toward a cleaner and more secure energy system," Birol added.

Replacing fossil fuels with renewables will help keep alive the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the agency's report. That is the more ambitious limit countries agreed to in the 2015 Paris climate accord.


Facebook may remove news from its platform

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. said Tuesday it will be "forced to consider" removing news content from its platform if Congress passes legislation requiring tech companies to pay news outlets for their material.

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, if passed, would allow news companies to collectively negotiate with social platforms over the terms on which their material appears on their sites.

Meta said it would rather pull news from its platforms than "submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard the value we provide to news outlets." The value, Meta said in a statement tweeted by spokesman Andy Stone, includes "increased traffic and subscriptions."

Meta, which is based in Menlo Park, California, has taken similar stands in the past. Last year, it briefly blocked news from its platform in Australia after the country passed legislation that would compel tech companies to pay publishers for using their news stories. It later struck deals with Australian publishers.


Happy Feet adds flooring line and installers support

Happy Feet International is expanding its offerings to include new products from Welspun Flooring and will dedicate a portion of every Welspun sale to help provide scholarships for training of flooring installers.

The Chattanooga-based luxury vinyl plank flooring distributor said it is enlarging its vinyl flooring line with Welspun and will give a portion of sales to the Floor Covering Education Foundation (FCEF). to help fund scholarships to address the shortage of installation craftsmen.

"Even with the heightened awareness in recent years of trade careers and their importance to our economy, flooring seems to still have limited awareness," Jim Aaron, executive director of FCEF, said in a statement.

The FCEF currently offers scholarships to make training affordable and is working to ensure that flooring craftsman education is available in technical schools and other facilities across the nation.

"It's important to us that the high level of skill that goes into crafting Happy Feet flooring is met by highly trained installers," Casey Johnson, CEO of Happy Feet International, said in a statement. "We're happy to partner with Welspun to support the FCEF and increase training opportunities. When we elevate our craft, our whole industry succeeds."


The last Boeing 747 rolls off factory floor

After more than half a century, Boeing is set to roll its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday.

The jumbo jet -- which has taken on numerous roles as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers and as the Air Force One presidential aircraft -- debuted in 1969. It was the largest commercial aircraft in the world and the first with two aisles, and it still towers over most other planes.

The 747's design included a second deck extending from the cockpit back over the first third of the plane, giving it a distinctive hump that made the plane instantly recognizable and inspired a nickname, the Whale. More elegantly, the 747 became known as the Queen of the Skies.

It took more than 50,000 Boeing employees less than 16 months to churn out the first 747. The company has completed 1,573 more since then.

But over the past 15 years or so, Boeing and its European rival Airbus released new widebody planes with two engines instead of the 747's four. They were more fuel-efficient and profitable.

Delta was the last U.S. airline to use the 747 for passenger flights, which ended in 2017, although some other international carriers continue to fly it, including the German airline Lufthansa.