Top stories

1) UK: Budget today, high energy bill cap considered

In today’s Budget Chancellor George Osborne will announce a review of green energy taxes and subsidies in an effort to reassure consumers that the government is trying to tackle high energy bills.

The news comes as the story of the Big Six, a collection of UK energy companies with an over 90% control of the market, overcharging households to the tune of £1.7bn (according to a report from the competition authority) was release this week. The FT reports that the prime minister is “prepared to consider” a temporary cap on the most expensive energy bills, and that share prices dropped on release of the findings.

And Business Green compiles opinions from leading figures on what green businesses and other organisations want from the Budget statement that will “set the economic tone for the next five years”.

2) Coal, oil, gas: business outlook – & Greece gas shortages ahead

Vox covers an important news study in PNAS that says we’re in the midst of a global coal renaissance. The news comes as China’s energy regulator releases new draft guidelines for converting their coal projects to oil or gas.

Meanwhile, oil is entering a bear market according to the FT and this has implications for the future of the shale market beyond 2016. The US governmentraised production forecasts but lowered price outlook, reports Reuters.

And Politico Europe suggests Greece is now facing an energy crisis due to gas shortages at the state run firm DEPA.

3) Climate and renewables: Future planning

A new report covered in TIME calls for at least $1 trillion per annum investment in clean energy, a tripling of funding for research and development of new carbon technology and development of “climate-smart” infrastructure.

Meanwhile some 2000 climate scientists are in Paris this week to discuss their input at the COP in Paris later in the year – and how to reiterate the dangers of a changing climate, tipping points, and adaptation measures.

Investment group 3i Infrastructure is defying the downturn in the offshore energy industry caused by the oil price crash, and is buying a company which provides services to oil rigs – to service offshore wind farms.

In the US, the White House is pushing the use of solar energy in affordable housing,Facebook is doubling its renewable energy target to 50% by end 2018 (and has committed to building a new data centre in Fort Worth, Texas to be run solely on renewable energy).

And a new study says electric “robocabs” could reduce US greenhouse gas emissions from cars by 94 percent by 2030.

In other news:

Climate change: …is a human rights issue, says the UN Human Rights Council after unanimous vote.

The Pope: …is in the Andes this week, and having to balance natural resource development with with climate action advocacy.

Shell: …is betting big on the Arctic