1) UK Energy: Cash running low for clean energy subsidies
The Guardian (and most everyone else) reports that the government is struggling to pay for new clean energy supplies which could result in a rise in household bills or a major cut in investment in renewable technologies.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has already overspent its budget to support renewable energy projects over the next five years by £1.5bn, senior sources said.
Unless ministers increase the budget still further, the UK could struggle to meet legally binding commitments to meet 15% of it’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.
2) Oil price: BHP writes off fracking losses as oil price forces cost cutting (and perhaps also a fight over climate)
The Times reports that global commodities giant BHP Billiton has written down nearly a quarter of the value of a $12 billion breakthrough acquisition into the American fracking market.
The fall in the global oil price leads the Wall Street Journal to argue that oil majors face a majore new round of cost-cutting as they seek to bring down the cost of complex projects – such as deep water drilling – on which their future depends.
Not that cost-cutting is the only option.
The Guardian reports that ExxonMobil gave more than $2.3m to members of Congress and a corporate lobbying group that deny climate change and block efforts to fight climate change – eight years after pledging to stop its funding of climate denial – presumably in a bid to ensure there remained a market for it’s products well into the future.
3) UK energy: British gas cuts bills but not by enough as report calls for safe fracking
The BBC et al report that British Gas has been criticised, despite announcing a 5% cut in gas bills, which will save the average customer £35 a year.
The news comes as the industry backed Task Force on shale suggests fracking could potentially be done safely in the UK under “rigorous regulation”, but it is too early to say whether it would be “a good idea”.