North Sea oil rigs

Top 5 stories

1) Oil price: drops even further

Oil prices have been hitting new lows not seen since 2009, with US crude dropping beneath $40 per barrel and Brent down to $44 per barrel, amid China’s economic slowdown and a global oversupply. This will mean job cuts in the oil industry, the Guardian reports.

The WSJ ponders why the gas price hasn’t fallen further – though it has continued to drop.

Motley Fool highlights how volatile energy stocks have been on the oil price rout, but writes that Peabody Energy, Baytex Energy and Aegean Marine Petroleum stocks have been moving for different reasons.

2) UK renewables: Solar FIT cuts expects despite renewables targets

UK energy and climate secretary, Amber Rudd is preparing to slash solar feed in tariffs supporting solar installations by half, reports City AM. Rudd is also launching a new study into the cost of renewables compared to nuclear and fossil fuel generation.

However, the UK is behind on its renewable generation targets – leading to speculation over whether it will use a EU law loophole to avoid possible fines.

3) Arctic: Tensions between climate and Arctic drilling, says US government official

A senior official at the State Department has admitted there is an “obvious tension” between the US’s commitment to combat climate change and its approval of Shell’s oil drilling in the Arctic, the Guardian’s Oliver Milman writes.

Meanwhile, Russian oil giant Gazprom Neft reports it has brought its second well into production at its Arctic Prirazlomnoye field, with output totalling 1,800 tonnes per day – and China, Russia, and India are considering joint exploration of Arctic oil and gas.

Singer and activist Charlotte Church will be singing in protest of Shell’s Arctic oil drilling this week.

4) Solar: Farms move east in US

WSJ reports on the solar boom in Texas, with $1 billion of solar investments lined up in a state where there are no solar subsidies. In Colorado the largest solar farm (450,000 panels across 900 acres) east of the Rockies has broken ground, according to Fortune.

The US navy has meanwhile put an order in for 650,000 solar panels, the largest ever federal renewables deal.

5) China: Shenhua girds itself against low coal price, Pakistan nuclear deal

China’s energy giant Shenhua Energy is to cut unit coal production costs by 5% this year on low coal prices, and is also targeting operations costs.

China National Nuclear Corporation is building a $10 billion nuclear plant in Pakistan.

In other news

Brazil: As part of an agreement to work together on decarbonisation of Brazil, Merkel loans €525m to Brazil to develop clean energy programmes and reduce deforestation – while wind power dominates Brazil’s power auction.

Poland coal: Politico reports that MEPs aren’t happy with Polish President Andrzej Duda’s attack on the European Union’s decarbonization policies.

US coal: Native American tribe is taking a 22-foot totem pole from Canada through the Pacific Northwest to Montana in opposition of proposed coal export terminals.

ICT: Top IT companies source 14% of their energy from renewables and the sector can reach almost 50% by 2020.

UK offshore wind: Danish firm DONG acquires 4GW Hornsea offshore wind zone.

Tech: World first deployment of hydrogen fuel cells and gold nanotech for solar.