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UK energy policy: Ed Miliband to oppose UK energy policy in wake of Paris

UK energy policy has been called “miserable”, a “mess” after several policy announcements last week including the results of the capacity market auction, fracking blocks offered, and solar subsidy cuts – oh and this was the week after the Paris Agreement. (See our Energydesk stories and analysis here – more on the 14th round due early this week.)

The UK Government has also been accused of trying to wreck Scotland’s offshore renewable industry by the Scottish Greens, as three wind-farm developments have been put on hold.

Ed Miliband has said he will create a “high-ambition coalition” of UK businesses, trade unions and civic society to challenge the government’s “backward” environmental policies in the wake of the Paris deal. This comes amid calls for a government U-turn on energy policy after Paris.

Meanwhile, Energy Voice reports that energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd and energy minister Andrea Leadsom have both been “buddied up” with a oil and gas firms – including Shell, BP, BG Group and Centrica – to allow them better access to government. This is not a new thing, as our previous stories on UKTI show.

This news comes as Shell are facing an oil spill lawsuit brought by Nigerian farmers.

Oil price: Brent crude at 11-year low

The Brent oil price has slid to 11-year lows amid a record glut – largely because of OPEC’s recent lack of agreement to limit production. Futures fell as much as 1.9%in London after a 2.8% drop last week.

Despite the slumping oil price hitting the US stock market, the US rig count has increased.

Omnibus bill: Oil export ban lifted, but wind and solar tax credits extended 

In the US, the omnibus spending bill has been passed – and with it a rider to end the 40-year oil export ban. This is an attempt to drive up oil prices from oil producers – but if oil prices stay low producers may chose to focus on the domestic market, anyway.

The bill included tax credit extensions for solar and wind generation – for five years before gradually decreasing them.

The $1.1tn budget bill was passed without any of the more controversial policy riders which Republicans were attempting to attach to it, including attempting to block a new environmental regulation (See previous Energydesk story on attempts to do just that.)

In other news

Peak coal: International Energy Agency sees ‘peak coal’ as demand for fossil fuel crumbles in China

Mark Ruffalo: ‘It’s time to transition to 100% clean energy: the wind is now at our backs

City energy: Japan’s city-run firms invest in renewable energy after Fukushima

Renewables: Costa Rica closes 2015 with 99% renewable energy – three quarters of which is hydro

Coal: Paris deals crushing blow to coal