1) UK energy bills: Which? and Ofgem weigh in
Most sites are covering research by consumer body Which? that says energy bills could be much lower. And it’s not just related to falling wholesale prices: The Telegraph reports that they were £145 too high last year; and The Independent reports the total overcharge as £2.9bn.
In the meantime the energy market regulator Ofgem has been criticised for offering bizarre money saving tips – many of which are completely unrelated to energy bills, such as ditching gym memberships and taking a packed lunch to work.
And The Sun has a go at energy comparison sites, which have been hiding cheap deals to reap better commissions.
Another Telegraph piece takes some of the better news from the Which? report and writes about the “best” energy companies out there – many of which are much smaller and greener than their Big Six counterparts.
2) UK energy production: Brent platform decommissioning and more fracking news
Royal Dutch Shell is planning to decommission one of the UK’s biggest oilfield in the North Sea – a process that will take 10 years. The multibillion dollar project could be followed by other closures after the oil price crash, writes the FT.
UK oil companies are imploring George Osborne for further tax cuts in his final budget before the General Election – but the Chancellor is already facing a deep hole in revenue from previous cuts, writes the Telegraph.
The Guardian’s own analysis on UK fracking blocks find the practice could be banned from 40% of England’s shale areas, and their Sustainable Business network covers potential US bailouts for failed fracking firms.
3) US markets rise with oil price, Exxon profit drop
Exxon suffered a 21% drop in profit as production declined, however.
Shell is meeting with representatives from the United Steelworkers Union as refinery strikes near their third day.
And the WSJ covers the threat to the nation’s electric grid from energy-conserving Americans.
4) China coal mines closing; India struggles to attract coal investment
Coal mines are in serious decline in China: Heibei province in the industrial north, once home to over 300 coal mines, now only has 70.
The news comes as another city in the north of the country, Baoding – becoming known for its production of solar panels – has topped the list of China’s 74 most-polluted cities.
And in India, attracting foreign investment to its recently opened-up coal sector is proving problematic, with investors citing red tape, problems with environmental approvals, quality and price as deterrents to deals.
Renewable energy to help bring reliable electricity to oil-rich Niger Delta.
Wind power breaks records in the UK in January.
2014 “hottest year on record”, says the World Meteorological Organisation.
China renewables giant to unveil solar vehicles by October this year.
Australia research genetic modification of reef coral to help them cope with rising sea temperatures.