Hinkley Point B Power Station

Top stories

1) Europe pushes “energy union” to cut dependence on russia

EU ministers took another step towards the creation of a single european energy market and EU support for shale gas and efficiency as parts of efforts to create an “energy union” within the EU.

It’s a phrase we’re likely to hear bandied around quite a bit over the next six months, but what does it mean? Well it depends who you ask, as energy and climate news blog Carbon Brief explains.

2) US oil strike grows as drillers likely to keep pumping

A little reported strike across US refineries grew further over the weekend with workers at two BP refineries in Ohio and Indiana joining the industrial action.

The first nationwide refinery strike since 1980 centres over allegations by the Steel workers union of unfair labour practices and dangerous working conditions – but comes as US oil giants are laying off refinery staff in response to the falling oil price.

Meanwhile Bloomberg reports that oil production may not fall as fast as the falling oil price may suggest. That’s because many oil companies need to service debts taken out to fund exploration which have risen four fold since 2003.

It may prolong a period of lower oil prices as the market may not respond as quickly to falling demand.

3) UK Hinkley point nuclear plant faces delays as China invests in Argentinian nuclear

The project to build Britain’s first nuclear reactor in a generation has been delayed until months after the general election because its Chinese backers have demanded that the French government protect them if it goes bust, reports The Times.

The news comes as China and Argentina signed agreements which would see Chinese state firms build two new nuclear reactors in the South American nation based on Chinese technology.

4) UK: Ridley calls for changes to the infrastructure bill, RWE change to renewables regulations

Times columnist Matt Ridley argues Infrastructure bill changes kill shale, and must be reversed or the UK could find itself dependent on Russian gas.

On the other side of the same coin EU energy giant RWE’s renewable division has it’s own complaint. The firm claims UK planning rules are effectively blocking the introduction of larger, more efficient, onshore wind turbines which would dramatically reduce the number which need to be installed to meet renewable targets and find itself dependent on etc etc…