Top 4 stories

1) BP’s shale delay prediction amidst more falling oil price news

BP have spoken – and it’s not looking good for UK (or any European) shale gas extraction. Their report estimates no significant production of shale in the region for 20 years, noting that the US case would not be easily replicated.

Everyone’s trying to work out what the oil price will do next – with former BP boss Lord Browne saying that the big players will have to adapt to a ‘new era’ of low prices, and The Economist asks whether a return to $60/barrel is the market returning to ‘normal’.

Bloomberg reports that US offshore rigs are still going strong despite the fall in land drilling along with the oil price – and that the biggest US shale producer EOG Resources Inc is scaling back on production to reduce oversupplies.

In the UK, a biofuel plant is feeling the pinch from falling oil price, reports Pilita Clark in the FT – and the fossil fuel industry have baulked at the energy secretary Ed Davey’s warning of stranded assets, prompting him to receive a ‘letter of protest’from the head of the industry body.

2) UK energy companies – competition, bills and falling profits

The BBC reports that Centrica’s full-year operating profits fell by 35% after warmer weather meant households used less energy for heating, and falling oil prices wiped £1.4bn off its balance sheet. At the same time, analysis of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) preliminary report – that concluded customers are overpaying for their energy – continues, with the FT reporting that the Big Six are not gaining competitive advantage over their smaller competitors. The Mirror has an assessment of those smaller players – and so do we (albeit from last year).

And Business Green looks at the possible distortions created by Contracts for Difference emerging from the CMA report.

3) Sunnier times ahead

The BBC has a video report from Kenya on the future of solar power, quoting the IEA’s prediction that it will be the biggest source of electricity this mid-century.

Citigroup has pledges $100bn by 2025 to lend, invest and facilitate green projects to fight climate change and protect the environment.

Solar is taking off in Pakistan’s northern provinces – with plans for 200 off-grid villages to be linked up within the year, thanks to Imran Khan’s Green Growth Initiative.

4) Eye on global coal moves

The NYT takes a look behind the headlines on China’s coal trends.

Poland is seeking EU approval for state aid to coal mines, writes EurActiv (and we ran a pretty comprehensive piece on the situation recently too).

And the India coal block auction faces delays due to lack of mining plans and clearances.

Other news

The Scandinavian renewables race is on as Sweden dwarfs Norway in new wind power (but not for long).

Quartz reports on Tesla’s new home battery plans.

The Canadian mounted police don’t believe in climate change and thus don’t understand why people can be so ‘anti-petroleum’ (which is also anti-Canada).

Another study has been published on how we talk about climate change (vs global warming).

And climate change is causing water shortages in the Caribbean, requiring energy-intensive desalination plants to make up the shortfall.