On Energydesk

1) Leaked: Draft EU energy and climate documents

The European Comission is due to announce its proposals for an Energy Union and the bloc’s negotiating position in upcoming climate change talks. We’ve got hold of an early draft and draw out the key points (it’s a little confused).

It’s a big talking point in the press. The FT says the commission’s document must be a step towards “harmonizing” EU energy policies. Dr. Graeme Sweeney from Zero Emissions Platform tells Euractiv it must include Carbon Capture and Storage.

The Guardian’s Ian Traynor and Arthur Neslen say the plans will look to loosen the Kremlin’s stranglehold on the EU’s gas supplies whilst Georgi Gotev at Euractiv reports that Gazprom is, coincidentally, warning there are “serious risks” to Europe’s gas supply because the Ukraine is falling behind on it’s payments.

On the climate side Euractiv & Reuters report the documents will push for a 60% cut in global emissiosn by 2050 but in a interesting analysis RTCC’s Ed King Europe’s proposed new climate goals could be weaker than previously announced due to its method of accounting for changes in land use.

2) Drax cuts dividend, likely to fight with Brussels

The owner of the UK’s largest coal-fired power station, Drax has cut its dividend amid fears of a continued squeeze on profits from its coal-fired generating business this year prompted by falling commodity prices, reports the FT’s Michael Kavanagh.

It comes as The Times’ Tim Webb reports that Drax could find itself in conflict with the European Commission which looks set to launch a state-aid investigation into it’s plans to convert one of its coal units to burn biomass and benefit from renewables subsidies.

3) Oil price dips again – sparks wave of smart analysis

Are low oil prices here to stay asks the BBC’s Richard Anderson, with a host of handy charts including one which suggests that the current level of the oil price is insufficient to balance the budgets in almost any oil producing country. Hey ho.

The Guardian’s economic correspondent Philip Inan points out that this deficit is causing some countries to produce even more oil, so pushing down the price, whilst others hoard the black stuff, meaning the price falls as soon as it rises. It’s not looking good for Libya right now, let’s put it that way.

Other news:

– The Guardian’s Alex Grahame takes after our own Zachary Davies Boren and tells us about six clean tech innovations we really need to know about.

– The UN’s climate chief resigns amidst scandal as the Time’s Robin Pagnamenta reports that his career is in “meltdown”.

– Business Green’s James Murray asks – with the help of some new analysis – if solar could be the UK’s cheapest power source within a decade.

– And Think Progress’ Ari Philips tells us that the Eiffal tower now has its own wind turbines, though we suspect this isn’t a technological change we really need to know about.