Top 3 stories
1) Budget 2015: Renewables investment and North Sea oil tax cuts
It looks like Chancellor George Osborne will use the final budget of this term to announce a £1bn green energy investment: the world’s first tidal lagoon.
Also look for fresh tax breaks for North Sea oil and gas, reports Reuters, following its financial devastation at the hands of the cratering global oil price.
The FTSE rose in expectation of the government’s months-in-the-works tax relief, reports City AM.
Also in the UK, the Energy Technologies Institute by way of Business Green has said that carbon capture and storage is ‘feasible and affordable’.
And The Telegraph reports on a Centre for Policy Studies publication that decries renewable energy as a ‘disaster’ and also appears to call for the renationalisation of the energy sector.
2) Fracking: Ineos goes on charm offensive, as US shale gets a battering
Swiss energy firm Ineos, who earlier this month bought UK fracking licence rights from IGas, has launched a PR plan to get Scotland on board with drilling for shale gas, reports the FT.
Scotland, which declared a moratorium back in January, will be wooed with ‘tea drinking in village halls’ and claims that Grangemouth plant would struggle to survive without a Scottish fracking sector.
According to Business Green, the Scots are sold on wind energy, with more than 70% backing increased deployment, up from 64% two years ago.
A little further from home, shale gas is still stuck in a war with the oil producing nations of OPEC, butQuartz says the Saudi-led coalition expects victory by the end of the year.
US shale has certainly taken a beating in recent months, and Texas fracker Quicksilver is the latest to fall, having yesterday filed for bankruptcy, reports WSJ.
With all these woes, Reuters asks: are the good times over for growth in US shale gas?
3) China: Solar and nuclear present as coal alternative
China has raised its solar energy targets, reports Bloomberg, promising to add 17.8GW this year – which is around two and a half times what the US added last year.
Also from Bloomberg, in its chart of the day, it says China’s recent revival of its long-dormant nuclear sector is part of the country’s smog remedy, with plans to triple capacity by 2020.
While the Financial Post looks at the how and the why of China’s coal slowdown, observing that demand for gas may have grown, but not as much as you’d expect.
In other news
US: Obama says some elected officials are ‘shills’ for the fossil fuel industry, reports RTCC.
India: The government is defending its decision to reopen coal mine bids, reports Reuters.
Oil: BP is battling American environmental agencies over claims that the Gulf of Mexico is recovering from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago, reports the Telegraph.
Solar Impulse: The solar-powered plane has taken off from India are hopes to reach Myanmar by Thursday, reports the BBC.