Top 5 stories
1) UK: Telegraph’s £200bn Labour decarb plan scrutinised, Shell–BG offer
With the UK focused on the upcoming election, there are only a couple of stories worth noting. The first is Carbon Brief’s analysis of the Telegraph’s £211bn figure it says Labour will need to decarbonise by 2030. The figure is based on flawed assumptions (such as way more nuclear being built, no use of biomass, CCS or gas) and ignores the cost of the alternative of not doing anything.
And BG’s new chief has welcomed Shell’s $70bn takeover bid with “mixed emotions”; shareholders at BG’s AGM are discontent however at the remuneration packages involved.
2) US shale: Firms hopeful for return to growth amid water contamination worries
Shale companies in the US are determined to return to growth this year, and have revealed how they are cutting costs and increasing productivity to manage much lower crude prices. The news comes in the wake of hedge fund manager David Einhorn argued shale oil producers were overvalued – which has hurt less-affected firms such as Denbury and Chesapeake, writes WSJ.
The drinking water/frac chemicals contamination story continues today in the Independent, with comment from the study’s author on how the compounds could have leaked into water supplies from a surface tank leak or wells without sufficient protective casing.
3) Renewables: US solar industry “desperation”, EU-China panel price pact, UK Powervault, Vestas order surge
Forbes reports on a solar industry poll in the US that says Nevada will punish politicians that don’t expands subsidies and mandates.
Meanwhile the EU will consider excluding solar panel prices in a benchmark that underpins an agreement to curb imports from China, which will help EU producers prevent a downward price spiral in Europe.
The Telegraph looks at whether UK energy customers should buy the £2,500 Powervault – company calculates a 60% saving on energy bills with their battery + solar panel system.
Vestas, the wind turbine manufacturer, has raised its sales and income forecast due to strong orders. Their shares surged to a five-year high.
4) Coal: China to expand ban to suburbs, Adani Australia mine unviable, Norway divestment
China’s city coal-burning ban is to be expanded to suburbs as part of its coal action plan 2015-2020.
Indian conglomerate Adani’s restructuring has rendered its Carmichael coal mine “unviable”, according to analysts. The company denies these claims.
Nordic funds that control $1.3tn in investments have sold holdings in a number of US fossil fuel companies, including coal miner Peabody Energy Corp – due to slumping prices and growing climate concerns.
5) Climate: Fjords trap carbon, business leaders at Paris COP, India not bound under UNFCCC
Scientists have found that fjords are able to absorb carbon at twice the rate as oceans.
CEOs and city mayors may, for the first time, have a place at the negotiating tableduring Paris COP, where a historic climate deal is due to be signed off.
And here’s a breakdown of what India is doing about climate change but it’s not “legally” bound to do anything by the UNFCCC despite being actively engaged in multilateral negotiations.