BedZED_2007

Top 3 stories

1) UK solar subsidies: Proposal to reduce FITs criticised

Electronics company Panasonic has slammed the government’s proposal to cut to Feed in Tariffs for solar panels by up to 87% and urged the UK government to rethink, the Guardian reports. Apparently it is quite rare for the Japanese company to intervene in government policy.

A UK solar trade body has published an account of a meeting with the UK energy and climate secretary, with claims that the move to slash the tariff ignores job cuts that will face the industry if they go ahead, Damian Carrington writes. This could mean 22,000 jobs lost.

But Amber Rudd has defended the proposed cuts in Business Green, saying the fall in the cost of solar was ‘spectacular’.

In other UK energy policy news, sources have told the Daily Mail that Rudd’s energy policy  – to be outlined this autumn – relies on changing technologies, including demand side management, energy efficiency, smart grids and storage, rather than more big power stations.

2) North Sea oil: Risks of partial industry collapse

The head of the OGA (Oil and Gas Authority) has warned that unless the industry pulls together to become more efficient parts of it could shut down, the FT reports.

Despite generous tax breaks from government, the North Sea oil and gas industry has cut 5,500 jobs since late last year, according to City AM.

Oil firms have been facing low and volatile oil prices for over a year now – with prices more than 50% lower than last June.

3) Oil price: Speculation from international oil players

There’s a lot of posturing happening on the international stage about the low oil price, with has been declining for the second day in a row on speculation that OPEC will fail to stabilize prices amid a global oversupply and concern over Chinese demand.

Russia’s energy minister has said the country expects oil prices of $50 – $70 per barrel by the end of the year but not seeing $100 in the mid term, WSJ reports. But the Russian deputy prime minister says OPEC may have to ditch its low-price policy within months. But as The Telegraph points out, Russia needs to cut output too.

Saudi Arabia will cut spending and delay some state projects after the recent decline in the price of oil – though the country was in a good position to manage low oil prices – according to its finance minister.

Meanwhile, China National Petroleum Corp bought nearly 90% of the oil cargoes on the Dubai spot market in August – a record number.

In other news

US energy politics: Sarah Palin has said she would like to serve as energy secretary in a Donald Trump administration – in order to abolish the department, theBBC reports. She said: “Oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind’s use.”

Clean air savings: new study by Harvard says energy efficiency measures and low-carbon energy sources can save a region between $5.7 million and $210 million annually, based on the accepted dollar value of human life – Quartz.

China coal: China says major pollutant emissions – such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide – declined in the first half of this year.

Gas: Find of 30 tn cubic feet of natural gas of Egypt ‘supergiant’ promises sea change in the Med, says the FT.

Paris COP: India’s clean energy policy is crucial for climate change, according to an article in Business Green.

Australia coal PR: Minerals Council throwing its weight around with ‘amazing’ coal campaign.