Conservative Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 2

From Energydesk

Comment: How UK energy policy is now backing losers at taxpayer’s expense

Dr Doug explains how the UK government energy policy is no longer ‘picking winners’, but ‘backing losers’, including Hinkley C, fracking and CCS.

On the other side of the coin, energy academics say confusing government policy biggest threat to UK clean energy.

Meanwhile the IEA’s head Fatih Birol has decreed CCS for coal needs to be financially viable within five years – or coal won’t be viable from a climate point of view.

Top stories

UK: Amber Rudd’s mixed signals on energy

At the Conservative party conference yesterday energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd vowed to crack down on energy companies that repeatedly give bad service – through giving the ombudsman ‘real teeth’.

Rudd emphasised her commitment to tackling climate change – though she didn’t mention the upcoming Paris climate talks once. And she also hailed the UK’s potential for leading energy innovation – and defended tough cuts to renewables subsidies, saying they weren’t motivated by any anti-green agenda

Extraordinary that Amber Rudd didn’t mention the Paris climate summit in her speech.

— Joss Garman (@jossgarman) October 5, 2015

The Times’s Robin Pagnamenta writes Rudd may announce next month that UK coal will be phased out by 2023.


Asia coal: Analyst says China’s coal use trend set to continue – while India opens a new mine each month

A leading expert on China’s energy policy has said that Australian businesses should factor in China’s declining coal use into their calculations – and they should instead work with China on renewable energy. Australia’s coal industry has been hit the hardest by China’s fall in coal use.

Professor Qi Ye, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Centre in Beijing, also said China may aim for an earlier greenhouse gas emissions peak before its 2030 deadline.

In contrast, India is engaging in a dash for coal – a new mine is opening every month and the country aims to double coal output by 2020 – despite its solar energy push.

Meanwhile, Citigroup promised to cut lending to coal miners, becoming the third major bank to do so after The Bank of America and Crédit Agricole.

Oil: Prices bounce on increasing demand and possible Russia co-operation

Crude oil prices finished at more than 2% up on Monday, bolstered by a surge in demand for US gasoline and Russia’s willingness to meet other major oil producers to discuss the market – WTI closed at $46 yesterday.

As restrictions on Iran are lifted, and oil majors eye up production there, experts warn it may not be an immediate bonanza – as the rate of investment will be slow.

Meanwhile, State-owned Rosneft has been unloading assets while struggling to pay down debt.

The US Justice Department announced the final settlement in BP’s involvement in the Gulf of Mexico spill is $20.8 billion - higher than announced in July but over $15 billion of which may be tax-deductible.


In other news

Arctic oil: Alaska to be hit by Shell’s decision to halt oil exploration: Moody’s

Land rights: Bill promoting Native American Tribe energy production faces Democrat opposition

Coal: Poland’s government signals reversal from a nuclear energy program, see coal as base

China’s Slowing Demand Burns Gas Giants

Oil majors: Are oil & gas operators using natural gas as a hedge – or are they actually shifting to gas? Forbes asks. Meanwhile Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says renewables to struggle to replace fossil fuels.

Renewables costs: Solar cheaper than natural gas? It’s happening in the US says Forbes.

Energy waste: The world wastes more than twice as much energy as it uses every year