Building wind turbines in Baoding, China.
Building wind turbines in Baoding, China.

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Oil markets: BP/Exxon losses; FTSE bruised; 2020 “supply crisis”

Oil majors including BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron are starting to suffer from the impact of plunging oil prices. BP reported a massive $3.3bn fourth-quarter loss yesterday, Exxon a 58 percent decline.

For BP this is the worst-ever annual loss, as the company also recorded a $9.8bn charge to settle US claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The UK’s FTSE fell sharply in response.

Analysts have warned of a looming oil supply crisis by the end of the decade as falling prices cause investment in future projects to dry up.

UK: Fracking polls; job cuts; Brexit investment losses

The Department of Energy and Climate Change new tracker polls tells us that British opposition to fracking still outstrips support – and the more people that actually know about the process, the less they like it.

Meanwhile British Gas is cutting 500 jobs in its energy efficiency business to reduce costs.

And the UK risks losing out on billions of pounds of investment in renewable energy projects such as wind farms and grid upgrades if it quits the EU.

Renewables: China’s growing idle wind capacity; India solar

Wind turbines sitting idle in China more than doubled to 15 percent in 2015 – after record installations of 33 gigawatts, according to Bloomberg.

The 69 percent increase in idle wind capacity only led to a 3.3 percent share of the country’s electric energy production coming from wind in 2015.

Meanwhile India is planning 50MW of solar capacity in areas that can easily be seen by the public. A Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) release said that the projects will be set up in “high visibility areas”, such as in major towns, where land cost is high, but where many people can visit for “demonstration purposes”.

In other news

Solar: Ugandan engineers have built a solar-powered bus for Africa’s roads

Coal: Adani’s coal project in Australia gets environmental approval

Zephyrs: MoD to buy high-flying solar planes

Heathrow 13: Jailing peaceful protesters would be ‘unprecedented’ attack on dissent, judge told