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Australia: Adani puts its massive Carmichael coal mine ‘on hold’

The $4.1 billion mega coal mine planned by Indian company Adani for the Australian Galilee Basin has been put on ice until the coal price rises and stabilises, reports The Guardian.

The controversial project, which has been tied up in legal fights with green groups,received final environmental approval by the Queensland government earlier this week.

The coal price, however, has shown little sign of a genuine recovery, so this move might spell the end of the high-profile project.

Low energy prices have also seen Australian utility AGL end its coal seam gas business and dismantle its natural gas portfolio, much to the delight of local farmers,The Guardian reports.

And hundreds of climate scientists working for the country’s leading science body CSIRO are in line to lose their jobs, reports Mashable.

Oil: Shell profits plummet as Brent Crude continues to recover

Royal Dutch Shell reported its biggest fall in profits for 13 years, its 2015 results dropping 80% down to $3.8bn, reports the BBC.

In a statement Shell also confirmed its intention to cut 10,000 jobs.

Norwegian oil giant Statoil also delivered some bad news to shareholders, massively underperforming in Q4 (down 63% vs last year), according to The FT.

But as these mega oil companies are struggling in a $30-a-barrel economy, Texas shale drillers are doing just fine, reports Bloomberg.

The same can’t really be said for the rest of US fracking country, reports Reuters.

But although oil has been consistently rising these past couple of weeks, mainly because the dollar is having a bad time, it sounds as though major oil producing nations including Russia and Iran are going to hold an unprecedented meeting.

UK: Yet another early coal power plant closure

Fiddlers Ferry coal plant will close three of its four units in April this year, The Telegraph reports.

That means it is withdrawing from the capacity market subsidy contract it was awarded for 2018-19, and the move will tighten the UK’s already tight energy margins.

On the bills front, Scottish Power are the latest utility to offer lower energy prices (5% less starting in March), but The Independent says savings are still not being passed on to the consumer.

Centrica, for instance, will have made more money selling energy to households in 2015 than it has in six years, mainly because of low wholesale costs, reports Bloomberg.

And finally: The Carbon Brief conducted a pretty comprehensive interview with Shadow Energy Secretary Lisa Nandy.

In other news

Renewables: The green energy silver bullet storage is ‘finally poised for a breakthrough,’ writes Damian Carrington of The Guardian.

Meanwhile the largest offshore windfarm in the world (you’ve probably seen something on it) will add more than £4bn to UK energy bills, The Times reports.

Pollution: The Philippines’ big coal plans could see the number of deaths caused by air pollution rise from 960 deaths per year to 2410, according to new research.

India: Bob Burton observes that something isn’t quite right with India’s much-touted coal boom.