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UK: Solar beats coal for the first time ever

On Saturday April 9 the UK’s solar panels generated more power that its coal plants.

According to an analysis by Carbon Brief, the 29GWh supplied by solar represented 4% of that day’s electricity whereas the 21GWh produced by coal was only 3%.

A fine illustration of what’s happening in the UK’s (and world’s) global energy mix.

Meanwhile the Green Deal, a government energy efficiency scheme, has been panned by the National Audit Office, reports Reuters.

The parliamentary watchdog says the £3 billion initiative has been poor value for money, with the £94 per tonne of CO2 reduced making it nearly three times more expensive than previous schemes.

On the fracking front, The Guardian reports that the government may have created a loophole for fracking firms to avoid safety regulations.

According to a leading geologist, it’s the official definition of ‘fracking’ that could see a number of wells across the country dodge proper oversight.

Under the UK’s definition, the only fracked well in the UK (in Blackpool) wouldn’t qualify, nor would 43% of the gas wells fracked in the US between 2000 and 2010.

And finally there’s floods, with the households fearful that they’ll miss out on the £700 million fund which government wants to spend in ‘more imaginative ways’, reports The Telegraph.

Oil: Industry groups knew about climate change in the 1960’s

Back in 1968, the American Petroleum Institute was shown a Stanford study that said carbon dioxide released from fossil fuels could cause a number of terrible consequences for the planet, reports The Guardian.

Back in the present, after a good few months for the oil price, commentators are suggesting something on the horizon may push it back down, and it’s right now dropping a bit on those fears.

As OPEC meets in Doha, experts are reacting to the ambition of a proposed deal to rein in production and whether an ambitious deal would actually even make a difference.

Goldman Sachs points out that Iran will not be on board.

The FT observes that the price, while higher than it was earlier this year, is still too low for many countries, including ones in OPEC and US shale.

Meanwhile BP boss Bob Dudley faces a reckoning today at his company’s AGM, wherethe BBC reports will be outcry over his generous pay packet.

US: Obama to introduce offshore drilling regulations

The White House is expected to drop the next its series of environmental regulations today.

The offshore drilling rules, which the WSJ says are more favourable to industry than first thought, will require offshore oil drillers to meet a higher set of standards on their equipment, as well as providing real time monitoring to certain drilling.

Exxon says the rules will cost $25 billion over 10 years and will render many offshore oil discoveries worthless, reports Bloomberg.

As this executive action goes ahead, so does a bipartisan bill in the Senate which outlined a plan to update US energy infrastructure, reports the New York Times.

And finally, Senator Bernie Sanders is making fracking an election issue with Hillary Clinton in the New York state primary to be held next week, reports The Hill.

In other news

China: Beijing will restrict land use for coal and steel projects.

IMF: ‘Low oil prices could slow down clean energy transition’.

Oil: Here’s why the Keystone pipeline has been leaking again.

VW: Top execs cut their bonuses after pressure (and, y’know, dieselgate).

Climate science: Infamous fossil fuel fan Marc Morano won’t bet against global warming data.

Climate consensus: That 97% of scientists stat? It’s true.