Debate Continues into Future of UK Energy Generation

Top stories

Calls for offshore wind investment

While the news in the UK this morning is dominated by Brexit, with opinion polls showing the leave camp enjoying an increasingly healthy lead, on the continent the EU is making headlines for different reasons.

A group of energy companies is urging the EU to back offshore wind, stating it can match coal and gas for value in less than 10 years.

Reuters report that a coalition of 11 companies including Germany’s RWE, E.On, General Electric and StatOil, have all signed a letter saying they can produce offshore wind for less than 80 euros per megawatt hour per project by
2025.

However, the companies warn that the EU will need to embrace the technology as a matter of urgency. Previously, Brussels has preferred investing in gas as a more secure option than oil.

The letter reads: “Offshore wind will be fully competitive with new conventional power generation within a decade. The industry is on track to achieve its cost reduction ambitions and will be an essential technology in Europe’s energy security and decarbonisation objectives.”

EU member states are currently committed to producing 20% of energy from renewables by 2020. As the Guardian point out, there is some uncertainty about what the regulations will look like after that.

US: Regulators battle with coal companies over $1bn clean-up bill

Regulators in the United States are working desperately to figure out a way of paying to clean up the mess left by struggling coal companies in New
England.

There are fears that the energy companies will neglect their environmental clean-up obligations due to financial concerns.

The New York Times reports that the cost of cleaning up Appalachia’s polluted rivers and mountains could reach $1bn.

Coal companies have been badly hit by environmental regulation and competition from natural gas in the States, with a series of once mighty companies filing for bankruptcy.

Now there is a battle in the courts and in State legislators over who is responsible for the environmental damage left by the industry.

China: The looming oil bubble

China is “plagued by oil refining overcapacity” which could have a significant impact on oil producers in the Middle East, reports the Financial Times.

Energydesk has been documenting overcapacity in China’s coal sector for a long time, while British steelworkers can attest to the problems of Chinese steel flooding international markets. Now, oil refining is next on the list.

A drop in truck transport in China is leading to a wave of diesel sales onto international markets, according to journalist Lucy Hornby.

China has recently shifted to become a net diesel exporter, after years of heavily importing fuel, according to a recent US Energy Information Administration report. This could have a big impact on oil producers in the Middle East that have come to rely on increasing demand for fuel in China.

Back in April, Energydesk reported on a study by North China Electric Power University which suggested that China’s coal sector will become unprofitable in the next few years, partly due to the huge number of coal plants scheduled to be built in the country.

In other news

India: Obama meets Modi for crucial climate talks

India: $3bn plan to clean up polluted New Delhi

Tanzania: Rare victory for villagers opposing $500m energy project

US: Hundreds of groups urge Congress to reject TPP over climate concerns

US: Devon Energy to sell oil and gas assets for close to $1bn

Zambia: African nation puts its faith in solar