Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station, UK
Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station, UK

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Hinkley: EDF decision day as UK govt fast-tracks contract signing

After months – nay, years – of nothing but headaches, French energy firm EDF is expected to finally deliver its final investment decision for the Hinkley nuclear power plant planned for the UK.

Everyone, including the BBC, thinks they’ll approve the controversial project.

But it emerged last night, courtesy of The Telegraph, that the UK government intends on officialising its multibillion pound subsidy deal the very next day.

What many expected to happen in September, has been pushed forward to take place during the parliamentary recess.

Just yesterday Energydesk compared the cost of energy from Hinkley (that £92.50 in 2012 prices) to the falling price of renewables, and found the nuclear giant wanting.

Even offshore wind, accounting for transmission and balancing costs, is cost-competitive, which comes as European investment in the sector has hit a record-breaking 14m euros in 2016 so far.

But back to Hinkley. Allow Chris Bryant at Bloomberg Gadfly to explain why this project and the financial dealings around it are bad for everyone, from the UK consumer paying for it to the French company building it.

You can’t say they weren’t warned.

Oil: Shell profits plunge

Shell announced worse-than-expected financial results for its second quarter, with profits down 72% from last year, reports the FT.

Despite the recovering oil price (though its dipped again), majors including BP and Statoil have also had poor performances.

The Wall Street Journal says there’s a gasoline glut keeping the oil market from flourishing.

Meanwhile East Asia is expecting its first ever delivering of shale gas from the US, as a tanker from Louisiana crosses the Pacific, reports Bloomberg.

And oil majors are not far behind the cargo, with Exxon and their fellow producerssummoned to the Philippines to answer for their role in causing global climate change, which the government considers a ‘human rights abuse’.

Coal: Australia’s ‘Mr Coal’ says climate change is real

The Australian government’s new environment minister, known as Mr Coal for reasons that should be apparent, has admitted that climate change science is legit and that the industry is in a ‘major transition’, reports ABC.

That transition likely refers to the falling demand around the world, including in China.

Bloomberg View has outlined its vision of ending the Asian continent’s ‘addiction to coal’.

Meanwhile in the West, where the fall of coal is far further along, a group of climate scientists have bandied together to demand the US government end its federal coal leasing programme, reports Inside Climate News.

In other news

The Rockefeller Fund, which famously divested from fossil fuels in 2014 and became a major force in the ‘keep it in the ground’ movement, has made its first major green investment: $177m for a wind and solar power initiative in Africa.