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energy

Other News

Three energy companies penalised by Ofgem

SSE and Scottish Power are to pay penalties totalling £4.15 million to charity following their failure to deliver energy efficiency measures on time. The suppliers were required to implement moves to help reduce bills for households in low-income areas by December 2012 but Scottish Power only delivered 70% of its obligation and SSE achieved 90.9%. Ofgem said it has secured a redress package of £2.4 million from Scottish Power and £1.75 million from SSE, with the payments going towards charities and funds that will benefit vulnerable consumers.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Millions of carbon emissions displaced by green energy

Almost 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions were displaced by green energy in Scotland last year. The reduction - an average of about a million tonnes each month - is the highest-ever recorded in the country. UK Government statistics show that Scotland’s renewable electricity industry displaced 11.9 million tonnes of CO2 in 2013, an increase of over 14% on the 10.4 million tonnes of CO2 displaced in Scotland by the sector in 2012.

Americas

US getting rid of oil addiction as price plummets in glut

The US is producing the most oil in 31 years, economic growth is picking up and crude prices are plunging. So why is Americans’ use of petroleum waning? As the US moves closer and closer to energy independence, greater fuel efficiency, changing demographics and an increase in renewables are altering the dynamic that in the past would have seen demand for gasoline climbing. Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the US, grew at a 2.4 % pace in the third quarter from the year-earlier period. Oil consumption fell 0.3%, government data show.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Offshore wind farm backed by government

The UK government has granted permission for an offshore wind project which is expected to create up to 2,500 jobs. Hornsea Project One in North Lincolnshire will be made up of three offshore wind farms with a maximum capacity of 1200MW. Once built, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 800,000 homes.

Opinion

Opinion: Perspectives on crude pricing crisis

Stock markets, oil companies, service companies and investors are reeling from Saudi’s shock decision not to support a cut in OPEC production in order to balancesupply and support prices, and the consequent slump in oil prices. This stance is a radical departure from Saudi’s previous behaviour when supply and demand fell modestly out of balance. In the past, a few words of support have been enough to have the oil traders scurrying back to their desks to close their short positions. Why the change of policy on this occasion?

Other News

Legal challenge over power subsidy

A scheme to pay power companies to ensure there is enough back-up to meet peaks in electricity demand is facing a legal challenge over concerns it is an unlawful subsidy. The “capacity market” will see energy generators bidding for payments to bring power plants online to meet peak demand or to companies to reduce power use. But an independent company, Tempus Energy, is submitting a challenge to the European General Court on the grounds the scheme violates State Aid rules by prioritising fossil fuel energy generation over cheaper and cleaner efforts to reduce demand.

Markets

Aquamarine hopes downsizing will help it stay afloat

Wave energy company Aquamarine Power has announced plans to “significantly” downsize its business. It means an undisclosed number of jobs will be lost. According to CEO, John Malcolm, “this will involve retaining a core operational and management team to run the business and continue maintaining our Oyster 800 wave machine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney”.

Opinion

Opinion: Energy subsidies – who is subsidising who?

It is worthwhile taking a moment to marvel at the built environment around you – houses, shops, offices, factories, hospitals, roads, railways, airports, cars, aeroplanes and so forth – and to then realise that virtually ALL of this was built using energy from fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal. At the same time fossil fuels provide virtually ALL of the energy that flows through our society, enabling economic activity and the creation of wealth. Fossil fuels are heavily taxed at every stage of their production and use. The economic activity they enable is taxed as well creating vast revenue streams that pay for education, defence, healthcare, welfare and pensions.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Tide power project could get go-ahead

Hopes have been raised that an innovative renewable energy scheme harnessing the tides could get the go-ahead, after the Government announced it was starting in-depth discussions on the project. The Treasury has announced it will start closer discussions with Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd, the company which is aiming to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay, to see if it is affordable and value for money for consumers. The developers of the £750-850 million project have said their application is the first step to developing lagoon technology that could meet 10% of the UK’s electricity needs from the tides.

Oil & Gas

Unions warn of “radical” changes to the energy industry

Unions have warned of “radical” changes in the energy industry over the next few years, leading to job losses after German giant E.ON announced re-structuring of its business. The firm said it will focus on renewables, including wind and solar, along with distribution networks and its customer business. E.ON, one of the Big Six energy firms, said it wanted to respond to the “dramatically altered global energy markets”.

Markets

Oil price slide hits FTSE 100

A fresh slide in the price of oil to a five-year low triggered more pain for energy stocks today as the London market started the week on the back foot. The slump was accompanied by a rout across the commodities sector as the FTSE 100 Index dropped by 71.7 points to 6650.5. With Brent crude now firmly below the 70 US dollars a barrel mark, shares in exploration firm Tullow Oil topped the fallers board with a dive of 8%, off 34.3p to 391.7p.

Opinion

Opinion: Danger and uncertainty – but more creativity than ever

We’re mostly aware of the saying “May you live in interesting times”. However, it was not uttered by Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-471 BC); rather it is a 20th Century faux Confucian saying attributed to Frederic R Coudert at the Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science in the US, 1939. Research reveals that what he actually said was, “May you live in an interesting age”. While the “interesting times” bit appears obscure as to origin, US President Kennedy used it in a speech in June 1966: “There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times’.”

Renewables/Energy Transition

SSE’s network is jobs generator

Energy giant SSE’s electricity network supports almost 2,000 jobs across the north of Scotland and is expected to have contributed £287million to the economy by the end of this year, research has revealed. The Perth-based firm, which manages 77,000 miles of overhead lines and underground cables across the north of Scotland and through its network in the south of England, added that it has invested £126million this year in the Scottish network to increase its resilience. Through its subsidiary, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD), SSE operates its electricity distribution network from John O’Groats through Perth and Dundee, as well as 89 Scottish islands, according to the report by Big Four accountancy firm, PwC.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Renewable overtakes nuclear as main energy source

Renewable power has overtaken nuclear to become the main source of electricity in Scotland, figures have revealed. In the first half of last year sources such as wind and hydro power produced 10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, figures from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change showed. Nuclear power stations, which had been Scotland’s main source of electricity, generated 7.8TWh over the same period, according to data from the National Grid.

Oil & Gas

Total backs trio of climate change schemes

French oil giant Total is set to support a trio of initiatives which aim to tackle climate change. The company said it is consolidating its efforts by supporting three schemes backed by the Global Compact, the World Bank and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). Total backed the United Nation’s Global Compact’s call for companies “to factor” an internal carbon price into their investment decisions.

Oil & Gas

Ukrainian experts find way out of energy crisis

In search of a way out of the energy crisis, Ukrainian experts claim to have found the solution - hydropower. The auxiliary resource has been successfully compensating the increasing energy demand triggered by the lack of power capacity and fuel in the past months. High liquidity and sustainability were identified as some of the major advantages of hydroelectric energy. “Prior to the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in the east of the country and before the problems with energy supply, hydroelectric power stations produced electricity primarily during peak demand,” said the director general of Ukraine’s largest hydropower company, Ukrhydroenergo, Ihor Syrota.

Markets

Salamander in takeover talks

Salamander Energy could become involved in a bidding war after being approached by Ophir Energy and a consortium led by Compania Espanola de Petroleos (CEPSA) and Jynwel Capital. The company said it was currently in talked with both Ophir and the CEPSA Consortium regarding their respective proposals.