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UK’s Green Investment Bank ‘leading the world’

The UK’s Green Investment Bank has been praised by David Cameron who stated that it is ‘leading the world’. The bank was the first of its kind, which offers funding to green projects through the UK. It was set up by the coalition government in 2012, with £3.8 billion in funding from the government.

The Green Investment Bank has its headquarters in Edinburgh, which came out on top of a number a other cities, and has backed over 45 new green projects since 2012 including onshore and offshore wind.

Gas and electricity prices held down by strong supplies

Gas demand was reduced throughout April due to higher temperatures than normal, which then fed through to prices. Day ahead contracts decreased 1% month on month to average 46.9p/th, month ahead contracts followed a similar pattern decreasing 3% averaging 45.6p/th. High LNG stocks are expected to be topped up throughout May, increasing the supply further.

The falls in day ahead and month ahead fed through to long term contracts with annual October 15 contracts decreasing 0.5% to average 47p/th.

Anti-fracking advert banned by watchdog

An anti-fracking advert by Greenpeace has been banned by the UK Watchdog for claiming that fracking will not reduce energy prices. The investigation into the advert found that the claim did not have enough evidence and would confuse the public into thinking that experts had stated that fracking would defiantly not reduce energy prices.

How long will oil prices stay low?

With the world wondering how long Saudi Arabia will allow oil prices to stay at their current levels, the country’s oil minister released in a statement that ‘only Allah knows’, which was perhaps not the news the world was waiting for. The statement was made in an attempt to fend off criticism that Saudi Arabia are keeping oil prices low on purpose.

UK and France electricity comparison

The UK and France are two countries that are very closely related in a number of senses, however, their electricity production and energy policies couldnt be more different. In 2012 only 8% of France's electricity production came from fossil fuels with a huge 75% coming from nuclear power. This is a stark comparision to the UK which had 68% of its electritity production coming from fossil fuels and only 19% coming from nuclear.

UK fails to cut levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (N02)

The UK is facing millions of pounds of fines from the European Commission for failing to hit its target of reducing levels of Nitrogen Dioxide. The Supreme Court has rules that urgent action must be taken.

The Department of Environment must now submit new plans to cut air pollution in the UK, with diesel vehicles expected to be a target with them omitting huge quantities of Nitrogen Dioxide.

US set to become global gas exporter

The US is set to flood world markets with liquefied natural gas with quantities that will rival the likes of Russia. This comes after announcements that they plan to become net gas exporters instead of net gas importers by as early as 2017 due to the rapid growth of the shale gas industry.

20% of Labour and Lib Dems will oppose fracking

Over a fifth of Labour and Lib Dem candidates have said that they will oppose fracking despite their parties supporting it. This came to light when ‘The Pledge’ was circulated by green piece which asked the candidates if they will appose fracking if their constituency will be an area that will be fracked, or appose fracking nationwide if their constituency isn’t an area that will be fracked. Among the Lib Dems who signed there was 7 of the frond bench.

Oil prices rise to four month high

Oil prices hit $65 per barrel for the first time in four months during Monday trading. The rise has been put down to unrest in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia continuing its air strikes in Yemen, and also a slowdown in US shale production.

Experts expect oil to return to levels of $70 per barrel over the next month, which is bad news for the consumers at the pumps. This is a stark comparison to the downward trend seen over the past 6 months, although prices had levelled off throughout March.

Are companies too relaxed over ESOS?

A recent study has revealed that three out of four companies who require an ESOS audit by the 5th of December, have not yet started to audit their sites. This audit stage is a process that can take a few months to complete so although there is still seven months to the compliance date, it is not as much time as it may seem.

Gazprom charged with market abuse by EU

Gazprom has been given 12 weeks to respond to allegations from the EU about breaking anti-trust laws in relation to its dominant market position. The European Commission opened the investigation this week after allegations over some of its business practices in eastern and central Europe.

This move by the EU is expected to further hinder relations with Moscow due to the Russian Federation being the majority stakeholder in Gazprom.

Gamesa wins contract to build Egyptian wind farm

Gamesa has won a contract to build a 200MW wind farm on the Gulf of El Zayt in Egypt. This will include 110 of their G80-2.0 MW turbines. The project is expected to be finished by 2017 with work starting in September 2015.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency will provide public funding to the project. It is believed the Spanish firm Gamesa was selected due to its turbines being of very high quality, reliability and adaptability, which make them a perfect fit for the desert with its highly corrosive and high temperature climate.

India to overtake China as worlds biggest coal importer

India are set to become the world biggest importer of coal by 2017 when they are expected to overtake China. This is in part due to Chinas effort to reduce pollution by cutting back on its coal usage, but is also helped by a planned 60% increase in India.

This is expected to make a an impact on coal markets with imports into the country expected to increase. With the worlds largest importer China cutting back on coal, the increased demand in India will not have too large of an effect on global demand.

North Sea Oil Backed by Budget

The energy industry was at the centre of the last budget before the UK’s coalition disbanded, with a lot of focus on North Sea oil. Most notably was the tax relating to the industry with the supplementary charge falling from 30% to 20%. This was due to industry bodies appealing to the government because of the sharp fall in oil prices that were affecting the industry. The petroleum revenue tax was also reduced, falling from 50% to 35% with the aim of boosting investment in key infrastructure and older oil fields.

The UK’s commercial vehicles could be saving £2.6 billion on fuel costs

With the UK’s commercial fleet show on at the NEC Birmingham this week, fleet managers will be heading there in their thousands. They will be assessing the benefits of using ultra-low emission vehicles and research has shown that they will be very impressed.

A figure of £1,459 has been given as the potential annual saving for each vehicle that makes the switch to ultra-low emission. That accumulates to a figure of £2.6 billion of potential fuel savings for the UK’s commercial vehicles.

Business electricity prices

Electricity prices throughout the week have stayed level with not much change. This was due in part to the gas wholesale prices not changing much over the week. There is fear that a rise in oil prices would lift electricity prices higher. Oil prices are currently being effected by Saudi air strikes in Yemen, which could effect the supply chain through the Red Sea.

Business gas prices

The wholesale price of gas will finish the week at similar levels as the beginning of the week. There were initial fears of a lack of supply due to problems with deliveries from Norway, however weak demand counter balanced this. Flows from Russia have also increased with discussions between Ukraine ongoing.

Huge oil find made in the South of England


There has been a discovery of a possible 100 billion barrels of oil beneath the South of England made by UK Oil and Gas Investments. However only a fraction of this can be recovered. To put this find into perspective, the North Sea has produced around 45 billion barrels over the last 40 years.

The discovery has been described as significant and is possibly the largest discover made in the last 30 years. The downside to the find is that compared to similar finds with the same geology in the USA, only between 3% and 15% is currently recoverable with todays technology.

March sees commodities return to a downward trend

Brent crude oil, carbon and coal prices returned to a downward trend throughout march which had a similar impact on gas and electric prices. Oil prices averaged $57 per/barrel due to concerns over US storage capacity maxing out.

The fall in oil prices had a huge impact on coal prices which dropped to a five year low after also having a drop in demand causing oversupply.

This fall in commodity prices led to a fall in gas and electricity contracts with gas Winter 15 contacts falling on average 3% and electric winter 15 contracts falling 2.7%.