Latest News

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%.

US pledges emissions cut by 2025

The US has taken big steps towards tackling climate change by pledging to cut its carbon emissions by 26%-28% by 2025. The target was submitted by the Obama Administration on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) deadline yesterday.

It is expected that the US will announce plans to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and with the European Union previously announcing it will cut its emissions by 40% by 2030 it is clear that the worlds super powers are starting to take climate change seriously.

Energy Reforms Enacted by the Government

The UK’s coalition government over the past five years have been supporters of the shale industry, passing the Infrastructure Act on the 12th of February which made it a lot easier for shale companies to begin drilling and contained a number of key points for the energy se

Solar Energy Booming in the UK

The falling price of solar panels has meant a huge increase in the use of solar energy in recent times. It has been predicted that solar energy will account for 4% of the UK’s overall energy usage by 2020.

The increased use has caused the government to end its subsidies for solar projects that they count as large-scale, a move that has came under a great deal of criticism. Critics state that the end of subsidies could cause the market to become uncompetitive and make it even harder for solar power to compete with fossil fuels.

Glasgow Gets Green Light for LED's

Glasgow has been given the go ahead to convert 10,000 of its street lights to LED's thanks to the government-backed Green Investment Bank. 

The new LED Lights will use at least 50% less energy and will emit a much whiter light than the current bulbs. This will also come as a relief to people living in the countryside, as almost all of the light emitted by LED lights goes downwards, causing less light pollution. Normal street lights lose almost a third of their light upwards into the night sky.

Rising energy costs in the pipeline

The energy sector, throughout 2014, maintained its importance to the political agenda, with the parties continuing to debate the cost of the government’s energy and climate policies.

While policy mechanisms intended to drive decarbonisation and ensure security of supply add costs to households’ energy bills, the government expects that by 2020 its interventions will mean that domestic consumers are paying less than would otherwise have been the case.

Third party charges set to rise

Suppliers have some control over the wholesale cost of energy and their own costs to serve. But there are a number of additional charges – set by third parties – over which they have no control.

In real terms between 2010-11 and 2012-13 large UK non-domestic electricity users saw their electricity costs increase from around £100/MWh year to nearly £140/MWh year – largely as a result of increases in third party charges.

This trend looks set to continue into the near future. In 2015 it is expected that costs will rise by almost 10% due to increases in third party charges.

CCC charts rising energy bills

The government has set in place ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions in a bid to help mitigate the risks of climate change. It has done this by introducing a number of policies to increase energy efficiency and to incentivise low-carbon power generation. But these policies come at a cost to end consumers, who pay for the government’s schemes through their electricity and gas bills. 
The energy sector has, throughout this year, maintained its importance to the political agenda, with the Westminster parties continuing to debate the affordability of the low-carbon transition.