Regulation & Policy

The UK government continues to see a role for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in its emission reduction plan, which the government expects to publish “this year”, according to Alex Chisholm, permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Poland is considering a second LNG import terminal to further reduce its reliance on Russian gas imports. Polish gas system operator Gaz-System said on March 27 that it would launch a feasibility study into the project this year, with a view to it possibly coming online by 2021.

New statistics from the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show the UK is experiencing a steady reduction in emissions, mainly due to coal to gas switching in power generation.

Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order unwinding Obama’s policies aimed at tackling climate change. The order will dismantle the Clean Power Plan and lift the ban on federal leasing for coal production, along with a number of other elements that together attempt to reset or extinguish the whole global warming debate.

The United Arab Emirates forecasts that savings from switching half its energy needs from subsidised gas to solar by mid-century will outstrip investment costs by $42 billion.

At least one of the Dutch political parties calling for lower Groningen production could become part of a new coalition government following last week's second chamber elections, according to a report from Argus Media.

President Trump is preparing to issue an executive order on climate change, which could disassemble former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and end the moratorium on federal-land coal mining. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already issued an order informing power plants that they no longer need to report CO2 emissions’ data.

New research from Purdue University in the US suggests that methane emissions from gas power plants may be significantly higher than accounted for in current inventories. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

Australia’s big LNG exporters – including Shell and Exxon - have agreed to a request from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to supply more gas to the domestic market.

The UK government is preparing to intervene to control energy prices because the market is “manifestly not working” for consumers, according to Prime Minister May. The Government has faced repeated calls for a fixed price cap on energy tariffs amid accusations that the so-called Big Six energy companies are not competitive enough on pricing.

A switch from coal to gas helped keep energy-related carbon dioxide emissions flat in 2016 for the third year in a row, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), after many years of steep growth. However, most of the improvement did not come as a result of policies designed to cut CO2 emissions.  

The European Commission has approved a €420 million (£364m) Czech support scheme for electricity generation from high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) plants under EU state aid rules. The Commission concluded the measure would support EU energy and climate change goals without unduly distorting competition.

The latest report by the Australian Energy Market Operator shows there could be both gas and electricity shortages within the next few years on the country’s populous east coast – despite the nation being among the biggest LNG exporters in the world (and set to be the biggest by 2021).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations. The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators, including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information, are no longer required to respond.

Singapore is to introduce a carbon tax on large direct emitters of greenhouse gases, including power stations from 2019. The tax is expected to affect between 30 and 40 emitters.