Energy Costs

Solar power, once so costly it only made economic sense in spaceships, is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast. That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance outlook for how fuel and electricity markets will evolve by 2040. The research group estimated solar already rivals the cost of new coal power plants in Germany and the U.S. and by 2021 will do so in quick-growing markets such as China and India. The scenario suggests green energy is taking root more quickly than most experts anticipate. It would mean that global carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels may decline after 2026, a contrast with the International Energy Agency’s central forecast, which sees emissions rising steadily for decades to come.

Bloomberg 15th June 2017 read more »

Energy suppliers should not be allowed to keep customers on pricy standard variable deals indefinitely, the boss of British Gas’s owner has said. Iain Conn, chief executive of Centrica, believes putting households on fixed-term deals would be a more effective way of driving down bills than a price cap. Conn said the competition watchdog’s report on the industry last year had shown that “not enough customers are engaged, not enough are actively choosing to change” their deals. The report set out measures to encourage rivalry between suppliers and bring down prices. Conn said that instead of allowing households to remain on variable rates “for years and years”, suppliers should be forced to put them on “flat or variable-price contracts that have a fixed term”. This would encourage customers to shop around for an alternative when their contracts expired. His call comes as the government weighs whether to force suppliers to put a ceiling on bills. During the election campaign, Theresa May pledged to introduce an “absolute” price cap on standard variable tariffs. It was estimated that the move would cut the average bill by about £100 a year.

Times 18th June 2017 read more »

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Published: 18 June 2017