LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Al Gore has partially vindicated the UK government over soaring energy costs. Ministers last week indicated they expected private sector suppliers to rescue rivals that have gone bust due to the surge in gas prices, without state support. Now Generation Investment Management, co-founded by the former U.S. vice president, is injecting $600 million into British power group Octopus. It’s not necessarily a template for future deals, though.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe’s leaders need an energy intervention. The factors that caused the continent’s gas prices to treble, pushing the cost of electricity through the roof, are not going away. Yet fixing the problem requires finding ways to use less power, not just cranking up other sources.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Orsted is one of the most highly valued players in the global energy transition. Chief Executive Mads Nipper’s main job is to ensure things stay that way as demand for its wind power intensifies. Ahead of Glasgow’s critical COP26 conference in November, he chatted to George Hay.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Looney’s big adventure just had its first birthday. In the year since the BP chief executive fleshed out his strategy to pivot to renewable energy, he has seen his $84 billion group’s share price lag rivals like Royal Dutch Shell,, been obliged to sell choice assets to cut debt, and has now just replaced the boss of his all-important wind and solar arm. If he needs a spot of inspiration, Looney should check out how $58 billion Danish green star Orsted was faring at a similar stage in its transition.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The global surge in gas prices is giving Britain a particularly painful shock. The UK government may have to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to help rescue customers of failing power suppliers. The drama is partly self-inflicted and happening at the worst possible time.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Norway’s electorate has gotten the green bug. One of the world’s richest states has elected left-leaning parties keen to do more to combat climate change. But any expectations that wealthy Norwegians will suddenly take a global lead on reducing planetary warming are unlikely to be met.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Natural gas is having its moment in the sun. The price of the fossil fuel in Europe has risen fivefold since last year, to more than 50 euros per megawatt hour. That has pushed power prices across the continent to their highest in over a decade, and presents both a problem and an opportunity for politicians preparing for November’s COP26 global climate conference.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Qatar is a central player in the Afghanistan crisis. Doha hosted talks between the United States and the Taliban that preceded the current mess and has been central to helping organisations secure safe passage from Kabul. There’s an argument for the tiny gas-rich emirate to get further involved by advancing funds.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The sprint for Wm Morrison Supermarkets just became even more like a marathon. Just ahead of its bidding deadline, buyout group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice lobbed in a 9.7 billion pound offer for the UK grocer, including debt, prompting its target to switch its support from rival bidder, a consortium led by Fortress Investment. All concerned might appreciate a way to short-circuit the process.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Looney is demonstrating the ups and downs of transitioning away from oil. The BP chief executive on Tuesday announced expectations-beating second-quarter results, and hiked the company’s dividend. Which is great, except the recent higher crude prices that enabled the move are a mixed blessing.