A new report from Wood Mackenzie finds the break-even cost for deep water oil and gas projects, the US Gulf of Mexico in particular, has dropped from around $70 per barrel to below $50 per barrel. The report estimates the average cost to develop deep water projects globally have dropped more than 20%. The cost reductions are being driving by new project designs and improved well performance. Currently, the price for a barrel of Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, is around $52.

The UK announced heavy electricity users such as steel, glass and cement companies will be exempted from some of the costs associated with achieving the country’s renewable energy policies. This move is expected to help 130 eligible businesses cut there energy costs by around £100 million a year. Although energy costs on average account for 3% of UK business expenditure, there are 15 sectors where it reaches 10%. Energy Minister Jesse Norman said:

“We want the UK to be one of the best places in the world to build and grow a business and that means creating the right conditions for companies to thrive and succeed. These industries are worth £52 billion to the UK economy, support 600,000 jobs and produce essential products that people use every day. That is why we have taken this action to support them.”

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reported on the country’s electricity generation mix in 2016. Natural gas accounted for 42.4% of the country’s electric power generated last year (up 13%), coal accounted for 9.1% (down 13%) and nuclear’s share increased slightly by 0.4% to 21.2%. Renewable electricity generation decreased by 0.2% to 24.4% in 2016.

The International Renewable Energy Agency said renewable energy grew globally by 161 gigawatts (GW) in 2016, led primarily by 71 GW of new solar power. Wind increased by 51 GW. Hydro power and bioenergy capacities increased 30 GW and 9 GW respectively, with geothermal power increasing by just under 1 GW. Asia accounted for 58% of the year’s renewable growth, giving it a total of 812 GW installed – or 41% of renewable capacity worldwide. Africa installed 4.1 GW of new capacity in 2016, or twice as much as in 2015.

The International Renewable Energy Agency says global off-grid renewable capacity reached 2.8 GW at the end of 2016, with around 40% of this coming from solar. It is estimated that some 60 million households use and benefit from off-grid renewable electricity.

The International Energy Agency suggests that coal will surpass crude oil as the world’s most popular fuel source within 10 years. The increase in coal use is being driven by the extreme growth in emerging markets like China and India, countries that require cheap fuel sources for electricity production in order to support their quickly growing infrastructures and populations. India is expected to become the second largest coal consumer this year, ranking only behind China. China will remain the world’s largest coal consumer, accounting for more than half of global consumption, for the foreseeable future.

Justin Fox writes how the world went From Peak Oil to Peak Oil Demand in Just Nine Years.

The UK plans to create a cluster of innovative automobile technology testing facilities in the Midlands. This week it announced the first phase of a £100 million investment in connected and autonomous vehicle testing infrastructure. The investment is being matched by the auto and hi-tech industries to take the total spend up to £200 million over four years.

Mercedes announced it is accelerating its electric car plans. Instead of having 10 new EV models in showrooms by 2025, it now plans to do so by 2022. Moving the timetable forward will require a “fundamental” shift in the company’s business model and require an investment of $10,000,000, according to Daimler Chairman Manfred Bischoff.

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