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ODAC Newsletter - 27 Mar

Welcome to the ODAC Newsletter, a weekly roundup from the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, the UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of peak oil.

The oil price remained steady this week at around $53 amid conflicting data on the economy. One set of figures showed that during the 4th quarter of 2008 the US economy shrank at its fastest rate in twenty-five years, but another suggested US demand is showing some signs of recovery.

The UK economy had another torrid week. Soaring public debt led to a surprise statement on Tuesday from Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, that Britain could not afford another huge fiscal stimulus package. As if to confirm it, the Debt Management Office announced it had not been able to sell all the gilts (government bonds) in its latest issue.

The low oil price and the financial crunch continues to have a terrible impact on Britain’s plans for 35% renewable electricity by 2020. In the latest blow, this week Iberdrola Renewables cut investment in the UK by more than 40%. Meanwhile Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, showed frustration this week at a lack of strategic planning by the government, and warned that an increase in subsidies and greater regulation would be needed to meet the target. Former BP boss Lord Browne also weighed in, pleading for greater state intervention in energy markets to make renewables viable. Time is running out to make meaningful changes, and unfortunately, so is the money.

Oil
Crude Oil Rises on Indications U.S. Fuel Demand May Be Climbing
Suncor buys rival Petro-Canada for C$19.6bn
Chavez cuts budget over oil price

Gas
EU looks for gas in Ukraine
First liquid gas delivery in port

Renewables
Green energy plans in disarray as wind farm giant slashes investment
State intervention vital if Britain is to meet its green energy targets, says former BP boss
National Grid chief calls for more renewables subsidies
More wind farms can be built in UK without harming wildlife - RSPB
Irish Sea could provide five per cent of UK's electricity
Green oil may buy us new deal for environment — but at what price?

Biofuels
Shell goes to paradise in search of cheap biofuel

Climate
Barack Obama may delay signing up to Copenhagen climate change deal
Congress approves landmark conservation bill
Perfect storm of environmental and economic collapse closer than you think

Economy
Obama plays his $1 trillion card
China suggests switch from dollar
Airline industry in ‘intensive care’

UK
PM backs away from new UK stimulus
Fears grow for public finances as gilts sale fails
Can Ed Miliband stop the lights going out?

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