In this report

While global leaders prepare for crunch talks on climate change in December, renewable energy developers alongside oil and gas producers are grappling with the business consequences of a plunge in the price of crude

Renewables scrutinised as oil price falls

A vintage Shell sign is seen illuminated at a Shell gas station in Cambridge, Massachusetts, December 12, 2014
©Brian Snyder/Reuters

The collapse in the cost of hydrocarbons undermines those who advocate alternative energy sources

Argentinian oil company YPF's drilling chief Martin Costa observes two oil drilling rigs at his charge in Vaca Muerta Shale oil reservoir at Loma Campana, in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, some 1180 Km south-west of Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 4, 2014
©Juan Mabromata/Getty

Argentina aims to join shale trailblazers

The country pins its energy hopes on enviable unconventional resources

A Saudi man walks on a street past a field of solar panels at the King Abdulaziz city of Sciences and Technology, Al-Oyeynah Research Station, May 21, 2012
©Fahad Shadeed/Reuters

Saudi Arabia looks towards solar power

The kingdom seeks to supplement grid supplies with green power

A drone is flown for recreational purposes in the sky above Syosset, New York on August 30, 2015
©Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Inspection drones take off as flying robots replace rigworkers

Unmanned aerial vehicles offer the prospect of cheaper, quicker and safer inspectors

Denmark considers wind a less volatile option

As the UK wrangles on subsidies, Danish support for renewables remains high

Others seek to mimic US shale success

America’s headstart in fracking relied on a unique set of conditions

Oil groups squeeze capital investment

Oil companies are squeezing investment so they can maintain dividends

the Nest app allows customers to adjust heating by smartphone

Technology drives smarter thinking

Disruption pushes sector to reinvent the way it does business

New generation biofuels pass a milestone

Science and regulations still temper expectations

Japan revisits pre-Fukushima nuclear past

Three years on, there are moves to restart the reactors

Smart meters deliver benefits – and costs

Savings for suppliers and consumers come at a price

Managing Germany’s switch to greener power

There is new hope for struggling traditional providers

Reforms aim to cut cost of ‘Energiewende’

New rules protect Geman industry but increase the burden on consumers

US shows how to conquer energy peaks

Users get better deals for accepting supply interruptions

Costs hamper shale extraction in China

Companies struggle with geology and state monopolies

Hydropower under scrutiny over value

Study comes amid new push to build more mega-dams

UK consumers resist calls to shop around

Nearly 40 per cent have never changed supplier