FirstFT: UK energy groups are feeling the heat

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good morning. Britain’s power generators will face pressure from ministers to invest their “extraordinary profits” in new green energy projects, rather than paying shareholders a windfall.

Some have made huge profits from higher electricity prices that have risen in line with the rising cost of gas, even if the power they produce comes from renewables or nuclear power.

Today, chancellor Nadim Al-Zahawi will keep alive the possibility of hitting generators with an unexpected tax if they do not invest their profits in renewable energy projects. He has asked officials to draw up a list of political alternatives for who becomes UK Prime Minister on 5 September.

Zahawi and Business Minister Kwasi Quarting will meet with generators including Centrica and RWE to discuss the energy crisis, including the jump in home bills, with annual average gas and electricity bills expected to reach £4,420 by spring – more than triple Level initially in 2022.

Officials at Kwarteng worked on a range of “reasonable worst-case scenarios,” including a potential electricity supply shortage of up to one-sixth of peak demand this winter, in the event that Russia shuts down gas to Europe.

Liz Truss, the frontrunner to lead the Conservative Party, vowed yesterday to do everything in her power to help families grappling with a cost-of-living crisis, in what her rival Rishi Sunak called a “key turning point” on a major political issue.

Thanks to the readers who took our survey yesterday. Seventy-two percent of survey respondents said outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Truss and Snow should meet to agree an emergency budget to tackle rising household bills. Here’s the rest of the day’s news. – Jennifer

1. Credit Suisse escalates $400 million SoftBank dispute The Swiss lender has intensified its legal battle against a Japanese tech investor as it seeks to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of its wealthier clients it loaned through the defunct Greensill Capital.

2. Disney adds 14.4 million live subscribers Walt Disney defied concerns about an industry slowdown by adding subscribers to its Disney Plus service last quarter, pushing the total number of paying customers to 221 million. But the media group has scaled back its long-term guidance due to the loss of rights to broadcast cricket matches in the Indian Premier League.

3. Elon Musk sells nearly $7 billion in Tesla stock before court battle with Twitter Tesla’s CEO has benefited from the recent rebound in the electric car maker’s share price to sell $6.9 billion worth of its stock since the end of last week, according to regulatory filings.

4. UK ‘urgently’ introduces booster polio vaccine to London children aged 1 to 9 The Health Security Agency said the move would help bolster protection against paralysis linked to polio and halt transmission of the virus, which sewage monitoring indicates is occurring in parts of the capital.

5. Donald Trump Resumes Fifth Investigation In New York State The former US president refused to answer questions during a testimony to a New York state investigation into his businesses yesterday, invoking his constitutional right to decriminalize self amid escalating legal problems.

next day

Returning Russian crude oil to the southern Druzhba pipeline Hungarian energy company MOL paid the fees for transporting oil to Ukraine on behalf of a company controlled by the Kremlin in order to resume the flow of crude oil. The Energy Information Administration and OPEC also publish monthly oil market reports.

Judging Timothy Schools A former lawyer who funneled nearly £20m from the “no profit, no fee” litigation fund to his own pocket will be sentenced. He was found guilty on all five counts against him at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday following the UK’s Serious Fraud Office investigation.

corporate profits It is due to report quarterly results for companies such as Aegon, Deutsche Telekom and Siemens. Results for the first half of the year are also in Salzgitter and Zurich Insurance.

The PGA Tour Qualifiers Begin A US judge has denied a request by three professional golfers to play in the first of the playoffs in Memphis, Tennessee, after they defected this summer to LIV Golf, a fledgling league backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

US economic data The Producer Price Index numbers are expected to have risen at a slower pace in July than in June, but still at elevated levels. Unemployment insurance filings are also expected to increase during the week ending August 6 (FT, WSJ)

Join us in person or online for the FTWeekend Festival on Saturday 3rd September, and enjoy a day packed with discussions, tastings, performances and more. Hear from speakers including Great British Bake Off winner Nadia Hussain, former MP and Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, Ukrainian chef Olya Hercules, and psychotherapist Esther Burrell. Claim a £20 off festival ticket Using promo code FTWFxNewsletters.

What else are we reading

The shopping revolution will be broadcast live Internet platforms including TikTok, YouTube, and Amazon have announced live e-commerce as the future of retail. But early experiences in the UK and US suggest there is still a long way to go to overcome low viewership, poor sales and tough technical and logistical challenges.

A bar chart of the most popular destinations for US consumers watching online shopping.  Show login, ready to buy

In praise of boredom The last time Jemima Kelly got bored was a year ago, during a seemingly endless Mass in France. But after the ordeal ended, she noticed that her feelings of pleasure had intensified. It turns out that boredom can help our highly interconnected lives.

The German economy is faltering The country’s prospects are becoming “fragile”, according to its finance minister, with growth expectations lowered and life “much more expensive for a lot of people.” Here’s how power in the eurozone has become a weak link.

Conservative Party terrorism spurs war with the state After his resignation last year, David Frost, Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiator, published an article – the latest wave in the ever-shrinking cycle of disavowal that characterizes Conservative politics. Robert Shrimsley writes in his essay about the horror of a party that fears it has lost true Conservative Party orthodoxy.

What’s next for Britney Greiner – and for women’s sports? Griner is currently the most famous female basketball player in the world, not because of her Olympic gold medal or her five professional championships across the EuroLeague and WNBA, but because she has become a political pawn.

main property

The €1 dream scheme is sparking a wider trend of home buying in Sicily, where abandoned homes are helping to attract buyers from northern Italy and abroad.

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