£2.5bn is the latest DECC figure. The developing world is now surging ahead of Britain, which fell out of the top 10 in 2010. 3.3% of UK energy now comes from renewables.
Archive for December, 2011
Rebuilding the UK’s energy system by 2050: costs about the same for clean or conventional energy, DECC says.December 28, 2011 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear
Every person in Britain will need to pay about £5,000 a year between now and 2050 on rebuilding and using the nation’s entire energy system, new DECC figures suggest. The cost of developing clean and sustainable electricity, heating and transport will be very similar to replacing today’s conventional power stations. The forecasts come from a unique open-source analysis package, called the 2050 pathways calculator, created by Professor David MacKay, DECC chief scientific adviser. Guardian: “However, the cost of the “do nothing” option does not include the damage to the economy expected as a result of climate change, and the calculator notes that, according to the landmark Stern review: “This is the equivalent of up to £6,500 per person per year on average, on top of the cost of the energy system”.”
On 1 December EU ministers said a decision on further sanctions would be taken no later than their January meeting. EU countries import some 18% of Iranian exports, 450,000 barrels. About of third of seaborne oil passed through the 4 miles Straits in 2009.
“Sudden lurches in policy and support send a bad signal,” say the groups in a letter protesting their lost community projects.
Reuters reports that an incident in Haimen is not the first recently. Health threats seem to be driving the concerns.
The joint report of the Environmental Audit Committee and the Energy and Climate Change Committee on DECC’s handling of the solar feed-in tariff cuts is damning. Guardian: “The MPs described the quick tariff change as “panicky”, and said it “smacks of retrospective regulation, which undermines confidence in the government’s management of other energy policies”.”
Mike Petrucci, chief executive of BP Solar, in an internal email to staff last week: “Over the last six months we have realised that we simply can’t make any money from solar,” a spokesman confirmed. It has become a commoditised business. You cannot be a specialist anymore,”
My message to BBC Radio’s The World Tonight: let us turn this humiliation for HMG into something positive and get back to where we were: creating jobs the nation needs in these hard times. And to Business Green: “We encourage the Secretary of State to accept the judge’s very clear ruling, to not plunge the industry into a further period of uncertainty by considering going to appeal, and to conduct the remainder of the current consultation process properly with constructive conversations with the industry.”
Huge tanks are being added to the biggest pipeline hub in the world, at Cushing in Oklahoma, where capacity will be 79 million barrels by end of next year, up 20%.
Seeking £10 million of funding from customers and the public to help accelerate the building of new renewables projects, more than 2,000 people had between them applied for £16.2 million worth of ecobonds by the deadline, exceeding the success of ecobond one last year. The bond had a minimum investment of £500 and an initial term of four years. Ecotricity also offered a preferential rate to its customers – 6.5% as opposed to the 6% for non customers.
Climate Progress: “On average, rates in these states increased by 1.35¢/kWh over five years (or 3.2% annually). The bottom five states were the only states to have each installed less than 1 MW of cumulative solar PV and wind capacity through 2010. On average, rates in these states increased by 1.39¢/kWh over five years (or 4.0% annually). On average across the U.S., by comparison, electricity prices increased by 1.8¢/kWh over five years (or 4.1% annually).”
Radiation leaks from the three reactor meltdowns have forced more than 100,000 people to abandon homes and polluted some 3 per cent of Japan’s land mass to levels requiring decontamination.
Meanwhile First Solar warns of an extended period of low margins.
Just a day after signing the Durban accord, Canada commits an act that is condemned at home and abroad. China calls it “preposterous.”
FT: “The hedge fund industry delivers risk-adjusted returns of essentially zero, after fees, according to an innovative academic study” covering 2004-9.
The UK’s Co-operative Bank aims to create a new asset class providing growth capital for co-operative businesses in the developing world, starting with a new fund just launched, the Global Development Co-operative, which aims to raise $50m, which it will lend at low rates (2-5 per cent) to co-operatives looking to expand. Investors would gain a social return, and at best the return of their capital. Eight investors are backing it, and is seeking support from global investors and foundations interested in international development and investments with a social impact.
Negotiators agree, after extended negotiations that came within minutes of falling apart, to start work on a new climate deal that would have “legal force” and require both developed and developing countries to cut emissions, terms to be agreed by 2015 and to come into effect from 2020. Christiana Figueres: “I salute the countries who made this agreement. They have all laid aside some cherished objectives of their own to meet a common purpose – a long-term solution to climate change.” But the world is still locked into 4 degrees C as things stand.
My view in the Huffington Post: “There are only two possibilities, given the absence of a credible savings narrative and the seemingly lethal intent of the six week warning and the market-shrivelling energy-efficiency pre-qualification. One is breathtaking collective incompetence. The other is conspiracy.
The answer is conspiracy. So I have been told in recent weeks by insiders in Whitehall, Westminster, and in the relevant parts of the energy, PR, and financial industries.”
Consumer Focus says complaints against ‘Big Six’ suppliers have risen by 26% over the last three months despite their promises to rebuild trust. EDF, RWE and E.On fared worst.
In so doing they have set off a fresh round of calls for curbs on the controversial technique.
Why is a Keynesian solution so difficult to sell when it is clear that austerity is worsening the economic downturn?December 6, 2011 Finance
Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian: The seemingly counter-intuitive argument must be better framed. “A quick look at the record of British debt going back to 1830 shows that, by historical standards, our current indebtedness is no more than a modest uptick compared with, say, the late 1940s, when debt was five times as great as it is now – and yet it was precisely then, when the country really was drowning in red ink, that Keynes was advocating a fiscal stimulus.”
With three days to go, it is unclear that any o the three big issues can be resolved: whether the “green climate fund” is permitted to go ahead; the future of the Kyoto treaty, which is in grave doubt; and whether there can be a new global legally binding treaty on the climate in future, or a weaker compromise. Guardian: “The IEA warns that the number of fossil fuel power stations and other energy hungry infrastructure that we build in the next three to five years may determine the whole future of the planet – because building such infrastructure, which will be around for decades to come, will “lock in” a world of high emissions.”