“Energy complaints reach highest level ever recorded.”

April 7, 2014 Coal, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Energy complaints in the first quarter of 2014 more than tripled compared to the same period last year to their highest level ever recorded, the energy sector’s ombudsman said on Monday.”
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UK Conservative party plans to ban onshore wind farms, maybe dismantle.

April 4, 2014 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “The Conservative party is planning to pledge in its manifesto for next year’s general election that it will introduce a moratorium on future onshore windfarms from 2020 on the grounds that they have now become “self-defeating”.”
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UK government publishes strategy targeting solar rooftop generation.

April 3, 2014 Clean Energy 

Solar Trade Association: “The UK Government has today published the first dedicated Solar Strategy of any EU Government. The Strategy seeks to strengthen the UK’s position in the booming global solar market, which is estimated at a massive ~46GW in 2014 by Deutsche Bank – a 50% increase on total installed global capacity.”
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Ofgem to launch full investigation into Big 6, possibly leading to breakup.

March 27, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “Britain has been warned that it faces an energy investment freeze and a heightened risk of blackouts after the industry watchdog called for the deepest ever investigation into the big six power suppliers.”
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UK factories shut down at some peak times to avoid high power costs.

February 18, 2014 Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

FT: “Cripplingly high power costs are forcing some of Britain’s heavy manufacturers to shut down their entire operation at peak times, with furnaces cooling and workers shivering in cold, darkened offices.”
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Big 6 UK energy companies: 5.5m complain in 2013, 800k quit.

February 14, 2014 Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “….consumer group Which? revealed there had been 5.5 million complaints against the “big six” – EDF, Centrica, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power and SSE – last year…. More than 800,000 customers are believed to have switched away from “big six” suppliers in just over a year.”
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Labour accuses Big 6 of c. £4bn overcharging on bills.

January 1, 2014 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “Households may have paid £150 over the odds for their electricity over the past three years because energy companies bought their power for almost £4bn more than the average market rate, Labour has claimed.” Read more

SSE to close two coal-fired power plants.

December 20, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal 

Guardian: “Growing concerns about a future power generating capacity crunch were highlighted on Friday when SSE unveiled plans to close two coal-fired power stations, one of them the huge Ferrybridge complex in West Yorkshire.” Read more

British businesses to be paid to switch off to stop blackouts in 2014.

December 19, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

FT: “Businesses will be paid to cut their energy use on winter evenings next year, highlighting the rising threat of blackouts as the UK’s ageing coal plants are closed. The proposal comes amid repeated warnings from the energy regulator Ofgem about the increased risk of power shortages by the middle of the decade.” Read more

European Commission begins state-aid investigation into Hinkley.

December 18, 2013 Nuclear 

Guardian: “The European commission has started an investigation into UK plans to subsidise the construction and operation of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, in a challenge to the government’s plans to overhaul Britain’s creaking energy infrastructure.” Read more

Third Big 6 UK offshore wind farm cancellation or pullout in two weeks.

December 13, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “Scottish Power has abandoned a £5.4bn plan to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm, after four years of planning, because it is “not financially viable”.” Read more

UK renewable subsidy cuts hit onshore wind and solar pv.

December 4, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “Reduced subsidies for onshore windfarms and solar power announced on Wednesday are “good news”, according to a leading renewable energy trade body, because it shows the costs of the technologies are coming down. The cuts set out by the energy secretary, Ed Davey, mean onshore windfarms will for the first time receive lower subsidies than future nuclear power stations.” Read more

UK attitudes to energy efficiency unchanged despite ever higher bills.

November 5, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “The attitude of British billpayers to saving energy remains unchanged by the roll-out of the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme despite widespread concern over rising bills, according to the government’s own opinion poll. It found that 28% of people were giving a lot of thought to saving energy in their home, the same as in September 2012.” Read more

Big 6 “overcharge by £3.7bn a year”.

October 29, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “Some of Britain’s biggest energy companies have been accused of raising households bills for no reason and systematically overcharging customers by £3.7bn a year as they were grilled by MPs over their soaring prices and profits.” Read more

The big questions the Big 6 need to answer.

October 26, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Nuclear, Oil 

Terry Macalister in the Guardian: “The bosses of the big six energy companies will appear before the energy and climate change select committee on 29 October. The powerful group of MPs, chaired by Tim Yeo, will grill them on green levies, profit levels – and why consumers face such big increases in their bills. These are the questions they should ask:” Read more

UK PM threatens to “roll back” UK green taxes. Deputy PM opposes.

October 24, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Nuclear, Oil 

Telegraph: “The Deputy Prime Minister said he does not “fully agree” with Mr Cameron, who on Wednesday said he will next year “roll back” the environmental levies. Mr Clegg hinted that he could be prepared to take some green levies off energy bills and on to taxes. However, he made it clear that he will prevent any attempts to “scrap a whole system of levies”. Read more

Is RWE considering a complete turnaround of their business plan?

October 23, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Greentechgrid.com: “We may be about to witness one of the most profound transitions ever to occur in the utility industry. Challenged by the surge in distributed renewables and a strong decline in revenues, one of Europe’s largest largest utilities, RWE, is reportedly planning to completely transform itself from a traditional electricity provider into a renewable energy service provider.” Read more

BG hikes UK gas prices 10% and suffers major PR disaster.

October 17, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “British Gas has turned a consumer and political backlash over a 10% increase in energy bills into a public relations disaster after trying to head off criticism of the price hike by using social media.” Read more

Low C policies to add 41% to UK energy bills by 2030: DECC.

October 14, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

FT: “Green policies will add 41 per cent to electricity prices by 2030 – according to the energy department’s own forecasts. Policies to promote low-carbon energy include a guaranteed “strike price”, expected to be announced within days, to support EDF’s proposed new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset – at double the market price.” Read more

Ten EU utilities call openly for an end to renewables subsidies.

October 11, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Euractiv.com: “The group – which includes top utilities such as France’s GDF Suez, Germany’s E.ON, Spain’s Iberdrola and Italy’s Enel – has made an impact, as several countries, including Spain, Germany and France, have reviewed or are reviewing support schemes for renewable energy.” Read more