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

HMG to open two thirds of UK to fracking despite evidence of harm.

December 17, 2013 Climate, Gas, Oil 

TreeAlerts: “The UK government is facing sharp criticism again today, as it steps up its support for the shale gas industry in an attempt to “open two-thirds of England up to fracking”.” 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

Barclays intends to fund UK fracking.

November 30, 2013 Change for Good, Finance 

Telegraph: “Barclays Bank is backing the search for shale gas in Yorkshire and could fund fracking in the area as early as next year, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.” Read more

Fracking will not reduce gas prices in the UK: Lord Browne.

November 29, 2013 Clean Energy, Gas 

Guardian: “Fracking is not going to reduce gas prices in the UK, according to the chairman of the UK’s leading shale gas company. The statement by Lord Browne, one of the most powerful energy figures in Britain, contradicts claims by David Cameron and George Osborne that shale gas exploration could help curb soaring energy bills.”
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UK energy bills to be cut £50 by losing “green crap”.

November 28, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: Energy bills could be cut by £50 a year in next week’s autumn statement by watering down “green levies” and moving them on to general taxation, under plans being discussed by ministers.” Read more

Water shortages may preclude fracking in parts of UK.

November 27, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “Fracking may be impractical in parts of the UK due to the scarcity of local water supplies, and in other areas will have an impact on local water resources, the water industry has admitted, in a deal struck with the oil and gas industry.” Read more

RWE axes huge UK offshore wind farm citing investor uncertainty.

November 26, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “Britain’s green ambitions have been dealt a blow as a big six energy company has pulled the plug on one of the world’s largest offshore windfarms, with the political storm enveloping the industry threatening the multibillion-pound investments needed to meet emissions targets and head off a looming capacity crunch.” Read more

British banks among biggest lenders to coal industry.

November 18, 2013 Climate, Coal, Finance 

Guardian: “Three UK banks are among the world’s biggest lenders to the coal-mining industry, despite trumpeting their environmental credentials, a new report has found.” 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

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

If Hinkley C has no public subsidy, why the need for state aid clearance?

October 26, 2013 Nuclear 

Tom Burke in The Ecologist: “Mr Davey, If there is no public subsidy for Hinkley C why are you having to make an application to the Brussels for state aid clearance?” 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

GDF Suez to fund fracking in UK.

October 22, 2013 Gas, Oil 

FT: “GDF Suez of France has struck a deal with Dart Energy that will see the world’s biggest power producer by output fund drilling for shale gas in the UK over the next three years.” 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

China to take stakes in UK nuclear plants.

October 17, 2013 Nuclear 

Guardian: “The announcement that Chinese companies can take a stake in British nuclear plants was hardly a surprise: George Osborne had already told reporters that the UK welcomed Chinese investment in all its infrastructure – citing the sovereign wealth fund CIC’s existing investment in Thames Water and Heathrow.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

Analysis of SSE’s price rise shows their blaming “green taxes” is wrong.

October 10, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Damian Carrington in the Guardian: “The overwhelming reasons for power bills soaring are that fossil fuels are getting more expensive and that two decades of underinvestment by energy companies in the UK’s now creaking energy system has left customers with a steep bill to catch up.”
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