Anti-fracking protestors arrested at Cuadrilla’s Sussex oil drilling site.

July 26, 2013 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Sussex police have made 14 arrests at an oil drilling site near the village of Balcombe after local people and anti-fracking activists attempted to block the delivery of machinery for a second day using a human chain and tree trunks.” Read more

Hot summer breaks solar energy records in UK and Germany.

July 26, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “There are now over 450,000 solar installations, almost all on household roofs, which together have a capacity of 2.7GW. On a sunny day solar power is able to generate around 2% of UK demand over a 24-hour period. But because solar panels generate electricity in peak daylight hours, this is the equivalent of around 6% of all electricity needed in Britain between 10am and 5pm.” Read more

Cuadrilla prepares to drill for oil in Sussex.

July 23, 2013 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Cuadrilla is moving machinery into place to start drilling an exploratory oil well near the village of Balcombe in Sussex within the next few days, in its first UK venture outside Lancashire.” They are testing to see if they produce without fracking.

5 of UK Big 6 energy companies drop green tariffs.

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

Guardian: “Five of the “big six” energy companies have dropped their policies of offering green tariffs to new customers, in a move which green campaigners fear could undermine the national drive to tackle climate change.” Read more

Cameron election strategist is a shale gas lobbyist.

July 19, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “David Cameron was accused on Friday of giving evasive answers about the Tories’ chief election strategist as the Labour party highlighted Lynton Crosby‘s role in promoting shale gas  companies in his native Australia.” Read more

George Osborne unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking.

July 19, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “The Treasury has set a 30% tax rate for onshore shale gas production. That compares with a top rate of 62% on new North Sea oil operations and up to 81% for older offshore fields.” Read more

Most British worry more about peak oil than climate change.

July 18, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Gas, Nuclear, Oil 

Reuters: “Most people in Britain want to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, but due more to fears of shortages and rising prices than to fears about climate change, according to a poll developed by researchers at Cardiff University and funded by the UK Energy Research Centre.” Read more

Consumer group urges independent review needed of UK energy sector.

July 16, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

Guardian: “The government needs to launch an independent review of the energy sector similar to the Vickers report on banking as part of a bid to break the dominance of the big six power providers and rein in soaring household bills, according to Which?” Read more

UK Renewable Heat Incentive details announced at last.

July 12, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “Householders will be able to claim hundreds of pounds a year for green heating technologies such as solar hot water systems from next year under a flagship renewable energy scheme. But Guardian analysis shows that despite the increases in the government payment levels announced on Friday, it will still take decades to recoup the upfront costs of installing these technologies.” Read more

Pentland Firth tidal power “could provide half Scotland’s electricity”.

July 10, 2013 Clean Energy 

Guardian: “The tidal streams, which surge through the firth at five metres per second, could bring large amounts of renewable energy in reach within a decade if enough government support is available, said the Oxford University engineer behind the new study.” Read more

UK offshore wind power in “serious doubt”.

July 9, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate 

Guardian: So says the Institute for Public Policy Research in a new report. It “has found that the government has done too little to attract wind turbine manufacturers to set up in the UK, with the result that only a small proportion of the tens of billions of expected investment in offshore wind will benefit British manufacturers.” Read more

British Geological Survey revises up its shale gas estimates.

June 27, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “Britain is sitting on shale gas deposits that could supply the UK for 25 years, suggests an independent report that ramps up previous estimates for the controversial energy source.” Read more

UK government gives EDF a $10bn subsidy.

June 27, 2013 Nuclear 

Guardian: “The government has responded to warnings that Britain is on the brink of power blackouts by announcing £10bn in financial guarantees to the nuclear power industry.” Read more

Ofgem warns danger rising of blackouts by mid-decade.

June 27, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

BBC: “The danger of power shortages in the UK by the middle of the decade has risen, according to industry regulator Ofgem. Spare electricity power production capacity could fall to 2% by 2015, increasing the risk of blackouts. More investment in power generation and other action is needed to protect consumers, Ofgem said.”

Green Deal failing as UK heads for missed 2020s emission targets.

June 27, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate 

Guardian: “Five months after the launch of the government’s flagship energy efficiency programme, energy uppliers are still struggling with the IT systems and legal arrangements they need to offer households insulation and other improvements under the “green deal“. Of the so-called “Big Six”, only British Gas has fully launched a national green deal programme. Read more

“Solar power still better than nuclear in the fight against climate change.”

Jeremy Leggett in the Guardian: George Monbiot claims in a gentlemanly article to have won our £100 bet, made three years ago, that solar PV would be at grid parity – the same cost as conventional retail electricity – by 2013. The very good news is that over the past three years, the actual average price of installed residential solar PV has come down some 60%, while the cost of new nuclear has gone up 70% and is still rising.” Read more

UK Banking Commission recommends jailing bankers for recklessness.

June 19, 2013 Finance 

Guardian: “George Osborne is facing pressure to radically overhaul Britain’s banks by introducing a new law to jail bankers for “reckless misconduct” and force bankers to wait up to 10 years to receive their bonuses.” Read more

Centrica tables £160m for Bowland shale fracking deal.

June 13, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: “The British Gas owner, Centrica, will invest up to £160m in shale gas exploration and development in the north-west after agreeing a deal with Britain’s leading fracking company.” Read more

UK parliament votes against 2030 electricity decarbonisation target.

June 4, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate 

Guardian: “A bid to include a target to decarbonise the UK’s electricity generation by 2030 was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon, to the dismay of green campaigners and businesses that had backed the goal as a way of stimulating investment in renewables and low-carbon energy,” Read more

World is heading for another financial crisis: FT columnist John Kay.

June 2, 2013 Finance 

FT: John Kay warns in a forthcoming speech that the world is heading for another financial crisis because the economic system is geared around trading profits that create market bubbles that inevitably burst. Read more