New European law to clamp down on market price-rigging.

September 8, 2013 Finance, Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Life bans on rogue traders and large company fines as Financial Conduct Authority and Ofgem launch investigations. The European parliament is expected this week to vote through tough new legislation that would allow Brussels – and London – to crack down much harder on rogue traders in financial and energy markets.” Read more

UK Green New Deal Group calls for £50bn stimulus for green job creation.

Observer: “Campaigners have warned that Britain is hurtling towards a new economic crisis, and call for a £50bn “Green New Deal” to create more sustainable growth and better-paid jobs and equip the country for a low-carbon future. ….Five years on from their first demands for a radical reworking of Britain’s business model, the Green New Deal group, which includes Green party MP Caroline Lucas, economist Ann Pettifor and tax expert Richard Murphy, says the need for an alternative approach is greater than ever.” Read more

Solar continues to top UK energy-popularity opinion polls.

September 6, 2013 Clean Energy, Gas, Oil 

SolarPowerPortal: “The latest results of DECC’s public attitudes tracker show that solar continues to be the most popular generation technology in the UK, with 81% of those surveyed expressing support for the deployment of solar across the UK. In each of the six waves of research carried out by DECC, solar has come out as the most supported renewable technology.” Read more

Chinese seek greater say in running UK nuclear power plants.

September 1, 2013 Nuclear 

FT: “The state-owned Chinese nuclear group that is in talks to invest in Britain’s new nuclear programme wants greater operational control of any new plants it finances, potentially creating a national security headache for the government. China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), is in talks with EDF of France on sharing the cost of building a new plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset, which has an estimated price tag of £14bn.”

“UK solar power rush sparks local protests”: FT.

August 25, 2013 Clean Energy 

FT: “First it was windmills, then it was fracking. Now solar farms are provoking outrage around the country as companies rush to install record numbers before an important subsidy is cut next year.” ” Read more

Poll shows UK public much prefer solar farms to fracking.

August 22, 2013 Clean Energy, Gas, Oil 

Solar Power Portal: “The British public would prefer to have a solar farm located near them rather than a fracking well, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by the Solar Trade Association. The poll reveals that the British public are seven times more likely to welcome a local solar farm than a gas fracking field.” Read more

Ageing infrastructure speeds decline of North Sea oil production.

August 20, 2013 Oil 

FT: Production fell by nearly a third between 2010 and 2012 to 1.55m boe/d and it is now expected to fall further to between 1.2m and 1.4m boe/d this year. Malcolm Webb, chief executive of UK Oil and Gas says the steepness of the decline was far greater than that expected of a maturing oil and gas basin. Read more

MP among dozens arrested in non-violent direct actions at Balcombe.

August 19, 2013 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Hundreds of activists blockaded the Balcombe oil drilling site in Sussex owned by the fracking company Cuadrilla, as well as its Lichfield headquarters and the offices of its PR firm in London.” Read more

Thousands protest at potential southern UK fracking site.

August 18, 2013 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Thousands of people marched through the Sussex countryside on Sunday in the biggest show of strength to date for the UK’s anti-fracking movement, the start of a three-day campaign against exploratory drilling near the village of Balcombe in west Sussex.”

Guardian: Caudrilla suspends operations at Balcombe during protests.

CoE official speaks up for fracking, likens opposition to fears over MMR.

August 16, 2013 Gas, Oil 

FT: Philip Fletcher, chair of the Church’s group on mission and public affairs, compares condemnation of fracking to the mistaken belief that the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was not safe. Read more

UK’s flagship biomass power plant closes amid policy confusion.

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

Guardian: “This is no ordinary closure. Tilbury claimed latterly to be the biggest biomass plant in the world, providing 10% of Britain’s renewable power, and was a pioneer in the field of low-carbon generation.” Read more

Squeezed households cut energy use by a quarter as prices soar.

August 16, 2013 Clean Energy, Climate, Coal, Gas, Nuclear, Oil 

Guardian: “Households in England and Wales cut their energy use by a quarter between 2005 and 2011 as prices soared, government figures show. The sharp fall was probably caused by a mix of efficiency measures and environmental awareness, as well as steep price rises, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.” Read more

Biomass energy growth flags in UK as official support wavers.

August 14, 2013 Clean Energy 

FT: “Biomass, once seen as pivotal to Britain’s hopes of meeting its renewable energy targets, is hitting the buffers as the government rethinks support for the sector. Its waning fortunes have come as a shock to many in the renewables sector, which had viewed biomass as among the most promising non-fossil fuels.”

Eon blames 42% profit drop on growth of renewables.

August 13, 2013 Clean Energy, Coal, Finance, Gas, Nuclear, Oil 

FT: Eon says it will consider shutting or mothballing fossil power plants in Europe in the face of “interventionist” energy policies and regulations that subsidise and prioritise renewable energy. Read more

Danish pension fund backs UK biomass plant.

August 13, 2013 Change for Good, Clean Energy 

FT: Denmark’s biggest pension group by membership and third by asset base invests £128m in  construction of a 40 MW straw-fuelled power station in Lincolnshire that will provide enough energy to supply 70,000 British households. Read more

Poll shows UK public split on fracking.

August 13, 2013 Gas, Oil 

Guardian: “Four in 10 people would welcome hydraulic fracturing – used to extract hard-to-reach natural gas – in their area but as many would oppose it, a national ICM survey commissioned by the Guardian has found.” Read more

Caudrilla kindles “a new beacon of protest against a fossil-fuelled future.

August 10, 2013 Gas, Oil 

Damian Carrington in the Guardian: “Balcombe has been kindled into the new beacon of protest against a fossil-fuelled future.” Read more

UK Big 6 profits soar to £3.7 billion.

August 9, 2013 Coal, Gas, Nuclear 

FT: Annual profits have soared 73 per cent in the three years to 2012, according to figures compiled by the Labour opposition: to £3.74bn in 2012, compared with £2.16bn in 2009. Read more

Crowdfunder Abundance raises £0.7m for solar in a month.

August 8, 2013 Clean Energy, Finance 

Solar Power Portal: “A renewable energy crowdfunding platform has hit its £700,000 target in order to fund two solar projects after 35 days.” Read more

Cameron backs UK fracking, citing jobs and lower gas prices.

August 8, 2013 Gas 

Guardian: David Cameron in a speech: “I think we would be making a big mistake as a nation if we did not think hard about how to encourage fracking and cheaper prices right here in the UK.” Read more