Ireland

The Environment Minister has launched a billboard campaign highlighting wind energy’s role in tackling climate change. The campaign was launched on Monday by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton with Dr David Connolly of the Irish Wind Energy Association. The posters will appear on 45 billboards and bus shelters over the next two weeks in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, and Westmeath. Dr Connolly said climate change is the single greatest challenge of our time. “Our billboard campaign is highlighting the role wind energy has played in leading the move away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable, electricity,” he said.

ITV 25th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Renewables

Senior figures from the energy and finance industries have declared doubts over the feasibility of building “subsidy-free” renewables at scale without some form of revenue stabilisation. The panelists at an event held by Aurora Energy Research in Oxford questioned the willingness of the private sector to bear the full risks arising from uncertainty over future power prices. Matthew Wright, the UK managing director for Danish renewable developer Orsted, said onshore wind and solar projects are already being built at prices at or below current wholesale market rates. He said offshore wind projects could also achieve this milestone in the upcoming Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction in May. At the same time, Wright said developers and their investors still require some measure of revenue stabilisation to limit their exposure to a future collapse in power prices. Carol Gould, head of power and renewables in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the Japanese bank MUFG, agreed with his assessment. “We don’t mind subsidy-free,” she explained. “But what we need is some stability in project finances… We need at least part of the revenue to be relatively certain to know that there’s a good chance the debt will be repaid.”

Edie 22nd March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Renewables – offshore wind

Orsted calls for North Sea grid to support offshore wind boom.

Utility Week 22nd March 2019 read more »

‘Tsunami’ of energy projects could blight life in east Suffolk – warning. Campaigners fighting plans for a huge wind farm substation say they fear a “tsunami of major energy projects” over the next decade which will wreck life for people living in coastal Suffolk.

Ipswich Star 25th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Renewables – hydro

THE public outcry to stop hydro power stations in Glen Etive was overwhelming … overwhelmingly unwelcome, according to some locals. Last week councillors gave the final go-ahead for controversial schemes in the valley, which is best known globally as the Highland scene of the James Bond movie Skyfall. They did so despite a mass social media outcry to “save the glen” by stopping the developments. That campaign is now facing a backlash from those who openly resent what they see as largely “outsiders” trying to hold back renewable energy and economic development. There are just nine or so residents in the valley, but far more in neighbouring Glen Coe. There the local community council supported the hydro schemes, which are run-of-river projects rather than the more visually impactful dams previously built around the Highlands.

Herald 24th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Hydrogen

ORKNEY and Davos might not seem like names that go together, but at the World Economic Forum earlier this year, a video about a low-carbon project on the islands caused a buzz. Made by the European Marine Energy Centre, it showed the wind and rain-lashed shores of Orkney, describing it as a “renewable energy powerhouse”. “In 2017,” it said, “Orkney was the first to generate hydrogen from tidal power, using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.” Actor, environmentalist and hydrogen-advocate Leonardo DiCaprio shared that video on Instagram. It has been viewed 27,000 times. The world had its eyes on little Orkney as a possible beacon of low-carbon hope.

Herald 24th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Energy Storage

An embattled British energy minnow is to install its electricity storage technology alongside solar panels in businesses across the UK after striking a deal with Norway’s state power giant. RedT Energy said the deal with Statkraft would mean it installs “vanadium redox flow” machines capable of storing up to 60 megawatt-hours of energy in aggregate – equivalent to the daily electricity needs of 6,000 homes. The storage machines will be offered to businesses over the next three years alongside solar panels capable of generating up to 100 megawatts of electricity. Statkraft will fund the installations in return for businesses signing long-term power purchase agreements, which it claims will save firms up to 20 per cent on their electricity costs. Electricity storage has become increasingly important as the energy system shifts toward greener but more intermittent power sources such as wind and solar. Most storage in the UK to date is in the form of either pumped hydro-electric power plants or giant lithium-ion batteries.

Times 25th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Heating

Further UK policy measures are needed to shift homes towards low carbon heating options, analysis by Cambridge Econometrics finds. Natural gas will still be used to heat UK homes for a “long time” to come, even with the government planning to ban the use of fossil fuel heating in new homes from 2025. That is the assessment of economists at policy consultancy Cambridge Econometrics, who alongside academics at Radboud University last week published an analysis of the planned Future Homes Standard, which was announced as part of the Chancellor’s recent Spring Statement. It calculated that banning fossil fuel heating systems in new homes from 2025 could lead to annual carbon emissions savings of around 13Mt of CO2 by 2050. The analysis also argued that providing a six-year lead time before the ban kicks in is “sensible” as it will allow companies the chance to become familiar with alternative technologies. However, it added that due to the long lifetime of existing homes heating systems and boilers, gas for heating “will still be around for a long time”. It also warned that the ban also risks discouraging some home owners from shifting to more efficient condensing gas boilers in the short term if they fear the technology is to be phased out from 2025.

Business Green 25th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Fossil Fuels

The government’s fracking proposals would release the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as almost 300 million new cars, fatally undermining ministers’ obligation to tackle the escalating climate crisis, according to new research. Analysis by the Labour party shows that the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere if the government’s plans go ahead would be the same as the lifetime emissions of 286 million cars – or 29 new coal-fired power plants. The findings come as ministers’ efforts to kickstart their fracking proposals face growing resistance, with defeat in the courts, fierce local objections and opposition from Labour and Tory councils alike.

Guardian 24th March 2019 read more »

Business Green 25th March 2019 read more »

SNP ministers have been urged to ban fracking after legal opinion said that it was in their power. The Scottish government announced what it called an “effective ban” in 2017, but after a legal challenge by the petrochemical giant Ineos the Court of Session ruled last June there was no prohibition north of the border. During that case the government’s lawyers claimed that talk of an effective ban was PR “gloss”, and that they had not yet adopted a position.

Times 25th March 2019 read more »

Scotsman 24th March 2019 read more »

The National 24th March 2019 read more »

Ferret 24th March 2019 read more »

A new report published this week shows that 33 global banks provided $1.9 trillion to fossil fuel companies since the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement at the end of 2015 and that the amount of fossil fuel financing has increased in each of the past two years. The new report, Banking on Climate Change 2019, is the tenth annual fossil fuel report card and the first-ever analysis of funding from the world’s major private banks for the fossil fuel sector as a whole. The report was released Wednesday by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor the Earth, and endorsed by over 160 organizations around the world.

Clean Technica 22nd March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

CCS

Climate change fears spur investment in carbon capture technology. Trio of start-ups attract capital and attention, despite high cost and limited commercial markets.

FT 25th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019

Transport

A new trial will see drivers being handed up to £3,000 a year to help with travel costs – provided they give up their car. The scheme, which will be rolled out in Coventry later this year, aims to encourage people to use greener forms of transport in a bid to cut congestion and air pollution. Motorists will be provided with a loaded travel card, according to reports in The Times, with council bosses saying those taking part could expect to receive between £2-3,000 a year.

The i News 24th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2019