27 January 2014

Energy Costs

An energy boss who said that high energy bills were the result of draughty British homes has been accused of committing the same offence at his two British houses. Paul Massara, the chief executive of npower, accused British homeowners last week of failing properly to insulate their properties. “The actual unit price of energy in the UK is one of the lowest in Europe, but bills are high because British homes waste so much energy,” Mr Massara said. Heat images of his own properties, a 16th-century country house in Upper Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, and a terrace house in Clapham, South London, were alleged to indicate poor insulation and “nasty drafts”. Andy Smale from Expert Energy, an independent consultancy, told The Sun on Sunday newspaper that the images showed that Mr Massara’s houses were “far less energy-efficient than the average family home”.

Times 27th Jan 2014 read more »

Europe

FORATOM, the trade association representing the European nuclear industry, gave a mixed reaction to the publication of the EC’s Communication on 2030 Climate and Energy Policy, expressing a cautious welcome to some but not all of its proposals. The European nuclear industry welcomes the ambition of the EC to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40% lower than 1990 levels. However, it regrets the fact that the Communication does not support technology neutrality by recognizing the important role that nuclear energy already plays in reducing GHGs. Jean-Pol Poncelet, Director General of FORATOM said: “Nuclear power already produces two thirds of the EU’s low-carbon electricity, at very competitive prices, and will continue to do so. It is regrettable that this reality is not emphasised in the EC’s Communication. In addition, nuclear new build in a number of countries will contribute to the further reduction of GHGs in Europe.”

Foratom 22nd Jan 2014 read more »

Copenhagen is preparing a push for stronger EU-wide 2030 climate and energy goals despite tough opposition from states such as the UK and Poland. Danish Climate Minister, Martin Lidegaard said he was “very, very satisfied” that the EU climate and energy package announced in Brussels last week had got Europe’s states to pledge a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as measured against 1990 levels. But the goal of sourcing 27% of the bloc’s energy from renewables by 2030 is only binding at EU-level, leaving individual states to go their own way, and raising questions of how Brussels will pull them back if they stray too far. EurActiv understands that Denmark is also likely to seek stronger language on energy efficiency targets – which the package only mentioned in the vaguest terms – ahead of an EU leaders’ summit in March.The UK won an opt-out of binding renewables targets at national level in the package. But this was merely “the suggestion of a compromise, and it will of course have to be negotiated in the weeks and months to come,” Lidegaard said.

Euractiv 27th Jan 2014 read more »

Japan

Japan’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose to another record in 2013 as the country’s second complete shutdown of its nuclear stations since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 forced utilities to burn more fossil fuels to generate power.

Reuters 27th Jan 2014 read more »

Energy Efficiency

David Cameron will on Monday boast of tearing up 80,000 pages of environmental protections and building guidelines as part of a new push to build more houses and cut costs for businesses. David Cameron will on Monday boast of tearing up 80,000 pages of environmental protections and building guidelines as part of a new push to build more houses and cut costs for businesses.

Guardian 27th Jan 2014 read more »

Climate

The levels of public and political agreement that climate change needs to be addressed are higher than ever before, Al Gore told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Speaking on a panel that included UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Unilever boss Paul Polman and Bill Gates, the former US Vice President argued that extreme weather events like typhoon Haiyan and superstorm Sandy were driving awareness around the world.

RTCC 24th Jan 2014 read more »

Owen Paterson has been accused of “incredible complacency” over climate change after new figures showed his department has slashed spending on helping Britain cope with global warming.

Independent 26th Jan 2014 read more »

Fossil Fuels

Chris Huhne: Britain is going to be “re-shoring” businesses – the opposite of offshoring – in part because of cheap gas as fracking takes off: prices will fall as they have in the US, where they are just a third of Europe’s prices. British consumers, whose bills will be halved, will doff their caps to Tory ministers who made possible this revolution of cheap energy. Grateful billionaires will come gambolling back to bring new business to Bradford and Bolton. This is not a vision but a fantasy. Britain’s geology has not yet been proved as suitable for fracking. Poland underwent a frenzy of over-excited hype about its shale gas deposits, only to be cruelly disappointed by the detailed geology. The same may happen here. Assume, however, that our shale deposits are frackable. The second problem is that we have eight times as many people per square mile as the US, and those pin-striped protesters in Balcombe, Sussex, are rather more likely to notice the lorry traffic needed to supply a big shale gas pad than the good folk of Oklahoma.

Guardian 26th Jan 2014 read more »

Shale frackers operating in Britain should be paying £6bn a year in taxes by the middle of the 2020s to compensate for the damage wreaked on the environment, according to a study from Cambridge University. The government has made clear drillers such as Cuadrilla Resources and IGas should provide sweeteners to local communities affected by their activities but it would also be right for shale gas producers to pay for contributing to global warming, argues Chris Hope, a parliamentary adviser and reader in policy modelling at the Judge Business School in Cambridge.

Guardian 26th Jan 2014 read more »

Fracking will be allowed to take place under homes without the owners’ permission, under plans being considered by the Government. Ministers have admitted that they are looking at overhauling trespass laws to make it easier for energy companies to explore for shale gas, amid concern that efforts could otherwise be stymied by lengthy and costly court proceedings.

Telegraph 26th Jan 2014 read more »

Times 27th Jan 2014 read more »

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Published: 27 January 2014