News September 2013

30 September 2013

Energy Investment

George Osborne has suffered a further blow to his credibility after global financial institutions such as Bank of America and the insurance giant Aviva accused him of driving away crucial investment in the energy sector. On the day of the Chancellor’s Conservative Party Conference speech, investors controlling more than £1trn of assets have strongly criticised him after he removed from the Energy Bill a clause that would have made Britain’s electricity supply almost entirely green by 2030. The attack …

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29 September 2013

NuGen

CHINA’S state nuclear technology developer is in talks to buy land earmarked for new atomic reactors in Sellafield, Cumbria. It is understood that State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC) will go ahead only if it receives assurances from Whitehall that it will one day be able to build Chinese-designed nuclear stations in Britain. The deal was raised in talks last week with Ed Davey, the energy secretary, who is on a 10-day visit to China. SNPTC is building the first …

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28 September 2013

Politics

George Osborne tells the environmental lobby today that Britain should not be “in front of the rest of the world” in tackling climate change. In an interview with The Times, the Chancellor dismissed as a gimmick Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices, but he signalled that he could ease green measures if prices continued to rise. “I think we have to keep a very, very close eye on the affordability of energy prices going forward,” he said.

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27 September 2013

Energy Costs

Leaders of consumer and energy groups have rallied to support Ed Miliband’s proposals to freeze prices and shake up the power market, saying his initiative had exploded outdated ideas that radical reform was not necessary or possible. As Centrica and SSE saw their share prices hit hard for the second day in a row, Adam Scorer, director of policy at the independent organisation Consumer Futures, said he did not accept the threats from the big six power companies that …

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26 September 2013

Politics

Britain is now in the unexpected position of having the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties all agreeing on the need for nuclear power. A Lib Dem Minister is overseeing a chaotic and unsuccessful energy policy and it will be a very useful area for the other political parties to showcase Lib Dem incompetence in the run-up to the next general election. No doubt party bigwigs argued that at the very least the Lib Dems needed to get their policy …

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25 September 2013

Energy Prices

Ed Miliband used his boldest and most populist speech as Labour leader on Tuesday to announce that he would freeze gas and electricity bills for 20 months if he wins the election, prompting claims by the big six energy firms that such price fixing would lead to California-style energy blackouts and stall investment in new power stations. In an emblematic policy designed to show he will fight to protect voters’ living standards, Miliband told his party’s conference in Brighton …

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24 September 2013

Politics

Ed Balls: We need a radical transformation in our economy. Because in the twenty-first century, the companies and countries that will succeed will be those who can exploit the huge opportunities the new digital age and the era of big data are bringing – in high-value manufacturing, digital media, education and medical technology. And the question is whether we will seize this opportunity or squander it? We will legislate for a decarbonisation target for 2030 and unlock billions of pounds …

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23 September 2013

Nuclear Investment

Ed Davey will on Monday begin a 10-day visit to China to drum up inward investment in Britain’s next generation of power stations and offshore wind farms as London is officially taken out of the diplomatic “deep freeze”. The energy secretary is the first British cabinet member to visit China for at least 18 months after Beijing cut contact with the UK last April following David Cameron’s decision to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, in London in …

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22 September 2013

Energy Costs

The energy minister Greg Barker has spoken out in favour of energy company profits, insisting they are necessary in order to fund crucial investment in new power plants and that Britain enjoys some of the lowest electricity and gas prices in Europe. Ministers want Britain’s energy suppliers to help fund £110bn of investment in new power plants to keep the lights on this decade. “Unless companies are making profits they cannot reinvest those profits back into new projects,” Mr …

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21 September 2013

NuGen

Britain’s nuclear prospects received a boost yesterday after details of a multi-million pound deal emerged. Reactor maker Westinghouse, which is owned by Toshiba, is preparing to buy into one of the consortia looking to build reactors in the UK. The Japanese giant is in talks to join NuGen, which is owned jointly by ScottishPower owner Iberdrola and GDF Suez. The consortium’s plans are to build a reactor at Sellafield in Cumbria, to be commissioned in 2023. Now Westinghouse is in …

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