The former environment minister accused the Treasury of undermining Britain’s energy future with a string of “short-term fixes and U-turns” that showed a worrying failure to grasp the need for stability. His comments, echoed by three of the Big Six energy suppliers, come as households and businesses across the country scramble to meet tonight’s midnight deadline to qualify for the current rate of ‘feed-in-tariffs’ for solar panels. Mr Yeo told The Sunday Telegraph: “Slashing solar subsidies with inadequate notice is the latest abrupt change to energy policy to damage investor confidence. The UK needs to attract an unprecedented amount of investment in the next eight years to replace ageing power stations and build an energy system fit for the future. Confidence, certainty and political stability are more vital in this sector than in many others.
Telegraph 10th Dec 2011 more >>
NUCLEAR disaster, the spread of rabies and mass fatalities these are just some of the catastrophes Sunderland City Council has contingency plans for. In total, there are more than 50 internal and external plans which the authority is required to create and contribute to. The Echo can reveal that other procedures include the Sunderland flood plan, pandemic influenza plan and the Tyne and Wear oil pollution plan.
Sunderland Echo 10th Dec 2011 more >>
Work to stabilize Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear power plant is on track and the government plans to declare it stable by the end of the year as planned, the prime minister said Friday.
Business Week 9th Dec 2011 more >>
The embattled chief of the U.S. nuclear safety regulator found some powerful political support on Saturday ahead of Capitol Hill hearings next week that will scrutinize his bid to enact sweeping safety reforms. Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is locked in a bitter battle with fellow regulators over how to move forward on expensive changes for the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors – reforms prompted by Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident in March.
Reuters 10th Dec 2011 more >>
A new deal means that for the first time every county in the world is committed to cutting carbon although the legal wording remains vague and the treaty will not come into force until 2020. Charities point out that the “Durban road map” is still too weak to stop temperatures rising above the “danger point” of 2C because it does not set tough targets for emissions cuts or a quick enough timetable. However Chris Huhne, the UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, who played a key role in the talks, insisted it was a huge step forward especially after the failure of the last high profile UN attempt at a deal in Copenhagen in 2009.
Telegraph 11th Dec 2011 more >>
Countries have agreed a deal in Durban to push for a new climate treaty, salvaging the latest round of United Nations climate talks from the brink of collapse. The UK’s cimate change secretary, Chris Huhne, hailed the deal, finally struck in the early hours of Sunday after talks had overrun by a day and a half, as a “significant step forward” that would deliver a global, overarching legal agreement to cut emissions. He said it sent a strong signal to businesses and investors about moving to a low-carbon economy. But environmental groups said negotiators had failed to show the ambition necessary to cut emissions by levels that would limit global temperature rises to no more than 2C and avoid “dangerous” climate change.
Observer 11th Dec 2011 more >>
The failure of the Durban talks means any new climate deal may not take effect until 2020. It has left the Kyoto protocol in virtual ruins. Many governments departing the talks this weekend should be ashamed, said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International. We wonder how they will be able to look into the eyes of their children and grandchildren. The failure here will be measured in the lives of the poor, the most vulnerable who are least responsible for the global climate crisis.
Sunday Times 11th Dec 2011 more >>
More than 30 marine power projects are under way around the coast, ranging from small test schemes to large commercial developments. A shake-up of the way marine power projects are financed could set off a fresh wave of investment. The Crown Estate, which controls the seabed around Britain, is slashing the cost of installing underwater turbines and other marine power devices. Developers currently have to post a £25m cash guarantee before they install subsea equipment. From January, that will be cut to £5m, opening up the market to smaller developers. More than 30 marine power projects are under way around the coast, ranging from small test schemes to large commercial developments. Twenty-five are in Scotland, including 1.6 gigawatts of plans for the Pentland Firth. However, many of these efforts to harness the relentless power of the sea have run into complications.
Sunday Times 11th Dec 2011 more >>