Business Secretary Lord Mandelson will decide in September whether the Government will provide Sheffield Forgemasters International a loan for a £140m, 15,000-tonne steel press. The press would make the firm one of only three worldwide that can manufacture large components to the civil nuclear power industry. Lord Mandelson is known to be keen for the UK to become a market leader in this field. Sheffield Forgemasters has already secured £40m, but is hoping to make up the shortfall through public and private funding.
Independent 19th July 2009 more >>
How can the UK secure its energy supply as it moves from importing just 30pc of its gas to having to buy in 90pc by 2030 as the North Sea gas fields are emptied? Bridging this looming energy gap, if the gas doesn’t flow, means we urgently need alternatives. Wind power is Miliband’s current favourite but another, more controversial, energy source is also now seen as no longer an option but a growing necessity – nuclear.
Telegraph 19th July 2009 more >>
Low Level Waste
Detailed plans have been unveiled for a new low-level radioactive waste repository at a Cumbrian coal mine. West management developer Endecom wants to transform the former opencast site at Keekle Head, near Whitehaven, into an atomic store – bringing a jobs boost. And it has revealed it hopes to get the site up and running by 2012 – if its proposals get the all-clear from planners.
Carlisle News and Star 18th July 2009 more >>
Low Carbon Economy
Ed Miliband’s 1,000-page opus is big on aspiration but short on detail, say industry chiefs, and Labour’s low-carbon dreams will remain just that without investment. This is Labour’s fourth energy white paper since Creating a Low Carbon Economy was published in 2003. It is by far the most comprehensive but many of the hardest questions remain unanswered. How does the government propose to kickstart investment that has plummeted by a third in the past year? Will it step in with a new mechanism if the carbon price remains low? And no new details were given on how the byzantine planning process, the bane of the stuttering revolution, will be reformed. New Energy Finance, the alternative-energy research firm, described the white paper as “old wine in new bottles” containing “hardly any . . . strikingly new measures to support the industry”.
Sunday Times 19th July 2009 more >>
Government promises that it would establish Britain as a global centre for tidal and wave power have been undermined by admissions that it has not handed out any of a £50m marine development fund set up in 2004. Companies have often complained that the rules for the Marine Renewable Deployment Fund (MRDF) are so demanding that they have struggled to get money from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to develop prototypes.
Observer 19th July 2009 more >>
Vestas’s totemic manufacturing plant at Newport is set to close at the end of this month with the loss of 600 jobs, puncturing the Isle of Wight’s green dream and raising serious questions about last week’s promises from the government that the wider green revolution will create 1.2 million jobs in the low carbon sector by 2020.
Observer 19th July 2009 more >>