One of Europe’s largest utilities is on the cusp of reportedly transforming its business from being a centralised energy provider into a decentralized energy provider. According to energycollective.com, the board of Germany’s RWE agreed last month on the momentous change in strategy and the move is now being evaluated within the company at large as well as investors. A recent strategy paper gives further credence to the decision, as it proclaimed, “The massive erosion of wholesale prices caused by the growth of German photovoltaics constitutes a serious problem for RWE which may even threaten the company’s survival.” RWE confirmed to website Energy Post that the new strategy has been discussed within the company and with investors.
Renewable Energy World 31st Oct 2013 read more »
Greenpeace has dropped its legal challenge against EDF’s plans to build the £16bn Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. In May, the campaign group lodged an application for a judicial review of the government’s decision to grant the plant planning permission, but this was dropped last week. Greenpeace energy campaigner Emma Gibson said: “Our legal case was based on the fact the government should not have given planning consent for Hinkley C without first having a long-term plan for dealing with the radioactive waste. “Material we’ve seen in the disclosure process suggests that, although it may strain credulity, the government’s assertion that it will be able to find somewhere to put a waste dump in due course would be accepted by the court.”
Building 30th Oct 2013 read more »
Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Sophie Neuburg said: “Promoting easier switching is like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. “The real solutions – massive investment in energy efficiency and a rapid switch to renewables – are conspicuous by their absence from the minister’s plans.”
Mirror 1st Nov 2013 read more »
More I-made-it-up-on-the-way-in energy policy from David Cameron: this time, the commitment in last week’s PMQs to review green levies. This policy seems to have been made following a pincer movement from Tory backbenchers, who blame green levies for all those annoying windmills in their constituencies; the opposition, who are demanding action on energy prices; and some of the energy companies themselves, who claim that an exaggerated share of price rises are due to Renewable Obligation (RO), Contracts for Difference (CfDs) and all the other schemes that can be put under the green levies banner. Of course what comes under that green-levies heading – the contents of the £112 on bills specified by the PM – is an assortment of different levies with differing effects. Look out for the demise or downgrading of ECO shortly, as the only prisoner that it’s actually possible to round up and make walk the plank. And meanwhile the individual responsible for this utter shambles lives to make up another policy on the hoof as soon as he’s cornered again.
Alan Whitehead MP 1st Nov 2013 read more »
Jenny Jones: The government and the Mayor should follow the lead of the smaller energy companies that are actually cheaper on average than the big six and are achieving this by investing in new forms of green energy. Ecotricity’s, for example ‘bills into mills’ model has achieved 40 per cent energy generation from solar and wind, helping to insulate us from our dependence on global fossil fuel markets. Germany already generates over a quarter of its electricity from renewables such as wind and solar and this is set to increase substantially with the coming of a generation of more efficient solar cell. Our energy needs are predicted to rise, they are working hard to bring theirs down. This offers an alternative vision for us.
Left Foot Forward 30th Oct 2013 read more »
Geoffrey Lean: Much of the Big 6 campaign to blame the increases on “green taxes” has focused on the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which contributes nearly £50 to the £122 they annually add to the average £1,255 fuel bill. Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.ON UK, condemned it as a “stealth poll tax” when the Big Six energy companies were questioned by a parliamentary select committee this week, and others lined up to stress how onerous it was. Well, far from being a burden on the companies, ECO – which largely insulates the homes of poor families, thus reducing their bills – has so far proved a bonanza. The Local Government Association has worked out from government and Ofgem data that they have so far actually spent only about a third of the approximately £1 billion they have collected from customers’ bills to pay for the scheme. Energy UK, which represents the companies, responds that it is taking time to “bed in”. Since David Cameron has pledged to bring them down, here are some suggestions. The smart-meter scam should be the first to go. And ECO could be made much cheaper if it spent less on very costly measures, such as solid wall insulation, and more on better-value ones, such as tackling some of the country’s seven million lofts with little or no lagging: Which? calculates that this could save up to £363 million a year. But the really big gain would be made by scrapping the carbon floor price, which mainly benefits our existing and already profitable nuclear power stations – thus, since they are owned by the nationalised EDF, providing a substantial subsidy from British consumers to French taxpayers.
Telegraph 1st Nov 2013 read more »
Andrew Clark meets the ‘fighty’ head of Ovo who is on a one-man mission to pull the plug on his larger rivals. A combative Ulsterman dressed in anti-corporate denim, the boss of Ovo Energy has the grace to look sheepish. As a challenger to the Big Six electricity and gas companies, he is nervous at being labelled the Robin Hood of the energy industry.
Times 2nd Nov 2013 read more »
Toxic nuclear waste dumped illegally by the Mafia is blamed for surge in cancers in southern Italy.
Daily Mail 1st Nov 2013 read more »
Fukushima Crisis 29th to 31st Oct 2013.
Greenpeace 1st Nov 2013 read more »
So much focus has been on the level of radiation spewed by the crippled Fukushima plant, the radioactive water killing the Pacific ocean as hundreds of tons get dumped into it every day, the effects seen in the ocean life, the spread to Canada and the US, but not much is being said about the workers being forced to work at the devastated plant, literally being made into “nuclear slaves.” ENENews highlights these workers and how thousands of unemployed Japanese workers were tricked into being on the front lines. The other day we saw a video, by Reuters on workers being exploited and I’ll add that video again at the very end of the article, but some of the quotes are heartbreaking.
RINF 1st Nov 2013 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 1st Nov 2013 read more »
Passivhaus is in fact the gold standard for ultra-low energy homes, which is enjoying increasing popularity as heating bills continue to rise at astronomical rates. Developed in Germany in the early 90s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the Passivhaus Standard is based on a set of principles that mean homes should be able to remain at a comfortable ambient temperature of around 20C with a minimal amount of heating or cooling. It is a “fabric-first” approach to energy efficiency, meaning the building does the work, rather than relying on bolt-on renewable energy devices, like solar panels and ground-source heat-pumps. Based on the tenets of super-high insulation, absolute air-tightness, and harvesting the sun’s energy through south-facing windows, passive houses aim to keep as much heat inside the home as possible. They also rely on a box, usually kept in the loft: the MVHR, or mechanical ventilation heat recovery unit, a heat-exchange system that uses air from warmer rooms in the house to heat fresh air coming in.
Guardian 1st Nov 2013 read more »
Justine Hutton and her two children Kieran and Alissia watch TV in T-shirts in a similar-sized property. The single radiator is cold and they have a window open, although the temperature inside is 21C. The family will only pay around £20 to heat their home for the whole year. The only heat source is their bodies and the electric cooker.
Guardian 1st Nov 2013 read more »
Sandwiched between an overwhelmingly ugly Surrey shopping centre and a busy main road, Sir David Attenborough, no less, is planting a tree and declaring: “Today, is a historic day.” He really means it. Maybe our children’s future is a turbo-heated Armageddon, but if it’s not, it will probably look a lot like this. The new, carbon-neutral, outstandingly sustainable home of the World Wide Fund for Nature, a hemispherical glass tube on stilts above a council car park in Woking, was officially opened today. If humanity is to survive, it is widely reckoned it will do so living in buildings of this nature.
Independent 1st Nov 2013 read more »
Britain’s carbon emissions climbed by more than almost any other major economy last year, relative to its economic output, as power generators switched from gas to coal to take advantage of falling prices. The amount of CO2 emitted per £1 of economic output – known as its carbon intensity – jumped by 2.4 per cent in 2012. This compared to a 2.7 per cent average decrease among the G7 leading economies and a 0.8 per cent drop worldwide.
Independent 2nd Nov 2013 read more »
Keeping old, polluting coal plants open could threaten the country’s ability to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions, argue campaigners. The House of Lords is due to vote on a measure on Monday that aims to stop that happening.
Catrbon Brief 1st Nov 2013 read more »
‘Loony Left’ Labour council aims to be first in country to ban fracking. Brent Council is hoping to use planning laws to prevent fracking taking place within its borders.
Telegraph 1st Nov 2013 read more »