UK Treasury PR gimmickry entered a new phase last week when George Osborne ‘announced’ what was, according to the Daily Mail ‘the centrepiece of ambitious renewable energy plans’. That is, progress towards the building of a tidal lagoon scheme in Swansea, Wales. Alas, none of the rest of the press saw through this empty facade, either, although one might expect papers like the Guardian to be a little more questioning of this sort of hype. Nevertheless the announcement had lots of energy analysts scratching their heads as to what exactly the Chancellor was suggesting that was actually well, never mind new, but actually happening about the scheme in terms of Government giving financial incentives. The answer is absolutely nothing (other than the government will talk about things).
Dave Toke’s Blog 21st March 2015 read more »
With considerable fanfare, last month the European Commission launched its plans for an EU ‘Energy Union’. Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic calls it ‘the biggest energy project since the Coal and Steel Community, established in 1951. Yet other commentators have responded that there is little new in the Energy Union proposals, or claim that the strategy represents a mere ‘rebranded workplan’. The world has changed since 2007 and the new proposals do more than just reopen old battles. The Third Energy Package was designed around a very different energy system than the one we face today: business models, consumption patterns and technologies have all moved on substantially. In 2007, the energy sector was dominated by big, centralised utilities – a business model that today not even the incumbents still think is viable in its current form.
Energy Post 19th March 2015 read more »
Europe will not agree a bad nuclear deal with Iran says Phillip Hammond.
Observer 22nd March 2015 read more »
US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday talks with Iran had made genuine progress and the time had come to make hard decisions in reaching a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Herald 22nd March 2015 read more »
Scotsman 22nd March 2015 read more »
Letters: You dismiss President Barack Obama’s ambition to eradicate nuclear weapons as fantasy but it must become a goal of world leaders. The impact of nuclear weapons on civilians, on future generations, on the environment, on food production and on countries not involved in the conflict is horrific. The current modernisation and proliferation of nuclear arsenals are steps in the wrong direction and undermine global security.
Economist 21st Mar 2015 read more »
Russia tells Denmark not to join NATO Missule Shield or face its ships becoming a target.
Telegraph 21st March 2015 read more »
Thousands of vulnerable people are dying from cold every winter because government rules on insulating homes are “not up to the job”, a report to be published tomorrow says. Britain is gripped by a “cold homes crisis” with more than two million households struggling to keep warm as many people choose “eating over heating”, the report by the Res Publica think-tank concludes. Frail and elderly private tenants are most at risk because their properties have worse energy efficiency levels compared with owner-occupied and social housing. On average, there are about 25,000 “excess” winter deaths in England each year. The report says the “disturbingly high number of winter deaths” is “directly connected with poor environments at home”. It says the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is “not up to the job”, with just 4 per cent of lofts, 16 per cent of cavity walls, and 1 per cent of solid walls set to be insulated, even if the scheme’s targets are met.
Independent 22nd March 2015 read more »
Far from imperilling the planet, coal, gas and oil have helped preserve it. And while we should be mindful of global warming, renewables are unaffordable and impractical, writes Matt Ridley. The environmental movement has advanced three arguments in recent years for giving up fossil fuels: 1) that we will soon run out of them anyway; 2) that alternative sources of energy will price them out of the marketplace; and 3) that we cannot afford the climate consequences of burning them. These days, not one of the three arguments is looking very healthy. In fact, a more realistic assessment of our energy and environmental situation suggests that, for decades to come, we will continue to rely overwhelmingly on the fossil fuels that have contributed so dramatically to the world’s prosperity and progress.
Times 22nd March 2015 read more »