After the government last year decided immediately to close eight of the countrys 17 nuclear reactors after Japans Fukushima disaster, German utilities have been at the vanguard of the job cuts wave. Only weeks after that decision midyear, Eon said it would shed up to 11,000 of 80,000 jobs worldwide to cut costs. RWE fell into step this summer when it said it would cut 2,400 posts as plunging European demand for electricity and gas left first-half profits stagnant. This added to some 8,000 posts the company had said it would shed in the midterm through asset sales and natural churn.
FT 26th Aug 2012 more >>
The dizzying drops in solar equipment prices over the past two years have left deep scars on a German sector that was once the world leader thanks to a decade-old system of generous price supports for sun-derived electricity. Q-Cells is the best known on a gloomy list of insolvency proceedings – and Solon one of the first. The latter, based in Berlin, recently tried to signal a return to business as usual when it said one of the city’s biggest solar installations had gone on stream – a 1.6MW unit, made by Solon, atop the city’s wholesale vegetable market. But such public relations blasts do not mask the changes the German sector has seen and the uncertain future many operators still face. Solon is now owned by Microsol of the United Arab Emirates and is shifting part of its production there; Q-Cells is reported to be the target of a South Korean rival. Wi th foreign competitors – especially the Chinese – producing solar modules more cheaply and Berlin cutting solar electricity price supports, “the market is developing away from Germany”, says Wolfgang Hummel from the Centre for Solar Market Research in Berlin. “German companies have lost home-market advantage.”
FT 26th Aug 2012 more >>
Germany’s energy strategy will cost consumers dearly as costs for new renewable power generation units and networks must be passed on, the head of the German unit of Swedish state-owned energy group Vattenfall was quoted saying on Monday.
Reuters 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Non-Aligned Movement leaders should take a stand against Western sanctions at a Tehran summit later this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday, adding that many NAM members backed Iran’s nuclear programme.
Middle East Online 26th Aug 2012 more >>
THE bid to stop a change to the SNP’s historic anti-Nato policy is set to intensify, with campaigners insisting they want to start a “grassroots movement” to defy Alex Salmond and the party leadership. A meeting of the Nationalists’ Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament group in Glasgow yesterday aimed to “educate” SNP members about what the proposed U-turn in policy could mean for the party and to its chances of securing a “yes” vote in the Scottish referendum on independence in 2014. Opponents of the change believe it would “make the SNP look cynical and lacking in moral courage”. Gareth Finn, SNP CND group convener, said the turnout at the seminar about 65 people, including MSPs John Finnie, Dave Thompson, Jean Urquhart, Sandra White and John Wilson was impressive. “The next step is for members to go back to their SNP branches with that information and pass it around. We want to expand the debate to a grassroots movement rather than just discussing it in the hierarchy of the party.”
Herald 27th Aug 2012 more >>
George Galloway: IVE always credited my old sparring partner Alex Salmond with political ¬surefootedness but now it seems hes tripped up in a military ¬two-step over Nato. The SNP conference will debate in the autumn a motion favoured by Eck that an independent Scotland should remain in Nato, subject to an agreement that the country doesnt have to house any nuclear weapons on the Clyde or elsewhere. Eh? Why on earth would you want to belong to an organisation who have a first-strike nuclear policy and, as a matter of fact, wont allow you to join if you dont go along with that and do your bit to host the ICBMs and nuclear subs targeted at, er, someone? Its a nakedly populist, if mightily confused, tactic and at the weekend, to bolster their argument, the Nats released a poll that claimed most Scots, and about half of separatists, believed an independent Scotland would be safer as part of Nato.
Daily Record 27th Aug 2012 more >>
Community power projects are ushering in a new movement that allows citizens to take charge of their energy needs by providing locally generated renewable energy to their communities. These local projects are not only gaining momentum because of the economic and environmental advantages they provide, but also because of the immense social benefits they offer. Community-owned power projects encourage community-building and social cohesion as a group of ordinary citizens is presented with the opportunity to come together and achieve something extraordinary.
Community Power Report 21st Aug 2012 more >>