Nick Clegg will try to get the coalition back on track on Monday by denying splits with the chancellor, George Osborne, over green energy. The aim is to reassure sceptical business leaders that the government is united about its long-term, renewable targets. The deputy prime minister will insist disputes over the order of investment in this case, on green energy are normal for any government. He will also tell a green business summit in London that £100m is being invested in small-scale, non-domestic energy saving by the green investment bank. His move comes amid continued disputes over how best to respond to the Conservative backbench refusal to back Lords reform. Clegg will also warn the Treasury not to veer away from the green agenda. He will say: “Consistency from government, no surprises; no rabbits out of hats. We set out what we’re going to do then we do it. It sounds obvious, but you all know governments don’t always act like that.”
Guardian 6th Aug 2012 more >>
The coalition government is united on the need for green investment, Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, will make clear on Monday, as he announces plans to inject Â£100m into renewable energy funds. Mr Clegg will use a speech at the energy-focused global business summit – one of 18 conferences planned to coincide with the London Olympics – to say that business can expect consistency from the government. “The coalition is sometimes presented, in the press, as if it is riddled with debate and division with regard to greening the economy. That isn’t the case,” the deputy prime minister will say. Referring to the recent spat over reducing wind subsidies, he will say: “Yes, there will be internal discussions and debates on the balance and sequencing of different policies – that’s the nature of any government – and energy policies will evolve over time as costs come down.” He will announce plans to add Â£100m to funds managed by Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital. These will pave the way for the UK’s green investment bank which is expected to open this year.
FT 6th Aug 2012 more >>
Scots support for green energy has been revealed as Nick Clegg insists he has won the battle for environmental policies within the Coalition Government. The Deputy Prime Minister will today say that the UK will not be left behind in the fight against climate change. He will say that “no-one in Government” wants to depart from the Coalition’s green agenda, though there had been “internal debates”. Last night the SNP also hailed a poll which showed higher support for wind power among Scots than among those fr om any other part of the UK. A Yougov poll found 70% of Scottish respondents believe the renewable energy has the potential to reduce carbon emissions.
Herald 6th Aug 2012 more >>
Scotsman 6th Aug 2012 more >>
In a speech at an energy conference, he will admit to “internal divisions and debates,” but will vow to press on with measures to reduce carbon emissions. Last month, the Coalition came under strain after the Lib Dems fought off attempts by George Osborne, the Chancellor, to scrap subsidies for on-shore wind farms. It came after the Chancellor used his speech to last year’s Conservative conference to warn: “we’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business”. The two sides compromised with a 10 per cent reduction, less than the 25 per cent that Mr Osborne had fought for, and in his speech Mr Clegg will admit that divisions remain. In a move which is likely to irritate the Chancellor, who had been responding to calls from Tory MPs when he fought to see off wind farm subsidies, the Liberal Democrat leader promised business leaders that Government would in future be “consistent” over its message on green energy.
Telegraph 6th Aug 2012 more >>
A summer heat wave and a boom in Italys solar power sector have led to a showdown between producers of renewable energy and big loss-making utilities reliant on increasingly redundant gas and oil-fired power stations. Gesturing towards a Rome basking in a sun-baked afternoon, a senior energy sector official noted that much of central and southern Italy was at that moment deriving nearly all its electricity needs from renewables. As a result major utilities have lobbied to win subsidies known as capacity payments for their conventional and semi-idle thermal power stations after over-investing in new plants.
FT 5th Aug 2012 more >>
A growing number of Japanese workers who are risking their health to shut down the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are suffering from depression, anxiety about the future and a loss of motivation, say two doctors who visit them regularly. But their psychological problems are driven less by fears about developing cancer from radiation exposure and more by something immediate and personal: Discrimination from the very community they tried to protect, says Jun Shigemura, who heads a volunteer team of about ten psychiatrists and psychologists from the National Defense Medical College who meet with Tokyo Electric Power Co nuclear plant employees. They tell therapists they have been harangued by residents displaced in Japans nuclear disaster and threatened with signs on their doors telling them to leave. Some of their children have been taunted at school, and prospective landlords have turned them away.
Japan Today 6th Aug 2012 more >>
While Japan slowly recovers from last years tsunami and nuclear accident, its big trading companies have managed to find some business opportunities in the wake of the disaster. The nations top trading houses which have traditionally supplied the resource-poor nation with everything from coal to bananas unveiled quarterly results last week that illustrated how they have benefited from the almost complete shutdown of nuclear power in Japan. Lacking domestic fossil fuel sources, Japan has been forced to rely more heavily on expensive imports of oil and liquefied natural gas to fuel conventional power plants. This has made the nation more vulnerable to supply shocks, which has prompted the trading companies to secure resources by investing more aggressively in upstream energy assets.
FT 5th Aug 2012 more >>
Scotland has twice as many households in fuel poverty as London despite its population being around two-thirds that of the UK capital, newly released Government figures show. Campaigners have called for urgent action to help hard-pressed consumers, who are bracing themselves for price rises, after the data showed the country tops the UK table for the number of homes where people struggle to keep warm. Last month Scottish ministers announced plans for a £2 billion 10-year programme to transform ageing houses and reduce energy bills. According to official figures more than 500,000 homes across Scotland still require cavity wall insulation. The SNP Government has pledged to eradicate the problem by 2016, but ministers have admitted that such an ambitious insulation target could be difficult to meet.
Herald 6th Aug 2012 more >>
THE property group that has fought a 10-year battle to regenerate the former Rosyth naval base now hopes to turn it into a renewable energy park creating 3500 jobs and attracting £500 million of investment. Scarborough Group, an English family-owned business with a 30-year association with Fife-based Muir Group, has ploughed £8m into cleaning up one of the UK’s most contaminated sites, adjacent to its 1990s development of office blocks close to Rosyth dockyard. Two years ago, despite local community approval, the Scarborough Muir joint venture saw its blueprint for a mixed development including housing and leisure thrown out by Fife Council, which wants entirely port-related development. Now Scarborough Muir is gaining political support for a new masterplan, that would see offshore wind turbine manufacturing and servi cing, powered by a waste-fuelled renewable energy plant.
Herald 6th Aug 2012 more >>