A well-known consulting firm says wind and solar capacity could replace the need for additional nuclear power in the UK, but some form of support for them will probably still be needed. Findings from Cornwall Insight’s Benchmark Power Curve – a comprehensive market and asset-level power price modelling service – show that meeting UK’s fourth and fifth carbon budgets without commissioning new nuclear capacity is a real possibility. Not only this, but the forecasts predict that meeting these targets can be achieved at a lower cost compared to developing a new fleet of reactors. Cornwall Insight head of new business Ben Hall said, “This latest forecast from Cornwall Insight marks a notable shift away from previous thinking that nuclear generation and new build plants are a crucial step towards meeting our carbon targets. “Continual improvements to the development and operation of renewable technologies such as wind and solar see them become increasingly cost-effective, allowing the UK to meet its targets without the need for additional new nuclear capacity.”
Offshore Wind Journal 16th May 2019 read more »
Labour have announced plans to fit solar panels to 1.75m homes lived in by socially housed or low-income households as part of its promised “green industrial revolution” to try to combat climate change and boost jobs. The programme is due to be announced by Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, at an event in Yorkshire on Thursday. It would involve solar panels being fitted to a million social homes as part of scheduled updates to social housing. Labour said this would provide enough power to give them free energy, saving an average of £117 a year on bills. Any spare power would be put into the national grid. Another 750,000 low-income households would have the chance to have the panels fitted through interest-free loans or grants. The party estimated the policy would create 16,900 jobs and save 7.1m tonnes of CO2 a year, equivalent to taking 4m cars off the roads. It comes after Labour’s pledge in February to introduce a wider set of policies to simultaneously tackle the climate crisis and create large numbers of high-skilled jobs in the green economy. The idea echoes the green new deal proposed by left-wing Democrats in the US, and proposals put forward by the Green party in the UK. As part of the Labour plan, the party has committed to making sure at least 60% of the UK’s electricity and heat comes from renewable sources by 2030. The plan will involve what Labour calls a “just transition”, allowing people currently working in carbon-emitting industries to move into skilled green jobs.
Guardian 15th May 2019 read more »
Business Green 15th May 2019 read more »
Times 16th May 2019 read more »
The solar plan came as Labour published plans to hand responsibility for the UK’s power networks to streets, villages and housing estates. But the move is controversial because shareholders that own the National Grid would be unlikely to be paid the market value for their assets, estimated at £64 billion. Matthew Fell of the Confederation of British Industry said: “As drafted, these proposals amount to hanging a closed sign above the UK. He warned that renationalisation could hit the pockets of nearly six million pensioners whose funds would be affected by speculation. A National Grid spokeswoman said the proposals would delay progress already being made to move to green energy.
Daily Mirror 15th May 2019 read more »
The Scottish government already have a programme of installing solar panels on social homes, and in March, announced a multi-million-pound solar scheme for social housing in Aberdeenshire.
Environment Journal 15th May 2019 read more »
Labour will announce plans on Thursday to seize back control of Britain’s energy network from private shareholders in an effort to fight climate change and end fuel poverty. Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, are expected to say that heat and electricity should be a human right for all and nationalisation of the network is key to decarbonising the economy. Under Labour’s plan, companies that control the UK’s £62bn energy infrastructure – the pipes and cables that supply homes and businesses with gas and electricity – would be taken back into state control soon after a Labour election win. The CBI said Labour’s plans would make the country poorer, hinder efforts to tackle climate change and threaten a return to the frequent power cuts of the past. Matthew Fell, the business lobby group’s chief UK policy director, said: “These proposals amount to hanging a ‘closed’ sign above the UK, with renationalisation delivering a triple whammy neither citizens nor the country can afford. “Much-needed investment is drying up under Labour’s threats, which seriously risks hampering efforts to tackle climate change and puts in doubt the innovation that will deliver a net-zero carbon economy. “These plans would threaten significant improvements in network resilience made since privatisation. No one wants a return to the frequent power cuts that were a feature of nationalised industries of yesteryear.”
Guardian 15th May 2019 read more »
It wants to create a National Energy Agency to own and maintain transmission infrastructure. Labour said its nationalisation pledge would “usher in a Green Industrial Revolution” and tackle climate change. But National Grid – the UK’s largest transmitter of electricity and gas – said the proposal was the “last thing” that was needed. It said the Labour plan would hinder the shift to green energy. Labour also set out plans to put solar panels on nearly two million homes.
BBC 16th May 2019 read more »
The i News 16th May 2019 read more »
Herald 15th May 2019 read more »
BRITAIN faces a wave of blackouts after Jeremy Corbyn laid out plans to put critical energy infrastructure into the hands of parish councils as part of a £65billion nationalisation. In radical proposals Labour proposed bringing National Grid and every regional distribution network in the country back into the public sector.
The Sun 16th May 2019 read more »
The Labour Party’s decision to flip the switch on plans to bring energy under state control has sparked outrage in an already embattled market. The looming risk posed by Jeremy Corbyn’s threat to nationalise the UK’s £60bn energy networks industry has stalked the City for months. It first emerged in 2017, softened by vague political rhetoric and doubts over the party’s chances in a general election. Since then, the unraveling of political norms in Westminster has sent shivers through the City as the hazy threat of a Labour government came into sharper focus. Now the party’s blueprint for wresting back control the British energy system’s arteries and infrastructure have been laid bare in a leaked nationalisation plan. The sweeping strategy goes far beyond the City’s worst fears.
Telegraph 15th May 2019 read more »
An ‘enormous distraction’ or an essential step in an energy revolution? The jury’s out on Labour’s plans, writes Madeleine Cuff. Is it time to give power to the people? Labour yesterday released details of its bold (some might say fool-hardy) plans to renationalise the UK’s electricity and heating grids, a move it argued is essential to tackle climate change.
Business Green 16th May 2019 read more »
Michael Gove today refused to commit to climate change guidance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 – five years later than the deadline the Scottish Government has set. The UK environment secretary told MSPs that he could make no announcement on whether the government would adopt the Committee on Climate Change report recommendations. Appearing before Holyrood’s environment committee, via video link, to discuss the impact of Brexit, Mr Gove was pressed on when the UK government would respond to the CCC report. He said: “I’m afraid I can’t make that announcement. One of the things about the UK government structure, in the same way as the Scottish Government has overlapping responsibilities, there are overlapping and separate responsibilities between mine and Greg Clark’s department [business, energy and industrial strategy], and his is the lead department when it comes to responding to this report.” He added: “I have the very highest regard for the work of the CCC and their report makes a number of very powerful arguments which I welcome but the official government response will come later and from Greg. But I hope you can take from my comments my gratitude for the CCC’s work, my appreciation of the urgent need for us all to do more and my acknowledgement that the Scottish Government and parliamentarians from every party are making the case for more urgent action as well which I welcome.” When asked by Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell if all UK government policies should be reviewed in light of the climate emergency, as has been announced by the Scottish Government, Mr Gove agreed.
Scotsman 15th May 2019 read more »