Thursday, 29 March 2012

UK faces #business #gas supply shortfall from Qatargas shutdown

Shipping distance and sailing time (only) from Angola LNG. (Port World, Deutsche Bank)

Shipping distance and sailing time (only) from Angola LNG. (Port World, Deutsche Bank)

Planned maintenance at Qatargas 2 Train 4 could remove 21 million cubic metres a day (MMcm/d) from UK supply in September; however, the startup of Angola LNG could offset this, according to analysts at Deutsche Bank.

“The maintenance announced at Qatargas 2 Train 4 could arguably remove 21 MMcm/d from UK supply in September, with a non-negligible risk of delayed supply recovery into October,” the bank said in its research note European Gas: An Uneasy Balance, published on Tuesday.

“This LNG shortfall could be offset by Angola LNG if commissioning runs smoothly. Angola LNG will be marketed on a flexible basis, although at current prices, the UK will only attract cargoes that cannot be absorbed by Japan or Argentina,” the bank added.

Qatargas Train 4 produces 7.8 million tons per annum (mtpa), or 28 MMcm/d of LNG. Production from Train 4, which is one of the biggest trains in the world, is destined specifically for the US and Europe. Other trains, such as the two trains making up Qatargas 1, go elsewhere, such as Japan.

Qatargas, the largest LNG producer in the world, owns and operates seven LNG trains, four of which are known as ‘megatrains,’ each with 7.8 mtpa of capacity. Qatargas supplies around one quarter of all global LNG.

Import threat

The UK has been steadily increasing its LNG imports from Qatar over recent months. LNG’s share of the UK energy mix has also been on the rise, with LNG now accounting for more than a quarter of UK gas demand. However, there are fears that this may be threatened in future.

The UK is already losing LNG because of increased competition from Asia, Trevor Sikorski, analyst in the commodities team at Barclays Capital, told Interfax on Wednesday.

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said earlier this month the UK may not be receiving any LNG imports by the end of the year, particularly if none of Japan’s nuclear power plants are restarted.

UK gas prices could rise to as much as 90 pence per therm (p/th) next winter on reduced LNG flows, higher oil prices and the continuing decline in indigenous gas production. LNG cargoes originally destined for Europe are being diverted away from lower-paying European markets, the bank noted.

With demand on the rise in important consuming countries such as Japan, China and Korea – and now that Indonesia and Malaysia have become LNG importers – the bank estimates UK LNG imports could drop below 25 MMcm/d over the next couple of months.

In the long term, the “UK’s production decline in gas will mean continued dependence on LNG,” Pieter Kiernan, lead energy analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, told Interfax on Wednesday.

Train 4 supply is likely to make up a “significant proportion” of the flexible supply entering the UK via the South Hook LNG terminal, especially with exports to the US being low, the Deutsche Bank note said.

The last maintenance period at Train 4, which lasted from May to June 2010, coincided with a marked decrease in Qatari LNG imports at South Hook, the note added. Flows dropped to an average of 19 MMcm/d from an average of 40 MMcm/d in the previous month. It took until September for full flows to resume.

Angola LNG

If Angola LNG produces 30-35 cargoes in 2012, the UK could be left with five cargoes from Angola, especially after the peak demand months of May to September in South America, Deutsche Bank said. UK prices would need to rise to $13 per MMbtu (82 p/th) in order to provide a netback profit that would attract LNG away from Argentina.

“However, the UK may, nevertheless, import some cargoes in 2012 even below this price as long as there are marginal cargoes which cannot be absorbed by the South American and Asian markets” the bank added.

Chevron’s $9.9 billion Angola LNG project, which should produce about 175,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent at peak rate, is expected to load its first cargo next quarter.

Video - #Npower Energy Market Report – March

This weeks npower’s very own Magali Hodgson makes sense of the energy markets for you.

KPMG welcomes simplification of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (“CRC”) Energy Efficiency Scheme

As new simplification proposals designed to ease the administrative burden around complying with the Carbon Reduction Commitment (“CRC”) Energy Efficiency Scheme are announced, KPMG has released the fifth in a series of white papers on the CRC.  This paper discusses the results of their survey of administration costs of the scheme, their views on the simplification proposals and highlights some lessons learned from conducting audits of participant’s compliance with the scheme on behalf of the Environment Agency.

The proposals announced today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are the result, in part, of research conducted by KPMG on the administrative cost of complying with the CRC.  The findings of that research have been published in full on the DECC website and are also summarised in the KPMG white paper.

Ben Wielgus, lead adviser on the CRC at KPMG in the UK, said:  “Our survey suggests total administrative costs of £97 million across all 2,779 participants in year one and £172m for all of phase one.  But we expect these costs to drop as participants become more efficient at complying with the scheme.  On average this means that participants are paying £15,500 a year for administrative costs of the scheme (although this varies significantly) and it adds about 5 percent to the cost of carbon for businesses.”

In terms of reducing emissions, the KPMG survey suggests that the CRC is having some positive results but that simplification of the registration and footprinting phases would be particularly welcome:

The #CRC simplified to save businesses millions

Millions of pounds will be saved for businesses through ambitious new proposals to simplify the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, (CRC).

Participants will see their administrative costs cut by almost two-thirds, equating to around £330 million of savings up to 2030.

The CRC is a mandatory UK-wide trading scheme covering large business and public sector organisation, who produce 12% of UK carbon emissions.

It requires businesses to report on and pay a tax on energy used, and ranks businesses in a performance league table which provides a further reputational incentive to improve their energy efficiency.

The CRC is expected to deliver carbon savings of 21 MtCO2 by 2027.

Businesses support the simplification of the scheme, and will now have the opportunity to comment on Government’s proposals.

The package proposed is aimed at retaining the energy-saving and reputational benefits of the CRC, whilst reducing the bureaucracy of taking part.

How #solar panels can dim #mortgage prospects

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Budget 2012, A Gas-fired Future

As usual the annual Budget announcement was polemical. This time the biggest controversy was in the energy and environment sector where the announcements to support expansion of fossil fuels, especially gas, were not welcomed by environmentalists.

Budget 2012, A Gas-fired Future

While George Osborne’s defends the Budget 2012 announcements that will support the construction of new gas-fired power plants in Britain by saying: “Environmentally sustainable must always be fiscally sustainable.”

Thursday, 22 March 2012

UK spot gas hits 15-day low on weather,storage news

British spot gas prices sank on Thursday as rising temperatures pushed demand 12 percent below the seasonal average and on reduced injection capacity into Rough storage, while weaker crude oil prices led to a drop in forward gas contracts.

Gas for immediate delivery swung to a 15-day low at 58.60 pence per therm as upward revised temperature forecasts led to expectations of lower demand during the warm spell.

Day-ahead gas fell 0.95 pence to 58.90 pence.

UK temperatures are forecast to maintain highs of up to 18 and 19 degrees Celsius until Sunday.

Centrica's plan to halve gas injection capacity at Britain's largest storage site, Rough, from March 26-31 added to downward momentum.
Since February, traders have been injecting gas into storage in order to balance an oversupplied gas network. Injection limits raise the prospect of continued oversupply at a time when mild weather is expected to weigh on demand.

Budget 2012: Businesses call for #government to commit to #green economy


First Utility Named UK's Cheapest Gas and Electricity Deal

The company provides Britain's overall cheapest gas and electricity through its iSave tariff*, with many Big Six suppliers' deals costing over £100 more.

First Utility is not just dedicated to providing the cheapest energy in the industry, however. CEO Ian McCaig stated: "First Utility has stood out as an innovator in today's UK energy marketplace from the start and there is a huge opportunity for it to shake up the energy supply marketplace here in the UK and make a real and positive difference for consumers, both in terms of their control over their energy use and in reducing their bills."

"The next year will see us introduce new and better platforms to improve customer experience and launch a range of new services. I am particularly excited about our work with US-based energy efficiency company Opower, which will give people access to unique tools and information which will empower them to make real changes to the way they use energy."

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

We may have sold you a bad energy deal, SSE to tell 400,000 customers - Telegraph

UK gov't to consider replacing corporate #CRC scheme

The UK government will consider replacing a scheme to cut corporate energy use with an alternative environmental tax if it cannot cut the scheme's administrative costs, UK finance minister George Osborne said in his budget statement on Wednesday.

The so-called Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) was devised under the previous Labour government.

The mandatory energy efficiency scheme forces businesses like banks, hotels, hospitals and schools to help cut Britain's greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tonnes and corporate energy bills by 1 billion pounds a year by 2020.

The CRC has been widely criticised for being too costly, confusing and unfair.

The Greenest Government Ever?

While the Coalition Government claims to be the “greenest government ever” public opinion says otherwise. A recent poll conducted by YouGov which was commissioned by Greenpeace revealed that only 2% of the British public believes that David Cameron has been successful in his pledge to lead the “greenest government ever“.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Has the 'greenest government ever' gassed itself?

A few weeks ago, I was chatting to a group of people from environmentally-minded UK think-tanks when the issue of the "greenest government ever" came up.
In case you've forgotten, David Cameron pledged to lead such a government on becoming Prime Minister in 2010.

Eighteen months on, and one of my companions put it this way: "They've already lost it on everything but climate change, and they're just about clinging onto that".

The question being asked in similar circles now is whether Saturday's announcement on gas-fired power stations means that climate policy has effectively "gone" as well.

Cheaper energy pulls UK inflation lower

Lower electricity and gas bills helped drag the overall rate of inflation in Britain to a 15-month low last month, official figures showed today.
The consumer prices index rate of inflation dipped to 3.4%, compared to 3.6% in January, the Office for National Statistics said, as E.ON and Scottish Power cut their tariffs.

Cheaper air fares and discounts on digital cameras also pulled the CPI rate lower, but a record January to February rise in alcohol prices, driven by spirits, held back further declines.

Monday, 19 March 2012

UK seeks licence to kill...EU energy-saving rules

When all else fails, the British secret services are the perfect excuse - and London has rolled them out as an argument against one of the most complex pieces of legislation on the EU agenda.

In theory, energy saving should be obvious and simple, especially in times of economic crisis.

In practice, it has generated multiple amendments and mathematical formulae, Byzantine even by EU standards, as governments find ways to dodge targets on increased energy savings through more efficient buildings.

One of many heated debates has focused on how many public buildings should be overhauled to make them use less energy.

The current proposal is for a proportion of the total space to be renovated each year, but EU member states have been whittling away at how many buildings should be included.

To a growing list of exceptions, Britain has added barracks and offices for the armed forces and other staff employed by national defence authorities "capable of being shared with other central government authorities", in comments on the draft directive seen by Reuters.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

UK must not be at 'mercy' of international gas market

Energy watchdog Ofgem has revealed that despite opposition to onshore wind power it added less to energy bills than imported gas last year - which critics argue "dominates" the UK energy market.

Ofgem's Renewables Obligation (RO) annual report for 2010/11, published today (March 14) shows that onshore wind added just £4.68 to the annual UK energy bill - an increase of 0.5%. In contrast, imported gas added about £120 to energy bills - an increase of more than 10%. In total Renewables Obligation (RO) was shown to increase a UK household annual bill by £15.15.

George Osborne – the greenest chancellor yet?

For many green businesses and NGOs, chancellor George Osborne is public enemy number one. He is the torcher of environmental protections, the salvation of carbon-intensive polluters, the arch-apologist for the high carbon growth path, and the single most significant barrier to the development of a low-carbon economy in the UK.
There is plenty of evidence to support this characterisation.

Most notably, last autumn Osborne waved a red rag at the green movement with his casual dismissal of the green economy and environmental regulations. In vowing to ensure the UK goes no faster than the rest of the EU in its pursuit of decarbonisation and lamenting the "ridiculous costs" and "burdens" that green regulations place on businesses, Osborne sent environmental campaigners around the country into paroxysms of rage.

Add in the £200m of support promised to energy intensive industries, the eye-watering cuts imposed on Defra's budget, the failure to find additional cash to resolve the feed-in tariff crisis, the complete lack of movement on promised green taxes, the refusal to even acknowledge the five per cent growth achieved by the low-carbon economy and, worst of all, the threatened reforms to environmental habitat and planning rules that have left many campaigners fearing next week's budget will represent a Black Wednesday for the countryside, and you can see why Osborne is perceived as the green movement's mortal enemy.

9 GW of new gas capacity set to lock UK into high carbon future, warns FoE

Up to nine gigawatts of new gas-fired electricity generation could come on line by 2016, threatening to drive up energy bills and lock the UK into a future of high carbon electricity generation, Friends of the Earth warned today.

In a report looking at how much new gas is set to come into the system over the next decade, Friends of the Earth (FoE) has found that energy firms are planning to build nearly double the number of gas-fired power stations the Government says the UK may need. The green group says unless the Government gets tough on how many emissions these new power stations can emit, it will not hit the recommended targets on emissions reductions for electricity generation, locking the UK into a high carbon future.
According to its own "conservative" estimates, FoE says nine gigawatts (GW) of capacity – enough to power almost nine million homes – could come on line by 2016. This, it says, is nearly twice the additional 4.9GW the Government projects may be needed by 2020.

And in an accompanying briefing document, FoE makes the case that keeping the UK hooked on gas will also prove more expensive for households and businesses. Average gas bills increased by 90 per cent between 2004 and 2010. The UK is now a net importer of gas and increasingly exposed to global fluctuations in the price of gas. The FoE paper, 'Gas Prices: Is The Only Way Up?’, points out that, in two out of three scenarios about future gas prices, the Government estimates gas prices will either be 11 per cent or 51 per cent higher than in 2011.

Centrica to mothball UK gas plant from April 1st - #Centrica

British utility Centrica will mothball its 340-megawatt (MW) Kings Lynn gas-fired power plant from April 1, but it will continue operating its Barry gas plant to produce peakload electricity, a spokesman said on Monday.

The utility said in its 2011 results statement last month that it would consult on whether to shut down the two gas plants as the cost of burning gas for power was too high at such low-efficiency plants.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Energy firm’s profits down to £304m

Is The Future of Energy #Thorium?

Safer, cleaner, sustainable and many times more effective than any other energy resource on Earth. Meet Thorium, a naturally occurring, slightly radioactive metal, capable of producing immense amount of energy, in a safe, environmentally friendly and very economic manner.

Readers of our blog need no further introduction to Thorium since we talked about it a couple of times before. Back in September 2010 we published “Is Fossil Fuel Dependence Over?” and “Top 5 Energy Resources“.

Since then Thorium research has gained some important ground and countries like the United States and China are already funding programs to deploy small nuclear reactors powered with Thorium.

In scientific terms these so called small nuclear reactors are known as Molten-Salt Reactors or LFTR (liquefied Fluorine Thorium Reactors). These reactors are ten times safer than current nuclear reactors simply because they have a self-controlled safe configuration. In short, if the energy supply to the nuclear power is cut down completely a Molten-Salt reactor would shut itself down immediately without the need to circulate water inside the reactor to prevent a meltdown.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

UK gas rises on #LNG drop, upbeat outlook

British gas prices turned up on Tuesday afternoon after supply from liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals dropped, leaving the system undersupplied as demand rose, while upbeat economic data drove curve contracts higher.

Within-day gas prices for Tuesday delivery rose to 59.00 pence per therm, while Wednesday gas added 0.50 pence to 58.90 pence.

Britain's gas system was around 5 million cubic metres per day (mcm/d) undersupplied after flows from the Isle of Grain LNG terminal fell close to zero and input from the South Hook terminal slipped by a quarter to around 30 mcm/d, National Grid (LSE: NG.L - news) data showed.

At the same time gas demand ticked up from levels seen earlier in the session, adding to pressure on supply margins.

Demand increased to around 7 percent below seasonal norms from minus 15 percent in the morning.

UK wants 2030 renewable energy target scrapped

The UK government wants nuclear power to be given parity with renewables in Europe, in a move that would significantly boost atomic energy in Britain but downgrade investment in renewable generation, according to a leaked document seen by the Guardian newspaper.

The move would in effect remove the most important prop from the beleaguered renewable energy sector – the Europe-wide targets stipulating that a proportion of each member state's energy must come from renewable sources.

That target should be scrapped when its current phase – requiring member states to generate 20% of energy from renewables – runs out in 2020, according to a secret submission to the European commission.

"The UK envisages multiple low-carbon technologies: renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, all competing freely against each other in the years to come … For this reason, we cannot support a 2030 renewables target," it reads.

But the document calls for "some type of target for 2030", which a government adviser told the Guardian is likely to be a target for low-carbon energy. This would include nuclear alongside renewables and so far unproven technology for capturing and storing carbon dioxide underground.

UK #nuclear plans 'put energy in French hands'

Government plans for nuclear power risk handing control of the UK's climate and energy policies to France, according to four senior environmentalists.

Energy giant EDF and reactor builder Areva, big players in the UK's plans, are largely French government-owned.

Jonathan Porritt, Tom Burke, Charles Secrett and Tony Juniper say the firms are landing UK citizens with all the financial risks of nuclear new build.
They have told Prime Minister David Cameron he is being badly advised.

The four - all former directors of Friends of the Earth (FoE) UK - say that the current policy to start building at least eight new reactors over the next decade cannot withstand the "intense scrutiny" it is coming under in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

"There is now a growing risk of policy failure," they write in their letter to the prime minister.

Mr Cameron recently signed an agreement with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to boost nuclear co-operation.

"Our analysis shows that building new nukes will be a massive rip-off for the the British taxpayer," said Mr Secrett.

"How on Earth can the prime minister justify paying billions of pounds of subsidy to French power companies when the chancellor is slashing welfare budgets for poor people in Britain and there are a million young people unemployed?"

Friday, 9 March 2012

Power Cuts In The UK Are Now Unlikely - #Bloomberg New #Energy #Finance

Weak demand and new gas-fired power plants coming on-stream by 2016 should keep the lights on in Britain for the rest of this decade. 

UK Power cuts predicted to the end of this decade will be avoided thanks to increased energy efficiency, the economic recession, renewable energy resources and a new generation of gas fired power plants.

The good news comes from an influential new white paper published by analyst firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Kingsnorth power plant to close in a year as EU rules hit

Thursday, 8 March 2012

UK faces total winter #LNG cut-off risk

Britain risks a total cut-off in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply next winter as the world's biggest producer Qatar skirts Europe in favour of more lucrative exports to Asia, Merrill Lynch Bank of America analysts said in a research note on Thursday.

With Asian demand surging, mass diversions could trigger severe gas shortages in the UK and set wholesale gas prices soaring some 25 percent to 90 pence per therm, the analysts wrote.

Britain's dependency on seaborne gas imports has grown in the past two years, making up about a quarter of total supply in 2011 as North Sea reserves declined by 10 percent year on year.

UK winter #gas prices could rise above 90 pence per #therm

British benchmark front-season gas prices rose close to a one-week high on Thursday as oil rebounded and analysts renewed concerns about Britain having to compete for liquefied natural gas (LNG) with higher-paying Asian buyers.

Gas for delivery this summer rose 2.6 percent day on day to 59.70 pence per therm, after oil rose above $125 per barrel on hopes Greece can avoid a messy debt default, traders said.

Sentiment was also supported by anlysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicting UK winter gas prices could trade above 90 pence as Britain could see a drop in LNG supply with Japanese and other Asian buyers attracting higher imports.

£4 million investment for UK water industry

Ocean Thermal Energy

Cable says #green tax must be cut to save companies

Vince Cable is pushing Chancellor George Osborne to scrap a £740m environmental burden on British business in this month's budget. It is understood that business department officials have asked the Treasury to remove the carbon reduction commitment (CRC).

This forces an estimated 20,000 non-energy intensive businesses that still use lots of electricity and have bills of around £500,000, such as supermarket and hotel chains, to pay a price for every ton of carbon they emit.

This was introduced in 2010 as part of the Government's ambition to reduce carbon emissions by 4m tonnes a year by 2020 and has also been estimated to raise £740m for Treasury coffers from 2013-14, when a carbon floor price is also introduced to bolster the CRC.

However, critics argue that the CRC has so far failed to show any signs of reducing emissions, as those big businesses still need electricity to keep their lights and computers on, and so is essentially just a tax in a time of financial struggle.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

UK power market risks losing more liquidity unless structural change introduced

The UK power market risks becoming even more of a closed shop unless initiatives to introduce structural change are successful, according to some market experts. Gillian Carr reports

The UK power market, which has for several years lagged behind the large European markets in terms of traded volumes and churn, has seen a significant drop in churn and contraction in products traded in recent months, leading to concerns that new players are even less able to enter and that the market is stagnating.

Electricity Power Cuts Unlikely

Staggering Solution To Energy Demand

A team of UK students have come up with a ‘staggering’ solution to manage daily energy demand.

A University of East Anglia team from Norwich suggests incentivising certain groups to stagger their usage to when power is more plentiful.

The team proposes a clever combination of targeted tariffs and compressed air storage in underground reservoirs. The idea is to smooth out the peaks and troughs in daily energy demand and intermittent supply.

For example, students - who tend to stay up later - could be incentivised to use more power at night when the national grid often has a surplus.

The UEA team is through to the finals of an international competition to find innovative solutions to the energy crisis. The RWE npower Energy Challenge is an annual inter-university competition to find the brightest young minds in the UK and the Netherlands. Members of the winning team each receive a prize of £1250.
UEA team captain Jonathan Davison, who is in his final year studying environmental sciences with a year in industry, said: “We’re excited to be presenting our ideas in the final and grateful to RWE npower for the opportunity. It should give us a real insight into the workings of the industry and provide great networking opportunities, too.”

The other team members are Peter Kerrison, who is studying environmental sciences with a year in North America, and Richard Hodkin, who is studying environmental earth sciences with a year in industry. They will compete in the final with three other UK teams and two teams from the Netherlands.

#Wind farms: Will they Really Spoil Britain’s Shore Line and landscapes?

Minister Ed Davey says vested interests will hate his 'Green Deal'

The UK's energy minister said his "Green Deal" plan for business would be so radical it would be hated by some.

Ed Davey told the Scottish Lib Dem conference in Inverness he would announce details of the project soon.

He said he was "giving notice" to businesses and local authorities to get serious about saving energy and saving people money.

Mr Davey also told the conference that he was "immensely proud" of the work done by his predecessor, Chris Huhne.

Lib Dem MP Mr Huhne resigned as energy secretary at the beginning of February after learning he would be charged with perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case.
Party delegates heard Mr Davey say: "One month into the job, I now understand even more deeply than before what fabulous work Chris did to take forward the Liberal Democrats' pioneering and longstanding commitment to the environment. To make our coalition the greenest government ever."

He said he would push ahead with his predecessor's plans and go on to create a "whole new market" in the form of the "Green Deal" business model which would live "without subsidy or regulation".

Cameron's green guru reveals his doubts over global warming

Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister’s director of strategy and ‘green guru’, is the latest person to admit to doubts about climate change.

‘I’m not sure I believe in it,’ he announced at a meeting of the Energy Department, prompting one aide to blurt out: ‘Did I just hear that correctly?’

According to one witness, Hilton, 41, the man who coined the slogan ‘Vote Blue and Go Green’ and changed the Tory symbol from a Stalinist style torch to an eco friendly tree, said: ‘Climate change arguments are highly complex. 

‘My focus has always been more on using green issues to improve the quality of life.’ 

Hilton famously persuaded David Cameron to go to the Arctic with a pack of huskies to prove that he was determined to combat global warming in his early days as Tory leader.

Read more:

UK #Electricity Power Cuts Unlikely

Electricity Power Cuts Unlikely

Weak demand and new gas-fired power plants coming on-stream by 2016 should keep the lights on in Britain for the rest of this decade.  UK Power cuts predicted to the end of this decade will be avoided thanks to increased energy efficiency, the economic recession, renewable energy resources and a new generation of gas fired power plants.

UK Power Cuts

The good news comes from an influential new white paper published by analyst firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

RWE denies UK arm #npower is up for sale, as profits soar

German utility giant RWE (Other OTC: RWNFF.PK - news) said its British business, RWE npower, was not for sale, as the group's UK energy arm reported a 34pc jump in profits to £313m for 2011.

Npower, its retail arm, has come under fire having increased average tariffs for gas by 15.7pc and electricity by 7.2pc last October - but has since lowered gas bills by 5pc. The company declined to reveal the breakdown of profits between its UK divisions.

But Volker Beckers, chief executive of RWE npower, said that the retail division had broadly broken even in 2011, an improvement on a loss in 2010. He said he did not understand why the public did not recognise that UK energy prices were comparatively low.

"This market still has, in Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD - news) , by far the lowest prices and I don't know why we don't recognise that as a fact," he said. "We are exposed to the same global commodity dynamics and yet we have the lowest residential prices. You have a similar debate in other countries, but there the understanding is much more, 'We have to transform the energy system, we want to have full compliance with climate change targets'. In other countries people are saying, 'For a greener world I am willing to accept that prices are going higher.'"

He added that the company was doing everything it could to help customers.

RWE npower said the bulk of the UK profit growth was driven by "operational efficiencies and power station earnings". It added that said it was too soon to assess the impact on 2012 earnings of the fire last week at its biomass plant in Tilbury.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Business #Energy Market Report March 2012

Energy Market Report March 2012

Our monthly analysis of the UK gas and power markets is now available on line for the month of March 2012. The service is intended to keep you up to date with all the major news in Europe’s gas and power markets. It is also designed to keep power executives focused on market activity in an easy to digest format.
Energy Market Report March 2012
Your find our March 2012 report here and all historical energy reports can be located here.

Controversial #greenenergy report 'very, very poor', says government economist

Energy price warning over #renewables

Future Of Energy Source Is Seaweed, Researchers Say

Monday, 5 March 2012

Happy Birthday, Justin! A look at #Biebers $100,000 electric car

Justin Bieber turned 18 on Thursday and to celebrate, his manager surprised him with a Fisker Karma -- a $100,000 electric car whose sporty physique belies its eco-friendliness.

Bieber's manager, Scott Braun, presented the Canadian pop star with the car on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show," of all places.

"We wanted to make sure, since you love cars, that when you're on the road you are always looking environmentally friendly," Braun said as DeGeneres beamed in the background. "And we decided to get you a car that would make you stand out. I think you know where I'm going, and you're kind of freaking out right now. That's a Fisker Karma."

A curtain was flourished, the car was revealed, and Bieber appeared to be in a state of shock.Wondering what makes the Fisker Karma so special? Well, first of all, it's brand new -- the car just hit showrooms in December. And there's also that crazy price point: The Fisker Karma sells from between $95,000 to $108,000 before tax incentives.

Is it bad to leave phone chargers plugged in all the time?

I know it’s supposed to be bad to leave your cell phone charger plugged in when it’s not charging, but here’s something I find myself wondering often: Is it as bad to leave it plugged in with your phone attached after it’s been charged?
And what about my laptop charger? Does that leak energy?

Can’t remember if you’ve covered this before.

NFU green energy service is launched

AN INITIATIVE that provides a range of renewables and energy efficiency services to help reduce environmental impact and increase farm profits is being launched for NFU members.

The Farm Energy Service will offer advice and guidance on a range of issues including solar panels, wind energy, grid connections and energy contracts.

It will also provide assistance with legal queries, planning, finance and insurance.

Benefits include a free initial survey, access to an energy contract finder service, and a discounted fee structure.

The partnership sees the NFU teaming up with renewable energy specialists Fisher German and energy efficiency and contract management experts Farm Energy.

NFU president Peter Kendall said the creation of Feed-in Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentive schemes had sparked great interest in renewable energy.

ATH faces £42m cost of losing appeal over CO2 scheme

COAL miner ATH Resources was dealt a further blow yesterday when Energy Secretary Ed Davey dismissed the company’s appeal against being included in a carbon-reduction scheme that could cost it an extra £4.2 million in the next three years.

The Aim-quoted firm, which is based in Doncaster but has all four of its open-cast mines in Scotland, is already struggling against falling coal prices and rising diesel costs. Davey has ruled the firm must take part in the carbon reduction commitment (CRC) scheme, which forces big companies and public bodies to pay a levy if they are going to emit CO2 gas into the atmosphere.

ATH Resources, which posted a pre-tax loss of £5.8m for the year to 2 October, thinks the CRC breaches European Union laws and has vowed to fight it.

Chief executive Alistair Black said: “Whilst it is clearly disappointing that our appeal has been dismissed by the secretary of state at this stage, the outcome of ATH’s contention that the entire CRC scheme is contrary to EU law has yet to be determined.

“If the CRC scheme is found to be in contravention of EU law it will have a major implication for the operation of the scheme in its current form.”

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Analysis reveals folly of betting UK's energy future on cheap #gas over wind

Electricity produced by wind turbines in the UK may be cheaper than that generated by burning gas within five years, even if the climate-warming pollution from the latter is allowed to be pumped straight into the air. That is one startling implication of a comprehensive analysis produced for the Guardian by experts at Imperial College London and the UK Energy Research Centre.

The chart, which is from preliminary analysis, reveals the folly of betting the UK's energy future on the hope of cheap gas, the preferred option of many of the critics of reneweable energy.
This is not because wind power, or any other energy source, is certain to be cheaper. Instead, says Dr Robert Gross at Imperial College, it is because the principle of targeting subsidy to create viable new energy sources is well founded and the notion of gas as a cheap and relatively low-carbon energy source is not. Look at the range of gas cost forecasts from 2020 onwards: they are much wider than those for wind.

The oil and gas industries, and the nuclear industry, all benefited from far greater public subsidies in their formative years than renewable industries do now. Such is the grip of fossil fuels on national economies that they benefit from five times the amount of taxpayer support than that of green energy, both in the UK and globally.

David Lloyd Leisure raises the bar in energy saving


The #Npower #Business #Energy Market Report – 28th February 2012